Queen of Recruitment

by Melanie Hess and Paige Schwartz
Photo by Melissa Wofford

For Jill M. Lellis, a Texas Tech University graduate student from Arlington, Texas, recruitment is not only her job, it is her passion.

Lellis vividly remembers the first day she explored the Texas Tech campus and began her successful journey in Lubbock.

“[At] the original campus visit that I had,” Lellis said, “everyone was just so friendly. And it felt small enough that you could make a name for yourself, but big enough that people would respect your degree.”

Three-and-a-half years later, Lellis, who earned a bachelor of arts in advertising and a minor in business, has made quite a name for herself at Texas Tech. During her undergraduate career, Lellis maintained an impressive grade point average, was the president of Pi Delta Alpha, a mass communications fraternity, vice president of Tech Advertising Federation, leadership chair for Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and a member of the Association for Women in Communications, Texas Tech’s Mortar Board chapter, Gamma Beta Phi society honor and service organization, Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society, and much more.

After all of her experiences and intense involvement, Lellis decided to attend graduate school at Texas Tech. She was then offered a position as the graduate assistant in charge of recruitment for the College of Media & Communication.

“I am in charge of recruiting for undergrad and the graduate division,” Lellis said. “I meet with students every day, I give them tours of the college, I go to different events, I answer any e-mails that come through the Web site—basically anything to do with recruitment.”

Lellis completed several internships prior to entering graduate school, which she said helped her develop the skills she uses in her current position.

Aleesa Ross, Career Center director for the College of the Mass Communications, said she was impressed by Lellis’ motivation and dedication to finding what she is interested in.

“She branched out, you know, got out of her comfort zone,” Ross said. “[She] tried out different things to figure out exactly what it is she wants to do, or what she might want to do, so she did the internships to help her figure that out.”

Lellis was Ross’ student assistant in the Career Center for some time during her undergraduate studies. Ross said Lellis was an exceptional worker.

“She is, from a boss perspective,” Ross said, “very dependable, very hard working, probably the most enthusiastic and outgoing person I’ve ever met. [She is] just very genuine, doesn’t hold anything back and is very honest.”

“She’s very personable, sociable and easy to talk to. She’s approachable and has been here for several years.”—Stephanie Miles

Lellis also worked under Melissa Wofford, the College’s design specialist, as a design intern for two years, where she assisted in designing publications such as Tech ImPRESSions and the Mass Communicator.

During Lellis’ time as the design intern, several faculty members from the College of Media & Communication nominated Lellis for the campus-wide Student Employee of the Year Award. Lellis was runner-up and won a plaque and $500 scholarship.

Stephanie Miles, graduate assistant for the College of Media & Communication from Longview, Texas, and friend of Lellis’, said Lellis is good at anything involving people and would be great continuing a career in recruitment. “She’s very personable, sociable and easy to talk to,” Miles said. “She’s approachable and has been here for several years.”

Miles and Lellis recently worked together on one of the many research studies Lellis has taken part in. The two graduate assistants wrote a paper on the use of Twitter by network broadcasting stations. Miles and Lellis took the paper to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Mid-winter Conference, which took place in March 5-7 the University of Oklahoma, where they received encouraging feedback.

“They said that our research is setting the agenda for research studies,” Lellis said, “which, in the academic world, is huge.”

Lellis is currently working on a research project about eye-tracking - the direction viewers’ eyes naturally move when viewing advertising placements on television ads. She is also collaborating with faculty on a content analysis of the elderly and package design.

Miles said Lellis has managed to successfully balance her time between school, work and her life outside of the College of Media & Communication.

“When she’s at work, it’s time to work. When she’s out of work, it’s time to study,” Miles said.

Lellis said she loves her position as graduate assistant for recruitment because it is flexible and she gets to be creative and not just grade papers like many other graduate assistants. She gets to meet new people and answer their questions. She wishes there would have been someone to answer those questions for her as an incoming freshman.

“They’ll ask me questions,” Lellis said, “I think that they would be intimidated to ask someone that’s older. ‘So do I really need rain boots?’ Just stuff that you don’t want to ask an older person. I just think they feel a better connection with me since I am so young. I am only like five or six years older than they are.”

"I really love research but I also love recruiting and I still have a passion for graphic design, so I don’t know. I could do any of it and be happy.” — Jill Lellis

Lellis, formerly known as Jill Mulieri, was married in December 2009 to Ryan Lellis, a graduate student studying geosciences.

“We wrote our own vows,” Lellis said. “We’re big dorks, and so his included geology. He said that he’d love me even after we’re fossilized, and I said that I love him and will always make time to make songs about our dog. It was just kind of simple like that.”

Miles said Lellis and her husband are perfect for each other and are really funny to be around.

Lellis completed her graduate studies in May and will graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communications in August. In May, she and her husband moved to Midland, Texas, where he is pursuing a career in the oil industry.

Lellis said she thinks living in Midland will be interesting. When she moved to Lubbock, she moved alone and was terrified. This time she will be moving with Ryan and their dogs, so it is more exciting than scary.

Lellis is ready to begin a new career in Midland. She is interested in pursuing many different fields.

“I really love research, but I also love recruiting, and I still have a passion for graphic design. So, I don’t know,” Lellis said. “I could do any of it and be happy. mc

Paige Schwartz is a sophomore public relations and Spanish major from Frisco, Texas.