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March 2014

Major Spotlight: Electronic Media & Communication
by Allie Carlson, photo by David Vaughn

"Electronic media" is commonly misconceived as strictly limited to the television and radio industry. In the College of Media & Communication, the EMC program offers students a wide variety of career opportunities to explore.

"Electronic media is a major for students who have an interest in visual storytelling," said Todd Chambers, Ph.D., chairperson of the journalism and electronic media department.

Chambers said the program attracts students with diverse interests, such as the film industry, web design, video production, and other fields. He said students from the program often find jobs in areas such as the recording industry, video game industry, sports industry, and producing news in a variety of markets.

Filming MCTV

Kelly Kaufhold and Josh Robinson monitor MCTV controls

The electronic media and communication department recently merged with the journalism department, which Chambers said has mutually benefitted the students by allowing the evolution of unique partnerships within the department.

"Ultimately," Chambers said, "the EMC majors share a common goal with journalism majors, and the mission of our department is to graduate creative, innovative and responsible storytellers."

While majors from across the university can participate in any student-run organization in the college, The Hub@TTU and Double T Insider were created by journalism and electronic media students.

The Hub@TTU is an online publication allowing students to submit short stories, documentaries, reviews, etc., to become published works. The Double T Insider is a weekly sports show produced by Texas Tech students and aired in Lubbock, Amarillo and Midland.

"One of the things I'm most excited about," Chambers said, "is the number of opportunities students have. They can get involved from the moment they walk on campus."

Chambers said he encourages incoming freshmen to find any way to get involved from the moment they get here and move into their dorms.

"Throughout our college," Chambers said, "every major is trying to figure out a way to help our students gain a competitive advantage for when they're going out to seek employment."

Allie Carlson is a junior public relations major from Austin, Texas. David Vaughn is a senior university studies major from Spur, Texas, and works as a photographer for the college's marketing department.


Professor Spotlight: Jo Grant
by Allie Carlson, photo by David Vaughn

Jo Grant

Jo Grant

Professor Jo Grant has 30 years of professional experience in the nonprofit public relations field. Grant said she will always work for a nonprofit organization.

Grant graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in journalism and received her master's degree from San Angelo State.

"My PR experience has been on-the-job training over the last 30 years," Grant said. "Today, you're having to move around crisis communication, media relations, strategic planning; all of those things weren't anything we were taught back in the '70s, and they are indicative of the way business goes now."

Grant has a special interest in not-for-profit work, and has always worked for a nonprofit organization, whether it be a school or in healthcare.

"I loved hospitals," Grant said. "I loved being around patients, being around doctors, being around successes and being around crises that are a part of that, as well."

Grant said every day was a surprise working in a hospital. She said her work consisted of writing press releases or doing day-to-day business internally, but many days were totally unexpected when she had to deal with tornadoes, major accidents, shooters and other challenges.

"I can't ever imagine working for a for-profit business," Grant said, "because I like the service part of it. I like the service. I like helping people. I like taking a little crumb of money and making it do something awesome."

Grant said when she started working for Children's Miracle Network inside her hospital, being able to raise money that would affect a child's life was the most rewarding part.

"We don't get into nonprofits for the six-figure salary," Grant said. "It's just not going to happen. We get into nonprofits to serve humankind in some way."

Grant currently teaches Public Relations Strategies, Practice and Professionalism, and the special topics course, Nonprofit Public Relations. Nonprofit PR is a service learning course in which Grant's class pairs up with a local nonprofit organization to help them formulate a strategic public relations plan, while volunteering and getting hands-on experience working the public relations side of a nonprofit organization.

"If you're in it for helping people and learning how to take your skill and apply it to a community problem, global problem, local problem, that's why you need to be in nonprofit public relations," Grant said.

Allie Carlson is a junior public relations major from Austin, Texas. David Vaughn is a senior university studies major from Spur, Texas, and works as a photographer for the college's marketing department.


Get To Know Your Ambassador: Ruby Grace
photo by David Vaughn

Ruby Grace

Ruby Grace

Ruby Grace is a junior journalism major from Laredo, Texas.

What do you love about being in the College of Media & Communication?

I love that there are so many media outlets for us to use and that they're student-run. You can be any major and still participate in everything. And it gives us so much hands-on experience.

What are you involved in within the college and on campus?

I just started helping out with MCTV and I was involved in The Hub@TTU last semester. I loved anchoring and getting work published; they're both great experiences. On campus I have been a member of President's Select since I was a freshman. It's really great leading campus tours and recruiting athletes and prospective students. It's a great way to network, as well. I am involved in the Hispanic Student Society, and I was a member of Pegasus my freshman year.

What are your hobbies?

I love to go running, usually at night or early in the morning. I play the piano, looking up YouTube videos to play on the piano. And I love reading.

What do you enjoy most as an ambassador?

I love that I get to tell my story to other students. I know some of them are scared of the distance or coming alone, and I get that. I'm nine hours from home, I'm the first Red Raider in my family, and I had no friends or family who had even visited Tech. It's really cool that I get to tell them it's the best experience of my life.

What is your favorite Texas Tech University tradition?

Going to home football games! Waiting in line and trying to get a good seat for the game. They're so rowdy and loud. We get crazy and it's a lot of fun.

What advice do you have for a prospective student?

Have an open mind when coming to Texas Tech University. There is so much to get involved with and a lot you can do in order to branch out to other people. I was so set on what I wanted to do that when I got here it was like, "Whoa!" There are so many other things I have the opportunity of doing that I need to have a more open mind. If you know what you want to do, that's great. But come see what else you can do with that in mind.

What is your dream job?

I'm going to law school, so my dream job would be to work somewhere in the government or in Washington D.C. I'm really concerned with educational issues, so if I could help kids out in that way, that would be really cool.

David Vaughn is a senior university studies major from Spur, Texas, and works as a photographer for the college's marketing department.


Tech PR
by Allie Carlson, photo courtesy Tech PR

Tech PR Dallas Trip

Networking is vitally important for students going into the public relations industry, and the easiest way to start is by joining organizations such as Tech PR, which introduces students to the business world.

Tech PR is a student-run organization in the College of Media & Communication, which holds monthly meetings bringing in public relations professionals to speak about issues within the industry, such as career development.

"It's all about teaching the students to run something," Jo Grant, faculty adviser of Tech PR, said. "And how to begin networking."

Along with monthly meetings, Tech PR sponsors an annual trip to Dallas in the spring, giving the members an opportunity to network with professionals as well as go on agency tours.

The professionals perform mock interviews, give resume critiques, and Grant said students have received job offers during the trip.

"The Dallas trip showed me what I am working toward," said Dylan Echols, vice president of Tech PR. "I learned about how philosophies and cultures differ from firm to firm. There is a home for everyone; you just have to understand yourself to find it."

Tech PR provides many opportunities for students to network not only with professionals, but also with each other.

"In Tech PR, I am surrounded by students and faculty who share similar aspirations," Echols said. "It is a place where students can share ideas and learn from professionals and each other. I have built invaluable networks and friendships from my involvement."

Allie Carlson is a junior public relations major from Austin, Texas. David Vaughn is a senior university studies major from Spur, Texas, and works as a photographer for the college's marketing department.



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