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May 2014

Intern Spotlight: Halie Sandoval
by Allie Carlson, photo courtesy Halie Sandoval

Halie Sandoval

Halie Sandoval

With the many career opportunities available to people in the communication industry, students in the College of Media & Communication pursue a wide variety of interests through their majors.

Halie Sandoval, a junior public relations and marketing dual major from Lubbock, Texas, is chasing her dream career in the music and entertainment industry by spending the semester in Austin, Texas, working in two internships.

Sandoval currently has a for-credit internship with the television production company for "Austin City Limits" on Mondays and Fridays, and works for 888 Management, a management company for Texas Country musicians, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Sandoval said she spends much of her time managing the social media accounts for these companies by creating posts, monitoring interactions, engaging in conversations, and trying to interact with the companies' audiences. She also has the opportunity to experience a special time with ACL TV this year.

"It's ACL TV's 40th anniversary," Sandoval said, "so they are trying to update the website by enhancing the content."

Sandoval added that she gets to help the company develop the website for the anniversary, but that is just one of the cool things she works on.

Sandoval said she recently worked on a taping with the band Los Lobos and has had the opportunity to meet some other famous people during the 40th anniversary celebration.

"Right now we are taping the ACL Hall of Fame for the 40th anniversary," Sandoval said. "And Willie Nelson is here and Matthew McConaughey is presenting him with an award so it has been a pretty busy weekend making sure everything goes smoothly!"

Sandoval said the work environment during a taping day is extremely busy and exciting.

"During a taping day," Sandoval said, "we assist the producers by helping with random tasks throughout the day, from ironing a t-shirt for an artist to running around, grabbing various things they need."

Sandoval mentioned she also monitors social media to insure it is being used properly during the live streams.

Between the two internships, Sandoval gets a lot of hands-on experience with a variety of different tasks, but she says the most exciting part is being around the musicians.

"I love getting to interact with the artists," Sandoval said. "I drove Josh Abbott around Austin, so that was a pretty interesting day!"

Sandoval said getting into the music and entertainment business is all about making connections, just like any profession within the communication industry.

"Both of my supervisors are really good about giving me the opportunity to meet and interact with people," Sandoval said, "so my favorite part is definitely being able to be in the middle of everything and getting the networking opportunities."

Sandoval said when looking for her internship she made connections by doing her own research, looking into various internships within the industry, and reaching out to people. Although she is only receiving three hours of course credit this semester, Sandoval says her time spent working in these internships is worth so much more.

Sandoval advises students interested in the music and entertainment industry to begin building their networks early on in their college careers.

"Apply to any internship that would interest you and do as many internships as possible," Sandoval said. "It's definitely all about who you know, so get out there and make those connections, because the people you get to know will become valuable resources in the future."

Allie Carlson is a junior public relations major from Austin, Texas.


Professor Spotlight: Lea Hellmueller, Ph.D.
by Allie Carlson, photo by David Vaughn

With the new College of Media & Communication building comes growth, not only within the program, but also within the staff, as well. The college can accommodate more faculty members who contribute their expertise to the program as it continues to grow than it did in the old building.

Assistant Professor Lea Hellmueller, Ph.D., started her first semester teaching in the College of Media & Communication last August, coming all the way from Switzerland.

Hellmueller spent her life in Switzerland, growing up in a small town around Bern, the capital of Switzerland.

In 2005, Hellmueller made her way to the United States as an exchange student at California State University in Long Beach, Calif. After graduating, she returned to Switzerland, working as a journalist, and then came back in order to work on her doctorate degree at the University of Missouri.

Lea Hellmueller, Ph.D.

Lea Hellmueller, Ph.D.

She spent two and a half years in Columbia, Mo., returned to Switzerland to finish her degree, and then ended up at the University of Texas. She lived in Austin for about six months before getting a job offer at Texas Tech University.

Hellmueller said her decision to teach was not one she saw coming.

"Both of my parents are actually teachers," Hellmueller said, "so when I was little, I was not in favor of becoming a teacher. I would always tell my parents the last thing I wanted to do was become a teacher. But I think then I was referring to being a high school teacher."

Hellmueller said her minor is in educational psychology, and she worked for a children's television channel when she graduated with her master's degree.

"At some point," Hellmueller said, "I realized that I really enjoyed being in a classroom or going to conferences and giving presentations, so I asked myself: ‘Why not become a professor?'"

Hellmueller said getting to know the academic culture was a difficulty in adjusting to her new surroundings.

"It was kind of hard getting to know the culture," Hellmueller said, "so I would ask my students what some of their other professors do, because the students have been here before me. I didn't want to be arrogant about the local culture."

Coming from Switzerland, a mountainous region, Hellmueller said she became disoriented the first day, because she is so used to the mountains helping with her sense of direction.

Hellmueller said she loves her students, and that they are very polite, like to participate, and have been helpful in her transition. One doctoral student came to her recently to discuss with her an idea about a talk show, which they are now developing.

"It makes me really excited to see all of these ideas coming together," Hellmueller said.

Hellmueller currently works with students who have produced their own talk show.

"La Vista," a student-run talk show, contains three segments of discussion between four hosts, talking about hot topics, interesting locals and lifestyle stories.

"I think this is a great school for digital media and digital storytelling," Hellmueller said. "This college has a lot of opportunities to develop your skills and build your resume."

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: Amanda Rodriguez

Amanda Rodriguez

Amanda Rodriguez

Amanda Rodriguez is a junior advertising major from Lubbock.

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

I love the availability of resources. I love the genuine feel that everyone cares and wants to help you succeed, and if they do not have a direct answer to your question, they will guide you to the next person who can get you there.

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

I'm the vice president of the 2014-2015 CoMC Ambassador program and an account executive at the Daily Toreador.

What are your hobbies?

In our free time, my two-year-old daughter and I like to watch movies and we love to dance. I love to hang out at coffee shops and research new music, as well.

What do you enjoy most as an ambassador?

I love being able to tell my story and show that it can be done. I love everything that this college provides and I love being able to share that with incoming students.

What is your favorite Texas Tech University tradition?

During the fall and spring seasons, I love walking outside on campus and hearing the Goin' Band play. It's one of those surreal moments when you can just be like "I'm here."

What advice do you have for a prospective student?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. If you're not really sure what you want to do, try your hand in different types of things. If anything sparks your interest, just try it out and go from there. Utilize all your experiences. Media and communication is so broad that you can apply various types of work and job experiences to this field.

What are your future career goals?

Some days I'm really interested in getting involved in online promotions and advertising. I'm a huge advocate for local business, music and art. I originally wanted to graduate and go to a big city, but with my daughter, Sophia, my priorities changed, and I think my dream job would be something that helps to promote local organizations and to help Lubbock grow. Right now we are on the verge of making that happen. I have a lot of friends who own local businesses or are musicians, and I want to do what I can to help them succeed and grow this community.

Amanda manages the Facebook page, "Something New To Do, Lubbock."


Major Spotlight: Journalism
by Allie Carlson, photo by David Vaughn

Journalism is an industry that constantly changes with and adapts to the growth of society and technology. Here in the College of Media & Communication, the journalism department has undergone many recent changes and continues to develop with the growth of social media.

Just more than a year ago, the journalism and electronic media and communication departments merged. Todd Chambers, Ph.D., formerly the department chairperson for EMC, is now chair of the Department of Journalism and Electronic Media, and he continues to develop ideas to integrate the two areas as they move into their third year together this Fall.

"We are training our students," Chambers said, "to be responsible, innovative storytellers."

With the growth of social media and its impact on the journalism industry, the college teaches its students to remain grounded in core values that have been taught over decades. Students in the journalism department take ethics and writing courses that emphasize these principles that shape a good writer.

"Our program here at Texas Tech," Chambers said, "is doing that responsible, innovative storytelling across multiple platforms, and we are also preparing them to communicate their stories to a global audience."

Chambers said the program at Texas Tech does a good job of teaching storytelling across multiple platforms. Students have technical skills allowing them to tell stories through social media, the Internet, radio, television, newspapers and other media. A new course offered in Spring 2014, Storytelling by Smartphone, teaches students to creatively and effectively tell a story or share news through Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets.

Roxie Bustamante, a reporter for MCTV

Roxie Bustamante, a reporter for MCTV, interviews student manager Alex Torres about the change in operating hours of the Sam's Place Express in the basement of the College of Media & Communication.

"One of the things that we are in the middle of is evaluating curriculum," Chambers said. "And part of that process is talking to the students to figure out what their interests are."

Chambers said he really enjoys getting to know the students in the program and likes hearing their input and ideas. Student-run organizations such as the Double T Insider and the Hub, which were both designed for students to gain practical experience, provide opportunities for Chambers to interact with students. The Double T Insider began with a student's desire to make a 30-minute program on Texas Tech athletics.

These organizations, along with the many others the college has to offer, continue to grow as new students take on and develop what graduated students have left behind. Joining or simply volunteering, however students wish to get involved, is a very beneficial start in the industry. The opportunities in the college prepare students with hands-on experience in publishing, reporting, anchoring and doing real-world, fast-paced work.

"Talking and interacting with students who are excited and passionate," Chambers said, "that's what makes this whole thing work. It means a lot to me to get to interact with them on a day-to-day basis."

Chambers writes a weekly blog called JEM Notes where he tries to keep journalism and electronic media students up to date with the latest news and information about the department, alumni updates, competition announcements and scholarship information.

"Take advantage of every single moment of the day," Chambers said. "You get one trip around the block in college."

Chambers advises students to look appreciatively at every day and every class taken in a college career. No matter what the class, he encourages students to take the opportunity and learn.

"Focus on one thing in every class you take," Chambers said. "It may be a class that you are dreading, that you don't want to take, but look for that one thing in that class that you're going to be able to take away."


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.


Tech Association of Student Electronic Media
by Allie Carlson, photo by David Vaughn

The Tech Association of Student Electronic Media is one of serveral student-run organizations in the College of Media & Communication. TASEM acts as the electronic media and communication student organization, but it is not limited to only EMC students.

TASEM president Ben Jarvis, senior media strategies major from McKinney, Texas, said he believes it is important for every major in the college to understand at least the fundamentals of electronic media.

"If you look at every major," Jarvis asked, "what do they all have in common? Public relations, journalism, media strategies, advertising and EMC – they all have to know how to use a camera and the software."

Jarvis said the purpose of TASEM is to help students jump into getting hands-on experience with the equipment and programs they typically wouldn't use until their upper-level classes.

"TASEM gives students the opportunity to step out of the theory of the classroom and actually apply their creative intellect with the hardware."

Tech Association of Student Electronic Media

Tech Association of Student Electronic Media

Jarvis said he showed up to the second TASEM meeting during the fall of his freshman year.

"It's a really complicated process to become involved with TASEM," Jarvis jokes. "All you have to do is show up."

Showing up to these meetings and engaging with the organization has paid off for Jarvis, as he currently holds the role as president.

"TASEM acts as a collective group of students who help each other, so my main role is to moderate and lead the group on what we are going to be doing during that week."

The activities TASEM organizes differ every week, and the students constantly work on various projects together.

Jarvis said their special events consist of working on a short film together or bringing in speakers. Professionals from RD Thomas Advertising and Studio 84, a local advertising agency and production studio, have come to speak to TASEM, giving students the opportunity to ask professionals questions about working in the different industries.

The organization holds meetings once every week, but there is no formal type of membership. It is a "come-as-you-want" organization, where students can devote as little or as much of their time as they want.

"We always encourage students to come more often than not," Jarvis said, "because you'll get more out of it that way. Some of the projects we work on are another thing to add to your portfolio."

Jarvis' involvement with TASEM over the past four years has provided him not only with experiences he will use in the real world, but also with life-long memories.

"Over the past four years, the thing I have enjoyed most is seeing the different skills that students have been able to teach each other," Jarvis said.

Jarvis said he does tutorials over After Effects and Premiere Pro, along with some other Photoshop tools. Each student involved in TASEM has his or her own special interests and expertise, which he or she contributes to the program through mentoring other students.

"It's cool to see what David Vaughn can teach us about editing and Adobe Raw," Jarvis said. "And what JB can tell us about telling the story and taking it a step further. So it is always interesting to see what the students can bring to the table to teach other students."

David Vaughn, vice president of TASEM, is a senior university studies major, and JB Felipe, creative specialist for TASEM, is a senior electronic media and communication major.

Jarvis said incoming students receive information on how to get involved with TASEM through their MCOM 1100 course. They can also request to be a part of the Facebook group, where students and professors post a collaboration of things they find on the internet, as well as internship and job opportunities.


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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