Texas Tech University

The Adviser

January 2017

Meet the Professor: Jenna Shimkowski, Ph.D.

Information compiled by Lindsay Robles

Jenna Shimkowski
Jenna Shimkowski

What class/classes do you teach?
I currently teach Communication Theory (COMS 3301) and Communication in Relationships (COMS 3333), but I also teach Small Group Communication (COMS 3353) and Speaking for Business (COMS 2358).

What would you like your students to take away from your class/classes?
Communication is such a powerful tool. I want my students to feel inspired to use the principles we discuss in class to shape their personal relationships, to confidently express to others who they are and what they believe, and to feel empowered to speak out as they work to achieve their personal and professional goals. I think that learning to become a good communicator is a lifelong process but that if they can see the inherent value in working at it, then it is a worthwhile journey.

What is your favorite book?
I love anything by Shauna Niequist – “Bittersweet,” “Cold Tangerines,” or “Present Over Perfect.” She writes with such honesty and candor. Plus, she writes a lot about cooking and the deep relational nature of sharing meals. As Julia Child said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.”

What is your favorite restaurant in Lubbock?
This is tough! There are so many great places to eat here. Thai Thai would have to be my favorite. If you couldn't tell from the name, it's Thai food. My go-to order is #21 on the menu, Pad See Ew. It will not disappoint.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor & why?
Barbara Walters is one of my heroes. She embodies such grace and class as she asks interviewees really hard-hitting questions. I think she could teach us all how to have more meaningful conversations and become better listeners. Although they are on national television, she seems to make people feel at home while they tell really gripping, personal stories. I think it takes a special person to draw stories like that out of someone.

If you could tell your 18 year old self one thing, what would it be?
Aside from telling myself to invest in more shoes than flip-flops (I grew up wearing uniforms to school and apparently believed flip-flops were a sign of freedom once I got to college, regardless of the weather), I would say that it's good to take a chance on yourself. Take a leap of faith. We are oftentimes capable of so much more than we realize and that even when we fall short of what we'd hoped, we find that we have learned something about ourselves and at worst, have a new story to share.

What was the defining moment that helped you determine your career path?
I have always loved school. If that makes me sound nerdy, I'm okay with that. During my undergraduate career as a communication studies major, I was able to assist with a research and writing class. I found that I really enjoyed working with students and that I liked finding new ways to make their learning more enjoyable. As I continued through graduate school and gained more experience with research and teaching, I found that my work could really impact someone else. Becoming a professor gave me the opportunity to take topics I am passionate about and find new and creative ways to get my students invested in the same material.

What advice do you have for new students seeking a career in the communication studies field?
Getting a degree in communication studies will equip you with the tools and skills to be employable in virtually every industry and to become better communicators in every aspect of your life — personally, socially, publicly and professionally. Once you are on the job market or looking to move up in your job, putting those skills into practice can really set you apart. Although every organization needs strong communicators, individuals often lack the know-how or the confidence to do so. While in school, take classes that are interesting to you and that will prepare you with those skills most necessary for your particular career goals.


Advice from an Adviser: Kim Bergan

Information compiled by Lindsay Robles

Kim Bergan is the public relations adviser for the College of Media & Communication. She graduated Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a minor in mathematics. Advising paved the way for her interest in public relations.

“I have always been a people person, but taking this job helped me realize how alike psychology and public relations can be! If I ever leave advising, I might have to start a career in PR,” said Bergan.

Kim Bergan
Kim Bergan

What preparation advice do you have for students in order for them to start the year off right?

  • Come in with a fresh and strong outlook. Knowing and BELIEVING you can do it is half the battle!
  • Get and stay organized. Invest in a planner and make it your best friend. First week of classes, jot down all due dates, test dates, important events, etc. My favorite part is crossing off finished projects and marking out a finished day!
  • Get involved! Participating in organizations that give you a glimpse of your potential career will take you far! You are getting real world experience while you are still an undergraduate!

What do you want your students to take away from your meetings with them?
I always want them to know the potential is there for them to excel within the College of Media & Communication; they just need to apply themselves. With the numerous opportunities and organizations we offer, every student should have a job offer before graduation. I hope they can see me as that middle-man, leading them to an outstanding college career!


Get to Know Your Ambassador: Simon Parmley

Information compiled by Lindsay Robles

Simon Parmley
Electronic Media and Communications, Senior
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Simon Parmley
Simon Parmley

How did you become an ambassador for the College of Media & Communication?
I applied to the Student Ambassador program because of a recommendation from Dr. Jerod Foster (if you haven't heard of this guy yet you soon will). Part of being a student ambassador for the CoMC includes a seat on the "Dean's Student Advisory Council,” which is a group of students who are given a direct line to Dr. David Perlmutter, the college's dean, to express opinions and concerns on behalf of the students. Dr. Foster felt I would be a great addition to this council.

What do you like best about the College of Media & Communication?
What I absolutely love about this college, what got me to pack up my life and move halfway across the country, are the opportunities and support given to students who put in "extra" effort. Opportunities like student organizations where you will find kindred spirits and passionate faculty who are continually building new and innovative courses.

The student organization I am most heavily involved with is TASEM, the Tech Association of Student Electronic Media. As an organization we have produced more short films in the fall semester than it ever has before. Short films were created by students who wanted to do more than just get a degree; they want to be media creators with professional quality portfolio reels by the time they graduate.

As for innovative courses, this semester I am taking a course titled "EMC 4301: Adventure Media." That's right! "Adventure" is actually in the name, and the course will include mountain bikes, video production, backcountry camping, drone flying, professional mountain bike riders, and be taught by industry professionals. The catch? It is an intensive course that will take place over spring break. That's what I mean about the extra effort; there are some amazing things going on in the College of Media & Communication. You just have to seek them out and recognize that it's going to take some hard work.

Come to think of it, that's the other thing I love about the CoMC; listening to students brag about what they got to do in class or for class. You don't hear that from a lot of other majors. Every semester I've been here I end up with stories to tell based purely off the assignments I had to do.

In your spare time, where can we catch you hanging out in Lubbock?
J&B Coffee is the only place I really frequent - -me and half the students at Tech! If you can find a table it's a good place for project planning. It has a creative atmosphere.

What is your favorite place to eat in Lubbock?
I recently discovered Thai Pepper; their massaman curry is delicious.

What is your advice for prospective students?
Get involved. If you haven't gotten active in a student organization by the end of your first semester, then you are behind the curve. Your classes will teach you the “how,” but you are going to get a job based on the “what,” as in “What have you made?” Most of the student organizations in the CoMC are geared around creating content, and that is what a future employer wants to see: examples of your work.

Plus, they're a blast.


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