While universities should be run like a business in areas such as payroll and risk
management, we never lose sight of the fact that we are a nonprofit charged with a
higher calling: educating students to be successful, productive and ethical citizens.
That said, as a college we are concerned about making sure that we attract those students
who will benefit from majoring with us.
Almost a year ago we formed a Marketing and Recruiting team made up of faculty and
staff. This team meets weekly, endeavoring to make sure the college is effectively
and convincingly telling our story to our constituent audiences -- mainly high school
students and their parents. A few numbers will give you some insight into how much
effort we are putting into this project. In January of this year, our recruiters visited
more high schools in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado than in all of last year. We have
sponsored or created an unprecedented number of recruiting events from mixers and
tours for high school guidance counselors to sponsoring state-wide high school professional
events like debate tournaments to the day-to-day greeting of individual high schoolers
and their parents visiting Texas Tech.
We produce a huge amount of material across all platforms. We have created two groups
of students who help us with peer-to-peer marketing. Our goal: describe all the exciting
careers, skills and adventures our majors acquire and pursue. We point out how our
graduates enter an almost infinite variety of careers, many in non-media companies,
nonprofits and government agencies. We also emphasize how our majors, according to
our own students, are flexible and versatile – as is proven by how our alumni reinvent
themselves and create new career paths as the economy, business and technologies change.
I now can say with pride that our "sales" efforts seem to have paid off this fall.
From Fall 2014 to Fall 2015 our undergraduate enrollment was up about 9 percent; our
graduate enrollment was up 31 percent; and our undergraduate and graduate semester
credit hours (the amount of class time students take) were up an average of 60 percent.
We know that our job will never be done because each year a new set of parents and
high schoolers will appraise our value, but we are very proud of this initial success
as a validation of both the content and the perception of our college and our majors.
David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D. Professor and Dean
College of Media & Communication Sees Near-Record Enrollment Numbers
Enrollment numbers for Fall 2015 are soaring in the Texas Tech University College
of Media & Communication, with a total of 1,620 students, which both surpasses the
previous year’s number and sets a near-record high.
Todd Chambers, Ph.D., associate dean for Undergraduate Affairs, credits the rise to
the fact that more students are learning the meaning behind the phrase “My Adventure.
My Degree. My CoMC.”
“In the College of Media & Communication, you’re not defined by your major. It’s a
very versatile degree,” Chambers said. “I think that’s the message we’re getting out
and getting in front of students. We have all different kinds of degrees that are
great matches for different kinds of students.”
Of the 1,620 students, there are 160 in the graduate program and 1,460 in the undergraduate
program. The graduate program includes 20 online students, 92 mass communications
master’s students, 36 mass communications doctoral students, and 12 communications
studies master’s students.
Out of the undergraduate students, 271 are majoring in advertising, 168 are majoring
in communication studies, 273 are majoring in electronic media & communication, 197
are majoring in journalism, 115 are majoring in media strategies, and 436 are majoring
in public relations.
Along with the increase in enrollment, the college has also seen an increase in outreach.
Chambers said that CoMC representatives visited more high schools in the 2014-15 school
year than ever before and are currently on track to break that record once again in
Student recruiters Emily Balke (BA public relations, 2010), and Candace Trevino (BA
public relations, 2014), are in charge of heading up the recruiting events, meeting
with new students who come to tour the college, and training CoMC’s student ambassadors.
“Our mission when we go to a high school or a community college is to go out and recruit
high-achieving students who are interested in studying in our program,” Balke said.
“We want to recruit those students who have a passion for communication and who are
going to do awesome things while they’re here at Texas Tech.”
Balke said she started working at CoMC in January 2012, and she launched a student
ambassadors program in the fall of that year to give prospective students an opportunity
to network with current students. Trevino was a part of the inaugural group of student
ambassadors, and she stayed with the program until she was hired as a recruiter.
“I loved being a student ambassador and loved sharing my story with all kinds of students
and parents,” Trevino said. “I’ve been in the position of student recruiter for a
year, but I’ve been recruiting ever since I got here. And I plan on recruiting my
whole life for Texas Tech.”
Trevino said she thinks the most exciting part of recruiting students for CoMC is
getting to plant the seeds of interest, before the prospective students set foot on
“I think the most exciting part is being able to start that contact and to invest
in future Red Raiders before they ever set foot on campus,” Trevino said. “We get
to plant the seed, and it’s amazing to watch that grow when they visit campus, when
they come to orientation, and then when they start the first day of school.”
Chambers noted that one of the more important things about the soaring enrollment
numbers is that the college is seeing growth in areas that haven’t experienced an
increase in a while, such as advertising and communication studies.
“We have some wonderful opportunities, and everything is pointing upwards. I was very
excited about this year, and now I’m even more pumped about what the fall of 2016
is going to look like,” Chambers said.
Students Attend the Excellence in Journalism Conference
By Vanessa Ledesma and Kaitlin Bain
Thanks to the College of Media & Communication and my parents, I had the opportunity
to attend the Excellence in Journalism Conference for the Society of Professional
Journalists in Orlando, Fla., in September. It was an amazing experience where I had
the chance to network and build connections with industry leaders such as Fox Latino,
CNN and NBC News.
I was able to receive critiques of my résumé and my news reel, as well as get feedback
on how to improve what I was currently doing. I was able to meet with a few of the
news directors of CNN, which has always been my dream network. They watched my news
reels, gave me direct feedback, and then had an actual conversation with me about
different things changing how they are hiring people now.
The SPJ conference hosted multiple sessions to discuss current news topics. I was
able to sit in on one session where we discussed Hispanic voter trends and the upcoming
election. We discussed at length the way Donald Trump’s comments will influence the
number of Hispanics who will take action at the polls.
The opportunities provided to me helped boost my confidence and journalistic courage.
I sat down with Fox Latino Senior Editor Carolyn Salzar, and I gained knowledge about
the Hispanic community on a national scale. She helped me to understand that not being
bilingual wouldn’t keep me from becoming just as successful as her.
The best take-a-way I received from this conference was gaining an understanding of
what the media industry is looking for in a person they hire. I was able to get my
foot in the door and meet with people who understand the life of a journalist. Receiving
real world advice is something that I have learned can take someone a long way. It
also helped me gain an understanding of the curriculum we are taking at CoMC. Being
an innovative storyteller is what top networks are looking for, so it was reassuring
to know the exact things we are being taught are the skills we need in the field.
I am so thankful I have the support system willing to send me to this conference and
believe in me enough to give me this opportunity to get closer to my dreams. This
was an eye-opening experience that I wish every journalism student had the opportunity
During September, I had the opportunity to travel to Orlando, Fla., to represent the
Texas Tech chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at the annual Excellence
in Journalism Conference. The conference is an opportunity for both student and professional
journalists to come together and learn from other professionals about different topics
within the journalism field.
SPJ also uses the conference as an opportunity to hold national meetings and national
business sessions. I was able to attend business sessions for SPJ, serve as Texas
Tech’s voting delegate, and attend sessions to learn more about topics to help better
myself as a journalist.
On the personal side, my favorite session I attended was one about covering protests
and unrest. It was a panel discussion with three journalists who were familiar with
covering protests as well as one professional who specializes in the First Amendment.
One of the journalists on the panel was Wesley Lowery, a reporter with The Washington
Post and one of the first journalists to be arrested as a result of his coverage of
the Ferguson, Mo., protests.
I aspire to work as a reporter in the Middle East, so to hear stories and tips from
journalists who cover major unrest at home was interesting to me. It also gave me
the opportunity to think about challenges regarding the First Amendment that face
journalists at home instead of just in a foreign country.
From an SPJ perspective, the best session I was able to attend was one for campus
chapter leaders. Executive board members from SPJ campus chapters all over the country
were able to come together to share ideas and ask questions about problems they are
having within the chapter.
As we are looking to rebuild the chapter here at Texas Tech, it was great to hear
new ideas from other chapters that we can hopefully implement here at Texas Tech.
I am excited I was able to go! Attending the conference was a great experience for
me, from meeting professional journalists and networking, to getting new ideas for
SPJ, to learning how the society works at a national level. I was able to make connections
with other student journalists that I will continue to use throughout my collegiate
and professional career. I look forward to hearing more about their experiences and
to learn from others who are able to attend in the future.
Advertising Student Interns with Paramount Pictures
One advertising student in the College of Media & Communication spent her summer gaining
experience in the real world with the internship of a lifetime.
Alex Stedman, a senior advertising major from Austin, Texas, interned in the music
department of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood during the summer of 2015, and she said
it was an experience she will never forget.
“It was a really great experience and it was super fun,” Stedman said. “I worked in
the music department at Paramount, and I learned a lot about the business affairs
side of production, with licensing, research and the post-production side of music.”
Stedman was born in Los Angeles, and she said returning to the area was something
she had always hoped to do. But her adventures didn’t begin there. Stedman found out
that she was selected for an interview for the Paramount internship while she was
studying abroad in Seville, Spain, during the Spring 2015 semester.
“I was born in LA, and I have wanted to work with Paramount ever since I was little,”
Stedman said. “I always wanted to go back and test the waters to see if I wanted to
Stedman said she was one of three interns at Paramount, and their positions rotated
on a weekly basis. Every week, one intern would work as an assistant to Jason Richmond,
the vice president of Motion Picture Music & Marketing, and the other two would put
together “one sheets” with information about artists, their producers and their record
During her internship, Stedman worked on soundtracks for movies such as “Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles” and “Zoolander 2.” She said she also met a few celebrities on Paramount’s
lot, including musician Usher, actor Andy Buckley, and the cast of the TV series “Modern
Stedman, who has also had experience working at the Austin Film Society, said she
ideally would like to work in the film industry, in either marketing or advertising.
When it comes to advice for fellow students, Stedman said she would encourage them
to be persistent and relentless when pursuing internships.
“Be fearless and just go for it, because you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t
take,” Stedman said. “Apply for everything, and have confidence even if you think
you can’t do it, because I honestly had no idea what I was walking into with this
internship, but I said ‘yes’ and figured it out as I went along.”
Day in the Life: Debra Sanderson
See what one of our academic advisers, Debra Sanderson, does in her day to day routine
here at the college. Start by clicking on the arrow on the first picture to view the slideshow!
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