Texas Tech University

Converging News

November 2016

In this issue of Converging News:

Aleesa Ross
Aleesa Ross

Here on campus, registration time is upon us. With students thinking about at their plans for the spring and summer, the conversations in the Center for Student Success, Outreach & Engagement center heavily on internships. “How do I find an internship?” “Where can I intern?” “Course credit or experience only?” The list of students' questions is long, but we don't mind! We have the answers and lots and lots of guidance for our students in the College of Media & Communication.

The Center for Student Success, Outreach & Engagement was created to help students with situations related to their professional development. We have a brand new career counselor, Ali Luempert, who joined our staff at the beginning of the month, to help students with all things career related. She is our students' go-to person for things like resume and cover letter critiques, mock interviews, and job and internship searches.

Should you have any communications opportunities to promote or if you want to learn more about our internship-for-credit program, please feel free to reach out to me. I would be more than happy to help get the word out about your opportunities and help you navigate the ins and outs of our for-credit internship program.


Aleesa Ross Signature

Aleesa Ross
Director of the Center for Student Success, Outreach & Engagement

CoMC Student Organizations Recognized at National Competitions



Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication student organizations MCTV, The Hub@TTU, and KTXT-FM were recently featured as finalists in competitions with the South Central Broadcasting Society and College Broadcasters, Inc.

The South Central Broadcasting Society's 2016 conference was held in Dallas on Oct. 14-15.

Anthony Estolano, a sophomore journalism major from San Antonio, and Juan Gil, a junior electronic media & communications major from Richmond, Texas, won the “Promotional Video/Music Video” category for their “Daily Toreador Promo” submission.

MCTV, the college's student-produced newscast, was recognized for the “MCTV Sports 101” newscast from May 3, 2016, winning second place in the “Sports Program” category, and for “La Vista: Life in a College Town – Relationship Goals,” winning second place in the “Magazine, Game Show, or Entertainment Program” category.

Laura Duclos, a senior journalism major from Sweetwater, Texas, was also recognized, winning honorable mention in the “News Feature Package” category for her “TTU Veteran's Day Celebration” submission with MCTV. 

The 2016 CBI National Student Electronic Media Convention was held in Philadelphia, Penn., on Oct. 20-22.

Heads Up Display, a CoMC student-produced show about video games, won third place in the “Best Comedy – Video” category for their submission “Video Game Addicts Anonymous – Episode 1.”


The Hub@TTU, a multimedia student-run publication housed in CoMC, won the award for “Best Student Media Website,” with KTXT-FM, the college's radio station, coming in second.

Sarah Self-Walbrick, graduate executive director for the Hub, said she sees this award as a reminder that the website is thriving as a whole, with each individual story playing an important role.

"As nice as it is to win for individual stories, I appreciate the awards recognizing our overall website more,” Self-Walbrick said. “They show that we're doing good work every single day, not just the occasional hit story, which is a great confidence builder for our team and the entire journalism department.”

Josh Robinson, media production manager for the college, said the fact that two CoMC organizations placed first and second in the “Best Student Media Website” serves as proof that the college is equipping its students with the tools to succeed in today's media industry.

“The Hub is a great outlet for student work here in the College of Media & Communication, and I think this award shows that our students are creating content on par with schools from around the country,” Robinson said. “The fact that the Hub and the KTXT-FM website were first and second in the Best Student Media Website category shows that the college is leading the way in web production.”

CoMC Alumni Take The 2016 Emmy Awards


Shelby Kimball
Shelby Kimball

The 2016 Emmy Awards was a star-studded event on Sept. 18 and included Texas Tech College of Media & Communication alumni Shelby Kimball, Jenabeth Morgan, and JB Felipe.

Shelby Kimball (BA journalism, 2014) works as a producer and desk assistant for the Los Angeles bureau of ABC News. She found herself at the Emmys because ABC's “NewsOne” program needed an extra assistant to help with its live coverage of the event.

“I had an amazing time at the Emmys,” Kimball said. “It was hard to believe that was my ‘office' for the day! I worked the red carpet, so it was interesting to see some of the stars of my favorite TV shows in real life. Many of them were really down-to-earth and treated the press with the utmost respect.”

Kimball said she also enjoyed being a part of ABC's massive production, which included special requests for live-shots from ABC affiliates across the country and coverage for ABC's late-night news show "World News Now."

“Most of the hits were back-to-back, so it was a scramble to get our reporter on the air for each one,” Kimball said. “But we did it, and in my opinion, those high-pressure situations are what most producers live for!”

Jenabeth Morgan
Jenabeth Morgan

The most interesting part of the day from Kimball's perspective was having the opportunity to watch the Emmys from the press room and watching the entire production process from the red carpet to the end of the show.

Jenabeth Morgan (BA electronic media & communications, 2015 and MA mass communications, 2016) spent the summer interning with the Television Academy. After she returned to Lubbock and accepted a job as the digital media coordinator at RD Thomas Advertising, she was invited back to Los Angeles to work as production assistant during the Emmy Awards.

“As a result of working in the production aspect of the award show I got to attend the rehearsal the night before and saw Jimmy Kimmel and the cast of ‘Stranger Things' rehearse for the show,” Morgan said. “During the actual award show, I worked in the media truck facilitating the lower third names for the Emmy winners.”

After the show was complete, Morgan attended the Governor's Ball, where she had the opportunity to mix and mingle with the celebrities in attendance. Morgan said the most interesting part of the evening was having the opportunity to see how the show was produced from an “on the ground” perspective.

“Things appear a lot smoother on camera than it may be in real life,” Morgan said. “It is a lot more chaotic behind the scenes, but in a fun way! However, my favorite part of the whole weekend was attending the Governor's Ball and meeting some of my favorite actors such as Viola Davis, the cast of ‘Stranger Things,' Sarah Paulson, and Regina King.”

JB Felipe
JB Felipe

JB Felipe (BA electronic media & communication, 2014) works as an integrated producer for FleishmanHillard, developing creative content for AT&T, Google, and General Motors. He said this year was his second attending the Emmy Awards because he is a member of the Television Academy.

“I went solo last year and had so much fun that I wanted to share the experience with someone else,” Felipe said. “I couldn't find a date, so I decided to bring my family along this year. Family time is fun time, even at the Emmy Awards!”

Felipe said his favorite part of the evening was the Governor's Ball because it gave him an opportunity to meet and network with other professionals in the business.

“Beginning to end, the experience is so surreal,” Felipe said. “From stepping onto the red carpet to being surrounded by celebrities in the auditorium, it's something I'm still processing to this day!”

CoMC Highlights: Center for Communication Research's Associate Director


Paul Bolls

The College of Media & Communication's Center for Communication Research hired a new associate director in January, whose research in media and psychophysiology spans more than two decades.

Paul Bolls, also an associate public relations professor, arrived at Texas Tech after teaching at Washington State University and then the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

“My research is on how the human mind processes and responds to media,” Bolls said. “In my capacity as associate director of the center, my role is to continue the great scientific research that is going on in that facility and to increase industry collaborations.”

Bolls said he chose CoMC because he saw an opportunity to work with a team of inspiring colleagues in an intellectually exciting environment. He said that when it comes to research facilities, the CCR is the best he has seen at a university.

“This capability is unparalleled in any form of communication program I have ever seen,” Bolls said. “For a researcher like me, this is my nerdy version of Disney Land. We are going to be producing what I think is going to be the most cutting edge, exciting research.”

Glenn Cummins, associate dean for research and director of the CCR, described Bolls as an individual who “wrote the book on psychophysiology” and said that he has brought new energy and excitement to the center for both faculty and students.

“Dr. Bolls is also going to help us grow in terms of the types of partnerships we can undertake,” Cummins said. “Communication is a universal phenomenon, and he does a great job of helping people understand why it's so important to take a scientific approach to studying communication behavior. That expertise is going to be a crucial part of helping the center spread its wings and have an impact beyond the academic space.”

Bolls also works as a neuromarketing and media consultant, where he helps clients design and test “brain friendly” media content. He most recently served as chief play scientist for PlayScience, a media research and development company based in New York.

Bolls said he launched a psychophysiology lab at PlayScience where he worked on research designed to optimize digital advertising. He has also conducted neuromarketing tests for clients including Disney, Visa, and Weber Shandwick Public Relations.

Bolls said he is also passionate about training the next generation of researchers, and he sees undergraduate research as the perfect experience because he believes the hands-on environment is where students learn the most.

“I'm a strong believer in the fact that the classroom environment is a very valuable environment for providing the basic foundation of knowledge,” Bolls said. “But where I see students truly grow and develop into sharp, intelligent professionals is outside of the classroom in their chosen field.”

Trent Seltzer, assistant dean for graduate studies, described Bolls as a “transformational hire,” both for the Department of Public Relations and for the entire college.

“We're fortunate to be able to tap into his wealth of experience and knowledge,” Seltzer said. “Our junior faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates have an amazing opportunity to grow and achieve great things under his mentorship.  Beyond all of that, Dr. Bolls has already proven to be a thoughtful, collegial and supportive addition to the CoMC community.”

EMC Major Chosen to Visit White House for College Radio Day


Amy Olivarez
Amy Olivarez

When senior electronic media & communications major Amy Olivarez joined the College Radio Day task force in August, she had no idea that it would eventually lead her to spending a day at the White House.

A Lubbock native, Olivarez works as the social media director for KTXT-FM, Texas Tech University's student radio station. She said her work at the station caught the eye of the founder of College Radio Day, who reached out to her and invited her to join the event's task force.

“Rob Quick, the founder of College Radio Day, asked me to join his task force as social media director to promote College Radio Day 2016 on a national level after seeing my work with KTXT,” Olivarez said. “From there, I worked on posting engaging content regularly to its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and started a Snapchat account.”

Olivarez noted that while all of the work she did to promote College Radio Day was voluntary, it paid off in the end.

“As a way to pay me back, Rob invited me to go with him to the White House when College Radio Day was invited,” Olivarez said. “I say it was a fair trade!”

Rob Peaslee, chair of the Department of Journalism & Electronic Media, said Olivarez's invitation speaks highly of her as a student and of the electronic media program at Texas Tech.

“It's so great to have Texas Tech, the College of Media & Communication, and the Department of Journalism & Electronic Media represented at the White House by Amy,” Peaslee said. “Amy is one of the hardest workers in our program. She embodies the attitude and spirit of KTXT-FM and College Radio Day, and I know she showed everyone she met in D.C. just how capable we Red Raiders are.”

Olivarez described her trip to the White House as surreal and said it opened her eyes to the possibilities of what she can accomplish in her career.

Amy Olivarez in front of the White House

“It made me feel like a real, professional journalist when in reality I'm still learning,” Olivarez said. “Being at the White House made me realize what all my hard work in my classes and my work can do and where it could take me.”

Olivarez said her favorite part of the trip was having the opportunity to meet and network with everyone from representatives from other college radio stations, to White House staff, to President Obama's top advisers.

“We got to hang out in the studio behind the room where the press briefings are held every Thursday,” Olivarez said. “While we were back there, we met a correspondent from C-SPAN who had worked in reporting around the White House for 30 years. I really enjoyed listening to him and about his experiences.”

Randy Reddick, associate dean of technology in CoMC, described Olivarez as a student whose excellence began with her approach to the learning process.

“Amy takes her own learning and education personally,” Reddick said. “She approaches a course of study with the faith and the personal determination that somehow she will become better or more capable in proportion to the sacrifice and effort she invests in her study.”

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