Former faculty member in the College of Media and Communication, Ralph Sellmeyer passed
away at his home Monday, February 27, 2017. Sellmeyer was 92. He joined the Texas
Tech faculty in 1960. He earned a B.J. from the University of Missouri and an M.A.
from Missouri, Kansas City. Sellmeyer served as editor and advertising manager of
the Baldwin Ledger (Kansas). Sellmeyer was also the feature writer, photographer and
editor of the Parade of Progress for 10 years. At Tech, he served as managing editor
and advertising manager for the Texas Techsan. He belonged to national professional
advertising fraternities and was editor of the ADS magazine.
Sellmeyer was a key member of Dr. Billy Ross' initial administration in creating the
Department of Mass Communication. He was also the motivating force in creating and
developing the department's public relations sequence and forming the student chapter
of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA – March 1973). The chapter
was eventually named the Sellmeyer-Henderson Chapter of PRSSA honoring Sellmeyer and
Jerry Henderson, who served as associate director and public relations director for
the Lubbock United Way.
After serving the Texas Tech University for 21 years, Sellmeyer resigned his faculty
position in 1981 to become the Alision Professor of Journalism at Midland College
in Midland, Texas. At Tech, he served as associate chairperson, headed the divisions
of journalism and advertising, as well as the public relations sequences. During his
tenure, he taught more than 30 different courses.
In his letter of resignation to Ross, Sellmeyer wrote: “I am justifiably proud of
the Department that you and I have built at Texas Tech under the leadership of two
talented and dedicated chairmen - you and Wallace Garets. I am unashamedly proud of
the role I had in developing the program to the point it is today. My chief regret
in leaving was not seeing school status come to fruition. But it will eventually come
to pass.” Some 23 years later, the department, with assistance from key donors and
the administrative support of Provost Bill Marcy, became the College of Mass Communication
– now the College of Media & Communication.
I am thankful for Ralph's contributions and leadership in developing an excellent
program at Texas Tech University, but mostly for his friendship to me.
— Jerry Hudson Former Dean of the College of Media & Communication
The family requests that people who want to honor Ralph's memory, contribute to his
After Jake Quintanilla graduated from the Texas Tech University College of Media &
Communication in May 2015, he put his degree in media strategies to work by making
a name for himself in the world of advertising.
“After graduation my career kind of took off at an unexpected rate,” Quintanilla said.
“I moved to New York for the summer where I worked with Havas Worldwide before I moved
to Chicago in October with DigitasLBi as an account executive.”
Originally from Ropesville, Texas, Quintanilla's career comprises work with some of
the country's top advertising agencies, including Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Deutsch,
Havas Worldwide, Weiden & Kennedy, DigitasLBi and FCB Chicago.
“As an Account Executive at Digitas, I worked with clients like MillerCoors and Sprint
maintaining client relations and working with strategists and creatives to develop
content,” Quintanilla said. “FCB Chicago reached out to me and asked if I would work
for them. That is how I became an account executive for the State Farm account, officially
making me ‘Jake from State Farm.' Now, seven months later, as FCB continues to grow,
I have been tasked with helping to lead and develop a new account won by the agency.”
In addition to his professional work, Quintanilla said he is also involved with a
number of organizations focused around the issues of diversity and inclusion within
the advertising industry.
“I am a board member of the Mosaic Next Generation Leadership Council—an affiliated
organization of the American Advertising Federation,” Quintanilla said. “I am also
in the middle of a few entrepreneurial business opportunities, one being my own non-profit
organization called the Mi Casa Es Su Casa (MCESC) Network. This organization is aimed
towards educating, celebrating and representing the Latino and Hispanic community
within the advertising, entertainment and technology industries.”
Rebecca Ortiz, now an assistant advertising professor at Syracuse University, described
Quintanilla as one of the most ambitious and thoughtful students she worked with at
“When I first met Jake, he was a starry-eyed, eager young undergraduate who just needed
to be reminded that he was capable of doing great things, and I was more than happy
to give him that encouragement,” Oritz said. “It's easy to cheer for students who
are willing to put in the work and dedicate themselves, and he is a shining example
of that. He deserves all of the success he has received, because he worked hard for
Quintanilla's experience dates back to his time as a CoMC student, when he pursued
internships with Latino Lubbock Magazine, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide New York, RD Thomas
Advertising and Havas Worldwide New York. He was also involved with organizations
such as Tech Ad Federation and the Texas Tech Ad Team.
“I really got my start through an organization called MAIP,” Quintanilla said. “The
Multicultural Advertising Internship Program kick-started my career by placing me
in internships with major advertising agencies like Ogilvy and Havas. Through this
program I got to partner with other agencies and companies like Deutsch, Weiden &
Kennedy, and Nike. As a participant in MAIP they built us through professional development
workshops and networking events to really set us up for success.”
Geoffrey Graybeal, an assistant public relations professor in CoMC, said Quintanilla
was a polished and professional student who was memorable from the time he was the
“CEO” of his group's startup project in Graybeal's Media Entrepreneurship class.
“Jake is a gifted presenter and his team's final investor pitch was impressive and
memorable,” Graybeal said. “From his internships with the prestigious Multicultural
Advertising Internship Program to his course work as a media strategies major and
his extracurricular involvement, it has been clear from Jake's time in the College
of Media & Communication that he would excel in a media-oriented career.”
Quintanilla said he would encourage current students to take the time to explore their
“Focus on being a great student and getting good grades, but don't let that be the
only thing you're doing,” Quintanilla said. “It is your experiences, your passions,
and your ability to be an expert in other fields which will help you advance not only
in your career but in life as well.”
Ann Rodriguez, an instructor in the Department of Advertising, said she knew Quintanilla
was engaging and intelligent from the time they were paired together as mentor and
protégé in the MentorTech program.
“I have had the pleasure of watching this somewhat shy young man grow into a capable
and confident communications professional, indeed now creating opportunities for himself
and exploring his entrepreneurial side as well,” Rodriguez said. “I am so proud of
the professional he has become and look forward to a lifelong personal and professional
connection made possible by programs like MentorTech and the College of Media & Communication
at Texas Tech University.”
Growing up in Dimmitt, Texas, sports were an essential part of Melodee Gunter's life.
With her dad as a high school football coach, and her brother as an active athlete,
she was always attending one game or another. But she said it wasn't until she came
to college that she realized she could turn her love for sports into a career.
“There's nothing like Texas high school football,” Gunter said. “I think when I realized
how much I really missed just being around sports all the time, like I always had
been up until college, that's when I realized I wanted to go into sports broadcasting.”
Now, as a senior journalism major in the Texas Tech University College of Media &
Communication, Gunter said she is exploring all of the opportunities that come with
a career in sports media.
“Last football season was when I got my very first taste of reporting,” Gunter said.
“I wrote for the website Lonestar Gridiron. I would go to a high school game every
Friday and just write the story of the game.”
Gunter said she also gained experience interning with Fox34 in Lubbock last summer.
Sports Director Rob Verby described Gunter as an enthusiastic intern.
“Melodee was a great intern, eager to learn and listen while presenting herself as
a professional each day,” Verby said.
Gunter is also interning with the website The Old Coach, where she covers high school
sports with the help of electronic media major Jordan Hernandez. She said her coverage
during the fall included picking five high school games in West Texas to highlight
with preview articles, and then attending one of the games for more in-depth coverage.
“Jordan would video my stand up before the game, he'd shoot some highlights during
the game, then after I would grab a player and a coach for post-game interviews,”
Gunter said. “It was so much fun and I learned so much from it.”
This spring, Gunter said she plans to visit different high schools in West Texas for
one-on-one interviews with coaches and players.
“I'm so glad that I've gotten so much experience in the West Texas area,” Gunter said.
“I can honestly say I've never had a bad encounter with any coach or player that I've
CoMC Associate Dean Todd Chambers said his first impression of Gunter was that she
was passionate about a career in sports broadcasting. As he has watched her work ethic
during her time in the college, he said he is even more convinced that she is on the
path to success.
“I'll never forget the day I met Melodee,” Chambers said. “She seemed so eager and
passionate about wanting to learn more about sports media. I was at a high school
football game a few days later and Melodee was there covering the game as a freelancer.
From that moment on, I knew she had ‘it'—and that she was going to be famous one of
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