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- Texas Tech Public Media Wins Two EMMY Awards - Texas Tech University Public Media received two Emmy awards from the Lone Star Region of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences on Nov. 7 for the documentaries "Guns Up: The History of Raider Red" and "Put Me to Suffering."
Paul Hunton, the general manager for KTTZ-TV, was the director of both films. He said that while awards aren't everything, an Emmy is "one of the most recognizable symbols of excellence in television," and it reflects the commitment President Duane Nellis and his administration have made to the university.
"Awards aren't everything, but at the same time I think they reflect the hard work and passion we put into every project," Hunton said. "It also represents the generosity and confidence that the people of Lubbock entrust in us with sharing their stories with our audience."
Hunton, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Production from Eastern New Mexico University in 2005, has worked with Texas Tech Public Media since 2011. He described "Guns Up: The History of Raider Red" as a project that was an idea for a while before it finally received the funding to become a reality.
"The Texas Tech Federal Credit Union stepped up and funded the production," Hunton said. "Working with them was a complete joy, and the film itself reflects the fun we had in making it. From a cartoon to a national icon, following the trajectory of the Raider Red story was a fascinating underdog story that really resonates with audiences."
Daniel Ballard (BA electronic media & communication, 2007), a producer with KTTZ-TV, was responsible for filming and editing portions and color correcting "Guns Up: The History of Raider Red." He said one of the most memorable parts was conducting interviews to include in the film.
"I remember a day when Paul and I traveled to Dallas to do some interviews and that it was an incredibly long day," Ballard said. "We left at 6 in the morning and didn't get back until about 10 that night. The movie was a lot of fun to work on because people were so willing and happy to talk about their experiences with or even as Raider Red."
After earning a bachelor's from Texas Tech in 2007, Ballard earned his Master of Arts in Film from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco in 2010 and then returned to Texas Tech to work as a producer with KTTZ in 2013. He said winning an Emmy has been a goal of his, ever since he realized it was a possibility.
"Winning an Emmy has been a goal of mine since the station was nominated in 2013," Ballard said. "They were nominated for a story that was before I even worked here, but once I knew that winning an Emmy was actually a thing that we could accomplish, I was determined to do the best work I could to try and make it happen."
Reagan Doyal (BA electronic media & communication, 2012) is the education/outreach content director at KTTZ. He said he worked as a producer for "Guns Up: The History of Raider Red" and as the assistant director for "Put Me to Suffering."
"Winning an Emmy for these projects really validates all the work that we have been working on together as a team," Doyal said. "It also really makes me appreciate all the opportunities that Tech has given me as a student and an employee."
Doyal said that when working on "Guns Up: The History of Raider Red," he was inspired by the fact that Raider Red started out as a cartoon by Dirk West, which articulated the personality of Texas Tech, and was then brought to life by the Saddle Tramps.
"Working on ‘Guns Up!' showed me that Raider Red is much more than just a mascot," Doyal said. "He is the embodiment of the pride that so many people have for Tech. He isn't just something that somebody thought looked cool."
Hunton said "Put Me to Suffering" was created as a segment from a larger project called "Life. Hope. Courage: Stories of Cancer."
"The story details Reverend Ted Dotts and his decision to forego treatment for cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2014," Hunton said. "It's a story of deep love and faith between Ted and his wife Betty. I wish I could have known Ted Dotts longer. The one hour I spent with him changed my life."
Doyal said the film was a very emotional project to work on, due to the subject matter, and due to the fact that Dotts died 10 days after his interview with Doyal and Hunton.
"He really lived a life that was about loving others and looking out for those who have been neglected," Doyal said. "His views on God, life, death, and grace came with the authority of someone who struggled through those concepts, but had absolute confidence in their reality."
Doyal said he and Hunton had an interview scheduled with Dotts' wife, Betty, and they expected it to be cancelled when he died the day before. However, Betty Dotts insisted on continuing with the interview at the scheduled time, and she said it was because she knew how important to project was to her husband.
"Spending time with Betty was incredibly special," Doyal said. "After so many years of marriage she was still madly in love with him and missed him terribly, but she also had this amazing hope and faith in where he was now and was more grateful for the time she did get to spend with him. Through our time with her, it also was really evident how much she cared about other people and how she wanted to be there for all the people for whom Ted meant so much."
- Combining his passion for law with his love for communication, College of Media & Communication alumnus Jerod Slay, J.D., currently works as the online marketing director at Glasheen, Valles & Inderman, LLP, a personal injury law firm in Lubbock.
A native of Lubbock, Slay attended Texas Tech University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Electronic Media & Communication in 2009. He went on to earn a law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 2012.
"I do online marketing for the law firm, so I handle the firm’s website, online advertising, buying, social media, online profiles for the attorneys, and lots of other stuff," Slay, who joined the firm in June 2015, said.
Slay said he chose to go to law school after taking Mass Communications Law, a required course for all CoMC majors, which made him realize that he had a passion for law. After he was admitted to the state bar, Slay said he practiced law for eight months at the local firm Byrd & Associates, before he moved to Australia for a year in July 2013.
During his time in Australia, Slay said he worked a variety of jobs, such as photographing children meeting Santa Claus at a department store, photographing family portraits for school fundraisers, and appearing as an "extra" on two television shows.
When Slay returned to the U.S. in 2014, he said he started a company in Lubbock creating deposition videos. He explained that in order to create the videos ethically, it required a unique set of skills that paired his experience in law with his experience in media.
"When there was a deposition taking place that was important enough, I would be hired by the lawyers to videotape it," Slay said. "There are all these rules about what you have to do as a videographer, so even if you know everything about cameras, you have to know the rules for deposition videos, to be able to get into it."
The firm Slay currently works at has locations in Albuquerque, Austin, El Paso, Lubbock and Odessa. He said one of his favorite parts about his job is being able to travel between the various locations, buying traditional media advertising.
When it comes to advice for current students, Slay said that networking and communication skills are important no matter what field an individual is entering.
"Keep an open mind about where your career can take you," Slay said. "Don’t rule anything out. You never know what doors may open."
- Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and College of Media & Communication alumnus and Hall of Fame member Robert Montemayor died Oct. 22 at the age of 62. He had been battled diabetes and cancer for the last several years.
Born on Jan. 31, 1953, in Tahoka, Texas, Montemayor graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1975. He began his professional career as a feature and news writer at the Dallas Times Herald.
Sally Post, the senior director of communications for the Office of the Vice President for Research at Texas Tech, said she worked with Montemayor at the campus newspaper, then called the University Daily, in the early 1970s.
"Robert was one of the most dedicated, talented journalists that I've ever known," Post said. "He had a passion for journalism and telling stories that made a difference to society. Robert made a huge impact on our industry."
Montemayor served as the student newspaper's editor from 1974-1975. Jeff Klotzman, a CoMC alumnus and news anchor for Fox 34 in Lubbock, described Montemayor as an honest and ethical journalist, beginning with his time at the University Daily.
"On the masthead of the University Daily during Robert's editorship was this quote, ‘It's the business of this newspaper to raise constructive hell,'" Klotzman said. "He did, and he did it so well within the confines of journalism ethics, creativity and reliability all the years of his magnificent career."
Montemayor joined the Los Angeles Times in 1978. During his time as a staff writer, he was part of a team that was awarded the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service for a 21-part series of stories on Latinos in Southern California that was later published as a book.
Jerry Hudson, Ph.D., founding dean, and now dean emeritus of CoMC, described Montemayor as "a great man and beloved patriarch" who was honored many times by his alma mater.
"Robert was more than just a journalist," Hudson said. "He was a Pulitzer Prize winner and a dedicated professional who had passion for making a difference in the lives of people through his reporting."
Montemayor earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1986. He then went on to work in New York City as a media executive specializing in consumer retention and marketing with Dow Jones & Co., BPI Communications, Inc., The McGraw-Hill Companies and Business Week Magazine.
In addition to authoring the book "Right Before Our Eyes: Latinos Past, Present and Future," Montemayor established a consulting company, served on the board of directors of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education in Berkeley, California, and worked as a journalism professor and director of the Latino Information Network at Rutgers University.
Montemayor was inducted into the College of Media & Communication's Hall of Fame in 2012, and a scholarship for recruiting incoming CoMC freshman students has been established in his name.
- CoMC Alumnus Demonstrates Evolution Of Digital Marketing - One graduate from the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication is making a difference in the world of marketing by working with a company that lets its employees work when they want, where they want.
Mat Threadgill, the vice president of Client Services at Standing Dog Interactive, graduated from CoMC with a bachelor's in advertising in 2000. He described the Dallas-based company, which has been running for 10 years and currently has over 70 employees, as the perfect example of how marketing has evolved over the years.
"Standing Dog has a very flexible work environment. You can work where you want, when you want, as long as you're getting your job done," Threadgill said. "It takes a lot of responsibility, but it also makes business more efficient."
Threadgill explained that in addition to being a full service digital strategies marketing firm that specializes in search engine optimization, paid online media, search media, social media content marketing and analytics and tracking, Standing Dog strives to help its employees find a balance between work life and home life.
"Our CEO has put his money where his mouth is in terms of principles," Threadgill said. "We want people to have a good work-life balance. When people have the time to do more of the stuff they want, it makes them better employees and they work harder in return."
After graduating from Texas Tech, Threadgill said that he tried out several different areas of marketing, including working for a branding, marketing and advertising agency, and starting a small marketing firm with a partner. He then found his current job at Standing Dog two years ago.
"At Standing Dog, I am responsible for the overall marketing strategies for our clients and for making sure that what we're doing from a digital marketing standpoint positively impacts the business," Threadgill said. "We are the single point of contact for the client, and my job is to know their business really well and to make sure that what we're doing on the digital side has a positive impact."
Threadgill also has experience in recruiting, and he said that when looking for someone to hire, he generally looks for three things: a willingness to learn, a willingness to work hard, and the ability to problem solve.
"A good résumé that shows a lot of experience is key," Threadgill said. "You can get good grades in all of your classes, but in my opinion, real world experience is just as important. I think it's important to work and to have internships, because they show the seriousness of a student."
As a CoMC graduate, Threadgill said that the education he received at the college gave him a great foundation in terms of knowing how to learn. He added that he was also inspired by the professors who taught him how to think creatively and how to problem solve, because those are attributes he uses is his day-to-day life.
"I think Texas Tech offers a very good, well-rounded degree that focuses more on learning how to learn, than just learning facts," Threadgill said. "That's important in the world of marketing, because whatever we learn today will change a year from now."
- You've finally been accepted into the job of your dreams and want to rise through the ranks as fast as possible. How do you do it? - Find out here.
- Alumni Carla Blumenthal tells us why it's not only okay to run down hallways, but sometimes a good idea. - See more here.