Public Relations: Current Students

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Even though we have more than 500 majors and pre-majors in public relations, we still manage to feel like family. With so many people, we want to make sure you are in the know about what’s happening in the department and so we created a blog: You can also receive the latest news, internship opportunities, and more by following Dr. Trent Seltzer, Public Relations Department Chair, on Twitter and under , .

Student Involvement Opportunities

Whether you are a freshman who is just considering public relations as a major or a senior preparing to graduate next semester, you have the opportunity to get involved with fun and interactive student organizations that will help you:

  • Build your portfolio
  • Learn skills like social media management
  • Develop as a leader, a manager and a professional
  • Network with professionals and active students
  • Gain experience interacting with real clients
  • Apply what you learn to real-world issues

Students can become involved with:

Tech PR: Our PR student association hosts monthly meetings with speakers from the PR industry, PR agency tours in Dallas, professional development and networking events, community service opportunities and social events.

RaiderComm: Our student-run PR firm provides you with real-world experience in strategic communication and client management.

Outpost Social Media Lab: Our social media command center—one of the only such centers located within a college of media in the US—provides you with an opportunity to train in a unique environment learning tools usually only available to industry professionals.

Public Relations students are heavily involved with college-wide organizations and student media, such as the Dean’s Student Council, the CoMC Student Ambassadors, The Hub, and more!

Student Relevant News and Announcements

Department News and Happenings


  • The Region 8 Society of Professional Journalists honored Lucinda Holt, a recent graduate from the College of Media & Communication, as a national finalist in the Online Feature Reporting category of the 2014 Mark of Excellence competition for her story "American Dream, Mexican Nightmare."

    Holt graduated from CoMC in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and a minor in anthropology. She said she began working on the story in her Advanced Reporting class taught by Randy Reddick, Ph.D. After the students were told to pitch several topics, Holt said she felt that a piece on immigration was "The One."

    "Immigration has always been a hot-button issue, yet very necessary," Holt said. "The first angle I chose was the one of the immigrant – an angle that is often underrepresented. I was fortunate enough to have met a family who was willing to share their heartbreaking tale of loss and unity, struggle and strife. In this process, I was also able to meet a woman who had been apprehended and detained by authorities for bringing undocumented children across the border."

    Holt said she then traveled to Juarez, Mexico, to take a closer look at the perspective from "the other side of the fence." She explained that she worked closely with Reddick, who guided her with statistics, advice and encouragement.

    Reddick, the Morris Professor of Journalism in CoMC, said that when students in Advanced Reporting pitch a topic, they are required to follow the "Three-D Depth Reporting" rule where their project includes documents to add their unique perspective to the story, data to help put an issue into some form of objective context, and diverse sources to give voice to all the players in an issue.

    While "American Dream, Mexican Nightmare" started as a semester project, Reddick said that Holt continued to work on it, surpassing the project's requirement. "It was much more than just an assignment to her, especially as she got into it," Reddick explained. "I would send Lucinda a note about documents or data or even sources that I ran into in my reading that might help put her story into context or provide new perspective."

    Reddick said that in addition to following up on leads for the story, Holt also did an incredible job of developing her own sources. "Throughout the project, it was clear Lucinda had a rare combination of compassion and healthy skepticism toward the human subjects of her story," Reddick said, and went on to explain that Holt also exhibited some "hard core courage" as she ventured into Juarez to document her own experience crossing the border.

    Holt said that her "biggest break" in the investigation for the story occurred when she had the opportunity to do a personal ride-along tour with border patrol agents, which gave her insight into law enforcement operations and tactics.

    "For me, this story was genuinely a labor of love and I could not have done it without the support and guidance from my family and CoMC family – specifically Dr. Reddick, Professor Brewton, and Alicia Keene," she said.

    Holt is also a former Enterprise Editor at The Hub@TTU, a multimedia student-run publication in CoMC. Sarah Self-Walbrick, a CoMC master's student and the Hub's Graduate Managing Director, said that working with Holt has been one of the highlights of her time at The Hub@TTU.

    "She has endless story ideas, and knows how to execute them in the most effective way possible," Self-Walbrick said of Holt. "She has a passion for reporting on issues that actually impact people, and hopes to make a change in the world through her reporting. Even though she hasn't worked for us since the fall 2014 semester, I still call and ask her advice on how to go about certain stories. She is truly an inspiration to me."

    Pete Brewton, J.D., formerly the Hutcheson Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Journalism and Electronic Media, was the journalism faculty advisor to The Hub@TTU in 2014. He described the story as one that took the kind of guts rarely if ever seen in college reporting. "Lucinda Holt went above and beyond the call of duty to get this story," Brewton said.


  • Former doctoral student Dane Kiambi, Ph.D., and Autumn Shafer, Ph.D., received the Ecquid Novi African Journalism Studies Best Paper Award for Journalism Research at the 2014 AEJMC conference in Montreal for their paper titled, "Country Reputation Management: Developing a Scale for Measuring the Reputation of Four African Countries in the United States." The paper was selected for the award from the submissions to the AEJMC International Communication Division's Open Paper Competition.


  • Congratulations to Weiwu Zhang, Ph.D.! Zhang was selected as the research co-chair with the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) for the 2014-2015 year.


  • Weiwu Zhang, Ph.D., has been selected by the Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group as the new editor for Communication Booknotes Quarterly to begin in 2015.


  • Congratulations to Adeniyi Bello for being selected by the Public Relations Division (PRD) of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) as one of three winners of the 2014 Inez Kaiser Graduate Students of Color Award.


  • Psychology Today blogger, Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., interviewed and quoted Eric Rasmussen, Ph.D., in a recent article "Fulfillment at Any Age." Whitbourne referenced Rasmussen's and colleague David Ewoldsen's article "Dr. Phil and Psychology Today as self-help treatments of mental illness: A content analysis of popular psychology programming. Journal of Health Communication."
  • A manuscript Eric Rasmussen, Ph.D., co-authored was accepted for publication: Coyne, S. M., Linder, J. R., Rasmussen, E. E., Nelson, D. A., & Collier, K. M. (in press). It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a gender stereotype!: Longitudinal association between superhero viewing and gender stereotyped play. Sex Roles.


Upcoming Special Topics Courses

Sports Public Relations

Sports Public Relations
  • PR 3354
  • Summer 1, 10 - 11:50 a.m.
  • CRN: 35408
  • Chris Cook
  • Learn about the exciting, challenging and fast-paced world of sports public relations from a seasoned professional. Mr. Cook is the managing director of communications & marketing at Texas Tech University. Previously, he worked for 11 years in the Texas Tech athletics department including nine years as an assistant athletic director. During that time he oversaw the media relations efforts for 17 sports programs, working closely with football and golf.

Event Management for Public Relations

Event Management for Public Relations
  • PR 4301
  • Summer 2, 2 - 3:50 p.m.
  • CRN: 64060
  • Professor Jo Grant
  • This course in an in-depth study of the various roles that event management plays in an array of public relations programs and campaigns. Topics will include how to build awareness and company reputation by planning and implementing events for diverse venues and purposes ranging from fund-raisers to trade shows, entertainment premieres to sports arenas, annual conferences to one-of-a-kind extravaganzas. We will cover every stage of strategy, planning, production, marketing, logistics, finance, risk assessment and evaluation.

Applied Public Relations Research Methods

Applied Public Relations Research Methods
  • PR 3380
  • MWF, 11 - 11:50 a.m.
  • CRN: 31509
  • Weiwu Zhang, Ph.D.
  • Modern public relations practice is data-driven and results-orientated. This course will offer an in-depth examination of the applied research function in public relations practice.

    We'll discuss how to design and implement projects; analyze and interpret data; and how to pitch, package, and present research to clients.

    Most of our focus will be on how to apply research to address real-world public relations problems, guide strategy development, and evaluate public relations program and campaign effectiveness.
  • Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. PR 3310 and MATH 2300 or 2345 with a grade of C or higher.
  • PR majors may use this course as a substitute for the MCOM 3380 core requirement.

Special Topics in Public Relations: Crisis Communication

Special Topics in Public Relations: Crisis Communication
  • PR 4301
  • TR, 3:30 - 4:50 p.m.
  • CRN: 27638
  • Kristi Gilmore, Ph.D.
  • Students will learn how to prepare for and respond to corporate, nonprofit, and government sector crises from a public relations perspective. Through case studies and in-class activities the course emphasizes the practical application of crisis communication best practices, strategies and tactics when developing and implementing crisis communication plans.

International & Multicultural Public Relations

International & Multicultural Public Relations
  • PR 4351
  • MWF, 1 - 1:50 p.m.
  • CRN: 31557
  • Sun Lee, Ph.D.
  • This course will examine the challenges and opportunities of practicing public relations in international, multicultural and cross-cultural contexts. We'll also look at how the public relations function is structured and practiced in other cultures.
  • Fulfills the global communications requirement for Media & Communication majors.

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