In this issue of Converging News:
- Dean's Note
- Media & Communication Graduate Finds Success with Fleishman Hillard
- Ron Askew, 2013 Hall of Fame Recipient
- Lubbock's Professional Association for Women in Communication Chapter Honored with National Awards
- Alumni Spotlight: Morris Wilkes
- The College of Media & Communication Announces New App
- Top Student: Clayton Errington
Dear Friends of and Colleagues of the College of Media & Communication:
Dean David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D.
We are approaching the end of the calendar year, a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. As of Dec. 1, 2013 I will have been dean of the college for five months. My experiences here have been uniformly positive. In my some 25 years in academia I have never been so blessed to work with such a group of dedicated, hard-working, creative, conscientious and innovative professionals. The College of Media & Communication is an extraordinary place, and from what I can tell, many of our students and alumni recognize its unique value. A few weeks ago I heard our essential strengths summed up by one of our undergraduate students, an ad major, who will graduate in May and sail off for her next big adventure. She told me:
In this program, I feel encouraged to be an individual. I'm getting to take classes...that I'm passionate about and am able to use towards my degree. And, as an individual, I'm appreciated by my college. My professors know my name and go out of their way to help me whenever I ask. Here, I get all the benefits of going to a big Texas school and a smaller liberal arts college: it's a special combination of opportunity and close-knit community that I know will get me where I want to go.
Yes, indeed! Our faculty and staff combine truly wide-ranging and comprehensive approaches to the discovery, invention and dissemination of knowledge and applied training for practical application with a real caring for the unique interests, characters and aspirations of all our some 1,500 students.
That said, we know we can't ever take a rest from self-improvement. In 2014 I hope you will see even more fruits of our labors and ideas.
David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Media & Communication Graduate Finds Success with Fleishman Hillard
By Lauren Glover, photos courtesy Caroline Trujillo
College of Media & Communication alumna Caroline Trujillo from Bedford, Texas, has found success after graduating a year ago with a bachelor's degree in public relations.
Trujillo began working as an intern at Fleishman Hillard in Dallas in January following her December 2012 graduation.
"This was my first agency experience," Trujillo said. "I was really excited to see what it was going to be about, and after a few months of interning, I found out I loved it."
At the end of her internship, Trujillo was offered by Fleishman Hillard an extension as an Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellow. A few weeks later Trujillo had a full-time offer from the Texas offices and has been working fulltime for Fleishman Hillard since July.
Trujillo works with two main clients. For Texas Oncology, she focuses on media relations.
"With General Motors, I help with the communications department, and I develop a lot of influencer strategies like finding bloggers and influencers," Trujillo said.
Trujillo said Department of Public Relations Chairperson Trent Seltzer, Ph.D., helped her develop as a student and a professional while she was still at Texas Tech. Trujillo met Seltzer while she was vice president and then president of member services for Tech PR.
Employees at Fleishman Hillard
"He was our adviser for Tech PR, so I was able to develop a relationship with him," Trujillo said. "He always gave me advice, and from his experience in the agency world, he was able to teach me the ropes of public relations in general whenever I had a question."
Seltzer said Trujillo's motivation and curiosity impressed him.
"She wasn't here to get a degree," he said. "She was here to get an education. She is one of my favorites because she took advantage of all the opportunities we give students, and she did this the right way."
Seltzer said he got to see Trujillo develop as a student and a professional during the three years he worked with her through Tech PR.
"I saw her become an adult practitioner, and it wasn't because she passed classes," Seltzer said. "It was because she got engaged and involved with everything when there was an opportunity."
Trujillo said that she wants to mentor new graduates as they enter the industry, and she wants to learn everything public relations has to offer.
"I'm more of an opportunistic type of person, so I like to go with the flow usually," Trujillo said. "I can't say that I have a specific plan, but I know I want to learn as much as I can in the next few years of my career to go where the winds take me."
Ron Askew, 2013 Hall of Fame Recipient
Video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn
Lubbock's Professional Association for Women in Communication Chapter Honored with National Awards
By Lauren Glover
At the national Association for Women in Communication conference in Springfield, Mo., Oct. 19, Lubbock's professional chapter of the Association for Women in Communication received seven awards and one individual award.
The awards, ranging from Chapter Excellence to Best Award or Recognition Event, were presented during the conference dinner.
Chapter member and College of Media & Communication Director of Marketing Melissa Wofford said she is proud of her chapter.
"The chapter is such a great group of women professionals who all take responsibility and help move our chapter forward," Wofford said. "So, the national recognition makes me really proud of us, our members, and the work that we do."
For Aleesa Ross, chapter president and director of the College of Media & Communication's Career Center, the Springfield meeting was her first national Women in Communication conference to attend.
"It was pretty fun and exciting to be there in front of those people," Ross said. "They kept saying Lubbock over and over, and my guess is that it is a little unusual. I think maybe one other group won two other awards, but other than that, it was almost an embarrassment of riches."
Wofford said her chapter won the most awards at the national conference, and based off those awards, she sees leadership development and student programming as strengths of her chapter.
The chapter's newsletter, website, membership recruitment, and award and recognition event also were recognized. Additionally, Director of Texas Tech Libraries Communications and Marketing Kaley Daniel received one of six national Star Awards after the chapter voted her as the chapter's Communicator of the Year.
The Association for Women in Communication is an organization for professional communicators from any industry.
Ross said the organization provides a place where isolated communicators can connect with others in their industry.
"We have a lot of people who work for media outlets where everyone is a communicator, but we do have those people who are the only ones in their role," Ross said. "This is a great chance for them to be with like-minded and like-skilled people."
The chapter rotates different people in and out of leadership roles every year to share responsibilities and allow for different perspectives.
"We have great members with fantastic ideas and hardworking people who put a lot of their energy and effort into making this group a great place for professional development and friendship," Ross said.
Wofford said she has no doubt the next group of board members will keep up the momentum propelling the chapter to continued excellence.
"That's one thing about our chapter that you can always rely on is that if somebody has needs or if the chapter has needs, somebody from the leadership will step forward and take responsibility," Wofford said.
Alumni Spotlight: Morris Wilkes
video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn
The College of Media & Communication Announces New App
By Lauren Glover
The College of Media & Communication released an app in November dedicated to serving the college's students.
Planning of the app began after Founding Dean Jerry Hudson, Ph.D., brought the idea of a college app to Associate Professor Randy Reddick, Ph.D., who then focused on what the app would do.
"At that time, if all you wanted was an app, I could have converted one of our websites into a mobile app in less than a half hour," Reddick said. "It would have been easy enough to do, but that defeats some of the purpose and it would not be much of an app."
Reddick and web design specialist Andrew Byrne, M.A., set out to research what features would be most useful and desirable to students, faculty and staff of the college.
The research process took about a year, during which Reddick and Byrne surveyed existing apps, talked with students, and conducted beta testing.
"I started talking to people in my class and our interns to get a feel for what features would and would not be worthwhile," Byrne said. "I've really had a hand in sorting out feature requests. I would take them to Reddick and rank them by which ones we were told and felt were most important."
The Official Texas Tech College of Media & Communication App includes a system to look at academic advisers' schedules to make appointments, a live audio stream of KTXT-FM, and news feeds from the Hub@TTU and KTXT-FM. Students can even influence how the app looks through entering the monthly photo contest to have their photo featured on the app's home screen.
The app can be downloaded from the iTunes app store.
Top Student: Clayton Errington
By David Peveto and Lauren Glover
"You don't always feel like a number," said Clayton Errington, a senior electronic media & communication major from Missouri City, Texas, about why he decided to join the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication.
Errington said he has been interested in computers and did computer technical work throughout high school. He took a course about computer animation and design, which refocused his aspirations and eventually pushed him to join the Digital Graphics Animation Academy, a student organization.
Some faculty and staff who Errington has come to rely on are Aleesa Ross in the college's Career Center and Department of Journalism & Electronic Media Communication Chairperson Todd Chambers, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Jerod Foster, Ph.D. "I've had Foster now for two classes," Errington said, "he's just a really down to earth guy, and it's always nice to have professors like that, that have worked in the field so you can see what they've done and see how far you can take it."
Foster said he has been impressed by Errington's technical expertise on digital media, but he also has been impressed with Errington's willingness to help out other students.
"Anybody would recognize that he is a big helping hand, and he is not averse to going the extra mile," Foster said. "He was always another resource in class for the students. If they had a test to study for, he was always somebody they looked to for a confident source of that knowledge."
Among his professional and educational accomplishments in his time at Texas Tech, Errington said was completing one of Foster's photography classes. At the end of the term, all students are required to compile a portfolio of their assignments to be graded as a final.
"To look at that portfolio, to see all the work that I had done and from the beginning of the semester and to see how far you've come, it feels pretty good," Errington said.
As a freshman Errington joined Alpha Lambda Delta, a national honor society for first-year college students and became the official webmaster of the Texas Tech chapter, and he completely overhauled the chapter's website during his time.
"But the more you put into the organization, the more you can get out of it," Errington said, "and I think that's kind of true for anything in life, really."