Converging News

February 2013

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In this issue of Converging News:


After 15 Years, Still Best Gig In Town
By Samantha Park, photo by David Vaughn
Faculty Spotlight: Melissa Gotlieb

Annie Ruland in front of the Staff Excellence Award Plaque


Annie Ruland is the most recent recipient of the Staff Excellence Award in the College of Media & Communication. Senior administrative assistant to Dean Jerry Hudson, Ruland has worked for the college and Hudson for 15 years.

"It’s the best gig in town as far as I’m concerned," Ruland said. "Just working at the College of Media & Communication is great. It’s the people, the students, and, of course, Dr. Hudson.”

In 1998, Ruland was hired by Roger Saathoff, then director of the School of Mass Communications within the College of Arts and Sciences. Saathoff said he hired Ruland based on her great personality and obvious ability to get things done.

“She looked like she could handle all the various requirements, and her experience showed that she could,” Saathoff said. “I was confident that she would be a great person to work with and could get the work done that needed to be done. We probably would not have been able to become a college if we hadn’t had her.”

Given twice annually since 2008, the Staff Excellence Award starts with nominations of faculty and staff by department chairs and assistant deans. The award is given to a staff member who demonstrates collegiality, promptness, accuracy and willingness to go beyond basic responsibilities.

“We get a list of nominations, and I ask the chairs and the associate deans who they think is the most deserving, and that is the one who receives the recognition,” Hudson said.

Having grown up in Hereford, Texas, Ruland attended West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M University). Describing herself as the dean’s support, she also said her compatibility with Dean Hudson is important.

“After 15 years, one of us can start something and the other can finish it,” Ruland said. “I know where I need to help him, and I know which things need to be done. He is a very independent person and very competent and easy to work with and to work for.”

Also the recipient of the Quality Service Award and the Staff Appreciation Award, Ruland said her favorite aspects about her job are the people and students of the college.

“It takes different people to run a college, and different people to attend a college,” Ruland said. “All the way around, it’s just a very well-rounded college. I’ve watched beginners grow over a four-year period and see what they are able to become and accomplish."

Hudson said Ruland played an instrumental role as the college moved from the old building to the new building in 2012. Her relationships with the construction workers, architects, and university administration officials identified the needs required for the building.

“She is involved in practically everything from budgets, to hiring, to making sure that schedules and dates are met by deadline,” Hudson said. “Without Annie, we probably would have to shut down the college.”



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College of Media & Communication Building Dedication
Video by Ben Jarvis



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More Seats, More Space, More Students
By Samantha Park, photo by David Vaughn

After moving into a larger building, the College of Media & Communication has seen increased enrollment over the past year.

The official 2013 spring enrollment numbers for the College of Media & Communication are 1,244 undergraduate students and 87 graduate students. This is an increase from the 2012 spring enrollment of 1,210 undergraduates and 64 graduates.

Last year, changes made within the college included moving into a new building more than double the square footage of the previous facilities. Jerry Hudson, dean of the College of Media & Communication, said running out of space in the old building created problems.

“By moving into this building, I think we finally have the space to expand,” Hudson said. “The old Mass Communications Building was built to accommodate 1,100 students.”

Hudson believes the new space will not only allow for new possibilities, but also create student interest in new areas.

“The different hands-on type of opportunities that we have for students now include KTXT radio, the HUB, and a TV studio,” Hudson said. “Students can gain experience, and I think that helps a great deal.”

Hudson said the college no longer limits students to taking 40 hours of courses within their specific major. Students are now able to take up to 58 hours of core classes. The expansion of the curriculum offers more electives and encourages students to take courses that are not in their majors.

“There have been so many changes in our industry,” Hudson said. “It is difficult to maintain a curriculum that is couched in a way that you get the basic skills, but aren’t ignoring new things that have come in the market, like social media.”

Coy Callison, associate dean for Graduate Studies, believes the increase of the graduate program is largely because employers are seeking advanced training in graduates.

“The economy has been kind of slow,” Callison said. “People get out with undergraduate degrees, and rather than spending a long time looking for a job, they choose to go ahead and better their credentials immediately. I also think we’ve done a better job of promoting Graduate Studies.”

The college’s graduate program is the only graduate program on Texas Tech’s campus that has sustained growth for the past few years, Callison said.

“In the last year, the graduate enrollment has grown by 135 percent,” Callison said. “The College of Media & Communication graduate program has also distributed $117,000 in scholarships to graduate students.”

Hudson said he sees the college continuing to grow with the enrollment increasing.

“Our goal is to have 2,000 undergraduate majors in the next five years,” Hudson said, “and have about 125 graduate students.”



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Double T Insider
Video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn

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