Converging News

August 2015


In this issue of Converging News:

Dean's Note

Dear CoMC Friends:

David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D.

Dean David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D.

Consider this a version of the “What I Did This Summer” elementary school essay. During July, I spent a delightful two weeks teaching a class on personal and institutional branding at the Universidad Panamericana (UP) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

UP is an internationally prestigious Catholic university with three campuses and increasing scholarly and global impact ambitions. Last year, we hosted a professor from UP who taught and conducted research in our college as a visiting professor of Hispanic media associated with our Thomas Jay Harris Institute for Hispanic and International Media.

I loved the students and learned as much from them about how little the alleged barriers of nationality, culture, ethnicity and language matter when you want to achieve a joint goal as they may have learned from me about branding.

I also palpably felt how excited they were to build a future together with the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech. (I always wore Texas Tech shirts and was stopped on campus at least a dozen times by students offering a friendly “Pistolas arriba!” – or some variation)

I also found that UP and our college share many characteristics, not the least of which is our joint belief that our students are entering an economy that is so globalized that meaningful international and cross-cultural experience is not just a philosophical choice but a career imperative.

In order to build our contacts, I invited three of our CoMC faculty to sequentially visit and guest lecture. They earned rave reviews from UP faculty and students alike. Two of them are planning to create a study abroad class for Guadalajara. UP has no dorms, so instead our Texas Tech students—who would take classes together with UP students—would live in the homes of local Mexican families. I can’t think of a more rich and immersive experience.

The UP engagement is but one component of a new global strategy for our college. We are pursuing similar studies abroad, scholar exchanges, joint research projects, and client campaigns with partners in China, South Korea, Thailand, Germany, London, New Zealand, southeastern Europe and Puerto Rico (technically “study away,” not study abroad). Within five years we want to build a network that allows our faculty and students to become global media and communication leaders.

Best Wishes,

David D. Perlmutter

David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D.
Professor and Dean



Bill Dean Receives Silver Medal Award From Lubbock Advertising Federation
By Rachel Blevins
Dr. Bill Dean with Award

Dr. Bill Dean with Award.

Bill Dean, Ed.D., an associate professor in the College of Media & Communication and the executive vice president and CEO of the Texas Tech Alumni Association, became the 56th recipient of the Lubbock Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal award on July 21.

Olan Farnall, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising, described the Silver Medal as the highest award presented by the Lubbock Advertising Federation, and said that it is given to an individual who promotes and represents the best in advertising over the course of his or her career.

A graduate of Texas Tech, Dean became a faculty member in 1967. He started as the director for student publications and an assistant professor in journalism. Over the last 48 years, in addition to his work with the Alumni Association, he has held various positions in the College of Media & Communication, including associate dean and associate professor.

Dean said that he is honored to receive the award, and he called the ceremony a very humbling experience. He thanked several people who have influenced his life.

"I consider it a very great honor," Dean said. "However, no one receives an honor like this without the help and support of many people. Someone who has been with me all the way is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I also want to thank my wife (Peggy) of 49 years, and our family, my staff at the Texas Tech Alumni Association, the administration, and my fellow faculty members in Media and Communication, and the coaches, teammates and young men I coached for 35 years in baseball."

Megan Horton (BA Advertising, 2002), an elementary music teacher and high school choir director in Mineral Wells, Texas, was a student in Dean’s classes during her time in college. Horton said she remembers Dean as a fair, straightforward professor in classes such as Intro to Mass Communications and Mass Communications Law.

Dr. Bill Dean

Dr. Bill Dean.

"Dr. Dean’s straightforward manner and no-nonsense way of introducing students to the field of mass communications whet our appetites for more as we learned about the power of propaganda, the difference between libel and slander, and much more," Horton said.

Trent Seltzer, Ph.D., chairperson of the Department of Public Relations, attended the award ceremony and said it was great to see Dean receive much-deserved recognition.

"He’s done and continues to do so much for the university and the college," Seltzer explained. "I know the faculty and staff from the College of Media & Communication enjoyed getting to share the evening with him and his family and friends."

Todd Chambers, Ph.D., the associate dean for undergraduate affairs in CoMC, said that he has been blessed both to have been a student in Dean’s classes in the past, and to be a colleague of Dean’s in the present.

"It is such an honor to work with Dr. Bill Dean," Chambers said. "He has been such an influential faculty member who has had such an impact on literally thousands of Red Raiders with careers in media and communication, as well as hundreds of other industries."

David Perlmutter, Ph.D., the dean of CoMC, called Dean an integral part of the university.

"Bill Dean is as much a TTU institution as the Masked Rider and the Carol of Lights," Perlmutter said. "He has spent his whole life and career in service to others, whether Tech students or kids in K-12 who wanted to play baseball. I have never met a man with more achievements and who is less interested in boasting about them."


Student Finds Work Experience 1,374 Miles From Lubbock
By Carson Wilson
Kaitlin Bain

Student Finds Work Experience 1,374 Miles From Lubbock

It took Kaitlin Bain 24 hours to drive through the American South toward her temporary home in Savannah, Ga. After two days on the road, Bain arrived and began her internship at the Savannah Morning News.

"Savannah has a rich cultural history like no place I’ve ever lived in before," Bain, a Houston native, said. "Texas has great history, but it’s not as well-preserved as in Savannah."

After finishing up 2014-15 as president of the Texas Tech University Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, senior reporter at The Daily Toreador, and a member of the Miller Girls, the senior journalism and political science major said she wanted an adventure.

Bain said she sent out 120 emails to different publications looking for internships in cities other than Lubbock or her hometown of Houston.

"From there, I received maybe 30 replies from publications with internships and ended up with five interviews," she said. "I interviewed with all of them and was offered the internship in Savannah. Out of all of the interviews, it was the one I felt I fit best with, and in addition, I would be really excited to live in Savannah for the summer."

Bain began her internship May 26 and finished July 17. On her first day, she said she was terrified of failing, but her coworkers at the Savannah Morning News were welcoming and helpful.

Bain said the key to getting an internship is to not be afraid and to apply to many places.

"Internships are pivotal," she said. "I haven’t spoken to one person here or in my journalism career who thinks it is okay to try to get a job without an internship."

Bain said she has not only improved herself as a journalist but also as a person. She said she had to learn lessons the hard way, like how to live so far from home while she’s alone. She said this internship helped her communicate better with her friends and her family.

"I’ve learned so much," she said. "Internally, I’ve learned how having a 40-hour- per- week job is, how to support myself in a strange new city, and how to go exploring and do things on my own. With regards to journalism, I’m improving as a writer through every story. I’m working on my interviewing skills by needing to go interview people on topics that I know nothing about. And weirdly, I’m learning how to do background research."

Exploring and immersing herself in a new city is, she said, was the adventure she was looking for.


CoMC Professors Teach Class at La Universidad Panamericana Guadalajara
By Rachel Blevins
La Universidad Panamericana students

La Universidad Panamericana students giving the Guns Up.

During the summer 2015 session, students at La Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara, Mexico, had the opportunity to attend the class "Personal, Political and Institutional Brand" taught by the dean of the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication with guest lectures by various CoMC professors.

David Perlmutter, Ph.D., the dean of CoMC, was the main instructor of the course, which looked at how the concept of a "brand" has become a universal in strategic persuasive communication, cutting across marketing, advertising, promotions and public relations.

Perlmutter said that this course is just the beginning of a study abroad program he hopes to develop at Texas Tech through partnering with other universities. He explained that the branding course helps students by looking at what makes a brand both successful and sustainable, and teaching them how commercial and political brands originate and are improved or undermined both by communication or PR campaigns and by natural evolution.

"We are in an era where everyone has to think of their personal brand," Perlmutter said. "That is, what do people think of you in terms of your ability to be a leader, to take on a particular career, and to take on projects."

Perlmutter said that when teaching the class, he worked to adapt it to an international perspective, talking about how different institutions brand themselves, along with cultural similarities and differences between Mexico and the United States.

"One of the top five job skills, career skills, life skills, citizenship skills every single one of our students should develop is global competence, which relates to the university’s QEP," Perlmutter said. "Global communication is not just learning another language. You can learn Spanish, but know nothing about the culture. So I think immersive experiences where you get to spend some time in another culture is good for everybody."

Three other CoMC professors joined Perlmutter as guest lecturers throughout the week. He explained that he wants other faculty members involved with the process of developing the individual programs, because they are going to be the ones taking the lead in long-term development.

Dean David Perlmutter speaking to La Universidad Panamericana students

Dean David Perlmutter speaking to La Universidad Panamericana students.

Lisa Low, an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Public Relations, lectured on the topic of "Branding in the Digital Age." She said that it is important for students to understand, because consumers are largely disconnected from traditional marketing and public relations tactics.

"I think students have so much to offer in terms of how we understand new media and how we access the new technology," Low said. "I am discussing content marketing and social and digital media through all the implications in terms of how the Internet has changed the way we have to do business and communicate with our various customers."

Rebecca Ortiz, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Advertising, lectured on "Developing and Maintaining Your Professional and Personal Brand Online Using Relevant Data Analytics."

"It was a wonderful experience, because it gave me the chance to network with faculty and students at the university to build future collaborations in research and teaching," Ortiz said. "I think it is so important to connect with other universities, especially outside of the U.S., so that we can leverage each other’s strengths and learn from each other. These kind of collaborations are what will provide us the opportunities to teach our students how to truly communicate in a global society."

Eric Rasmussen, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Public Relations, lectured on "Doing Well, Doing Good in Corporate Branding." He said that his lecture highlighted how both organizations and individuals can be more successful when they put some of their time and resources into giving back and helping others in a meaningful way.

"I want students to understand that money is not the end all, be all," Rasmussen said. "In our careers we have so much more to offer than what we learn in school—we can offer who we are, both to our employer and to the communities in which we live."

Both Perlmutter and Rasmussen agreed that the students at la Universidad Panamericana have a lot in common with students at Texas Tech.

"I think our students could go there and fit right in, and I think their students could come here and fit right in," Rasmussen said, describing UP students as bright, engaged, and wanting to make a difference.

Perlmutter described this connection as a "global millennial culture," which connects students from different geographic cultures, and he said that while CoMC currently offers two to three study abroad programs each year, he hopes to have six to seven programs in three years.


Ariana Martell Interview

Ariana Martell, a Public Relations major from El Paso, Texas, recently went to Hong Kong to represent Texas Tech University at the 6th Annual University Scholars Leadership Symposium. Listen in for a little more on her trip and how she got there.


Previous Issues