Texas Tech University

CoMC Ph.D. Alumnus Secures Career at University of Tennessee

Alana Krafsur

December 1, 2019

Derrick Holland (Ph.D., 2019)

The College of Media & Communication Doctoral Program prepares Ph.D. students to be leaders of research and teaching at the university level, the private sector, for the government and for non-profit organizations. Derrick Holland (Ph.D., 2019), is one of many Ph.D. alumni who have gone on to secure prestigious opportunities upon graduating from the CoMC program. 
Holland secured a position with University of Tennessee as a tenure-track associateprofessor of public relations where he focuses on teaching public relations writing andadvanced public relations writing in addition to publishing scientific articles in academicjournals. As a researcher, he explores public relations messaging in the context of message transparency and environmental communication. 
While Holland was here at Texas Tech, he made the most out of his time in the CoMC doctoral program. 
“I entered the program with one conference paper and left with over 25 conference papers and four publications, along with a variety of teaching experience and service,” Holland said. “The most prominent opportunity I received was being able to work with Associate Dean for Graduate Studies Coy Callison on a grant from the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation to explore what messages will increase both residential and agricultural water conservation.”  
Holland said he appreciated the opportunities he gained during his time as a Ph.D. student. 
“I enjoyed working with graduate faculty in the CoMC, taking statistics classes in outside departments, and working with undergraduate students in journalism and at FM 88.1, The Raider,” Holland said. “I was also honored to receive a variety of research awards like the Bill & Avis Ross Graduate Research Award, the CoMC Graduate Research Fund Award, and the Dean's Doctoral Research Excellence Fellowship.” 
Upon leaving the CoMC doctoral program, Holland cited his experiences in the program as instrumental for his professional career.   
“The program gave me theoretical, methodological and statistical skills to enter academia ready to be a productive teacher and researcher,” Holland said. “These skills also allowed me to start my own statistical consulting business in the medical field, which has turned out to be very profitable. 
Holland said he looks forward to translating the skills and mentorship he received from CoMC faculty such as Trent Seltzer, Ph.D.Glenn Cummins, Ph.D. and Associate Dean Callison in his future career. 
“Entering and finishing the Ph.D. program in CoMC has been the most fruitful thing I've done in my professional life,” Holland said. “It has truly created a solid foundation for my career moving forward.”  
To learn more about the CoMC Ph.D. program, visit: