Texas Tech University

Converging News

By Kara Waggoner, photos by Riannon Rowley

Autumn Shafer, Ph.D.

Visionary Communications, a student team formed last fall for a PR 4312 course, ended the semester with a victorious campaign for the National Safe Place organization.

Laurie Jackson, executive director for National Safe Place, said the overall quality of the work presented by all teams impressed her, but Visionary Communications did the best job in creating an in-depth campaign targeting youth in crisis.

"The campaign plan was organized and their goals and strategies were on target," Jackson said. "Visionary Communications recommended innovative and realistic tactics that we can implement in the near future, such as a youth-generated blog and a National Safe Place Ambassador Program."

Autumn Shafer, assistant professor of public relations and instructor of the PR 4312 course, said when evaluating campaigns she looks for what seems to have the potential to work for a professional agency, as well as creative and innovative ideas that display critical thinking. Shafer said the students of Visionary Communications were very impressive and were the client's first pick.

"Visionary Communications was extremely organized, professional, and rehearsed," Shafer said. "They really targeted what the client was looking for."

Although the student team ended the semester-long project with positive feedback from both their client and professor, at times the students faced internal challenges.

Anne Andrews, senior public relations and advertising major from Katy, Texas, was a team member of Visionary Communications and said the team faced obstacles at the beginning of the semester.

"At the beginning, there were boundaries our team needed to overcome such as getting to know each other and how we all think," Andrews said. "Once we were able to learn how to work as a team, the process was easier."

Anne Andrews Andrews said everyone had a mutual goal to work hard and to maintain professionalism. Andrews said these qualities are what helped them become victorious.

"I believe our team was successful because we took it seriously," Andrews said. "We approached the challenge as if it were an actual job, not just a class project. The way our team worked together definitely made a difference because we all got along and trusted each other."

Once the team overcame their obstacles, the students were able to enjoy both each other and the project.

Lisa Peisen, a recent graduate who majored in public relations and Spanish from McAllen, Texas, said she thinks the course was enjoyable because she was able to apply everything she had learned from her college career.

"Even though the class was extremely time-consuming, I really enjoyed it," said Peisen. "In campaigns, you take everything you have learned in the past four years and apply it. It gives you a sense of what to look forward to in the future."

Peisen said she learned valuable lessons from this experience such as how to communicate well with others and how to work efficiently in a team environment. She said she thinks these lessons will help her in the future and in her career.

"I truly got a lot out of campaigns," Peisen said. "I learned a lot about how to work and communicate with a client, which is important in any profession. I also learned that something can and will always go wrong when working on a project, but I learned how to fix problems as they come and to expect the unexpected."

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By Kara Waggoner, photos by Melissa Wofford and Riannon Rowley

Randy Reddick, Ph.D. This May, the Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication will offer students a chance to study abroad in London, England, for a trip of a lifetime.

Randy Reddick, Ph.D., professor and department chairperson of journalism, proposed the idea for the London "Maymester." Reddick will teach the course JOUR 4300 — British Broadsides from "The Tattler" to "News of the World." Another course that will be offered is PR 4300 — Respecting Diversity in Global Communications — and will be taught by Coy Callison, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate studies. Reddick said the London program is structured to be a hands-on experience; his course specifically will emphasize global communications and England.

"Britain is the perfect model," Reddick said. "Most college students have not a clue how significant Britain is in the development of the modern world. We are going to spend some time discussing British history, British ascendancy, and we are all going to sing 'Rule, Britannia!'"

While the program will be Reddick's first time to instruct a university-sponsored course abroad, he is certainly no stranger when it comes to touring the world. Reddick has spent numerous years teaching journalists in England during the summers, and he also has visited other regions including Switzerland, Barcelona, Spain and Asia.

Reddick said he looks forward to the London trip and hopes to share with students some of his enthusiasm and to show them how exciting meeting different types of people can be. Reddick said he believes that studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity for students that can benefit them in their futures.

"One of the things this program should do for students is to open their minds and their vision to broader perspectives," Reddick said. "We fully intend to have our students interact with students from London. This should allow them to make friends and expand their network."

Ashley Diaz, assistant adviser for the college, graduated from Texas Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a master's degree in secondary education. As an adviser, Diaz highly recommends the study abroad program to students because she herself studied in Seville, Spain, during her undergraduate years.

Ashley Diaz "As an adviser, I do recommend students to study abroad because it is something you can do during college that you might not get to do later in life," Diaz said. "To actually get to go somewhere new and discover how other people in the world live is something indescribable and is something you learn through experience."

Diaz said she believes that to study abroad, a student should posses certain characteristics in order to get the most out of the experience.

"To determine if this program is right for you, I believe you must be open-minded and respectful, and you must have a willingness to learn about other people and other cultures," Diaz said. "If someone is set in their ways, this program might not be for them."

Diaz said she has many memories of her time in Spain and thinks her experience has greatly benefited her both in life and in her career. Her advice for students studying abroad is to embrace new experiences.

"If I could give any piece of advice to students who study abroad," Diaz said, "I would tell them to enjoy the experience, make the most of every moment, and bring back lots of souvenirs."

For more information about Texas Tech Study Abroad Programs, please visit: http://www.studyabroad.ttu.edu/

Spring 2012 Tech ImPRESSions

Tech imPRESSions Online

Tech Impressions magazine is produced by Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication students. Three positions of the staff are paid, the editor, the photo editor and the designer. Writers start the process in JOUR 3316 Magazine Writing. The photo editor works with volunteer photographers throughout the college to produce the visuals for the magazine. The magazine recently has become an on-line only publication, which allows for more photos, more stories, and more opportunities for in-depth work as is customary in magazines. College web design specialist Andrew Byrne puts together multi-media packages of the stories and works with the editor to finalize the production. For the current issue, Melissa McMillan was editor, and Tarryn Lambert was photo editor. The faculty advisers for the publication are Kippra D. Hopper and Melissa Wofford.

The publication is archived and can be found at: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/comc/Publications/TechImpressions.php.