Texas Tech University

Converging News

June 2012

In this issue of Converging News:

By Kara Waggoner, Photos courtesy Bryan Munson

The College of Media & Communication Graduate Program at Texas Tech University offers both master's and doctoral level programs to students who seek to further their education in mass communications.

According to the Mass Communications Graduate Program website, http://www.depts.ttu.edu/comc/graduate/index.php, both programs provide students with a variety of different methodologies as well as exposure to all areas of mass communications. The programs allow students to develop additional skills that will assist them in professional development.

Bryan Munson at graduation

Bryan Munson

Bryan Munson, a recent Texas Tech electronic media and communications graduate from Albuquerque, N.M., will be entering the graduate program in the fall in pursuit of obtaining a master's degree. Munson said many factors helped him with the decision to enroll in the program.

“I chose to get my master's degree because I was unsure of what I wanted to do after college,” Munson said. “I received information about the graduate program and discussed the possibility of it with my parents. I decided that the professional track associated with the program would be good for me because it is designed to help you find an internship that will lead you to a potential job in the industry you are looking for.”

Munson said he thinks receiving a master's degree will help him in his future endeavors because he will be learning important skills that potentially will assist him in the industry.

“I think having a master's degree is going to help me in the long run,” Munson said. “I believe the will to learn and to further your education is a huge factor in achieving success in the professional world.”

Samantha Cavanaugh, a Texas Tech graduate from Keller, Texas, also will enter the graduate program in the fall for the completion of a master's degree. Cavanaugh said her interest is in non-profit organizations, and she hopes the graduate program will allow her to explore a more comprehensive approach to understanding people's behaviors and choices.

Samantha Cavanaugh

Samantha Cavanaugh

“The program consists of a more in-depth look at undergraduate classes,” Cavanaugh said. “With smaller class sizes and the ability to relate the content directly to your specific interest, you are able to be exposed to real-life examples. I personally am going to focus on political communications so that I can gain a better understanding of the government's impact on grants and giving in the philanthropic environment.”

Cavanaugh said she recommends the graduate program to undergraduate students because they can complete the program in a year. Cavanaugh said she also thinks a master's degree can provide a competitive edge when entering the professional world.

“I recommend the program to anyone who is looking to focus on a more research-based approach to communications,” Cavanaugh said. “I think having the benefit of a master's degree while entering into a struggling job market gives someone a competitive edge. The fact that it only takes a year is also a bonus.”

To find out more information about the Graduate Program of the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University, please visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/comc/graduate/index.php.

By Kara Waggoner, photos by Riannon Rowley, Benjamin Jarvis and Melissa Wofford

Dinah Goodson

Dinah Goodson

Dinah Goodson, a graduate student in the College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University, received a six-month internship as the events coordinator for the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

The Glen Rose, Texas, native completed her undergraduate degree in three years at Texas Tech and decided to pursue a master's degree with an emphasis in sports and media. Goodson said she thinks the graduate program at the College of Media & Communication has been a great experience and has led her to wonderful opportunities.

“I have had a great experience in the graduate program,” Goodson said. “As a female, it is very difficult to get into the sports industry. I wanted to get as much experience as I could in order to stand out from the competition, and the graduate program has guided me toward amazing opportunities.”

Goodson said her dream is to work in public relations for a professional sports team, and she thinks this internship will provide her with the knowledge and experience she needs to achieve her goal. As the events coordinator, Goodson will have responsibilities that include planning all events for the Valero Alamo Bowl, managing the bowl's community relations activities, and assisting with all aspects of bowl's corporate hospitality venues.

Goodson said she is excited to move to a different city for a short period of time as well as to work in the Alamo Dome. She said she also looks forward to experiencing what a professional job in the industry will be like.

Melissa Wofford, college design specialist

Melissa Wofford

“What I look forward to most about this internship is being involved with such an amazing organization,” Goodson said. “I like the fact that it is a professional job with real responsibilities. I am also looking forward to living in San Antonio. I have been in Lubbock for the past four years, and I feel that it is time for me to move on and venture out a bit.”

Melissa Wofford, college design specialist for the College of Media & Communication, was a professor of Goodson's for an undergraduate public relations course. Wofford said she was not surprised to learn that Goodson received the internship because she was a focused student who showed great interest in sports and media.

“Dinah is extremely focused, motivated, and no-nonsense,” Wofford said. “When I heard she was going to the graduate program, I knew she would find success. Then, when I found out she received an internship with the Valero Alamo Bowl, I wasn't surprised because I knew she had a great interest in athletics. I think this internship is a great fit for her.”

Shannon Bichard, Ph.D., advertising assistant professor and graduate faculty, also had Goodson as a student in her integrated communication campaigns course for the graduate program. She said Goodson is the type of student the graduate program needs because of her personality and work ethic.

Shannon Bichard, Ph.D.

Shannon Bichard

“Dinah is trustworthy and has integrity,” Bichard said. “Those are the kinds of things you want graduates to possess. You want people to ask students like her where they got their degree because she represents Texas Tech well. She is a delight to be around and works hard.”

Bichard said she thinks because of her characteristics, Goodson will have a great future in whatever career path she chooses.

“I think whatever Dinah wants to do, she should be able to obtain. Dinah has the skills, the attitude, and is very driven. I think she will be very successful in her future endeavors.”

By Kara Waggoner

The College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech University has seen great success from its faculty and graduate part-time instructors this past spring semester. From publications, to awards and other achievements, we congratulate and sincerely thank all individuals for their outstanding accomplishments.


Josh Grimm
    • Josh Grimm and Julie L. Andsager. "Framing Immigration: Geo-ethnic Context in California Newspapers." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 88, no. 4 (2011): 771-788.

Kelly Kaufhold
    • Kelly Kaufhold, Amber Hinsley, and Seth C. Lewis, eds. The Future of News: An Agenda of Perspectives, 2nd ed. (San Diego: Cognella, 2012).

    • Kim, D., & Choi, M.-I. (in press). A comparison of young publics' evaluations of corporate social responsibility practices of multinational corporations in the United States and South Korea. Journal of Business Ethics.

Patrick Merle
    • Merle, P. (in press). City of Lights? The waning elitism of U.S. correspondents in Paris between 1998 and 2010. International Communication Gazette.

Olan FarnallKelli Lyons
    • Olan F. Farnall and Kelli Lyons. “Are We There Yet? A Content Analysis of Ability Integrated Advertising on Prime-time TV.” Disability Studies Quarterly 32, no. 1 (2012).

Patrick MerleClay Craig
    • Ph.D. students Patrick Merle and Clay Craig received notification that their manuscript “Economic Reporting: The Value of Soft and International Perspectives” was published in an issue of the Newspaper Research Journal.


    • Brandon Nutting, graduate part-time instructor, was awarded the 2012 Helen DeVitt Jones Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award.

    • Daewook Kim, doctoral student, won the 2012 James E. Grunig and Larissa A. Grunig Outstanding Master's Thesis Award from the Public Relations Division of the International Communication Association. He was recognized at the ICA Conference in Phoenix, Ariz, May 24-28.

Glenn CumminsDustin Hahn
    • Glenn Cummins, Ph.D., assistant department chairperson of electronic media and communication and assistant professor, and Dustin Hahn, graduate part-time instructor, placed second in the Broadcast Education Association's Sports Division paper competition at the annual conference of the Broadcast Education Association for their paper, “(How) Does Instant Replay Increase Enjoyment? Examining the Relationship between Instant Replay, Enjoyment, and Perceived Violence of Play.”

Jerry Hudson
    • Jerry Hudson, Ph.D., founding dean and professor, was recognized at Texas Tech's Annual Student Organization Recognition Awards as the outstanding organization adviser in the category of honorary organization for the Mass Communications Dean's Student Council. He also was selected by the Texas Tech Alumni Association to receive the Distinguished Service Award during the Homecoming Matador Evening this fall. This award is given annually to recognize outstanding service to the Alumni Association and to Texas Tech.

    • Matt VanDyke, incoming Ph.D. student, was awarded the AT&T Chancellor's Fellowship.

Mehrnaz Rahimi
    • Mehrnaz Rahimi, Ph.D. student, was awarded a Dingus Scholarship from the International Cultural Center.

Robert Wernsman
    • Robert Wernsman, full-time instructor of journalism, received the President's Excellence in Teaching Award for 2012 and was recognized as one of 10 recipients of the 2011-2012 Professing Excellence Award for outstanding instructors.

    • Sherice Gearhart, graduate part-time instructor, and Mark Jacob Guerra, placed first in the Broadcast Education Association's News Division paper competition at the annual conference of the Broadcast Education Association for their paper, “Wind Energy in Television Network News: An Analysis of Issues, Sources, and Episodic-Thematic Frames.”

    • Sungwon Chung, doctoral candidate, received the American Academy of Advertising Dissertation Proposal Award.


Autumn Shafer
    • Autumn Shafer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of public relations, has been accepted to the 2012 Advanced Training Institute in Health Behavior Theory course this summer. This is a competitive award that accepts only 30 fellows per year from a variety of academic disciplines.

Autumn ShaferWeiwu Zhang
    • Autumn Shafer, Ph.D., an assistant professor of public relations, and Weiwu Zhang, assistant department chairperson and professor of public relations, were selected to participate in Texas Tech University's Transdisciplinary Research Academy, which enhances the research missions of Texas Tech University and tackles issues of global concerns by cultivating interfacing interactions across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Bill Dean
    • Bill Dean, Ed.D., associate professor of journalism and public relations, established a scholarship using the royalties from his book that is used in MCOM 1300. Dean donated the funds to be used in any way to advance the college.

Chaille SteedRobin Haislett
    • Chaille Steed and Robin Haislett, graduate part-time instructors, had their paper, “Framing the Mormon faith: How changes in semantic components of texts affect audience evaluation of a political candidate,” accepted for presentation at the national annual PCA/ACA conference.

Coy CallisonShannon BichardLiz GardnerTrent Seltzer
    • Coy Callison, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for graduate studies; Shannon Bichard, Ph.D., advertising professor and graduate faculty; Liz Gardner, Ph.D., assistant professor of public relations; and Trent Seltzer, Ph.D., professor and department chairperson of public relations, teamed with physicians from the Brown University Alpert Medical School in Rhode Island on a sponsored research project aimed at improving the emergency room patient experience through better communication. The program, titled Project CLEAR, has seen early success and has garnered international attention.

Glenn Cummins
    • Glenn Cummins, Ph.D., assistant department chairperson of electronic media and communication and assistant professor, was selected to the Teaching Academy at Texas Tech University. The academy recognizes excellence in teaching and the development of scholarship related to teaching and learning. Only about 20 percent of all Texas Tech faculty are selected.

Kent WilkinsonAnn Rodriguez
    • Kent Wilkinson, Ph.D., Regents Professor in Hispanic and International Communication, and Mona Hassanzadeh, graduate student, presented their paper on social media at the 28th Annual All-University Conference on the Advancement of Women in Academia. Ann Rodriguez, J.D., full-time instructor of journalism and public relations, also presented a paper on pedagogical logic.

Liz Gardner
    • Liz Gardner, Ph.D., assistant professor of public relations, had her manuscript, “Resistance, ethnicity and health: Designing messages that reduce reactance for Hispanic and non-Hispanic diabetics,” was chosen as a top paper for the ComSHER (Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk) Division at this year's AEJMC annual conference. The division selected five top papers based on standardized reviewers' scores. This was the first study that Gardner has conducted with the startup funds provided by Texas Tech and the College of Media & Communication. She plans to use these findings as pilot data to apply for external funding once they are in the pipeline at a journal.

Robin Haislett
    • Robin Haislett, graduate part-time instructor, presented her paper, “Third Wave Feminism in Squaresoft's Video Game Final Fantasy VII,” at the 2012 AEJMC midwinter conference at the University of Oklahoma.

Yunjuan 'Lily' Luo
  • Yunjuan "Lily" Luo, Ph.D., assistant professor of journalism graduate faculty, will present her paper, titled “The Internet and Agenda Setting in China: The Influence of Online Public Opinion on Media Coverage and Government Policy,” at the annual convention of the International Communication Association in May. She also will attend two ICA pre-conferences to present her research papers.

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