Texas Tech University

Converging News

May 2013

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In this issue of Converging News:

Chinwe Obi, a 2013 Texas Tech Student of Integrated Scholarship
By Samantha Park, photo by David Vaughn

Chinwe Obi

Chinwe Obi

Chinwe Obi is one of 12 students recognized as a 2013 Texas Tech Student of Integrated Scholarship.

Each year the provost works with academic deans to select faculty members and students who exemplify the integrated scholar concept. This concept is demonstrated by students who are dedicated to a course of lifelong learning through self-study and scholarly engagement. These individuals exemplify leadership, research and service while inspiring others to do the same.

“The award recognizes students that have partaken in a lot of different aspects of the college experience,” said Obi, a senior double majoring in public relations and technical communication. “We're all very busy. All the students are very active in different organizations on campus and in research. We're all very driven.”

Before Obi became a successful undergraduate student, she said deciding to come to Texas Tech was easy. Researching different student organizations, she saw many opportunities for involvement.

“I was in pretty much every organization in high school so I wanted to replicate that when I came to Tech,” Obi said. “I looked at other schools to see if they had organizations similar to Tech, but Tech had President's Select and Chancellor's Ambassadors and those were things that I wanted to be a part of.”

Throughout her college career, Obi became a member of President's Select, Chancellor's Ambassadors, Mentor Tech, and the College of Media & Communication Dean's Student Council. For the past three semesters, Obi was selected as top member of President's Select.

“I love President's Select, and I love volunteering and doing different things for them,” Obi said. “Every single semester I always try my hardest. I always want to be the best in any organization.”

Obi said she enjoys both of her majors. Her passion for writing resulted in her dual majors and minor in mass communications.

“I like public relations because you can be a lot more personable. It's all about interacting with other people,” Obi said. “Technical communication really helps you refine your writing and actually get a lot of good editing techniques. You learn how to write a document that's convincing and straight to the point.”

Within the College of Media & Communication, Obi said, she loves all the opportunities provided for students.

“The teachers and advisers here are so nice, and they just want to help you with everything,” Obi said. “They're not afraid to put what they're doing aside to help a student. I think we have one of the friendliest colleges on campus.”

Patrick Merle, Ph.D., has mentored Obi since 2011. Merle said he always has been impressed with Obi's sincere enthusiasm toward her education.

“Beyond being a curious individual willing to broaden her knowledge, Chinwe likes to be meticulous, precise, and thorough in her work,” Merle said. “Respectful of deadlines, she also does not shy away from taking leadership roles in class projects as well as in certain organizations.”

Throughout her college career, Obi has been a student of integrated scholarship. Looking back on her four years at Texas Tech, she said she never thought she would be selected for the award.

“I'm really proud that anyone on this campus thinks I'm kind of a big deal because that's not how I think of myself,” Obi said. “I feel like I'm just a regular student like everyone else. I've had internships, and I've had different jobs in my field, but I don't think I'm anything special.”

Obi plans to further her education at Texas Tech before pursing her goal of becoming a grant writer for nonprofits. With her undergraduate graduation days away, she is thankful her hard work has been acknowledged and recognized.

“Few people who interact with Chinwe would fail to be surprised by the fact that she was awarded such an honor,” Merle said. “She sets a wonderful example.”


Faculty Profile: Sun Young Lee, Ph.D.
video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn


Tim Loecker proves to be great alumnus for College of Media & Communication
By Samantha Park, photo by Melissa Wofford

Tim Loecker

Tim Loecker

College of Media & Communication alumnus Tim Loecker graduated from Texas Tech University in 2000 with a degree in public relations. Currently a senior vice president at Weber Shandwick, he continues to contribute to the college and its students.

Loecker is a board member of the College of Media & Communication's National Professional Advisory Board. He also participates in career fairs, partakes in class lectures, and provides students with resume critiques.

“I've been very involved with the school's national advisory board,” said Loecker. “I get to see a lot of different facets of the school, the students, and their experiences.”

As a senior member on the American Airlines client team, Loecker helps develop and implement global strategic communication programs. Loecker said after eight years with Weber Shandwick he has enjoyed his time with the company.

“I love the diversity of the work,” said Loecker. “In any one-day or week I can be working on everything from a very fun, lighthearted social media promotion for American to dealing with a somewhat larger issue, such as the grounding of the entire American Airlines fleet.”

When Loecker was a student at Texas Tech, he was involved in the Student Government Association, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Chancellor's Ambassadors, and President's Select. His involvement and academics provided him with a drive to succeed.

“I think Texas Tech really helped lay a solid foundation that has served me well,” Loecker said. “The baseline foundation that was laid from the course work was extremely beneficial as I started my career.”

Loecker gained valuable experience after completing internships at Broadway Festivals Inc., the Price Group, FleishmanHillard, KPMG, and Pennino & Partners. He said having internships is vital for students to secure a great career.

Tim Loecker and American Airlines client at a media event in Beijing

Tim Loecker (right) and American Airlines client at a media event in Beijing, photo courtesy Tim Loecker

“A lot of students think the only option is to get an internship with a big global public relations agency or a big global ad agency,” Loecker said, “but most of those agencies won't take students that don't have prior experience, so you have to start somewhere. If that volunteering and working an unpaid internship gets your foot in the door, you can start building those blocks to ultimately get where you want to be.”

Throughout his college career, Loecker said the faculty and staff did everything they could for their students' success. He said the personalized attention from the faculty showed a sense of community in the college.

“There is a lot of really great support from all directions in the college,” Loecker said. “The school is focusing on the right strategic courses and overall education for students. They're definitely heading in the right direction and continuing to set up the next generation of communicators for success as well.”

Since he was a student, Loecker has taken control of his education and career path. As he guides students to work hard and achieve their goals, he said it is important for undergraduates to strive for achievement.

“I would love to leave the message that I really encourage them to take ownership of their own career destiny and do the hard work inside and outside the classroom to set them up for success,” Loecker said. “At the end of the day, the students are the ones who have to take action and follow through with making things happen for themselves.”


Scott Pelley visits Media & Communication Students
video by Ben Jarvis and Blake Silverthorn


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