Fall 2016 Newsletter

New department name reflects changing media industry

By Kevin Edwards

JRSM name change

The Department of Journalism is now the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media.

The idea of a name change had been debated for several years. But in the past year, the change was spurred by a desire to better reflect the emerging media landscape. It also will allow students not interested in traditional news to see what else the department has to offer.

"About half of the 400 students in the department are not studying news," said David Arant, department chair. "Many people do not know that we o er advertising and public relations programs, in addition to news.

"We have just come to a point in time where we feel like people don't understand who we are or what we're about in this department," Arant said about the name change. Journalism faculty members investigated the issue and approved the new name at its Sept. 25, 2015, meeting. After college and university approval of the name change, the University of Memphis submitted the recommendation to the Tennessee Board of Regents, whose approval became effective July 1, 2016.

Matt Haught, assistant professor of creative mass media at the University of Memphis, said the change was made because the word "journalism doesn't encompass everything we do."

The faculty decided to retain the name "journalism" in its title because it continues to reflect what many students want in their degree. The department has had the name "Department of Journalism" since its founding in the late 1950s. But the department has taught public relations and advertising for decades and is now awaiting Tennessee Board of Regents approval for a new program in creative mass media. That new major will offer an avenue for students who want to pursue a career in media design, photography or visual communication.

The faculty members were searching for a name that encompassed not just journalism but the entire breadth of the department.

A committee headed by Haught this past fall looked at the 119 college journalism programs accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Of those, only 24 just used the word "journalism" in the name. And of those 24, 13 of them teach only courses in news with the remaining 11, including Memphis, offering courses in other areas such as public relations and advertising.

The committee talked to journalism students as well, many of whom did not even know that the department offered courses in areas other than in news until told so by advisors. Some of the students who were journalism minors said they thought the department only offered news courses.

Arant said the old name just did not embrace the new directions of the department.

"(Students) can't find us sometimes, and we have to do a lot of education and promotion to get these students to take a look at what we're doing beyond news so that they might become our majors," Arant said.

The department is equipped to compete better in the student marketplace and get students who may have passed on journalism because they were unaware of the range of programs, such as advertising, digital marketing and public relations.

"It's a changing media climate, and we needed to rebrand ourselves to stay relevant," Arant said.

Addition of 'Strategic Media' a plus for department

By David Arant

Dr. David ArantWe are now the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. We've been kicking around name changes for several years because many students, and even some university staff members, have no idea that the department offers advertising and public relations.

Last year a faculty committee examined the range of names used by our sister programs around the country and came up with adding Strategic Media to our existing name. Our department initials are now JRSM.

It's not just a new name. We've also changed all our concentrations, News, Advertising and Public Relations, into free-standing majors. So we'll now have all three, Advertising, Journalism and Public Relations, featured on the majors list, which is where students find our programs.

Student degrees will now be a B.A. Advertising, a B.A. Public Relations and a B.A. Journalism.

And once the Tennessee Board of Regents grants final approval this fall, we'll have a fourth major, a new program in Creative Mass Media.

Professor Matt Haught has spearheaded this addition in collaboration with the Art Department. This new program develops specialists in creating the visual components of news, public relations and advertising media.

The department has perhaps the most dynamic faculty ever. Some of our new faculty are featured in this newsletter. I believe we're poised as a department to thrive and raise up a new generation of media professionals equipped to excel in the rapidly changing media world.

As we launch new programs and reinvent existing ones, we could not accomplish what we do without the continuing support of our alumni whose gifts and service make what we do possible. Thank you.

David Arant is chair of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media.

Professors launch course using new drone technology

Journalism professor Darrin Devault has been designated as a Robotics, Autonomous Vehicles and Drones Research Fellow of the UofM FedEx Institute of Technology.

He and Professor Robby Byrd have developed a course in drone journalism that they will launch with eight students this fall. Byrd will serve as the lead professor for the three-hour credit course.

Devault DroneAs part of the University's push to develop strong research competencies in robotics, autonomous vehicles and drones, the FedEx Institute of Technology granted research awards for 13 innovative research proposals last December.

The recipients involved include researchers from nine academic departments in five colleges and schools across the University.

"We're pleased to be the recipient of a grant that will allow journalism faculty and students the opportunity to explore the use of drones as a news-gathering tool," Devault said.

The course will require students to create a class blog, drone news story and related video editing project along with a business model.

"The purpose of our course is to give students an understanding of the innovations drone technology can bring to journalism as well as practical knowledge of unmanned aerial vehicle operation," Byrd said.

Devault and journalism alumnus Tom Willcox first considered the use of drones in the department when they competed and won a campus startup business competition hosted by the U of M Crews Center for Entrepreneurship in April 2014. They proposed a drone-based media business called Flyover Footage.

JRSM alumnus Bret Weaver was instrumental in helping develop a proposed drone journalism syllabus and course outlines as partial fulfillment of his M.A. in journalism, which he completed in summer 2015.

Janoske fellowship takes her to General Motors in Detroit

Dr. Melissa Janoske visited GM as part of her Plank Center fellowship.Melissa Janoske, assistant professor of public relations, received a prestigious fellowship for educators by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

As part of the fellowship, General Motors in Detroit hosted Janoske for two weeks in July. This fall, a PR professional from General Motors will come to the University of Memphis to work with PR professors and students.

"We developed the summer fellowship specifically for public relations educators with the dual purpose of exposing professors to current day-to-day operations of the public relations function and to help create an exchange of information and ideas that will enhance the professional development of both the educators and the hosts," said Keith Burton, vice chair of the Plank Center and principal of Grayson Emmett Partners.

During the fellowship, educators participate in research projects, training sessions and presentations and assist with company projects. In return, practitioners from the host organization visit the educator's campus to interact with faculty, staff and students to share industry knowledge, trends and valuable insight.

Janoske teaches a variety of public relations courses, including a new class in crisis communication. She earned a doctorate from the University of Maryland in 2014, writing her dissertation on how online communities formed and aided individuals and organizations with crisis response and recovery.

The Plank Center is located at the University of Alabama.

U of M journalists report on Rio Olympics

Rio Olympics

Fourteen journalism students went to Rio de Janeiro this summer to cover the 2016 Summer Olympics.

The U of M is one of only two universities (along with the University of North Carolina) to have an agreement with Rio's Olympic Organizing Committee to bring student journalists there as interns.

"Few people in their lifetime get to say 'I went to the Olympics,' let alone 'I covered the Olympics," said assistant professor Roxane Coche, who organized and led the program.

The student reporters were housed in an Olympic Media Village, where they were surrounded by international media professionals and had opportunities to network. Each student was assigned a sport to cover for the Olympic News Service, which acted as a newswire service during the Games.

Participating students were a mix of current and former students: Anna Joy Batchelor, Janika Bates, Jon Bell, Rebecca Butcher, Logan Butts, Jonathan Capriel, Avery Franklin, Nathan Galloway, Shauna Jordan, Catrell Maclin, Sydney Neely, Cody Prentiss, Chip Williams and Omer Yusuf.

Turner wins third place in logo contest 

AEJMC LogoAdvertising graduate Jonel Turner won third place in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication's annual logo contest.

Her logo used the Chicago's bean sculpture and the skyline to represent the city for the 2017 AEJMC conference. Students were asked to design logos in black only that could be used print, on digital applications and on screen prints. Her submission was supervised by Dr. Matt Haught. She made her entry in Haught's multimedia visual communication course in spring 2016.


Dr. Matthew HaughtDr. Matt Haught, assistant professor of creative mass media, assumed the position of head of the Visual Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication at its annual meeting in August in Minneapolis.

Haught was elected to the role in 2014. He advanced to the head position following a year as second vice head and a year as vice head of the division. He will serve for one year. As head, he will lead the division's efforts to promote research and teaching in visual communication, as well as to serve the visual communication industry.

"I'm excited to serve in this position," Haught said. "It's been great to represent Memphis and show others throughout the country that we are a hub for visual communication."

Haught came to the University of Memphis in 2013 and earned his doctorate from the University of South Carolina.

Donations accepted in Spielberger's honor

Prof. Ronald SpielbergerRonald Spielberger, class of 1963, who served as a dedicated member of the Journalism faculty for nearly five decades, passed away in December 2015. In his memory donations to support deserving students at the University of Memphis are being accepted.

Gifts can be made online at umwa.memphis.edu/new_giving/index.php/donation by selecting "I would like to give to a fund not listed here" and typing in Spielberger.

Students hoping role in TV show about Elvis seen as boost to careers

By Tom Hrach

The connection between journalism and show business has always been a close one, and the U of M journalism students who participated in this past summer's filming of "Million Dollar Quartet" series are certainly proving that to be true.

"Million Dollar Quartet" is a Country Music Television series to be aired sometime early in 2017 featuring the story of how Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins ended up at Sun Studios in December 1956. The series was filmed in many locations around Memphis, and it will include several journalism students as actors and extras.

"It gave me a better understanding for just the whole process of everything and how much thought you have to put into all of this," saidJohn Klyce John Klyce, a 20-year-old journalism student who played Johnny Cash's friend Louie during a scene at a roller rink in Whitehaven.

Klyce was dressed in a military outfit, and he spent most of his scene roller skating.

The scene portrayed him as a young man sowing some wild oats before heading back into the Army. He had six total lines to say along with the roller skating.

Along with fellow journalism student Austin Anderson, Klyce is currently working on a screenplay for a film that the pair hope to show at the Memphis Indie Film Festival.

"I would love to pursue this in the future. It is one of the reasons I have a minor in theater. I definitely want to pursue some kind of screen writing," Klyce said. "I love acting. And then I want to write as well. I like to write and create things."

Sydney NeelySydney Neely, a 21-year-old journalism student, played an extra role as a pedestrian on Beale Street where she walked by and tipped a musician playing the blues. Then she had a scene where she was in Silky O'Sullivan's on Beale Street listening and jamming to some music.

What impressed her most about the production on the day she worked in early May was all the details that went into the costuming, the precision of the acting and the attention to details. Neely said it was just like stepping into the 1950s.

Neely's goal is to get into broadcast journalism so a TV role is something that can only help her career.

"Being in front of the camera like that made me more at home and made me more comfortable," Neely said. "I anchor for Tiger News, and this helped me get used to being in front of camera."

Also participating was journalism student Mandy Hrach, who spent time as an extra on the show several times in the months of May and June. Along with being a person in the crowd she got a chance to flirt with the actor who played Jerry Lee Lewis while at a 1950s themed soda fountain in downtown Memphis.

"Million Dollar Quartet" stars Chad Michael Murray, who plays the role of Sam Phillips. Murray is best known for his role in the teen drama "One Tree Hill." The filming for the eight episodes started in April and wrapped up in early July.

New member of PR faculty joins team; brings new husband, dog to U of M

Dr. Stephanie Madden, Prof. Michael Steudeman and Hodges.The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media welcomed Stephanie Madden to its faculty as an assistant professor of public relations this fall.

Madden recently completed a doctorate in communication at the University of Maryland, where she taught public relations and oral communication courses and received the 2015 Outstanding Teaching Award in the Department of Communication.

She earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies at Vanderbilt and a master's degree in communication at Maryland.

Madden has a passion for advocacy and social justice issues, and she previously served as a full-time researcher at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence.

The U of M got a "two-for-one deal" with the Madden family. Her husband Michael Steudeman recently joined the faculty in the Department of Communication.

Q. We're excited you're here. What led you and your husband to the U of M?

A. My friend and now colleague Dr. Melissa Janoske only had wonderful things to say about her experience working for U of M, so when I saw there was a job opening I immediately applied. We feel so fortunate that there was also an opportunity for Michael within the Department of Communication. As an added bonus, we are also much closer to our families than we were in Maryland. Michael's family lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and mine lives in Wichita, Kansas.

Q. Please tell us about your approach to teaching. How do you connect with your students?

A. I love learning about my students' passions and try to weave that into my lessons, as well as conversations before and after class. I am also a rm believer in empowering my students as both learners and teachers, utilizing partner work and small group activities as core components of my teaching style.

Q. What's your favorite teaching experience to date?

A. I always love hearing from former students that something we did in class really helped them out in their internships or jobs after graduation. Sometimes the lightbulb moment for students doesn't occur during our short time together in class but when they are out being public relations professionals. Knowing about those moments for students is really rewarding for me.

Q. Describe your goals for your first year at the U of M.

A. My goals are to learn about students and what they need to succeed in school and after graduation. I am also hoping to work to develop new courses in my passion area of activist public relations.

Q. You moved to Memphis earlier this summer. Have you found any favorite restaurants or attractions?

A. I know that Central BBQ is probably cliché, but it is so good. My brother and sister-in-law came into town a few weeks ago and took me to Flight Restaurant. That was one of the most amazing meals I've ever had. I've also been to a couple of concerts at the Levitt Shell and saw Cirque du Soleil when it was in town. Needless to say, I have not been bored or hungry this summer.

Q. We hear the Madden family has expanded since you've moved to Memphis. Tell us about your new addition.

A. We are so in love with our recently adopted dog, Hodges. He had been on the adoption market for three years through Streetdog Foundation. We joke that he must have been waiting for us because we don't understand how he wasn't scooped up immediately. He's a middle-aged hound/English shepherd mix with the sweetest face and most expressive eyes. We threw him an adoption party, complete with a doggy cake from Three Dog Bakery. He's our first child.

—Interview by Darrin Devault

Journalism alumni club gets back to work

Angie GoldingAs the new school year starts back, the Journalism Alumni Club Board is getting back to work as well.

In the past year, the board had the opportunity to support students at events such as an open house for students, selecting a major and a lively speed mentoring event. The board has also supported students financially when possible. For example, the board recently approved a donation in support of the journalism students who traveled to Rio in July to cover the Olympics.

While a few board members have departed in the past year because of work and scheduling conflicts, we've had the pleasure of bringing new members on board to offer new perspectives.

If you are interested in learning more about the Journalism Club, contact me, Angie Golding, board president, at agolding@ regionalonehealth.org.

Here is the alumni club board roster: Kristin Bennett, The Orpheum Theatre; Darrin Devault, University of Memphis; Shirley Downing, retired print journalist; Jay Eberle, retired print journalist; Angie Golding, Regional One Health (president); Dan Hope, MLGW; Eric Janssen, Sandusky Newspaper Group; Paul Jewell, retired marketing director; John Lambert, Youth Villages; Greg Nelson, Glidden Paint/Crossmark (treasurer); Wayne Norton, retired print journalist; Taylor Oaks, Servicemaster (vice president); Kini Plumlee, Creative Aging (secretary); Kim Rossie, Youth Villages; Mark Thompson, V2 Media; Phillip Tutor, The Anniston (Ala.) Star; and Walter Veazey, retired print journalist.

Angie Golding is president of the Journalism Alumni Club board.

AAF relocates to Meeman building

AAF Memphis, the Memphis chapter of the American Advertising Federation, begins the fall with new office space in the Meeman Journalism Building and a new executive director to occupy it.

Nikii Richey is the new executive director for AAF Memphis. She earned a master's degree in journalism at the U of M.

As executive director, Richey will support the AAF Memphis officers and board of directors on all operational, membership, event and communications efforts. U of M advertising students will now have a more direct connection to the local advertising industry.

AAF president emeritus Andrea Wiley recently told the Memphis Business Journal that the partnership with the U of M will be mutually beneficial for years to come, yielding interns and entry-level positions for students and agencies.

"Let's not just get them excited about advertising, but advertising in Memphis," said Wiley, now an adjunct advertising instructor at U of M.

Six honored at alumni event

The University of Memphis Journalism Alumni Club will conducted its Outstanding Alumni Awards dinner at 7 p.m., Oct. 13, at the U of M Holiday Inn.

The Charles E. Thornton Award was presented to journalist Frank Thorsberg and global PR executive Elise Mitchell.

David Arant, chair of the U of M Department of Journalism and Strategic Media, received the Herbert Lee Williams Award.

Megan Harris, digital editor and producer at WESA-FM in Pittsburgh was recognized as the Outstanding Young Alumna.

Jonathan Capriel, a nationally recognized journalism student at the U of M, received with the Emerging Young Journalist Award.

Matthew Haught, assistant professor of creative mass media at the U of M, received the D. Mike Pennington Outstanding Mentoring Award.

News Engagement event launches book

"Book of Isaias"The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media hosted the Oct. 4 launch for "The Book of Isaias," a new book about the children of Hispanic immigrants in Memphis written by Commercial Appeal reporter Daniel Connolly.

Connelly said he hopes the book enlightens people about the difficult conditions immigrant children face, and the book is a good example of how journalists can become an advocate for an issue.

As part of the book project, Connelly spent time in Mexico as well as spending months embedded as a reporter at Kingsbury High School in Memphis.

"The lesson for a journalism student is that journalism will take you to some fascinating places if you have fire for it," Connelly said. "Journalism is a hard job so if you don't have that fire, don't do it. But if you do, it is a great job."

The book launch was a part of the Oct. 4 observance of National News Engagement Day, which is designed to get students interested in reading, reporting and finding out about news in their community.

 Awards distributed a plenty at banquet

Jurnee TaylorThe 2016 Journalism Annual Student Awards Celebration recognized journalism students for their outstanding achievements throughout the past school year.

The event at the University Club in Memphis on April 14 attracted more than 120 students, faculty, families and friends. Here is a look at some of the student honorees:

Outstanding graduate student, Katherine Friedel and John Stevenson.
Outstanding public relations student, Christopher Baxter.
Outstanding online public relations student, Jessica Armitage.
Outstanding Lambuth PR student, Taylor Ackerman.
Outstanding advertising student, Jonel Turner.
Outstanding broadcast student, Jerrica James.
Otis Sanford outstanding news student, Josh Cannon.
American Advertising Federation student chapter leadership award, Loghan Laufenberg.
NABJ Ida B. Wells award for outstanding leadership, Jurnee Taylor.
Tiger News leadership award, Jerrica James.
Elinor Grusin Writing Award, Omer Yusuf, first place; Jonah Jordan, second place; Christopher Ryan Baxter and Jeremiah Graham, third place.
Public relations textbook award, Kyland Evans.
Lurene Kelley video story award, Catrell Maclin.
Saul Brown Press Scimitar award for excellence in photography, Bailey Clark.
Saul Brown Press Scimitar award for excellence in reporting, Jeremiah Graham.
Nathan Josel Memorial fund for journalistic creativity, Jonathan Capriel.
The Daily Helmsman award for leadership and professionalism, Patrick Lantrip.
Marc Perrusquia reporting award, Jonathan Capriel, first place; Mandy Hrach, second place; Patrick Lantrip, third place.

Scholarships awarded for new year to 19 students

Lee WatkinsNineteen journalism students were recognized with scholarships at the Student Journalism Annual Student Awards Celebration on April 14.

Money from these scholarships has been donated to the department to help journalism students pursue their academic careers. Scholarship decisions were based on the students' academic performance, commitment to their career field and other factors specific to the scholarship.

All scholarship money helps students pay for tuition, books and personal expenses while a student at the University of Memphis.

The 2016 scholarship winners and the scholarship won were:

Ana Alford, Eleanor B. O'Neill.
Austin Anderson, Gridiron-Hurd.
Jessica Armitage, Billy Jones.
Jonathan Capriel, Variety Club/Nathan Josel.
Bailey Clark, Saul Brown photography. Jeremiah Graham, Paul Coppock-Saul Brown reporting.
Jerrica James, John Paul Jones-DeCleux.
Shauna Jordan, Frank Ahlgren.
John Klyce, Gridiron-Jim White.
Catrell Maclin, Kathy Krieger-DeCleux alternate.
Samantha Megelesh, Gridiron-Archie Quinn.
Aisha Naantaanbuu, Girdiron-Wayne Trotter.
Sydney Neely, Michael Greene-DeCleux alternative.
Stephanie Pierce, Joe and Lila Norton.
Garrett Pilgrim, Ken Sossaman.
Alexandra Shockey, Olin Morris.
Jurnee Taylor, Gridiron-Mike McGee.
Lee Watkins, Marge Thrasher White.

New Daily Helmsman racks: 'Your campus, Your voice'

Helmsman RackReaders of The Daily Helmsman have already taken notice of the attractive new distribution racks made possible by financial support from University of Memphis President David Rudd.

"We've received a lot of very positive comments on them," said Bob Willis, Helmsman advertising manager.

The black-laminate-covered wood racks have a header and clear acrylic pocket that permits eye-level display of that day's copy of the newspaper. The racks have a height-adjustable shelf to facilitate easy pickup of the paper.

This project began last November when Rudd offered to replace the old Helmsman news racks. Rudd's office provided $10,000, and Willis researched and purchased a prototype unit in January.

Willis and Helmsman general manager Candy Justice created a preliminary design for the racks with the theme,"Your Campus.Your Voice."

Then they worked with Tammy Hedges, U of M vice president for external relations, and her staff on the finished design. A key contributor to the process was Holly Snyder, journalism alumna and assistant director of marketing, alumni and constituent relations.

The racks came disassembled, which meant lots of parts and pieces for Justice, Willis and student members of the Helmsman staff to put together. The new racks were placed in high pedestrian locations on the main and Park Avenue campuses during the last week of the spring semester.

The Daily Helmsman is distributed to more than 70 locations across the main and Park Avenue campuses as well as the Cecil C. Humphreys Law School in downtown Memphis along with several off-campus businesses.