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Meet Our Graduate Assistants

The graduate assistants in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media are a diverse and talented group of students who help with research, teaching, and administration. For fall 2021, these six Master of Arts students are serving as graduate assistants in our Department:

JRSM GA Haley HaleHALEY HALE Haley Hale of Marion, Arkansas, graduated with high distinction from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, in May 2021. She was awarded a B.A. in journalism, concentrated in news/editorial writing, and political science with a minor in marketing. Hale has served as an intern for U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, R- Ark., in the summer of 2018. In her final semester of undergrad, she worked as a reporter and weekly broadcaster for Arkansas Covid, an online news publication managed by the University of Arkansas School of Journalism and Strategic Media. She is currently the social media coordinator of Crittco Cable & Fiber, Inc., in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
JRSM GA Janay JeansJANAY JEANS Janay Jeans of Memphis is a graduate student in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media with an emphasis in integrated strategic media. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Memphis in 2019. As an undergrad, she was a student leader in three student organizations in which she fulfilled positions working in public relations, community service and special events, providing opportunities and experiences for UofM students and the community. She was inducted into three prominent honor societies: Black Scholars Unlimited Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. Jeans is a passionate and dedicated professional as she pursues a career in public relations.
JRSM GA Madison MullisMADISON MULLIS Madison Mullis is a public relations professional who received her undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University. She has worked with nonprofit organizations across the country including The Borgen Project, Hands Across the Water, and Friends of PACC. Leveraging her skills, Mullis secured a corporate role as the community relations intern at AutoZone. In addition to her internship, Mullis is also pursuing her master’s degree with an emphasis in Integrated Strategic Media at the University of Memphis while working as a graduate assistant for the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Her research is centered around digital discourse and will be presented at the 2021 national AEJMC conference. After graduation, Mullis plans to do PR in the cannabis industry.
JRSM GA Ilaria PisoniILARIA PISONI Ilaria Pisoni received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Foreign Languages at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan, Italy. During this time she also participated in the foreign exchange student program in business administration at Louisiana State University. Thanks to her background, Pisoni has developed an international mindset, as well as skills such as strategic thinking, project management, and multitasking. She has had the opportunity to become fluent in English, German as well as becoming conversational in other languages. These skills have allowed her to excel in her role as a quality assurance assistant for a multinational company where she started as a back-office intern until she was offered a full-time position. 

JRSM GA Taylor ThompsonTAYLOR THOMPSON

Taylor Thompson is a creative media professional, passionate about design and strategic media. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Memphis.  Thompson is now pursuing her master’s degree with an emphasis in visual media at the University of Memphis while working as a graduate assistant for the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. Her research focuses on how political affiliation can affect the public’s trust in media, among other factors. This research was presented at the 2021 AEJMC conference. After graduation, Thompson plans to get into branding and strategic design in the cannabis industry.
JRSM GA Ben WheelerBENJAMIN WHEELER Ben Wheeler of Memphis is a graduate assistant with the University of Memphis’s Journalism and Strategic Media department. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in communications before working as a reporter at the newspapers, Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan, in Yankton, South Dakota, and the Herald-Citizen, in Cookeville, Tennessee. He has worked as a business reporter and environmental reporter, placing in the Tennessee Press Association’s annual awards, and has been selected to participate in reporter’s workshops in Tennessee.