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. This semester, the following Master of Arts students are serving as graduate assistants in our Department:

JRSM GA Kittie Baldwin


Kittie Sullivan Baldwin received her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in American Sign Language from the University of Memphis in May 2022, graduating magna cum laude with university honors. She is pursuing her M.A. in Integrated Strategic Media.  She is currently assisting on a research paper about state preemption bills and the limits of local electoral politics. Baldwin hopes to one day work in politics or for a government organization.

JRSM GA Abby Dearing


Abby Dearing is a May 2023 summa cum laude graduate of the Department of Journalism and Strategic media, who was awarded a B.A in journalism with a concentration in creative mass media. Dearing has a passion for visual storytelling, and she has worked in a diverse array of graphic design positions. She interned with the University of Memphis Football team and at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. She also takes on a wide range of freelance design work — from logo design to storybook illustration. Dearing is currently pursuing an M.A. in journalism with a concentration in visual media. 

JRSM GA Chetna Tiwari


Chetna Tiwari is an international student who earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Symbiosis International University, Pune, India, with a dual specialization in advertising and public relations. There she led the Placements and Internships Cell and the Alumni Cell as a member of the director’s council. Over the years she has worked with brands such as Google, YouTube, TikTok, Meta, Skechers and Henkel Inc. in market strategy and account management. She has served as a marketing manager and consultant for a B2B startup funded by Tiger Global for branding and corporate communications. She intends to use her experience at the University of Memphis to further her career in brand strategy.

JRSM GA Oakley Weddle


Oakley Weddle is a public relations professional and graduate student. He graduated in 2022 with a B.A. from the University of Memphis in public relations with minors in social media and marketing. He is also president of the Memphis chapter of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America). Weddle works as the marketing manager at a local IT and staffing company. Previously, he worked with Tennessee State Parks as a communications intern, done freelance work for startup businesses and run his late brother’s non-profit, The PEYitforward Foundation. His research is centered around social justice court cases affected by the evolution of media and mass communications. Weddle aspires to work for the National Park Service in public affairs.