Archive | Faculty/Staff

Three JMC faculty recognized for teaching milestones

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Faculty years-of-service milestones were noted at the annual faculty recognition banquet in April. Nine were recognized for reaching the 25 year service mark. They are front row from left: MSU President Dr. Robert Davies; Dr. Staci Stone, interim dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts; Ann Neelon, Department of English; Dr. Mary Sue Sroda, chair, Department of English; Dr. Tim Todd, dean, Bauernfeind College of Business. Back row from left:  Dr. Stephen Cobb, dean, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology; Dr. Allen White, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; Gill Welsch, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications; Squire Babcock, Department of English and Philosophy; Dr. Seid Hassan, Department of Economics and Finance.

Dr. Allen White and Mr. Gill Welsch were recognized for 25 years of teaching service to Murray State while Dr. Debbie Owens was recognized for 15 years of service.

White joined the faculty in August 1991. He teaches courses in advertising, public relations, and in the graduate program. He has served as graduate coordinator, interim assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication, and interim JMC department chair. He was the founding college head for White Residential College, part of Murray State’s residential college system.

White earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Murray State. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee. He has been a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and has worked as a newspaper reporter, sports editor and as a public opinion researcher for a research company.

Prior to coming to Murray State, White taught at Kansas State University and Duquesne University.

Welsch joined the faculty in August 1992 as head of the advertising major and adviser to the MSU Ads Club, positions he still holds. He has taught courses in advertising, journalism and public relations over the years. His teaching duties currently include teaching the internship course and senior seminar.

He earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has done doctoral studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Welsch has worked as a newspaper reporter, public relations and advertising consultant. Prior to coming to Murray State, he taught at Southeast Missouri State University.

Ten were recognized for reaching the 15 year service mark at the annual faculty recognition banquet in April 2017. They are front row from left: MSU President Dr. Robert Davies; Dean Ann Provine, Hutson School Of Agriculture; James Clinger, Humanities and Fine Arts; Barbara Cobb, Humanities and Fine Arts; Debbie Owens, interim chair, Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communications, Peggy Pittman-Munke, Education and Human Services. Back row from left: Ryan Morrow, Hutson School Of Agriculture; Cynthia Gayman, Humanities and Fine Arts; Dubravko Icansic, Humanities and Fine Arts; Joe DeBella, Education and Human Services; and Abdulrahman Yarali, Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Owens joined the faculty in August 2002. She has served as head of the electronic media major (now known as television production), internship coordinator and graduate director. She currently serves as interim department chair.

She has worked as a newspaper and broadcast journalist, a marketing/public affairs communications writer, and an English/reading teacher.

Owens earned a B.A. from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and Ph.D. from the University of Florida

Prior to joining the JMC faculty, Owens taught at Fayetteville State University, Bowling Green State University, and East Carolina University.

Comments Off on Three JMC faculty recognized for teaching milestones

Thomas presents at pop culture event

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Elizabeth Thomas (MS, 2009), senior lecturer and PR sequence head, presented research at the 2017 Popular Culture Association (PCA) National Convention in San Diego in March 2017.
Her paper titled “Star Trek: The 50-Year Mission” chronicled fan culture through Star Trek events and subsequent other fan conventions dating from the early 1970s through 2016 for the fabled Star Trek television and movie franchise.

Scholars who comprise the PCA are a group of educators and enthusiasts who study popular culture.

The Popular Culture Association (formally the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association) is a non-profit organization which offers a venue to share ideas and interests about the field or about a particular subject within the field. It also provides publication opportunities.

Thomas has presented at eight PCA conferences since 2009.

Two of her presentation papers have subsequently been expanded into published book chapters, both involving the legacy of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and Trek’s lasting impact on American popular culture.  

Comments Off on Thomas presents at pop culture event

Chair chronicles a year of accomplishments

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

We continue to make progress in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications. In the last year, we’ve experienced two academic program reviews, a departmental retreat, new faculty hires and numerous accolades. Here are a few highlights:

Dr. Bella Ezumah is the new graduate program director.


Dr. Stephanie Anderson has settled into her appointment as assistant professor and adviser to The Murray State News.

Dr. Sonya Noruwa, J.D., joins us as an assistant professor and 2017-18 Provost Diversity Fellow. She teaches both introductory and intermediate undergraduate courses.

Chad Lampe, MS ’08, and WKMS station manager, joins us as an adjunct to teach a special topics course titled, “Podcasting: Telling a Human Story.”

Advertising instructor Gill Welsch received MSU’s Distinguished Service Award.

Broadcaster Amy Bryan Watson, ‘89, received an MSU 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Melony Shemberger held a 2017 Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy Fellowship.

JMC faculty are making progress
Another successful round of workshops brought high school journalism and broadcast students to campus, hosted Google training sessions for faculty, students and journalists, and brought professionals on campus to interact with JMC students during Meet the Pros and Gravure Day.

Faculty won “Bring Learning to Life” grants which will enhance their ability to teach using digital technology.

This summer, a team of JMC faculty and a graduate student collaborated with Kendall Hunt publishing company to produce a curriculum-specific version of an undergraduate textbook for Contemporary Mass Media, a required core course for all our majors.

Additionally, faculty presented their research at ACA/PCA, AEJMC, BEA and MAPOR, to name a few.

We’ve rebooted our undergraduate curriculum. Faculty have renamed several courses that reflect the types of industry-skills that our JMC students are both learning and producing. Revamped titles include Advertising Capstone: The Campaign; Advanced Multimedia Reporting; Collaborative Journalism Capstone; PR Capstone: Cases and Campaigns; Capstone in Media Production. We’re further integrating Graphic Communications Media into the core curriculum for all majors through a newly designed co-requisite course, Introduction to Digital Imaging.

Graduate faculty worked with deans in the Bauernfeind College of Business to design an accelerated mass communications master’s degree program.

At our JMC departmental retreat in November, faculty explored ideas to develop an extended summer workshop for area high school media advisors and students. Participants also addressed strategies for increasing our efforts to promote diversity and inclusiveness throughout the curriculum, which we generally do practice. However, faculty agreed that in order to better emphasize these issues to our students, diversity-related items should be clearly identified in course syllabi. We will revisit the current departmental diversity plan in order to determine where new challenges might arise. The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) Diversity and Inclusiveness Standard includes matters of race, gender, physical (dis)ability, gender preference, culture, class and globalism. Ultimately, we want to establish a consistent approach to meeting, if not, surpassing this standard.

JMC students are making progress
Our students won awards and garnered recognition from organizations such as Kentucky Press Association, Kappa Tau Alpha JMC Honorary Society, and Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

They presented research at venues such as MSU’s Scholar’s Week and AEJMC.

During 2017 Homecoming weekend, students and staff and alumni of The Murray State News celebrated its 90th year of excellence!

Our students remained engaged in communities both at home and abroad. They held internships at regional and national media outlets. They earned jobs in the industry or sought advanced degrees.

Just as many other institutions of higher education are regrouping in order to meet the challenges of budget cuts and declining student enrollment, we are exploring opportunities to generate revenue via grants, workshops and new program offerings.

Our enthusiastic JMC Ambassadors will hit the recruitment trail in 2018 with a student-produced brochure and video campaign.

So, with all that’s happened this year, thank you for supporting our program, the JMC Foundation, and for keeping the Racer tradition at the forefront of your thoughts.

You’re helping us keep pace with the technology-driven changes in classroom delivery and the industry-level training that our students need in order to succeed in their fields. This is where their media careers begin. And as an alum of JMC, your support helps us continue to grow future generations of media professionals. Now, that’s progress!

We look forward to hearing from you in 2018!

Debbie Owens
interim chair

Comments Off on Chair chronicles a year of accomplishments

Norsworthy helps students find internships, jobs

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Bob Norsworthy speaks with two graduating seniors at the 2015 Meet the Pros event. Norsworthy’s advertising industry insight helps students as they seek internships and jobs.

Several years ago in a movie called “Dave” actor Kevin Kline played a look alike, stand-in of the president of the United States who had suffered a stroke.

In the movie his real job was running a “temp” agency. He got people jobs.

Murray State University’s version of “Dave” in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications is Robert “Nors” Norsworthy. After 45 years in the advertising industry, he returned home five years ago to nearby Kirksey and the family farm.

He offered his help to the department chairman, Dr. Bob Lochte, who quickly said yes and made him executive-in-residence with an office on the first floor of Wilson Hall.

Norsworthy retired as the executive vice president of Diversified Agency Services, a division of the Omnicom Group. He also had 20 years at J. Walter Thompson and 10 years at Olgilvy and Mather.

He used his many contacts in the industry to set up internships and later jobs for advertising and public relations majors in the department. In his five years at Murray State he has help place 130 internships, 27 of which led to fulltime jobs.

In order to promote Murray State’s JMC program, which is nationally accredited by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, Norsworthy arranged for advertising instructors Bob Valentine and Gill Welsch to visit with executives in the Omnicom Group.

In December, 2012 the two instructors, along with senior public relations majors with advertising minors, Kirby Feldkamp and Abigail Goss, spoke to all of the human resource directors in the Omnicom Group at a conference in New York City.

In addition, several advertising executives have come to campus to speak to classes and make presentations open to the public. In 2014 the current executive vice president of the Omnicom Group, Janet Riccio, spoke.

Most recently, Amanda Courter, HR director for Fleishman Hilliard; Elizabeth Cornish, vice president of DAS; and Liz Dreyer, HR director of Ketchum Ads; made presentations at the PR 360 conference on campus in March.

Norsworthy and Welsch, head of the advertising major, set up the procedure for the students interested in the summer internships. First, the students send to Welch a current resume and a letter of application.

Welsch then schedules the students to be interviewed by current or retired (Dr. Ann Landini, Dr. Bob McGaughey, Dr. Celia Wall) JMC faculty to see if they are ready to be successful with the internship.

Next, Norsworthy interviews the ones recommended by the screening faculty and works to place them with one of the companies in the Omnicom Group. These are in such locations as New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Atlanta, Boston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Washington, D. C.

Norsworthy follows up to ensure the students have started the internships and to see if they are having any problems. Many of the students with successful internships get jobs with the companies after they graduate.

The students can also get three hours of credit if they take the fall Internship Class (JMC 596) where they do a case study on their internship and share reports with other interns.

As of this spring, Norsworthy says 130 students have been placed with another possible 30 students to be placed.

In recognition of his service to the department and its students, the department faculty named the Outstanding Senior in Advertising annual award for him. The winning student is recognized at the annual spring JMC Honors Banquet and at the Murray State Honors Day the day before the May graduation.

While “Dave” got people jobs, “Nors” gets students internships, which lead to jobs.

Comments Off on Norsworthy helps students find internships, jobs

Assistant professor adds to her University duties

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Melony Shemberger will be serving as the interim Faculty Development Center director, which is now a part of the University Libraries.

Dr. Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication, began her fourth year of teaching at Murray State in August.

Shemberger has published in the peer-reviewed publications of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and the Teaching Journalism and Mass Communication Journal.

She has four book chapters forthcoming and has professional articles in several guidebooks published by the PR News Press, as well as the Journal of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society.

She has presented at several academic and professional conferences. Her primary research interests include journalism history, sunshine laws and journalism pedagogy.

On campus, Shemberger is chair of the Committee on Institutional Studies and Research. She will serve as vice president of the Faculty Senate for 2016-17. She also is a member of the President’s Commission on Sustainability.

Comments Off on Assistant professor adds to her University duties

Shemberger, Wright contribute to social media classroom book

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Two journalism faculty members have chapters published in a new book, Social Media in the Classroom.

Dr. Melony Shemberger and Leigh Landini Wright, assistant professors in the journalism and mass communications department, had their scholarly work to appear in the collection edited by Hana S. Noor al-Deen and published by Peter Lang Media.

The book is designed for instructors in advertising, public relations and journalism. Shemberger’s and Wright’s chapters appeared in the book’s journalism section.

Shemberger’s chapter is titled “Going on a News Consumption Diet: Engaging Students in Meaningful Current Events Discussions Through Social Media.” In it, she provides ideas on how to structure current news assignments using digital, interactive approaches.

Wright’s chapter, “Storytelling 2.0: Using Social Media Tools to Craft Multimedia Stories,” examines a variety of social media tools to enhance the multimedia storytelling experiences for journalism students.

Shemberger and Wright also provided assignments that readers could use in their classes.

Comments Off on Shemberger, Wright contribute to social media classroom book

Thomas edits journal special issue

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Elizabeth Thomas, public relations sequence head and senior lecturer in the JMC Department, served as editor of a special issue covering the state of the advertising and marketing industries today for the November 2016 edition of the Journal of Mass Communication and Journalism, an open-access online peer-reviewed international journal. 

Her article, The State of Advertising and Mass Media: Where Are We Headed?, can be read online at

Comments Off on Thomas edits journal special issue

Ezumah excels with fellowship

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

The Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business Notable Accomplishment Award recognizes faculty that excels in the area of external grant, patent, fellowship, or any other notable recognition. Ezumah’s Carnegie Foundation Fellowship qualified her for this award.

Comments Off on Ezumah excels with fellowship

McGaughey named Volunteer of the Year

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Bob McGaughey, retired professor and chairman of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, was named one of 20 Volunteers of the Year (2015-16) at the national Pi Kappa Alpha convention Aug. 6 in New Orleans. Seated is Dr. Bob McGaughey, Pike and Murray State alumni from left, Bobby Workman, Bobby Martin, Buford Anderson, George Oakley, Dan Miller, Jerry Penner and John Weatherly.

Dr. Bob McGaughey, retired chairman and professor of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, was named one of 20 Volunteers of the Year (2015-16) at the national Pi Kappa Alpha convention Aug. 6 in New Orleans.

Nominated by the MSU Pike chapter adviser and the Murray-Calloway County Hospital CEO, Jerry Penner, McGaughey was the only fraternity alumnus from Kentucky named to the list.

The fraternity headquarters noted that this was the first year for the award. It recognizes “those alumni volunteers who serve in advisory board roles mentoring chapter leadership and members in ethical decision making, chapter operations, risk management, and strategic planning.”

McGaughey, a member of the “Fabulous Forty” pledge class of spring of 1962, has served on the alumni advisory board, on the house corporation and on the committee to raise funds and build the house on 16th street. The new house, built after the Pike Lodge north of campus burned in 2004, is named for the late Dr. Hal Houston.

In addition, McGaughey has helped sponsor Rush activities and been a major donor for building the current Pike house. He also has spoken to the Epsilon Lambda chapter on its history, communications, public relations and the roles of officers.

In 1977 he was named as second person to be the Pi Kappa Alpha Distinguished Alumnus. The first one was Dr. Houston.

McGaughey joined the MSU faculty in 1969 as the adviser to The Murray State News and journalism instructor. He became department chairman in 1974.

He retired in 1997 after 27 years and 23 as chairman. He then taught part time and worked with the BIS program in MSU’s Continuing Education unit until December 2010.

McGaughey has received several awards/honors for his work at Murray State. He won the Max Carman Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1984 and was named the Distinguished Professor by the Alumni Association in 1990. In 2015 he received the Golden Horseshoe Award for continued outstanding service and support of the university.

Selected eight times to attend the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS) faculty-industry seminar in New York City, he was named the Frank Stanton Fellow as the distinguished broadcast educator in the U. S. by IRTS in 1987.

His other honors include being named to “Personalities of the South,” “International Men of the Year,” “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in the South and Southwest,” “Who’s Who Among American Teachers,” “Who’s Who in the Media and Communications,” “Who’s Who Registry of Business Leaders” and “Men of Achievement.” In 2012 he was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

McGaughey may be best known for his presentations with his close friend, Bob Valentine. The two have done communications workshops/speeches and their comedy act of Dr. Trey and Dr. Vee since 1978.

Comments Off on McGaughey named Volunteer of the Year

Shemberger elected to Phi Kappa Phi national board of directors

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Melony Shemberger, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, was elected to the national board of directors for The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi during the organization’s 2016 biennial convention held July 28-30 in Atlanta.

Shemberger, who is vice president of Murray State’s Phi Kappa Phi chapter, is the first Murray State chapter member to serve on the Society’s national board. Her two-year term will expire in August 2018 when the biennial convention is held in Minneapolis, Minn.

She was among eight candidates from chapters across the United States to vie for one of five slots on the board.

In addition to serving as a candidate for a national office, Shemberger represented Chapter 302 as its convention delegate.

Shemberger was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi in April 2010 when she was a doctoral student at Tennessee State University. Before coming to Murray State in 2013, she was the public relations officer for Chapter 191 at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn.

At Murray State, Shemberger has served the chapter as secretary and vice president. She also has been a member of the advisory council for the Society’s national magazine, Forum.

She received a national Love of Learning Award from Phi Kappa Phi in 2014 for her research in journalism history and was named the Society’s Volunteer of the Month for December 2015. She is a life member of Phi Kappa Phi.

Chapter 302 was chartered on Nov. 28, 2007, and has inducted several hundred outstanding MSU students into membership since then. The chapter seeks to recognize and encourage excellence in all academic disciplines and promote discussion of important issues across disciplinary lines. The chapter has been recognized by national headquarters as a Chapter of Excellence and a Chapter of Merit in the past three years.

Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines.

The Society’s motto is “Let the love of learning rule humanity.”

Comments Off on Shemberger elected to Phi Kappa Phi national board of directors