Archive | Students

Media pros share experience with seniors

Posted on 05 January 2018 by jmcjournal

Media professionals visited campus to talk with seniors in the JMC department. Some of the participating professionals are, front row from left: Lauren Ruser, Kim Hamby, Meredith Krones, Bob Norsworthy, Tab Brockman, Miranda Ochsner, Matt Wilham, back row from left: Chris Lovorn, Beth Klasskin, Roger Seay, Denham Rogers, William Amos, Collin Buckingham, Spencer Nowell, Jeremy McKeel, Hawkins Teague, and Dr. Debbie Owens.

 Seniors had a chance to meet and talk with professionals in their respective majors Oct. 26. The annual event began with panel discussions for each of the department’s majors. After the panel discussions, students met with the professionals in a “speed interview” reception. 

Professionals participating in the advertising panel were Robert Norsworthy, executive in residence for Murray State’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Miranda Ochsner, media strategist for HLK in St. Louis, and Matthew Wilham, junior strategist at Bisig Impact Group in Louisville, Ky. Dr. Bob McGaughey, retired department chair, was the moderator for the advertising panel.

Denham Rogers, director of marketing for Hutson, Inc. in Murray, and Chris Lovorn, vice president of sales for Quad/Graphics, were the professionals who met with graphic communications media students.

Journalism students listened to the perspectives of Beth Klasskin, executive producer of Spectrum News in Louisville, Ky., Roger Seay, news director at KFVS-TV in Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Hawkins Teague, managing editor at The Murray Ledger & Times. Leigh Wright was the moderator for the journalism panel.

Majors in public relations gained insight from William Amos, special events coordinator for the City of Mobile, Ala., Tab Brockman, superintendent of Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation in Hopkinsville, Ky., Kim Hamby, public relations director for the Mayfield, Ky., Independent School District, Meredith Krones, social media strategist for Humana in Louisville, Ky., and Lauren Ruser, digital media strategist for Second Street in St. Louis. Dr. Tim Vance was the moderator for the public relations panel discussion.

Television production majors heard from Collin Buckingham, a freelancer in the film industry from Glendale, Calif., Jeremy McKeel, director of Digital Media Services at Murray State University, and Spencer Nowell, producer for WPSD-TV in Paducah, Ky. Dr. Kevin Qualls was the moderator for the TV production panel.

Gill Welsch was the coordinator for Meet the Pros. The 2018 Meet the Pros program is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1.

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PR 360 focuses on advertising, PR students

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Dr. Bob Davies, president, Murray State University, welcomed attendees to the department’s PR 360 program on March 30. The day-long event provided a variety of workshops, seminars and career-related activities primarily for public relations and advertising students.

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Ads Club participates in NSAC

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Members of the MSU Ads Club wait their turn to present in the district round of the 2016 National Student Advertising Competition operated by the American Advertising Federation.  The competition assignment asked AAF college chapters across the U.S. to develop a marketing and advertising plan that sells Snapple tea and fruit drinks in the Midwest, South and West.  Pictured are presenters (from left) Alex Scira, Kiara Austin, Austin Gordon, Rick Elver, and Jacquelyn Patterson.  

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Eight JMC seniors named to “Who’s Who”

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Eight of the 109 MSU seniors selected to the 2016-17 “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities” had majors in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications.

They were Alexandra Buesking, Hailey Harrison, Elanor Lorenz, Megan Miller, Amanda Neat, Abigail Seigel, Shelby Smithson and Alissa Sommerfeldt.

Buesking had a major in public relations with a minor in marketing. She was a member of Public Relations Student Society of America and had an internship with Waterhouse Public Relations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

She was an officer in Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and was vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Council.

A honors student, Harrison majored in public relations with a marketing minor. She studied in London as part of the CCSA Study Abroad Program.

On campus she was secretary of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, a Student Ambassador and a student worker in MSU’s Office of the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs.

She worked a summer internship in account management with Fathom Communications in New York City.

Lorenz, who majored in public relations with a minor in marketing, was special events intern with Anheuser Busch in St. Louis. She also served as a brand ambassador with Switch in St. Louis.

A member of the women’s volleyball team that has won three consecutive OVC titles, she was awarded the Ohio Valley Medal of Honor and on the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Miller had a double major in public relations and creative writing. She served as managing editor of Notations, the undergraduate literary journal, and participated in the KIIS Study Abroad program in Italy.

She was vice president for membership for Sigma Alpha Iota and served as a Mentor for four students with disabilities each semester.

A public relations major with a minor in marketing, Neat was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

She served as an intern with Go! Experience Design in Atlanta, as marketing intern with Qdoba Mexican Eats in Murray and as a writer for The Odyssey Online.

Neat was a member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, a Murray State Racer Girl, a Student Affairs Peer Mentor and a Great Beginnings Leader.

Siegel had a double major of public relations and youth and nonprofit leadership with a minor in organizational communication. She was in the Honors Program and did a Study Abroad program in Bangalore, India.

She was news editor for The Murray State News, a Peace Corps Campus Ambassador and a writer for The Profiles Project.

Siegel served as an advocate for CASA by the Lakes, a missions counselor for the Baptist Campus Ministry, a Resident Adviser in Residential Life, an officer on the Honors Student Council and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Smithson had a major in TV production and a minor in journalism. On campus, she worked as co-host/co-producer for MSU 2Nite and as segment editor for “Holidays at Murray State.”

She interned with WPSD-Local 6 in Paducah and was co-host and field reporter for MSU’s Digital Media Service. She was an officer in Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and a member of the MSU TV Club, the Campus Activities Board and the Winners Circle.

A public relations major with an advertising minor, Sommerfeldt was a member of the Honors Program and participated in the 
Study Abroad program in London.

She served as public relations intern for the MSU Alumni Association, as communications intern for Caterpillar, as media representative for VoiceBox Media and as public relations intern for RiverPark Center.

Sommerfeldt was president of Public Relations Student Society of America, a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and a resident advisor in the MSU Housing system.

Gill Welsch, head of the advertising major and advisor for the MSU Ads Club, noted that two seniors selected from outside the JMC department were members of the Ads Club—Patrick Burke (marketing area and a German major) and Jamie Stengel (economics and German double major).

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The News nominated for Pacemaker

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

The Murray State News was recognized at the ACP conference as a nominee for the Pacemaker Award. Representing The News at the conference was Stephanie Elder, adviser; Ashley Traylor, staff writer; Gisselle Hernandez, features editor; and Connor Jaschen, editor in chief.

The Murray State News was recognized in October as one of the top collegiate newspapers in the country.

The News was named one of 30 finalists for the coveted Pacemaker award from the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP). ACP gives the award out to four categories of publications: online, newspaper, yearbook and magazine. Teams of professionals judge the entries based on coverage and content, quality of writing and reporting, leadership, design, photography and graphics, according to the ACP website.

This is not the first time the student publication has been recognized for this top honor. The Murray State News won the Pacemaker award in 2004 and was last nominated in 2006.

The work of the 2015-16 staff of The Murray State News puts the newspaper in the top 1 percent in the United States, according to the Associated Collegiate Press.

Connor Jaschen, editor-in-chief, Gisselle Hernandez, features editor, Ashley Traylor, staff writer, and Stephanie Elder Anderson, faculty adviser, represented Murray State at the ACP national conference in Washington in October to accept the finalist award.

The News representatives attended dozens of sessions at the conference as well as toured the White House and the Newseum.

They also had the opportunity to hear speakers such as Donna Brazile, Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman, Bob Woodward, one of the two journalists responsible for breaking the Watergate scandal, and Edward Snowden, the former intelligence officer who revealed in 2013 that the NSA was seizing private records of billions of U.S. citizens.

Stephanie Elder Anderson met Bob Woodward at the ACP national conference.

Jaschen, Traylor and Hernandez toured the White House as part of the conference events

After listening to Washington Post journalist, Bob Woodward speak, Elder Anderson was honored to meet the award-winning author and have him sign her copy of All the President’s Men, a book she uses to teach investigative journalism in her courses.

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Students study health issues

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Students in JMC 597 Advanced Reporting delved into the world of health care reporting for their spring and fall 2016 projects.

The spring 2016 class examined the challenges far western Kentuckians face when dealing with health insurance. Stories ranged from newsfeatures about people who could not afford insurance premiums to podcasts about recent action by the state legislature regarding several health care bills. Their site is

The fall 2016 class undertook the challenge of examining mental health resources in far western Kentucky. Students produced newsfeature stories, podcasts and multimedia in-depth stories on their site:

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Two initiated into leadership society

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

JMC students Connor Jaschen and Anna Quitmeyer were initiated into the Murray State Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society.

Jaschen is a junior public relations major and serves as editor in chief of The Murray State News. Quitmeyer is a senior public relations major.

Omicron Delta Kappa recognizes outstanding scholarship and leadership in one of five areas: scholarship, community or campus activities, athletics, journalism and mass media and the performing arts.

Founded in 1914 on the campus of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, Omicron Delta Kappa was the first college honor society of a national scope to recognize leadership service in extracurricular activities.

For information about the MSU Circle, contact adviser Leigh Wright at 809-4741 or

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Adviser, EIC gain hands-on training

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

New faculty student media adviser, Stephanie Elder Anderson, and newly-elected editor-in-chief of The Murray State News, Connor Jaschen, attended the College Media Association (CMA) and the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) summer workshop in July in Minneapolis.

The workshop provided hands-on training, critiques, an idea forum and resource room giving attendees the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with the workshop’s speakers and instructors to examine coverage issues, learn digital processes, develop newsroom policies, critique portfolios and resumés, discuss newsroom management as well as the direction the student publications would like to explore in the future.

Jaschen and Elder Anderson spent four days learning their new roles and interacting with advisers and EICs from around the country. The training allowed the two to bring new ideas back to Murray State.

“The CMA/ACP conference really helped me learn how to lead the newsroom,” Jaschen said. “I got the chance to connect and figure out ways to help our organization across the board.”

The leadership track for editors focused on audience analysis, content, management, leadership, engagement and media law.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I would recommend for any student in journalism,” Jaschen said.

The adviser’s training focused on how to manage, recruit, train and motivate millennials and what advisers need to know about technology, media law, ethics, campus relationship and the business side of the business.

Elder Anderson also earned the College Media Association’s adviser certification.

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Student athletes receive unique commencement ceremony

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

Held on May 14, the Spring Commencement ceremony for the Murray State University Class of 2016 featured recipients of 1,565 degrees and certificates. The full regalia of University faculty and staff, distinguished guests, ceremonial music, unforgettable memories and capacity crowd of family and friends filled the CFSB Center.

However, for 11 graduating student athletes, the reality of post-season competition created a scheduling dilemma and inability to participate in Saturday’s ceremony.

  Through the efforts of University faculty and staff, the small group of 11 graduates were given a unique ceremony the following afternoon that provided as many of the special sights and sounds as one would expect at graduation.

  This spring’s Commencement marked the 90th anniversary of the University’s first graduating class in 1926. Interestingly enough, that initial ceremony took place in Wrather Auditorium, site of the student athlete commencement.

  Senior lecturer in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Robert Valentine welcomed guests who had assembled for the special event, “recognizing their [student athletes’] achievement as scholars and their service as athletes.”

Faculty and staff, including University President Dr. Bob Davies, took their places in the auditorium while the 11 graduates entered and were seated in the first row. Dr. Todd Hill provided the music.

During the ceremony, Murray State Director of Athletics Allen Ward reminded the 11 graduates that they will always be part of the Racer family.

  “Today is bigger than any race or championship you will ever win,” said Ward. “You have achieved the ultimate goal and now you find yourself fully prepared for an incredibly bright future.”

  President Davies offered similar encouraging words while challenging the graduates to “not only excel in your chosen occupation, but to take what you’ve learned from your teammates, take what you’ve learned from your classes and professors and inspire hope in others”.

  Senior Emma Gilmore, a distance runner with the women’s track and field team and public relations major, thanked the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty, the Murray State athletic department and President Davies for their efforts in arranging the special commencement ceremony.

  Gilmore, with the help of the JMC Department faculty and University staff, were quickly able to secure a site and other logistical needs earlier this spring in order to provide a proper ceremony for the impacted students.

“I can’t explain how much this [commencement ceremony] means to me,” said Gilmore. “Murray State has gone above and beyond all expectations. It’s unbelievable and I’m very grateful. Being a student athlete from Murray State University has been an honor and a privilege.”

One by one, each of the 11 student athletes approached the stage to receive their degree from President Davies while shaking his hand. Once commissioned as graduates, caps were thrown in the air, smiles and tears were present, and photos soon followed — no different than the previous day.

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JMC honors top students

Posted on 30 December 2016 by jmcjournal

The top students in each of the department’s programs were recognized at the annual JMC Honors banquet on April 26. From left: Dr. Bob Lochte, department chair; Parker Franklin, journalism; Ashley Samuelson, advertising; Brandon Story, TV production; Brennan Handley, public relations; and Dr. Debbie Owens, graduate coordinator and incoming interim chair.

Six JMC students were recognized by the department as the best in their respective academic programs at the spring honors banquet. They were Ashley Samuelson, Ryan Freeman, Parker Franklin, Brennan Handley, Brandon Story and Ahmad Alfadhli.

Samuelson was the outstanding senior in advertising. She had a successful internship with Energy BBDO in Chicago.

She was a member of the Ads Club, an officer in Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and a member of Elizabeth Residential College.

A double major in business administration and graphics communications management, Freeman was the top senior in GCM.

He worked in the Alumni Center and was an US Census worker.

Franklin was the outstanding senior in journalism. A minor in sports communication, he was a reporter for WKMS-FM. He was a Provost Scholar.

Handley was the top senior in public relations, A marketing minor, she had marketing internships on campus with the Center for Telecommunications Systems Management and off campus with Maritz IT Service.

She was a member of Public Relations Student Society of America, Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and Best Buddies.

Story was the outstanding senior in television production. A minor in journalism, he worked for “Roundabout U,” “Racer Vision” and the MSU Digital Media Service in video production.

He also worked as a videographer with the OVC Digital Network and in TV production with the First Methodist Church.

Story was a member of the TV Club, Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Chi, Phi Kappa Phi, the Racer Pep Band and the Racer Marching Band. He served as vice president and president of the Racer Marching Bank.

The outstanding graduate student, Afadhli came to Murray State as an international student in the ESL program in the spring of 2014.

He graduated in December 2015 with a 4.0 GPA.

His comprehensive project, “Propaganda and Politics: The Role of Social Media in the Arab Spring,” found that although social media played a minimal role in setting the agenda for the Arab Spring, it was instrumental in amplifying the agenda and increasing the reach of the movement.

He is currently working in public relations in his native Kuwait and looking at several doctoral programs.

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