Interview with Beth Clark on Mass Comm Week

Beth ClarkWe interviewed Beth Clark, a senior lecturer at Texas State, on her involvement with Mass Comm Week

Q: What is your role in preparing for Mass Comm Week?

A: I’m supervising Charlotte Singleton, the grad assistant, and we each have various responsibilities. She’s working on getting parking arrangements set up for our guest speakers. She’s also working with Bobcat Promotions on proofreading and copy editing the content they put up on the website, which consists of profiles of our guest speakers, social media and press releases. I am working with faculty on who exactly we want to bring in. We are getting in photos right now so we have progressive deadlines throughout these last several weeks, and our faculties have been providing names of speakers they want their students to hear from. So this all really started last spring.

One of our centerpieces of Mass Comm Week is actually at the beginning of the week with a documentary screening of the film A Fragile Trust. Charlotte has been working on that since January. She’s been working with Alkek Library to order that film, and we do now have it. It will be shown on Monday at 6:30 pm at Alkek. The bonus is that we will have the director with us, Samantha Grant, one of the many people Cindy Royal met last year during her fellowship in California.

We’re getting ready for Mass Comm Week by pulling all the pieces together, and that includes food for our guests, a little souvenir gift for them from Mass Comm Week (and that includes ordering food and beverages for our reception out at Spring Lake), reservation to the room.

Q: What would you say has been the most challenging aspect of getting Mass Comm Week together?

A: It’s just getting the speakers on the days that they are free. I think that’s the most complicated thing. Working with our schedule, the room schedule, the faculty’s desire for when they want to see speakers speak to their classes, and then of course, their own personal schedules. Our schedule is subject to change, because we are hosting reporters and editors. They may just get called out on assignment, and there is nothing we can do about it. That’s just the nature of the business that we are in. It’s a work in progress, which is good for our students to see and to realize it doesn’t all come out perfectly.

Q: What event do you think will be most beneficial for SJMC students?

A: There are so many to pick from! They really should go to the screening of A Fragile Trust. That would be at the top of my list, just to learn a hard lesson from the experience of one journalist who was a rising star at the New York Times who crashed and nearly took the paper with him.

So that would be my first choice, but for overall experience, and depending on your track, we have a panel discussion that will explore how the different media covered the Fort Hood shooting from last spring. It’s a combination of professional media folks from Austin American States Man and our own campus media students. So I want our audience to hear from them what were some of the processes they went through in order to figure out how are we going to cover this, who are we going to send, where are they going to go and who are the contacts. It’s a complex process, and it’s even more complex with the aspect of social media, although that certainly feeds into the knowledge base, too.

Another overall view would be (and this is not quite set in stone, yet) Media Coverage of Minorities, specifically geared toward LGBT. We have a student who attended a journalism conference related to that topic, and we are hoping to get another person who is in the profession who can speak to that topic. I think there is going to be a lot of interest in that.

Beyond those three, I’d say just individual speakers who are tailored to your interests. I think there are going to be several who will just be dynamite speakers. Finally, we will have our meet and greet on Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Q: Is there any one thing that you are personally looking forward to most?

A: I am hoping that Joyce King will be here. She is an author out of Dallas. If she can be here, she will also serve as a common experience speaker. She is the author of two books. The one I am most familiar with is A Review of Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas. She is a journalist who was working for a broadcast station in Dallas when all of that happened, and she was sent to cover that story. It’s a very interesting story of race, bias and prejudice. She had spoken to my classes up in Denton several years ago, and it’s a very healing voice to cut across the lines.

Study Abroad in Paris / London

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Study Abroad in London & Paris!
Information Session on October 13 at 3:30 p.m. in OM 320
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication will sponsor another summer study abroad program in summer 2015. We will be going to London and Paris from June 8-19, 2015.
In addition to visiting some significant cultural sites in both cities, we will visit major media organizations like the BBC, The Guardian (newspaper), advertising and PR agencies and other organizations. Students will have ample time to explore both cities on their own as well.
Graduate and undergraduate students take six credit hours of coursework as part of this experience. They can choose two courses from among the following:
  • MC5310/MC 4310- International Communication
  • MC5324/4382O-Media Writing/Travel Journalism
  • MC 4376F-Strategic Communication in the UK and France

None of these courses have prerequisites.

The usual financial aid is available for the academic tuition and fees. The University also offers a scholarship program that assists many students with some of the travel costs.
For more information attend the information meeting on Monday, October 13 at 3:30 pm in Old Main.
Students thinking about going to London/Paris summer 2015 for our @sjmctxst study tour can see photos from this year at #SJMCinUK.

For more information, email Harry Bowers at

New SJMC Classes for the Spring

Students at Texas State This spring, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications will be offering new classes which will range from one hour to three hours worth of credit. The classes will include:

  • MC 1100D – Digital Entrepreneurship
  • MC 4376F – Strategic Communication in the UK and France
  • MC 4382U – Advanced Social Media and Analytics
  • MC 4382V – Mobile Media and Development

1100D Digital Entrepreneurship This course will explore innovation and creativity associated with digital entrepreneurship. Through a speaker series, students will be introduced to important concepts and ideas from thought leaders and innovators at the intersection of media and technology. 4376F Strategic Communication in the UK and France This course will explore advertising and public relations practices in the UK and France through readings, discussion and study tour site visits media organizations in London and Paris. Marketing practices abroad will be compared to those in the U.S 4382U Advanced Social Media and Analytics This course will provide students with an advanced understanding of social media, marketing plans and social media analytics. Students will build company and/or journalistic profiles on the top social networks – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram and more – to engage with audiences and communities and utilize analytical tools to track success. Prerequisite: Full-Major status and MC 4381 with a grade of C or higher. 4382V Mobile Media and Development This course will introduce students to mobile communication and production that is relevant to mass communication. As mobile devices are a vital communication medium in our everyday life, it is essential to understand how mobile communication works and how to effectively produce online content for mobile devices. Prerequisite: Full-Major status and MC 4315 with a grade of C or higher.   We are excited for the upcoming classes and are looking forward to seeing the SJMC students in them! For more information on these classes, schedule an appointment with a counselor.

Being the Voice of Texas State University

By Shannon Bailie

Photo by: Paige Vaughn Photography

Photo by Paige Vaughn Photography

Mindy Green, a public relations alumna, interned for the Office of University Marketing at Texas State University last spring as a student social media worker. Mindy gained valuable PR experience through a variety of duties including: managing the content for Texas State’s social media sites (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), writing for the Texas State blog and editing marketing materials.

“I love[d] it,” said Green. “It [was] great to kind of be the voice of a brand, essentially. I become the voice of Texas State when I’m tweeting as Texas State.”

Mindy has also promoted Texas State’s KTSW radio for more than two years including running the KTSW social media sites.

“Having done the social media for KTSW I knew what it was like to be the voice of another brand,” said Green. “Everything I wrote was read by thousands of people, so it helped me pay attention to detail. That really helped when they were considering me for the position of student social media worker for the Office of University Marketing.”

In the spring of 2013, one of Green’s friends heard about a student social media position opening up in May.

“My friend who knows my personality and skills thought of me immediately as a good candidate for this position,” said Green. “So I emailed the supervisor, and she requested my resume with two writing samples, and I got called in for an interview and found out weeks after that I got the position.”

Audrey Webb, writer, editor and supervisor for the Office of University Marketing, said, “It impressed me that the stress of an interview did nothing to suppress Mindy’s personality. She projected maturity, competency and energy and did it all with a smile.“

For Green, her internship was not just for school credit, it was to gain out-of-class experience that would prepare her for a PR career.

“It’s one thing sitting in class and talking about the professional world,” said Green. “It’s another to actually be in that environment and see how things are done and how things are run more clearly.”

According to Webb, an internship helps you understand that everyone you work with relies on you, and that your work is significant and meaningful to a wide range of people.

“I’ve seen her confidence grow through the way she tackles unfamiliar situations,” said Webb. “She knows she can face new challenges because she’s had the opportunity to confront them during her internship.”

Green’s advice for other School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) students looking for an internship is to join the media organizations provided on campus, use social media, reach out to professors and fellow students and to get involved in SJMC events and activities.

“Don’t be afraid to just really put yourself out there.” Mindy said.

Texas State Alum launches professional career working for the Houston Rockets

houstonBy Alise Lyles:

What do you want to be when you grow up?” was never a difficult question for Texas State alum (2012) Kevin Rawls.  “All I knew was that I wanted to merge the two things I enjoyed most into a career: sports and mass communications”, said Rawls. Today, Rawls finds the perfect balance between his childhood dream and his career path by landing a marketing job with the NBA’s Houston Rockets.

Rawls majored in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations for reasons he believes many take for granted; the ability to interact and communicate effectively on an everyday basis with new people. Rawls expresses that having the opportunity to do that for the rest of his life is something he looks forward to.

Since a child, Rawls has always had an interest in sports and an even more so an appreciation for the game of basketball. As a former athlete himself, he is intrigued by the thought of working around professional athletes on a more personal, day-to-day basis.

“Working with them has given me the opportunity to meet countless NBA players, professionals and corporate partners and make lasting impressions”, said Rawls.

Rawls credits the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for helping him in preparation for his job with the Houston Rockets. Specifically, PR Campaigns course with Chuck Kaufman made the largest impact says Rawls.

“What I like about [Kaufman] is that he goes above and beyond to help anyone, not just his students, to find the job they are looking for. He wants to make sure that graduating seniors aren’t left in the dark desperately looking for a job after they leave Texas State, and I can say he definitely did that for me”, said Rawls.

Rawls stresses the meaning of using your resources to the fullest in order to reach your full potential as an employee. Rawls urges students currently on the job hunt or searching for internships is to be VIGILANT, especially when it comes to the use of resources and weighing out options.

“You are a walking resume. Every day is a day to show others who you are and what you are about because someone is always watching even when you don’t realize it.

SJMC Student Learns the Ropes of the Performing Arts Industry


Horton (far right) having a meeting with fellow Long Center interns

By Colin Ashby:

Alexandria Horton is one student who has used her performing arts experience into landing her dream job.

Horton is currently a junior at Texas State University majoring in mass communication-public relations with a minor in media studies.

As her internship at The Long Center for the Performing Arts in Austin comes to a close, she has already found her next position. This summer, Horton works as an intern for the New York Musical Theatre Festival in New York City.

“I had been planning on getting a New York City internship for over a year. It’s great to see that my work has paid off,” Horton said.

Last fall, at the start of her junior year at Texas State, Horton was starting out at a new internship with The Long Center. She had developed a thorough understanding of performing arts and the public relations industry through her internship duties working as a marketing intern.

Horton had always loved the variety of things within the performing arts. Growing up, she would spend her spare time attending theatre shows, visiting art events and watching musicals. Coming to Texas State, she was unsure of what career path to pick until a professor offered advice.

“My Introduction to Public Relations professor Bruce Smith said ‘to have a great job, one should marry their career with their passion.’” Horton said.

One day, at the end of the summer, she decided to fill out an application for an internship at The Long Center in Austin, Texas. She knew the Long Center would be a great way to get experience in the performing arts and public relations industries. A few days after a phone interview, she got the position as a marketing intern.

Working at the Long Center gave her the confidence to achieve anything in the workplace, she said. A typical day at her internship involves doing anything from managing marketing to helping out with the finance or development department.

“There is never a moment where there is nothing to do. I always find something to work on,” she said.

As for her spending the summer in New York City, Horton said she will experience all New York City has to offer. She plans to move there after her graduation in May 2015.

“Gaining experience at the Long Center has given me the confidence to follow my career dreams.” Horton said.


Father’s MS challenge inspires a PR purpose


By Brenda Brantley:

As Leah Keyworth prepares to graduate from Texas State University, she is certain of one thing – a future in nonprofits.

When Keyworth was six years old, her father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). More than 2.5 million people worldwide suffer from MS and there is currently no known cure. Keyworth’s father has a very progressive form of MS, allowing little feeling and mobility in his hands and legs. Although her father is in a wheelchair, Keyworth says “he has an extraordinary spirit and makes light of his condition.”

In 2011, Keyworth coordinated a poker tournament fundraiser to raise awareness about MS in honor of her father through a local multiple sclerosis nonprofit organization. Her goal was collect $500 in donations. With help from family and friends, she was able to raise more than $3,000. Keyworth was also placed fourth in individual fundraising for MS in Houston.

Now having her feet wet in the nonprofit world and obtaining real-world experience in event planning, Keyworth says she has found her calling.  She is currently the Public Relations Director-Intern at the LBJ Museum in San Marcos. At the museum, Leah coordinates private events for members and fundraises events for the museum. Working for the museum has really given Keyworth insight into nonprofits, as well as further experience with event planning and fundraising.

Keyworth also stays busy planning events for friends and family. On her blog Confetti & Cocktail Parties, she shares pictures of events she has planned, DIY projects, recipes and “inspiration for your next event.”

Keyworth graduated from Texas State University this past May and made plans to return to her hometown in Houston. With her sights set on working for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and a PR degree in hand, Keyworth looks forward to putting her experience into action and becoming a voice for those affected by a disease that needs a cure.







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