News Engagement Day success!

Despite the disheartening statistics behind Millennials and their involvement with current news, Dr. Kelly Kaufhold spent News Engagement Day (Tuesday, Oct. 4) proving otherwise. Once again, Kaufhold did an amazing job last week engaging students in the best way possible. A “Cash Cab” style questionnaire and fantastic incentives kept the students crossing the front of LBJ Student Center curious. Kaufhold was able to draw in many students enthusiastic to prove their knowledge on current events. Even though some of Kaufhold’s questions left participants scratching their heads, he accumulated large crowds with correct answers! A perfect mix of pop culture and politics revealed that these students are far from letting statistics determine their standards of news involvement.

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Save the Date for Mass Comm Week 2016!

photo-oct-22-1-00-23-pmMass Communication Week (#mcweek) is a few days away, and the SJMC is very excited for this year’s event! The week long conference brings in a wide variety of speakers and panelists, such as Google, Dieste, Univision, and GSD&M, all of which should be of interest to our mass communication students.

In addition to guest speakers and panelists coming to our great school, a variety of workshops and hands-on sessions will be offered to the students. There will be an average of seven sessions scheduled each day. On October 26, there will be a networking etiquette workshop put on by Career Services. The goal is to prepare students for the speed networking event on Oct. 27, immediately followed by the “Network and Chill” informal reception at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 27 for students, alumni, faculty, speakers, advisory council and special guests.

Committee Chair Emmeline Olson, said she is looking forward to the various networking and career development sessions. “What seem like basic or innate skills actually need to be learned and practiced,” said Olson. She added, “Some of the other sessions are more knowledge- or learning-based. The soft skills gained from the networking and career development events create that next step toward getting a job.”

Mass Comm Week committee member A.J Arreguin will oversee the Public Relations, Photography and Hachar teams made up of undergraduate students who are putting the entire event together. Arreguin said he is excited to see how his team members will implement their ideas for the entire event.

The full schedule is posted on the website ( Check the schedule and arrive early because space may be limited. You can follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest updates.

Join us for “Cash Cab” on News Engagement Day!

image2.PNGHelp SJMC’s Dr. Kelly Kaufhold celebrate News Engagement Day on Tuesday, Oct. 4 with a “Cash Cab” from 12-1 p.m. outside the LBJ Student Center. Students who answer his current events questions correctly can have a chance to win some fabulous prizes. This special day was created by the AEJMC to encourage students to “read, watch, like, tweet, post, text, email, listen to, or comment on news.”

Started out from a national academic conference AEJMC in 2014, News Engagement Day has become a global event. Every year, exactly one month before the election day, people in all 50 states and dozens of countries encourage young people to explore news and raise awareness about the importance of being informed citizens.


In preparation for the big day, Dr. Kaufhold has been tweeting his heart out on Twitter at @kkaufhold with question hints for students. When the event is done, Dr. Kaufhold plans to measure this as a research project. Research has shown that the Millennial generation tends to ignore and get less involved in the news. However, through efforts like News Engagement Day, we hope to pique students’ curiosity about the news and get students involved. For more information, follow #newsengagementday or visit the official News Engagement Day website at

Gilbert Martinez reunited with Okinawa

SJMC Senior Lecturer and Assistant Director Gilbert Martinez is known by many students for his life-questioning lectures and incomparable humor. But few are aware of what Martinez has been missing for the past 21 years of his life, or to be more precise, whom.

Martinez spent his summer preparing to present research to scholars in Okinawa, Japan which happens to be the birthplace of his mother. Although traveling across the world for business, Martinez will soon find the lost puzzle piece to his ancestry.


Martinez and wife with Okinawa family.

It started at the beginning May with an invitation to the Fifth Annual Symposium on International Business and Social Science. The conference has always been in Japan but what caught Martinez’s attention was the exact city it was taking place in, Okinawa. Martinez was thrilled to finally have a perfect opportunity to reunite with his family that he hasn’t seen in 21 years. His last trip to Okinawa was with his mother and siblings in 1995; unfortunately, six months after the trip Martinez’s mother passed away. After her death, Gilbert lost all contact with his Japanese roots. “When it comes down to it, half of my life was empty for 21 years because we really just lost touch,” said Martinez. Gilbert knew the search for his family wasn’t going to be easy but with hard work and good friends he knew it was possible.

Martinez’s first thought was to contact some friends who lived in Tokyo; one personal friend and a Texas State University alumni who is a Tokyo correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. After a few online searches in Japan there were still no major leads. Martinez then went through a box of old papers and found his mother’s old address book that contained the names of his cousins and uncle. Although it seemed like a major breakthrough, the information fell short since his uncle had passed and all of his cousins were married women with new last names. The biggest clue was found by Gilbert’s sister in-law who had his mother’s old wallet. In the wallet was a card to a flower shop that his family worked at in Okinawa and is still a thriving business today. Even though the staff of the flower shop had no knowledge of Martinez’s family, they were determined to help find them. He sent a picture of his trip from 1995 to the employees with hopes that they would recognize at least one of his family members. It just so happened that one of Gilbert’s cousin Kiyomi was featured in the local paper for becoming the first female fire captain for the Okinawa City Fire Department. The flower shop employee showed up to the fire station, asked if she was the girl in the picture and it was a match! Kiyomi even expressed she had been searching for Gilbert and his siblings as well.

After spending a few days at the symposium, Gilbert was finally reunited with his family. Martinez was overjoyed to see his aunt Yoko, who was his mother’s only surviving sibling living in her 70’s. Through mannerisms, gestures and movements he saw so much of his mother in Yoko and the rest of his family. Martinez said, “My biggest take a way (from the trip) is the importance of family. Even when you lose touch, even after 21 years have passed, family is family; there is nothing like it in the world.”  Over two decades of separation and searching from both ends, Gilbert and his Japanese origins were joined once again.

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SJMC students get #social

Photo from Twitter user @priscillam_28

Photo from Twitter user @priscillam_28

In mass communication, it has become increasingly important to see social media, such as Twitter, as a way to engage with communities outside people’s individual social spheres. And that’s exactly what students have done in Senior Lecturer Jon Zmikly’s Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media class. One of his assignments, the “Twitter Scavenger Hunt,” was inspired by CUNY Grad School of Journalism Social Journalism Director Carrie Brown-Smith‘s assignment of the same name.

Zmikly’s students found their unique voice among the social media noise and discovered new people to follow, promote their school, discover other people’s’ stories or see a new perspective on campus. This assignment helps students think like a storyteller, think like a persuasive communicator, and show the world what’s so great about Texas State University! Click here or view the Storify below to see some of students’ work.

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Helping TXST Athletics show off new football locker room in 360

lockersThe Texas State University Athletics Department is showing off its sparkling, brand-new football locker room – and asked for the help of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to do so.

Athletics contacted the SJMC to assist with 360-degree photos and videos to highlight the new facility on social media.

“Creating interesting content is a great way for us to get that interaction with the Bobcat fan, and 360-degree photos and videos are some of the newest forms of media to utilize on Facebook and YouTube,” said John McElfresh, the assistant director of marketing, promotions and video for Athletics. “SJMC continues to operate on the edge of technology and prepares students by exposing them to real world experiences and equipment, so it was an easy decision to reach out and see if they could help and educate us in this venture.”

SJMC senior lecturer Jon Zmikly, who heads the 360-degree photo and video efforts for the School, visited the new locker room this past Sunday for a photo and video shoot.

“The process was impressively quick,” McElfresh said. “Jon shot the video and did his magic and had it to us within a few hours. The quality of the photo and videos was great.”

Changes in the football locker room include replacing 15-year-old lockers, which were funded with private donations. The new lockers include:

  • Keypad-locking mechanism
  • Electricity for phone chargers
  • A ventilated shoulder pad rack and compartment
  • Custom maroon, padded seating
  • Brushed steel branded hooks
  • An LED-lit Supercat
  • Custom name plates for each player

The 360-degree photo was posted to Facebook later that afternoon and has been a huge hit with Bobcat fans.

“The post reached nearly 40,000 Bobcat fans in less than 24 hours on Facebook,” McElfresh said. “That kind of exposure will open up more opportunities for interaction in future posts and help spread that Texas State pride.”

New DMI major approved

hand touching touch pad, social media concept

After many months of preparation and planning, the SJMC is proud to announce the Digital Media Innovation & Mass Communication major has been approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Now that it’s official, students can declare the major!

Dr. Cindy Royal, professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, led the efforts for the major. “I am pleased the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and our Texas State University System Board of Regents values this innovative, new approach to media education,” Dr. Royal said. “I am confident that this program will result in excellent career opportunities for students who receive a degree in Digital Media Innovation.”

Students who are currently majors or pre-majors in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and do not need any academic advising may declare the new major by completing this form.

Students who wish to declare the new major and need academic advising should call 512-245-1932 to make an advising appointment. During the advising appointment your major can be updated.

Media Innovation Lab Coming Soon

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication has add a new addition to the program. Starting this fall, students will be able to receive a BS in Digital Media Innovation. The Digital Media Innovation major will prepare students for any new and emerging media roles. Check out the gallery below to catch a sneak peek of the new Media Innovation Lab!


Twitter Takeover

Last week, alum and former Fundamentals of Digital Media (FDOM) Grad Assistant Randy Estevanes took over our Twitter account. He showed us and our followers what it’s like to work at a digital marketing firm.

Coffee might wake you up, but Red Bull gives you wings!

Always remember to proofread. It helps you iron out any unnecessary errors.

The SJMC also hires interns to assist in content creation and social media marketing. Learn more about it here.

Don’t forget to check out Esd & Associates when you’re looking for fall internships!

What better way to promote Goodwill on social media then with real authentic pictures!

Randy uses for its variety of design presentations, social media graphics and thousands of layouts.

Nice collage!

How awesome is it that Esd & Associates provides healthy snacks for them? #Winning

Knowing how to schedule post is an great tool to have under your belt!

Take note student: Google Adwords is a MAJOR asset!

Thank you again, Randy, for showing us your world. Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat! #Eat’emUp

Get to know Professor Prisca Ngondo

Have you met SJMC’s own Prisca Ngondo? Professor Ngondo teaches in the public relations sequence in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and she sat down with us this week to tell us a few things her students and colleagues might know about her. For this faulty spotlight, we thought it would be fun to find out what she likes to do when she’s not busy grading papers and more. Check it out below!

Q: Where are you from and currently live?

A: Harare, Zimbabwe, but I also claim the DFW (Dallas/ Forth Worth) and San Marcos, Texas. I currently live in San Marcos, Texas.

Q: How do you feel about Texas compared to your hometown?

A: They’re both hot! I can’t escape the heat.

Q: How long have you been with the SJMC?

A: Since August, 2015

Q: What’s different from this school compared to other schools you’ve worked with?

A: One main difference that I enjoy: Texas State is close to big cities, and it gives us access to industry professionals who we can connect with. Chico State is more remote, but I enjoyed both experiences for different reasons.

 Q: What courses do you teach?

A: Writing for PR, PR Research, Advanced Social Media and Analytics, Intro to PR

Q: How will the new Advanced Social Media and Analytics class help prepare students for the future?  

A: The class will help students because [social media] is the future. It prepares them to fill current industry needs and trends.

Q: What are some of your hobbies or things you enjoy doing outside of work?

A: Binge watching Netflix shows and hanging out with family and friends.

Q: What inspires you? 

A: My 3-year-old daughter, Yani. Her fresh, unbiased outlook on life is refreshing. She inspires me to be a better person and to work hard at work and at home.

Q: What do you find most fulfilling or rewarding about teaching college students?  

A: Their zest for life and willingness to learn.

Q: Any advice you have for current SJMC students?

A: Start how you want to finish!