Texas Monthly intern: Be Passionate to Land Internships

Taylor Tompkins standing outside The University Star building

Taylor Tompkins is currently the news editor for The University Star and editorial intern for Texas Monthly

By Leslie Warren:

For journalism junior Taylor Tompkins, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) has been invaluable to her success.

“Opportunities offered through The University Star and SJMC have provided me with real-life tools,” Tompkins said. “No other school could have prepared me as thoroughly as SJMC has.”

Tompkins is currently an editorial intern at Texas Monthly magazine in downtown Austin and news editor at The University Star at Texas State University.

At Texas Monthly, Tompkins is responsible for transcribing interviews, researching, working on data projects, and doing background reporting for journalists.

She applied for Texas Monthly in October 2013 and was hired in early December.

“I was actually turned down initially,” Tompkins said. “They wanted seniors, so they told me to apply in the fall. However, they really liked my resume and were really impressed by my work, so they emailed me the next day and said they opened a position for me even though I was only a junior.”

Tompkins said her Texas Monthly internship has significantly improved her skills as a journalist.

“Transcribing reporters’ interviews sounds boring, but it really has helped me hone and develop my own skills by listening to how they ask questions and using [their techniques] in my own work,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins credits SJMC classes for providing her the skills necessary to obtain this internship.

“It has just been so great,” Tompkins said. “I would recommend this program to anyone.”

To students looking for internships at Texas Monthly, the The University Star, or elsewhere, Tompkins gives the following advice:

“Show that you are eager and passionate about what you are doing,” Tompkins said. “I think they would rather hire someone who is eager and passionate than someone who has more experience but no enthusiasm. You can teach good reporting, but you cannot force someone to care or become a go-getter. I think that is how I have gotten every internship I ever applied for.”

Edit: Taylor Tompkins has completed her internship at Texas Monthly.


Faculty Spotlight: Larry Carlson

By: Lindsey Holderbycarlson-bio-pic

At the peak of his dream job, a drunk driver brought this sports broadcaster’s career to a screeching halt.

Larry Carlson, SJMC Senior Lecturer, was driving home after a post-game radio interview when a drunk driver crossed the IH-35 median and hit him head-on. Along with a broken jaw, nose, ribs, and femur, his most crucial asset to his career was taken from him – one of his vocal chords had been paralyzed. After his tragic accident, Carlson was unable to speak at all for nine months, nor could he work for two years. But after three surgeries and numerous speech therapy sessions, he finally had a voice again.

Years later, Carlson returned to his journalistic calling; he was appointed as the editor and publisher for “Texas Hill Country View” and even found a way to mix his passion of traveling and sports in 2002 with a show called “Big Game Hunters” that delved into the culture and experience of the big collegiate games from the tailgates to the local eats. He and a friend pitched the idea to various networks and produced a season of episodes on ESPN2.

In the early 80s, Carlson was working in public relations for the UT San Antonio athletic department when a friend from his alma mater, Southwest Texas State, asked him if he would be willing to teach a class. Carlson immediately fell in love with teaching and picked up the first full-time teaching position that opened up in the Journalism and Mass Communication department. He has now been teaching for almost 30 years. He says his passion for teaching is the priority; however, he still manages to keep his hands in broadcasting and journalism “just for fun,” participating in coverage of Texas Longhorn football games on San Antonio’s ESPN radio affiliate station where he has also covered two of the last four national championship football games.



Larry interviews Texas QB Randy McEachern on the Longhorn Locker Room Show (KVET Radio Austin, 1977)

Carlson’s biggest influence in life was his father — a UT grad who gave Larry his orange sporting blood and brought food to the table as a petroleum engineer. He always encouraged Larry to do what he loved, and that’s exactly what Larry did. His Dad used to say, “You can do something you don’t like and make a good living, or you can do something you like and not make a damn thing.”

“Dad was semi-right; I got into things I absolutely love. You never mind going to work every day because it’s fun!” Carlson said. “I don’t see how people can get up every day for a job they absolutely hate, even if they’re making a really good living.”

Carlson’s biggest advice to his graduating students is short and sweet: get a job. He believes that every job is attainable, though it may not be easy. Carlson stresses that those who chase their dreams find it’s definitely worth it in the end because “you won’t ever have to work another day in your life.”

“Students just want to ponder forever what they want to do and never actually do it because they’re too scared,” Carlson said. “Just do it.”

On his days off, Carlson loves to read non-fiction, preferably about “the greatest American that ever lived,” George Washington. He enjoys traveling, especially anywhere with a beach, and he spends almost every other day “grilling and chilling” on his back patio in San Antonio with his wife. Carlson says he has everything he could want and wouldn’t change a thing.

Larry Carlson’s ‘Careers in Media’ MC1100 class recently took a trip to the Dell Diamond field, home of the minor league baseball team Round Rock Express, and met with announcer Mike Capps. You can find photos from their trip here.

Student Spotlight: Paige Vaughn

StudentSpotlight-Paige VaughnMeet Paige Vaughn, the social media administrator for the School of Journalism & Mass Communication’s 2014 study abroad trip to the United Kingdom. Paige, a public relations major, is a Texas State University Ambassador, Bobcat Promotions volunteer, and much more.

Paige first heard about the study abroad trip through one of the school’s information sessions conducted throughout the Fall and Spring semesters. She was excited to hear about the planned visits to various media-centered locations such as the Yahoo! UK headquarters and the various sight-seeing tours the trip offered, as well as receiving credit for class. Paige has plans to extend her trip and take a trip to the Warner Bros Studios located in London.

Paige manages and designs her own blog. She began blogging while taking the Fundamentals of Digital Media class offered in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication. Paige decided to create her own blog after the course finished because she enjoyed teaching and wanted to help people. Paige gained writing experience by interning for various companies and organizations such as Get Smart Content and the Texas State Alumni Association.

Paige hopes to get a career in public relations after she graduates, preferably in the fields of non-profit, culinary, or a company with a niche market.

You can keep up with the progress of the SJMC study abroad class by following the hashtag #SJMCinUK on Twitter.




Texas State Student Media Organizations win awards at TIPA



The School of Journalism & Mass Communication is proud to congratulate students who competed in the 2014 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association convention (TIPA). Students media organizations The University Star, KTSW 89.9 FM and Bobcat Update submitted productions, articles and recordings against college media organizations from around Texas. Below is a list of awards given to each organization.

The University Star

Place Category Name Title
1st Overall General Excellence Staff Division I (3 papers)
2nd Best of Show Staff Division I entire paper
3rd Editorial Cartoon Laura Shine “City Planning”
Honorable Mention Single Subject Design Lee Moran “Football Season Preview”
3rd Page One Design Lee Moran “November 12, 2013”
3rd Sports Page Design Lee Moran “Page C2 – December 4, 2013”
Honorable Mention Information Graphic Lee Moran “Room to grow”
Honorable Mention News Story Taylor Tompkins “Suspect in double homicide found dead”
3rd Sports Feature Story Quixem Ramirez “John Parker”
1st Feature Photo Austim Humphreys “Kaylee and Danielle”
1st News Photo Austin Humphreys “Bus Lane Only”
2nd Editorial Page Design Staff “Page 4 – October 3, 2013”
3rd Feature Page Design Lee Moran “Daily Deals”
3rd Feature Story Jordan Gass-Poore “Bowling in a life-long passion”
2nd Editorial Staff “Report Card”
2nd Special Section/Edition Staff “Back to School Issue”
3rd Best Community Engagement Staff
2nd Two-Person Photo Madelynne Scales, Austin Humphreys Live Contest
1st Spanish News Writing Liza Winkler Live Contest
1st PR Crisis Management Nicole Barrios Live Contest
1st News Writing Taylor Tompkins Live Contest
2nd Copy Editing Lesley Warren Live Contest


KTSW 89.9FM Radio

Place Category Name Title
1st Commercial, PSA Radio Colton Matocha, Evgeny Agarkov “Flu Prevention”
1st Production-Radio Taylor Wood, Josue Plaza, Sarah McGriff, Evgeny Agarkov “Stuck on a Bus: Final Episode”
2nd Best Recurring Podcast- Online Division 1 David Cavazos “Revolutions” & Monica Solis “Threads”
2nd Overall Excellence-Radio John Beck, Joe Pool, Becca Roberts, Ana Vaso, Olympia Mendoza KTSW Newscast
3rd Best Web Site Navigation-Online Division 1 Fernando Espinosa, Brandon Van Slyke
Honorable Mention Feature Story-Radio Sierra King “Therapy Dogs”
Honorable Mention Best Multimedia Package-Online Division Matthew Alvarez “Having Said That”
Honorable Mention Single Public Affairs Program-Radio Matthew Alvarez, Haley Brown, Harrison Keesee, Isamar Terazas, Lorenzo Almanza, Reynaldo Leanos Jr. “In the Public Interest: Campus Politics”


Bobcat Update

Place Category Name Title
3rd Televsion Announcing Skye Wallace
3rd Best Overall Newscast in Television Anchors: Valerie Kilgore, Zac Covey, Kalie Conley; Producer: Max Anderson “Bobcat Update Oct. 30th, 2014”
Honorable Mention Sportscast John Beck “April 17th, 2013”
3rd Sports Non-Feature Drew Bryant, Kali Conley “San Marcos building its own football stadium”
2nd Non-Feature Reporting Valerie Kilgore, Matt Uzick Package on flooding at the Fish Camp rental.”
2nd Audition Tape Valerie Kilgore
Honorable Mention Audition Tape Carlos Garcia

Mike George Scholarship Fund now accepting donations

10432933_1452078218366194_1978837831652791902_nHave you ever thought about supporting a SJMC student financially? A newly endowed scholarship in memory of Mike George at Texas State University could be your chance to do just that.

About Mike George:
After graduating from [then] Southwest Texas State, George worked in front of the camera and eventually became a news director at the NBC affiliate in Las Vegas. He built an operation that dominated the news ratings in every time slot, where he worked with executive producer was Deborah Clayton and sports anchor Mitch Roberts, another SWT classmate. He returned to KBTX-TV in Bryan, where his news department won more than 100 awards, including a Lone Star Emmy and selection as the best TV news operation in the state (all markets).

George had recently retired to spend more time with his family. They had just returned from a vacation in Mexico when he suddenly died.

Clayton is now leading a social media campaign to endow a television news scholarship for Journalism and Mass Communication in Mike’s honor. The scholarship will be awarded to a journalism student in television news. Donations can be mailed in or you can call with a credit card. When donating please specify that the donation is being made as a memorial gift for Mike George.

Texas State University
601 University Drive
JC Kellam 480
San Marcos, Texas 78666

For more information, visit their Facebook page or call donor services at (512) 245-3022.