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,” said Horton.

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,’” said Horton.

At the end of the summer, Horton 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,” she said. “I always find something to work on.”

As for her spending the summer in New York City, Horton said she will experience all the Big Apple 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,” she 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.






Three Texas State Students Win SAAHJ Scholarships

saahjlogoThe San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists (SAAHJ) is pleased to award $30,000 in scholarships to 13 deserving Bexar County students pursuing careers in communications and journalism this year at its 16th Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala held in San Antonio’s Marriott Rivercenter, 101 Bowie Street on Friday, August 8th, 2014.

The award amount is to celebrate the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) 30th Anniversary, as NAHJ will hold its annual convention in San Antonio for the first time in its 30 years.  SAAHJ’s gala is part of their festivities and the scholarships will be presented to the recipients at this gala.  Since inception, SAAHJ has awarded more than $175,000 in scholarships, with $25,000 last year alone.

“We’re thrilled to award the most our association ever has in scholarships this year at $30,000, to a variety of students from our own backyard who are aspiring to be the next generation of journalists and communicators,” said Francisco Vara-Orta, SAAHJ President. “Our scholarships are open to all students and that mindset helps us champion true diversity by funding a pipeline to better ensure that people of all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds have a fair shot in ending up in our nation’s newsrooms.”

The students receiving scholarships this year are:

•       Miriam Cisneros Cabello, University of Texas at San Antonio

•       La Quinta Dixon, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

•       Zarah Farah, Texas State University

•       Sarah Gibbens, University of Texas at San Antonio

•       Cynthia M Herrera, San Antonio College

•       Lorie A. Hidalgo, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

•       Alma Linda Manzanares, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

•       Malik Mingo, Texas State University

•       Marques Mingo, Texas State University

•       Pamela Paz, San Antonio College

•       Asaiah K Puente, University of Texas at San Antonio

•       Thalia Rivera, University of North Texas

•       Christopher Vasquez, Texas A&M University-San Antonio

About the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists (SAAHJ):
Established in 1986, the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists is composed of local journalists, public relations professionals and students interested in communications or the public relations industry. SAAHJ helps provide networking opportunities for Hispanics in journalism and communications careers, help develop Hispanic leaders in journalism, advance and be an advocate for Hispanics in journalism and communications careers, and encourage Hispanics to consider and pursue journalism and communications professions. For more information, visit

A huge congratulations goes out to all of these students!