Alumni Testimonials

GREG TOOHEY
SJMC Class of 1998

“Since January 2005, I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of the FOX Sports Radio Network in Los Angeles. I took an indirect path to the sports / media world after graduation from Texas State in 1998, as I grinded out a couple years in the insurance business beforehand. But, at 26, I still was determined to work in the sports world and by then was probably the oldest intern Fox had ever seen.

I started as a weekend intern producer, and six years later, I’m now proud to say I’m the Senior Coordinating Producer at Fox Sports Radio for the Stephen A. Smith Show. I’m involved in everything from guest booking and contracts, show prep and content, talent development to traveling on national remote broadcasts (Super Bowls, Final Fours, All Star Games, etc). I couldn’t have made the transition without my experience at Texas State. From the semester of working as an on-air DJ at KTSW to learning the ins and outs of producing and airing a news broadcast, I still utilize the tools from school that got me where I am today.”


DANIEL BARRERA
SJMC Class of 2009

“I graduated this spring, and since the last week of May, I have been a staff member of State Representative Ryan Guillen‘s office at the Texas Capitol. While originally just a summer intern, I was offered and accepted the position of Communications Director for Rep. Guillen for next year’s Texas legislative session. In the few months I’ve been there at the office, I can fairly say that I have learned a decent amount in regard to state government and how having solid communication skills are vital when working as a government employee.

On the job, I have used several public relations tactics, and I can certainly thank Texas State’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication for helping me train myself to be a more effective writer and a better communicator overall. I definitely enjoyed my time as an undergraduate at the SJMC. The knowledgeable faculty and relevant coursework are what truly contributed to my good experience.”


JOHN NEMEC
SJMC Class of 2009

“I really enjoyed going through the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. The main thing that I liked about it, though I didn’t realize it at the time, was how up-to-date we stayed on current topics. It was just the atmosphere we lived in, and it came very naturally. That’s a habit that I’ve tried to keep in my post-grad life; I think it’s pretty important to stay informed.

After graduating, I moved out to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the Entertainment Industry. As expected, I have definitely had my tough times, and I am not finished with them, by far. In those moments where I think “what am I doing out here?” I keep my head up. I will keep hustling to build my resume and get some experience under my belt while I am young and can handle the hardship. I truly believe that I will be successful and it’s for those who are willing to put in the time and effort.

I feel like I can attribute part of my perseverance and confidence to the education I got in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. What I learned there put me ahead of some of the people I am competing against to get jobs.”


ANDREW MCNEILL
SJMC Class of 2008

“I am currently a Festival Coordinator at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive. My main responsibility is overseeing the production of the SXSW Interactive Awards, an award show we host during SXSW that honors new websites and online creative work. I also aid in organizing other aspects of SXSW Interactive, including curating daytime sessions, creating content for the website and contributing to SXSWorld Magazine. I am also a Staff Writer for the ESPN-affiliated blog 48 Minutes of Hell. At 48MoH, we cover the San Antonio Spurs and their NBA D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros. I cover games and interview players, write game recaps and feature stories, record podcasts and edit video posts.

All things that I learned while getting my Mass Communication degree at Texas State. The emphasis on learning the journalism trade while future-proofing my skills with web design and multimedia journalism classes has put me in a position to jump to the forefront of the changing sports media industry.”


CHRIS TROUTMAN
SJMC Master’s Program
Class of 2009

“I am currently employed by a PR and Marketing firm as a project manager and web support specialist in the web development group. I work on high profile .net projects that integrate strong social media and user interactivity with custom built web applications. I am successful in my position thanks to the relevant skills and training I received from my experience in the New Media track. I have proven myself to be very valuable as I posses a strong web and technical understanding paired with solid communication skills.”


KERRI BATTLES
SJMC Master’s Program
Class of 2008

“I work as a public affairs specialist at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, a graduate component of the University of Texas at Austin. I handle public relations, media relations, event planning, web site content management and social media for the School. I have created the School’s first social media strategy and have spear-headed the School’s first student blog program. Additionally, I get to work with great faculty experts and other public relations gurus across the University.

Getting my master’s degree from the SJMC program really gave my career the proverbial shot in the arm. I was able to garner some practical skills in new media and web design that made me a very competitive candidate in public relations after graduation. The combination of a solid bedrock of communication theory, coupled with practical, vocational courses in new media, gave me a combination of skills that I believe are very sought after in today’s job market. I forged relationships with faculty that have enriched my life and the connections I made at the school will continue to serve me in the years to come.

Two years after graduation, I am still benefiting from the strong alumni network forged at Texas State and the SJMC in particular.”


KOSAKU NARIOKA
SJMC Class of 2010

“You can commit yourself to your goals only when you are surrounded by friends and mentors who are passionate about your dreams. And the school has lots of them.

It’s good to attain specific skills and learn to use certain software, but those skills will soon become obsolete or irrelevant. What matters is, your willingness to try when you are told to do something. We may not know if that specific skill or duty would help us achieve our goal in the end, but we try it. That’s what professors and friends at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication suggest we do. Everyone, including future employers, is doing trial and error as the future of journalism remains uncertain, and the last thing they would want is a naysayer.

Lastly, have fun working with your classmates and professors. I miss the time I spent in the classrooms and newsrooms after graduating from the school a few months ago.”


Do you have a testimonial or memory you would like to share? E-mail us at jmc@txstate.edu.

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