Alum Spotlight: Kevin Quintero

From valet attendant to co-founder of a digital marketing agency, Kevin Quintero is the definition of an innovated entrepreneur. Tenoch Labs is the brain child of two roommates who didn’t want to work under anyone besides themselves and knew that containing their creative minds would be selfish. With his “If anyone can do it, I can do it better” mentality, Quintero has manifested the perfect amount of perseverance to become a successful entrepreneur.

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Raised in Dallas, Quintero found his calling in digital media at a very young age. He recalls falling in love with film, editing and storytelling by the seventh grade. After attending Dallas Community College Quintero was drawn to the nature scene of central Texas and knew San Marcos was the place to be. Once Quintero researched Texas State’s electronic media program it was deemed the ideal next step towards his career.

When Quintero arrived in San Marcos he fell in love with the city, Texas State and most importantly, the professors at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Out of every resource Texas State offers, Quintero advises students to take full advantage of creating relationships with professors.

“The professors are really good people, they’re real people. They’re just there to teach. Mass Comm professors are good at communicating and want to build relationships with you. They know their field. They know everything is changing and media is shifting,” Quintero says.

Many of Quintero’s peers tell him that he is lucky for finding something is he so passionate about and that it comes naturally. They fail to realize the amount of time and effort that has been put into perfecting his craft. “Nothing comes easy, it’s not supposed to come easy,” says Quintero. He recommends that anyone who lacks a passion should try to do something they hate and they might find the love in it.

Quintero had no idea what advertising and marketing even consisted of until he was working as a valet attendant for a building that housed a marketing agency. When he searched the name of the business, he discovered that his hobbies matched almost every service they offered. At this point, he knew he could capitalize off his skill. His mindset during school began to take an entrepreneurial approach and thought of ways he could sell what he was being taught. Quintero explained, “You got to see beyond the textbook. How can I make money off of this? How can I offer this to someone that has money?”

As graduation was approaching, Quintero and his roommate, Hector Sifuentes, were managing their new business, Intel Productions, with minor projects. He was advised by peers and professors that seeking out a position with an agency would be a safer plan. Quintero expressed that it didn’t feel right to him, he had fallen in love with free creativity and the business.

One of Intel Productions first major projects was a collaborative effort with public relations agency, APC Collective. A Jarritos commercial created by the roommates for the agency and caught the attention of APC Collective. This was the start of a beneficial relationship between the two. After the project, Quintero made sure to keep in touch with the founder of the agency. The founder pleaded with Quintero to keep Intel Productions thriving and not work for anyone else, emphasizing that he will be underpaid and they are worth more. After voicing his concern with a living wage, the founder of APC collective offered to assist Quintero and Sifuentes and officially invest in the newly rebranded Tenoch Labs.

Jarritos: Love is Super Good from Intel Productions on Vimeo.

Kevin Quintero is now living out his digital media dream and can’t exaggerate enough how great it feels. Quintero’s main piece of advice to others is to never stop doing what you love, “Just keep working hard and then one person looks at your work and says ‘damn that’s awesome,’ and that one person turns to two and so on. You just can’t stop working.”

Texas State alum lands job at Edelman NYC


Christopher Henry – Photo from LinkedIn

By: Jennifer Alvord

Texas State alumnus Christopher Henry has recently landed a job at Edelman, the largest public relations firm in the world, in New York City.

Henry is a part of the public affairs team and works with clients such as Microsoft, McGraw Hill Financial and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development (MEDEI).

Henry is the former executive director of Bobcat Promotions, a student-run public relations firm on campus, and said that it taught him many valuable skills before graduating.

“Being able to walk into an interview saying, ‘I know how to write a press release’ or ‘I know how to pitch to a business’ was a vital thing for me and definitely helped me get to where I am now,” Henry said.

Before being recruited to Edelman, Henry interned for the U.S. Senator of New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, on her public affairs team and also interned for Brunswick Group, which is a financial crisis firm.

Henry couldn’t stress enough how critical internships are. “If you want to be successful in PR, you have to go above and beyond and get out of classroom experience.”

Henry also thinks that a major key to being a successful PR practitioner is to constantly be networking. “Network everywhere you go,” Henry said. “I still use many of the contacts that I’ve made throughout my career at my job at Edelman.”

Digital Speaker Series features SJMC graduate and NY Times staffer Maira Garcia

by Becky Larson:


Maira Garcia at TX State’s Digital Speaker Series

Maira Garcia is a senior staff editor at the New York Times. She works to organize, strategize and push content for the paper’s homepage,

Interviewed by digital media graduate student Jordon Brown and speaking to what felt like a hometown crowd, Garcia, who is a Texas State graduate, returned to the university this past week as the most recent speaker in the SJMC’s Digital Entrepreneurship Series.

“I learned a lot at TX State…”

Garcia earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree with Texas State and was one of the first to matriculate under the graduate program’s Digital Media concentration.

It was this skills-focused digital concentration that she told the audience was one of the most important aspects of her time at Texas State.

Read more of this post

Strategic Opportunities for Students to Transfer to Texas State

Harry BowersOn November 24, Assistant Director Harry Bowers met with Marianne Odem, Chair of the Media Communication Department at San Antonio College (SAC), and members of her faculty. The goal of the meeting was to review changes to both schools’ institutional core and program curricula, and to review and develop strategies to maximize opportunities for two-year college students planning to transfer to Texas State. Assistant Director, Bowers was honored to be informed by SAC that the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is about the most student-centered institution that San Antonio College has worked with in assisting transfer students.

For more information about The Media Communication Department at the San Antonio College (SAC), please visit

An Internship Bound to Happen

MacKenzie Smith

McKenzie Smith

McKenzie Smith grew up in New Braunfels, Texas, where weekly trips to the local waterpark, Schlitterbahn, were her favorite activity. As a teen, she spent her summers working as a lifeguard for the park, but eventually she knew she wanted to do more for the company.

After graduating high school, she decided to pursue a degree in public relations at Texas State University. Currently, She holds an internship with the water park where she is getting hands-on experience working with press releases, social media and updating their media website, “Schlitterbahn Newsroom”.

Her passion for the company and the field she works in keeps her motivated while she strives to better herself and the company. As a consecutive dean’s list recipient, Smith prides herself on her ability to quickly learn and adapt to every situation. She describes herself as being a hard working perfectionist with a strong focus on innovation, always trying to find new ways to reach her audiences. Smith can also be described as a “people person”, someone who has the ability to strike up and hold a conversation with anybody. She can also be described as strong-willed and independent as she held a job all four years of college to pay for her education.

“She [Smith] has been a determined and hardworking addition to the team,” said Winter Prosapio
, Corporate Director of Communications at Schlitterbahn. “She’s a leader, a person you can count on to solve any problem no matter how fast a deadline may be approaching.”

With graduation in May 2014, Smith is looking to take the skills she has acquired into her future career. With a strong passion, great work ethic and a desire for greatness, McKenzie Smith will be a great asset to any company.

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 communication,” 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 childhood, 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.

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.

“Our Hometown Heroes” Documentary of San Marcos Integration

The School of Journalism and Mass Communication is proud to showcase a video produced  by students in the digital production class taught by David Nolan.

Our Hometown Heroes is a documentary that reveals first-hand experiences about the integration of Texas State University. Many community members of San Marcos were fundamental to the changes that resulted in the desegregation in student population. The documentary interviews several of the first African-American students of Texas State University as well as many leaders today that discuss what the University provides today in order to become a truly diverse university.

From Texas to China: One Alumnus’ Journey

Mike McIlvain - Texas State Alum and Journalism Lecturer at the United International College in Zuhai, Guangdong Province, China

Mike McIlvain – Texas State Alumnus and Journalism Lecturer at the United International College in Zuhai, Guangdong Province, China

An Article by Alex Almeraz

Texas State Alum and now Journalism Lecturer, Mike McIlvain, is passionate about his job and is a great example of how to use trying times as motivation.

The Early Years

Mike attended Southwest Texas State back in the late 70’s and graduated in 1978. He first discovered his interest for Journalism and teaching back in high school. Before he entered college, Mike got a job as a General Office Worker for the Houston Texans of the World Football League. During this time Mike was exposed to broadcasting, coaching and marketing, but once he had a conversation with Chronicle Beat reporter, Tony Pederson, Mike knew he wanted to be a sports writer.

He began school at Blinn Community College on a Baseball Manager Scholarship, studying Journalism and after two years, transferred to Southwest Texas State in the fall of 1976. Being a Mass Communications major, Mike switched his focus from Journalism to Electronic Media and threw himself straight into the business by spending his time working for local radio stations.

Life Beyond College

As Mike got more into the radio business he realized it just wasn’t working out for him. “I led myself to believe that my working life would probably go that way after getting my Bachelors degree,” he said. “But the more I got into radio, the more I discovered that it was not the lifestyle I wanted to pursue.” At this point Mike was not sure what he wanted to do and instead just focused on finishing school. He does have one regret though, “I wish I had spent more time concentrating on raising my GPA.”

After graduating, Mike found his passion for the journalism and teaching field once again. He finally got his ‘break’ and entered the teaching field in 2007 at Texas A&M International University in Laredo as an adjunct (teaching assistant). In 2010, Mike became a full time teacher and is now teaching Journalism at the United International College in Zuhai, Guangdong Province, China. He always had a love for traveling, going to Spain 12 times and getting his master’s degree in London. After hearing about his current job from a family friend, he was adamant about applying. He got an interview and landed the job. Mike says, “I think it was a good move, and I would do it again. Not only is it a good career move, but also I met my wife here.”

Life’s Lessons

On his Journalism background Mike says, “the experience that I gained pays off well in lecture, and makes me much more effective than some others, but better grades outside of Journalism would have eased some of the transition.” While Mike enjoys teaching Journalism on a day-to-day basis, he has found that many senior college teaching is aimed at research, but he has yet to settle on any certain area to research. Mike has though, found interest in editing colleagues’ research papers in different fields ranging from sociology to business technology. He has the opportunity to read different subjects of materials and finds it quite interesting.

Mike’s story goes to show that life may lead you on many paths or journeys, but eventually you will find the right one for you. Mike offers one last piece of advice for all students, “Before I give my students a syllabus, whether or not they have had me or not before — they receive a handout and lecture on the importance of asking questions. It is a must for journalists, and certainly important for anyone intent on becoming a good college student. I had to work at becoming a good college student. It took a while, but I do not like to give up on any student, starting with myself.”

Alumni cameo on ABC’s “Killer Women”

It’s always exciting to see SJMC alums in the national spotlight, and last Tuesday was doubly so. Alumnae Quita Culpepper and Eileen Gonzalez both had short cameos on ABC’s new show, “Killer Women” which is based and filmed in Central Texas.

Gonzales, who reports and anchors for KSAT in San Antonio was shown doing a live report outside a church, and later in the episode Culpepper (who actually works for KVUE), was shown on a TV screen anchoring an update on the case under the alias “Monica LaRue” (shown in screen shot). Both received screen credits.

Culpepper also had a 2011 cameo in the movie “Bernie,” starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley McLaine.

Congrats to them both on a fun opportunity!