Kickin’ it with George Kiel III

IMG_5566

Jon Zmikly interviewing George Kiel III during the Digital Media Entrepreneurship Speaker Series. Photo by Dr. Cindy Royal

By: Jennifer Alvord

Texas State alumnus George Kiel III spoke to students during The Digital Media Entrepreneurship Speaker Series about his career at NiceKicks.com and non-profit organization Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation.

Kiel graduated from Texas State University in 2008 with a degree in journalism and was extremely involved during his time here. While taking 19 hours his senior year, Kiel wrote for the University Star, played basketball for the university and interned for the FOX affiliate in Austin.

Kiel is currently Editor-in-Chief of NiceKicks.com, one of the Internet’s most comprehensive sneaker-themed sites, and is the co-founder of Kiel Colon Cancer Foundation. Kiel founded the foundation and the Kick & Roll Classic 3-on-3 Basketball Event as a promise to honor his mother’s name and extend her legacy through his love for basketball and sneakers.

Since Nice Kicks is solely online, Kiel said that pushing content through social media is essential. “Social media can be a big engine as far as who sees what and how they see it,” he said. “Social media is key.”

Kiel also believes that what sets companies apart from each other is content. “Content is king,” he said. “Having exclusive content is what makes you stand out.” At Nice Kicks, Kiel helped create a series called Kicks on the Court, which is a daily feature with exclusive content about shoes worn by basketball players.

 

Advertisements

Texas State alum lands job at Edelman NYC

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAcjAAAAJDQ3NDc3YzM3LWU1MjktNDNmOS04ODJiLTk2M2E5MzMzYmE3OA

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.”

Dee Kapila visits FDOM class

By: Jennifer Alvord

deeTexas State alumna Dee Kapila spoke to Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media students on Wednesday about the importance of constantly learning new skills in a digital career.

Kapila graduated from the University of Texas with an undergraduate degree in advertising. After graduating, she began her career at Dell as a product specialist. Kapila always had a passion for communication and technology, so she decided to further her education at Texas State University where she graduated with a master’s degree in new media in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2008.

After obtaining her master’s, she worked for many different companies doing instructional technology. Kapila is now starting her new job as a product manager at Headspring in Austin, TX.

Kapila had great advice for students by telling them to feel comfortable about jumping into new things and learning new skills as soon as possible.

“Always think about yourself as a CEO in training,” Kapila said. “As a CEO, you need to know a little bit about everything.”

She then went on to explain how quickly technology changes and encourages students to be able to adapt. “Some skills in technology come and go, but HTML and CSS aren’t going anywhere,” Kapila said. “Knowing code is very important.”

Kapila also believes that having an online presence is extremely important. “Social media and blogging are no longer frivolous endeavors,” Kapila said. “It’s now the primary way companies communicate and interact.”

FullSizeRender

Dee Kapila and Dr. Cindy Royal

Thank you for coming and sharing your knowledge with us, Dee! We love hearing from professional alumni.

Trisha Espinoza joined us for Mass Comm Week

Trisha Espinoza remembers the time she sold everything and went into debt.

She had one goal in mind—to be a leader in the communication industry. After all, as she put it, Espinoza did not want to put in all this hard work and sit behind a desk.

Espinoza obviously reached her goal relating her journey to communication students Oct. 19 as a during a question and answer session in conjunction with Mass Communication Week.

Upon graduation, Espinoza started her career at News 8 Austin before joining Viacom as an intern with MTV’s development team in 2002. She spent seven years with MTV and MTV2 before becoming Director of Programming.

TrishaEspinoza joined NBC Universal in 2010 where she was the vice president of programming for Oxygen Media. She returned to Viacom in 2014 and is now the current Vice President of Program Scheduling for BET.

Espinoza turned to Texas State University to accomplish her goal. She was 25 years old at the time and was eager to get started.

“I remember sitting in Dr. (Laurie) Fluker’s office and crying to her saying I was so old and wasted so much time,” Espinoza said. “In reality I was right where I needed to be but that was just my sense of urgency, I wanted to do all I could to get ahead.”

Espinoza spent her session discussing all the stepping-stones it takes for people to work their way up in the industry. She talked about the importance of internships and perfecting a resume and networking

“I was shocked when she told us how many resumes she sent out,” said Tayler Chambless, Mass communication student. “She said she sent out 200 resumes and only got six internships from it, I admire her dedication and the drive she had to never give up.”

While attending Texas State, Espinoza worked at KTSW radio. She graduated at the top of her class and has left an impression on former faculty members.

“She searched for awhile,” said Tim England, Mass Communication associate professor. “People can relate to her because everyone struggles, but she found a path and continues to work her way through this profession.”

Throughout Espinoza’s discussion, she spoke of her failures and successes. She told students the media industry is for passionate and dedicated individuals.

“Never stop learning,” Espinoza said. “Always be grateful for where you are in life but strive to go further. I am thankful for where I have been and I am excited to see where I will go because we are never finished growing.”

By Molly Dodge

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

by Becky Larson:

IMG_3065

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, NYTimes.com.

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

SJMC students intern, travel with Spurs Sports and Entertainment

by Cheyenne Meyer:

Fans of the San Antonio Spurs basketball team know the excitement of attending a game. Between the loud crowds, the pumped-up music, and simply seeing their favorite players in action is an experience fans sitting anywhere in the arena just don’t want to miss. Two SJMC students are experiencing the games from a whole new perspective. They’re seeing it courtside.

Taylor Hair and Avery Schneider currently intern for Spurs Sports and Entertainment. Schneider has been with the group since last year, and Hair joined the team in August. Larry Carlson, senior lecturer, said these internships were made possible by Mike Kickirillo, the director of broadcasting for the Spurs and SJMC alum (class of ’88).

Photo provided by Texas State SJMC

Mike Kickirillo, SJMC Alum – Photo provided by Texas State SJMC

“Over the years, [Kickirillo] has utilized many of my students as interns,” Carlson said. “A number of them now work for him as producers, etc. Thanks to him, we have a great pipeline from our School of Journalism to the Spurs’ organization. And Mike, just like the players, has collected five NBA championship rings during his time with the Spurs.”

Hair and Schneider recently had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles and San Francisco to work on the broadcast of the Spurs’ games against the Clippers and Warriors. Hair, a senior electronic media major from Lubbock, explained their duties as interns.

“Avery and I have numerous responsibilities on game days and non-game days,” he said, “from making sure equipment is on the truck, setting up the broadcast desk, writing credentials, logging videos, and even thinking up a trivia question to use during the broadcast.”

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 http://www.alamo.edu/sac/mediacomm/.

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.

A Tragedy in West, TX Affects a Texas State Student

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 1.51.35 AM

Kayla Urbanovsky in front of Old Main

By: Olivia Garcia — Kayla Urbanovsky scrolled through her Facebook feed on Feb. 17, 2013 and that evening, she noticed many statuses about a disturbance in her hometown of West, TX. A fertilizer plant had exploded, claiming 15 lives and damaging over 300 homes. Urbanovsky’s elementary and high school were destroyed, and luckily, her family and home were safe from the explosion. On the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, she remembers how her hometown’s resilience changed her life.

“West is now known as the small town in Texas that exploded,” Urbanovsky said. “But I know it as my family of 2,800 people and the resilience of West, Texas and its people actually made me a better college student.”

Kayla

Kayla Urbanovsky at her internship

While attending Texas State University, Urbanovsky landed an internship at ChannelAustin where she puts her knowledge of electronic media to the test. She ran the teleprompter, setted up cameras and was the technical director of the control room. She was one of the top interns at ChannelAustin and felt more prepared for life after college.

Urbanovsky thanked her professors from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication for the support the Texas State University community gave her and West, TX during this tragedy.

“This turned my world upside down but was a blessing in disguise for myself and for the people of West,” says Urbanovsky. “I was inspired to be the best person I could be and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication helped me thrive to be that person.”

Urbanovsky graduated May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication – Electronic Media. Urbanovsky hopes to work on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and to continue to help rebuild her hometown and promises to keep her resilient attitude throughout her career.

Hard Work, Great Ethic Pays Off

Stephanie Ortega in New York City.

Stephania Ortega in New York City.

By: Niloofar Torabi — Life can bring us challenges and hardships, but who other than Stephania Ortega is better to take on the tasks? Born on Dec. 1, 1991, in Monterrey, Mexico, Ortega worked her way from the bottom up to achieve lifelong goals, traveling all over the globe in hopes of gaining more hands-on experience. In less than one month, she will take her steady walk across the graduation stage and accept her certificate of becoming a Texas State University alum.

Soon to have her bachelor’s in public relations, Ortega always showed an interest in the communications field due to family ties. Both of her parents were involved in the advertising industry. After participating in the high school newspaper and yearbook, Ortega realized that she enjoyed writing and connecting with people, and that’s when her career possibilities were endless.

“I have experience with several internships on campus like being a PR intern and a social media contributor for the school,” said Ortega. “I also completed a digital media planning internship last summer.”

Stephanie Ortega (third from left to right) at a PRSSA Convention in San Francisco.

Stephania Ortega (third from left to right) at a PRSSA Convention in San Francisco.

Freshman year, Ortega became involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). It was a great learning experience for her where she could apply the skills she learned in class to reality. It has given her a great network of professionals along with new friends. Eventually, she moved her way to the top and was nominated president of the organization.

“Being president helped me further develop my leadership skills and taught me how to work with people with different skills and find ways to bring them together.”

Ortega was also involved with El Centro, The Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets. Seeing it as her second home at Texas State, Ortega was able to assist first-generation students through tours and gain PR skills such as making media lists and event planning. It opened her eyes and created awareness of the Latinos on campus and sparked her interest in Hispanic marketing. However, that wasn’t enough for Ortega — she also joined the Texas State Ad Club.

Stephanie Ortega (third from left) as she assist future bobcats on a tour of Texas State University.

Stephania Ortega (third from left) as she assist future bobcats on a tour of Texas State University.

Through these organizations, she landed an internship in New York which encouraged her to pursue a career in the advertising field due to the strong multicultural community. Ortega received professional advice and eventually decided that her career interest was in strategic planning.

Ortega gained her first internship at University Marketing here at Texas State University, and then she gained another internship through the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program. Through a painstaking application process that included a video submission, essays and letters of recommendation, Ortega managed to be one of the 114 students picked from the hundreds of finalists the agencies chose for the summer program. By demonstrating her involvement in the community and revealing how she promotes diversity, Ortega slid her way into the program and began a new stage in her life.

“Within my agency I grew because I was able to prove that I could get something done in a timely manner and be there if the team needed me,” said Ortega.

“Texas State has provided me with so many opportunities to pursue a career in advertising and public relations,” said Ortega. “I wouldn’t have the network and a clear idea of what I want to pursue if it wasn’t for the organizations in the SJMC and great professors who have served as mentors throughout my time here. I was able to find my niche of Hispanic marketing and feel ready to keep furthering my skills to meet the demands of the ever-changing digital world.”

This is not the end of Ortega’s journey. She plans to gain more experience in the advertising or public relations industry for a couple years prior to attending grad school. She wishes to continue her studies in global communication or a similar program, while keeping her eyes open for bigger opportunities and study abroad programs.