Meet the Staff: Daniel Carter – Assistant professor of Digital Media

Carter_Daniel_HeadshotDaniel Carter is one of our newest faculty members in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. As an assistant professor of Digital Media, Daniel is teaching Web Design and Publishing and Online Media Design this semester.

Daniel grew up in Dickinson, Texas, which is a fairly small city about 40 miles southeast of Houston. He is excited to join a program that teaches technical skills to journalists and people entering other communication professions.

“I was also happy to have the chance to teach programming to a diverse group of students who often don’t look like the students we might expect to see in a computer science classroom, for example,” said Daniel.

“I think we’re at a point where we need smart people to think about how we’re using technology to learn about the world and to communicate with each other, and I’m looking forward to working with students to develop the skills and perspectives they need to contribute to that project.”

Daniel likes teaching students how to make things and then getting to see the creative projects they come up with.

“I think that if you really want a say in what world we live in, it’s important to be able to build. I like watching students develop the ability to create projects that express their unique perspectives and that fit their unique needs.”

Right now, Daniel is mostly looking forward to seeing the amazing websites the students in his classes will come up with. If you see Daniel around the halls of Old Main, be sure to give him a hearty welcome to the SJMC!

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Mass Comm Week 2017 is Just Around the Corner

unnamedMark your calendars for Mass Comm Week 2017!

Coming up next month, the SJMC will host its annual Mass Communication Week from Oct. 16 to 19. It’s your chance to meet a very wide range of panels and speakers from different companies and organizations that will all bring something new, different and interesting to our students.

We will invite several professionals who will talk about important and current topics as well as what it is  like to work in their specific communications / journalism fields. Students are welcome to attend the panels and sessions that most interest them and will have the opportunity to connect and network with these professionals.

Lecturer Nicole Hengst, graduate assistant Rachel Mosley and a Mass Comm Week committee of several faculty members are running Mass Comm Week this year. Rachel said she is most excited to see the impact that Mass Comm Week has on students this year.

“It’s always great to hear feedback about the event and hear the great stories of students connecting with the professionals that attend,” said Mosley.

Students can follow the event on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat for the latest updates! 

#AlumniSpotlight: Lauren Lee

Lauren Lee graduated from the SJMC with a degree in public relations in 2004. Since then, Lee has become involved in Corporate Media Relations at Dell Inc. in Round Rock. Congrats on your successes, Lauren!

 

SJMC Students and Faculty Represent Texas State University SPJ Chapter at Excellence in Journalism 2017

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Triston Giesie (left) and Jakob Rodriguez (right) with Senior White House Correspondent for CNN Jim Acosta at EIJ 2017

Professor Kym Fox and two SJMC students attended Excellence in Journalism 2017, the national conference of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), in Anaheim, California this month.

“Students get the chance to meet with not only other university students but also professionals who have more than 20 years of work experience,” said Fox. “Getting exposed to high profile journalists help students learn from the pros and shape their career.”

This year, SJMC students Triston Giesie and Jakob Rodriguez attended a session called “Work in Progress: Pressing the President” with Jim Acosta, CNN; Christina Bellantoni, Los Angeles Times; Adrian Carrasquillo, Buzzfeed news; Jeff Pegues, CBS News; Margaret Talev, Bloomberg; and Kyle Pope, Columbia Journalism Review.

Triston Giesie

Currently a junior in public relations, Triston Giesie thinks that from meeting media icons to his current peers and future coworkers at EIJ 2017 helped him set future.

“The conference, to me, seemed to open my eyes and connect me to the mainstream journalism network,” said Giesie. “Now that I have attended it, I feel exponentially more confident in my ability to gain a job after graduation—or even an internship before that.”

Jakob Rodriguez

Jakob Rodriguez said he had a great time taking school trips and representing the university.

I loved being able to represent Texas State at the National SPJ conference,” said Rodriguez. “A Personal highlight is stepping up and speaking on the floor in favor of a proposed bylaw change.” 

#FeaturedWorkFriday: Madeleine Page’s Internship with Horoscope.com

Everyone has at least one person in his or her life who is gifted with the passion for daily horoscope readings. Whether they’re conveniently found online or in your favorite lifestyle magazine, most people take the readings with a grain of salt. But others take them as a way of life, following each line as closely as you would follow instructions when assembling a piece of IKEA furniture.

Next time you check out your horoscope for the week, you might be reading the works of Madeleine Page, a Digital Media Innovation undergraduate. Madeleine recently secured an internship with Horoscope.com and has been contributing to the site all summer.

Madeleine Page is an undergraduate student in the SJMC at Texas State

After finding the internship posting on Linkedin, Madeleine responded immediately with her application and resume.

“The process of securing the internship took place in December, when I had applied, and it consisted of numerous phone calls and Skype interviews. I believe I had about three phone calls, all from different people, and 2 Skype interviews,” said Madeleine.

After enduring the lengthy application process, Madeleine was informed that she had been selected to work with the company throughout the summer, performing research, writing articles, producing social media posts, and performing search engine optimization (SEO) for the company’s website, which is a fancy term for tracking keywords and ranking them to ensure traffic is being directed to the website.

“I track the website’s progress through multiple sites such as Google Analytics and SEMrush. I have also created editorial dashboards for the editors, which contains page views, unique page views, bounce rates, etc. for each article posted. Overall, I’ve gotten a taste of many different fields within the company,” said Madeleine.

Confused about some of these fancy technical terms and job descriptions? This is just one way that Madeleine has demonstrated her expertise in the field of digital media through the SJMC.

“The Texas State SJMC prepared me for my internship by teaching me how to correctly write for a company through AP Style and how to write better in general. SJMC also prepared me for the analytical tasks because of social media, multimedia, and digital media classes I took,” said Madeleine.

If nothing else, Madeleine notes that her studies at Texas State have given her the confidence and resilience to work in the highly competitive industry, alongside highly trained individuals.

“Overall, I felt prepared to go into my internship because SJMC and the wonderful professors who have guided me throughout the years in multiple ways, constantly making me a better writer and educating me on the digital media world,” said Madeleine.

Since starting with the company, working closely with other graduates of the same field, Madeleine has learned the value of education and internships firsthand. Nevertheless, Madeleine is quick to note that an internship should be selected with great consideration.

“When looking for an internship, I think it’s important to really contemplate what kind of job you would like to have in the future and pick an internship that closely resembles that job. I say this because internships really do give you a taste for the job and you are able to evaluate what work you enjoyed, and what work you despised. It gives you a better understanding of which direction you should go after graduating.”

Whether you are a zodiac skeptic or a horoscope fanatic, keep an eye on Horoscope.com and its social media platforms to see what Madeleine is working on throughout the remainder of the summer. If you have a bad fortune for a day or week, keep your chin up; the stars will soon align in your favor, just as they were for Madeleine. With a little luck and a great amount of hard work, we believe your fortune will be prosperous.

Check out some ofMadeleine’s work on these social media platforms:

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

 

 

 

Featured Student Friday – Dorian Parks

Dorian Parks is a Digital Media Innovation student at Texas State University

You may have seen this SJMC student wandering the halls of Old Main throughout the semester, or perhaps sitting beside you in class. Or just maybe you have checked out the website Geeks of Color to peruse the latest coverage of the ‘geek’ world. Well, this summer, Dorian Parks has traded the hills of San Marcos for Los Angeles and the halls of Old Main for the entertainment giant, STARZ.

The Television Academy Foundation’s Internship Program provides 50 undergraduate and graduate students with internships in various media production fields. According to their website, host companies include ABC, CBS, HBO, Disney, NBC, and Warner Bros., to name a few. Needless to say, this eight-week program is beyond competitive and Dorian has proven his expertise and passion for digital media by obtaining this position.

Dorian has been preparing for an opportunity like this throughout his education as a Digital MediaInnovation major at Texas State University. Staying true to his mass communication frame of mind, Dorian recognizes that our communication is evolving every day.

“Digital media is the new way that we ingest information and I want to be a part of that digital revolution,” said Dorian in his video interview securing him the internship. The interview, produced and recorded by the creative extraordinaire himself, provides a look into the vast imagination that Dorian uses to fuel his enthusiasm for making and distributing his original content.

While at Texas State, Dorian commits his time to the website he founded called Geeks of Color, a blog-type feed that covers current news on all things ‘geek’ and promotes inclusion and diversity in the vast world of entertainment. Reviews, podcasts, gaming, and guest contributions can all be found within this impressive digital creation, demonstrating Dorian’s passion for media and communication. Not only does Dorian care about the infinite world of comics and popular culture, but his desire to bridge the gap of race and the entertainment industry is inspiring.

“I am so excited for this internship, I can’t wait to see what opportunities it leads to,” said Dorian.

The internship is scheduled to be starting this summer and we share Dorian’s excitement as we eagerly wait to see where this position takes him in the future. In the meantime, the folks in San Marcos can stay up to date on all things Dorian and geek on his website and social media platforms.

YouTube
Twitter
Instagram

Check out what Dorian is up to next; this SJMC student does not fail to impress!

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JMC Living-Learning Community Meets with Professionals

Twice during the spring semester, the Journalism and Mass Communication Living-Learning Community traveled to media-related companies for tours and real-world advice from media professionals. The field trips catered to each realm of mass communication: public relations, advertising, electronic media, digital media innovation, and journalism.

First, students toured the Edelman PR firm in downtown Austin where employees discussed different accounts and showed examples of their work for clients like Kentucky Fried Chicken and REI. At Edelman, the Learning Community students had the opportunity to ask interns, newly-hired and experienced PR professionals questions concerning the field and the requirements for working at the firm.

Next, they were immersed into the world of advertising at McGarrah Jessee. The advertising company provided extensive interviews with members of each department to emphasize unique responsibilities and opportunities within the company and industry.

Students learned more about the broadcasting and journalism aspects of the media industry when they traveled to San Antonio to tour KABB Fox 29 and San Antonio Express-News. While at the television station, the aspiring storytellers went behind the scenes to watch a live broadcast of Daytime at Nine from the set. They received a tour of the building from the Lifestyle Associate Producer, Carlos Hernandez. Hernandez, a Texas State alumnus, offered advice on beneficial classes and landing internships in the field.

The last stop at San Antonio Express-News proved the changing industry has much to offer prospective journalists and photographers. After a tour of the newsroom, pressroom, and photography department, the students had a broad understanding of the daily routines at a newspaper. Those interested in sports had the opportunity to meet with the sports editor and receive specific advice.

Each career field trip offered relevant and tangible opportunities of insight and networking that will prepare students for the media professions. We are thankful to have proud alumni and professionals who are willing to spend time with our students!

Story by Lily Reeves, pre-electronic media major

Outstanding Student Blogs

Every semester, students in Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media (FDOM), are required to create a blog and to post regularly. WordPress, Twitter and YouTube are three of the technologies students use. The choice of topic is left up to the student and each semester, we see a variety of topics, such as travel, food, diet, fashion, pets, sports, music and movies.

This semester, lecturer Salwa Khan had three students in her online FDOM course that chose topics that were somewhat unusual, and these students did an outstanding job of developing their blogs. They researched their topics thoroughly, wrote well and in an interesting way, found or created compelling images, credited outside sources, and in general, developed their blogs in a professional manner. Khan would like to commend these students for their impressive work, and share their blogs with you.

Maggie Bera: Actor Aesthetic – Designed to inspire and prepare young actors for the reality of the industry

John Hernandez: Extend the Sphere – Looking at the intersection of media, technology and politics

Courtney Whitehouse: Courtney Creative – Design blog

Student Spotlight: Russell Reed

Theater kid-turned film enthusiast, Russell Reed has spent the last three years exploring his love for filmmaking and finding like-minded individuals in the process. This electronic media major is not only a self-taught filmmaker, but he also exemplifies authentic passion in a sometimes discouraging field. Only a sophomore, Reed demonstrates a great amount of dedication to his craft and doesn’t mind sharing his knowledge with others.

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Reed grew up in Houston and was in theater while attending high school. As the end of senior year approached, he knew he didn’t want to major in theater during college but at the time, Reed was producing comedy and suspense skits on YouTube. Although Reed realized the skits weren’t exactly Oscar winners, he explains that it was during this time when he realized he loved film and using his creativity.

“There wasn’t anything specific that led me to my love for film, it was sort of gradual. One day I caught myself watching a film, and I started to critique their acting and wanted to see how I could do it better.” says Reed.

Although still undecided about his college major, Reed knew he wanted to be at Texas State University and near Austin’s film community. Starting off as business major, Reed realized electronic media was the best route to encourage his passion.

While still maintaining his comedy channel, Reed decided to make a second channel on YouTube that was specifically dedicated to filmmaking. The creation of ViLITE films gave Russell an outlet to produce portfolio-worthy short films, how-to tutorials, and even camera reviews.


Russell Reed hopes to make it as a director or director of photography one day. Whether it is for films or television, Reed explains he would love to stick to the horror genre but will be satisfied as long as his work has an impact. Reed’s overall goal is simple, to be a great storyteller.

“I love telling good stories, that’s really what it is all about. Capturing the cinematically pleasing images to complete a story.” says Reed.

With no certifications or film coursework, Russell is self-taught using online resources. He explains how this drives his creativity even more and brings boundless possibilities. Every aspect of his life is motivation to continue to create and it is not limited to coursework.

Life as a filmmaker has completely altered Reed’s perception of the world around him. He explains, “I can no longer walk around and have the perception like a normal human being. Just walking around in the world, everything I see, everything I look at and everything I touch is an emotion that can be geared toward storytelling.”

One of the latest projects Reed has worked on was a collaborative effort with the late Travis Green. Although Green had passed before production started filming, Reed and collaborators made sure that film was completed. Reed explains how this project was important to them since it was one of the last projects Green put his hands on and they are trying their hardest to have it showcased through Texas State.

As for advice Reed has for others thinking about pursuing film, he says the the most important attributes are staying confident in your work, continuing to create and surrounding yourself with like-minded people. This recipe for success seems to be working for this dedicated young filmmaker.

Reed’s last piece of advice is that, “Although all odds are against artists, your safe route should never be your priority.”

Dr. Cindy Royal speaks on integrating digital culture in academia at SXSW

In Saturday’s SXSW Interactive panel “Disrupting J School with Digital Culture”, SJMC’s Dr. Cindy Royal explained how academic institutions can be more nimble by developing a culture of innovation. Joined by University of Southern California Annenberg’s Robert Hernandez, the session started with an introduction to digital culture, then discussed how innovation is happening at each of their respective schools, and ended by providing advice for other academics seeking to introduce digital concepts and topics into curriculum.

Dr. Cindy Royal began by explaining how students have three options when it comes to digital courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. They can either take digital-focused electives, add a digital concentration to their major, or sign up for a Digital Media Innovation major. With digital courses like the Fundamentals of Digital and Online Media, Coding and Data Skills, Social Media and Analytics and one-credit short courses like Digital Tools: 360 Video & VR, any student has a wide variety of curriculum options from which to choose.

At USC Annenberg’s School for Communication and Journalism, Hernandez said he’s not just preparing students for disruption; he’s preparing them to be leaders of disruption. Through innovative courses that partner with leading media companies such as NPR, the New York Times and ProPublica, Hernandez said diversity in his courses breeds creativity.

“What was magical was the diversity of students from different disciplines and watching them learn from each other. We have students from public relations, communication, gaming, engineering, and each one brings his or her craft to the table. These are different cultures coming together to collaborate, which is what they’ll experience when they enter the real world.”

Overcoming Challenges

Developing innovative curriculum in academia does not come without its challenges. Both Royal and Hernandez explained the disrupting traditional systems is not easy and that funding can often be an issue.

“We do a lot with a little,” said Royal. “Our director Dr. Judy Oskam is great at finding pockets of money for us, and she’s been very open to find funding to support our efforts.”

However, one major misconception about innovation is that it is too costly. While some digital equipment is highly expensive, many tools and hardware isn’t as bad as one might think. The Insta360 camera that Hernandez set up to live-stream the presentation, for example, only cost $199.

“Sometimes, smartphones might be all someone needs for an innovative project.  You can do this with little to no money,” said Royal.

Being a product of a newsroom with a bootstrap budget, Hernandez said he’s used to “hustling with nothing.” Consolidating resources has been one solution for USC, where the school even eliminated some computer labs because so many students already had their own laptops.

Outside of a budget increase, Royal said grants are also a valuable source for funding.”If grants don’t cover equipment, you can set up trips for training,” said Royal. “Get creative, and prioritize your needs.” Both Hernandez and Royal also advised academics to partner and share resources with other organizations and even academic institutions that value innovation.

Building A Culture of Innovation

While a lack of funding can be difficult, affecting the overall digital culture of an organization can be more of a challenge.

“One person can’t do this,” said Royal. “You can’t have that token ‘digital’ person in an organization — you need people who are willing to take their spare time to learn this stuff.”

Hernandez said he often has be his own “hype man” for his projects and goals, especially for those who don’t truly understand what he does.

Overall, the duo’s advice for developing a more innovative culture in academia was to model the behavior first.

“When you show off student projects and successes, people start to take notice. It becomes attractive to other faculty,” said Royal.