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.”

From TXST to TV, catching up with Isamar Terrazas

Just two years after graduating from the SJMC at Texas State University, Isamar Terrazas has already paved a solid foundation for her career in broadcast journalism.

Terrazas is now working for KTLM Telemundo 40, as both the Assignments New Editor and as a Field Producer.

Isamar Terrazas holding an award

Isamar Terrazas

“I am so proud of how much this station has grown,” said Terrazas. “In the two years I have been here, we went from being the #4 station to being the #1 station.”

During her time at KTLM Telemundo 40, the station was nominated for 8 Lone Star Emmys.

“I was nominated as a producer for our hurricane special, Tras La Tormenta,” said Terrazas. “We won Overall Station Excellence, being the first station in the Rio Grande Valley to do this.”

KTLM Telemundo 40’s focus is very similar to English language markets, focusing on breaking news, weather and digital media. In particular, Terrazas worked on an investigate special, Clash at the Border, which focused on the abuses of Border Patrol agents.

Terrazas credits at least some of her success to her education from Texas State University, praising the both the faculty and the electronic media sequence.

“I feel like I learned so much from Ray Niekamp and Tim England,” said Terrazas. “Their program targets what it is like to work in a newsroom in real life.”

SJMC student wins regional award for thesis

Sergio Carvajal-Leoni in a suit

Sergio Carvajal-Leoni. Photo from http://www.italchannel.tv

As a SJMC graduate student, Venezuelan-born Sergio Carvajal-Leoni, won a campus-wide award for his thesis, the Graduate College’s Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award in Digital Scholarship.

Now he has won again, at the highest level, the regional level, where he is receiving the Digital Scholarship award from the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools. His award, a plaque and $1000 honorarium, will be presented at the CSGS Awards Luncheon at the Omni Charlotte Hotel in Charlotte, NC on Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at 11:30 a.m., and he attributes some of his success to his time at Texas State.

“The stuff I did in San Marcos, was the best decision of my life,” he told me. “I’ve decided to finish up with a PhD.”

Carvajal-Leoni called his research project the Intercultural Transmedia Approach to Learning, or ITAL.

“I’ve been working on models of community building media,” he said. “Any group of people who share an interest.”

By founding ITAL, he was able to focus on applying Communication Infrastructure Theory while creating a hyper-local documentary series called the Texan Italian Stories.

The key research concept behind the series, was how creating media could bring together the Italian niche community in Central Texas.

He attributed his success to both the freedom and guidance his thesis supervisor, Dr. Sandy Rao, provided him.

Carvajal-Leoni also thanked two Texas State University researchers on his thesis committee, Dr. Federico Subervi and Dr. Moira DiMauro.

ITAL partner, Romina Olson

Romina Olson. Photo from http://www.italchannel.tv

“Texas State played a crucial role in that journey,” Carvajal-Leoni told me. “This award is like, a validation, that this was the right journey to take.”

Despite being the lead researcher, writer, editor and director, Carvajal-Leoni was very modest about his achievement. He praised his ITAL partner, Romina Olson, as well as two USC researchers Dr. Sandra Ball-Rokeach and Dr. Henry Jenkins that played an instrumental role in the project.

If there’s one thing Carvajal-Leoni made clear, he loves Texas.

“I’ve been living in Austin since ’99,” he said. “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.”

Taking a Tour: BBC in London

Story by SJMC Study Abroad graduate student, AJ Arreguin:

The British Broadcasting Corporation is one of the most recognizable, highly creditable news organizations in the world. From local to worldwide news coverage, the BBC brings the highest quality of news from journalists that reach outlets such as radio, television and social media. Unlike some news companies around the world that are owned by the government, BBC operates by an annual licensing fee, which citizens of England pay in order to run radio, television broadcasts and premiere shows such as Doctor Who, The Office (English version) and many more. corporation

Courtyard at the BBC

Courtyard at the BBC

The BBC headquarters is located in London (between Portland Place and Langham Place) and contains the BBC Broadcasting House with television studios, radio studios, the main newsroom (where some of the BBC program is recorded), and a small theatre boasting concerts held by A-list musicians.

Our Tour
After getting through security and getting our backpacks and purses scanned and checked, we waited in a lobby that showcased TARDIS, the Doctor Who famous telephone booth, in front of a small gift shop overlooking the BBC Newsroom. Our tour guide first provided us a brief overview of the history of the BBC and its mission statement toward the people of Britain and viewers from around the world. During this brief lecture, we stood in front of a wall made of glass that overlooked the hundreds of employees and desk of the BBC Newsroom. As the tour went on, the guide paused and mentioned that a live weather report was happening. Sure enough, we saw the weatherman a few feet away and on the tube. Finally, we traveled from the newsroom to the studio station, which was in another building that had radio and television sets. Along the way, we passed through historical pieces from the longevity of the BBC, from the microphone used by Edward R. Murrow in World War II broadcastings, to all the memorabilia from celebrities. Walking through the Broadcasting House was a mass communication history lesson in itself.

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After viewing the theatre, radio and television studio, it was time for us to have a bit of fun. The tour allows participants to take part in a newscast and small, scripted play. After it was all said and done, the BBC tour was a must-do if you catch yourself in London. It does not matter if you’re a journalist major, advertising major or public relations major, there is something to learn and grasp from the BBC.

Studio One Panoramic

Studio One Panoramic

For more information on how to book your tour in advance for the BBC Broadcasting House, please visit their website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/showsandtours/tours/.

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

by Becky Larson:

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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.

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A Tragedy in West, TX Affects a Texas State Student

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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.”

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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.

Being the Voice of Texas State University

By Shannon Bailie

Photo by: Paige Vaughn Photography

Photo by Paige Vaughn Photography

Mindy Green, a public relations alumna, interned for the Office of University Marketing at Texas State University last spring as a student social media worker. Mindy gained valuable PR experience through a variety of duties including: managing the content for Texas State’s social media sites (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), writing for the Texas State blog and editing marketing materials.

“I love[d] it,” said Green. “It [was] great to kind of be the voice of a brand, essentially. I become the voice of Texas State when I’m tweeting as Texas State.”

Mindy has also promoted Texas State’s KTSW radio for more than two years including running the KTSW social media sites.

“Having done the social media for KTSW I knew what it was like to be the voice of another brand,” said Green. “Everything I wrote was read by thousands of people, so it helped me pay attention to detail. That really helped when they were considering me for the position of student social media worker for the Office of University Marketing.”

In the spring of 2013, one of Green’s friends heard about a student social media position opening up in May.

“My friend who knows my personality and skills thought of me immediately as a good candidate for this position,” said Green. “So I emailed the supervisor, and she requested my resume with two writing samples, and I got called in for an interview and found out weeks after that I got the position.”

Audrey Webb, writer, editor and supervisor for the Office of University Marketing, said, “It impressed me that the stress of an interview did nothing to suppress Mindy’s personality. She projected maturity, competency and energy and did it all with a smile.“

For Green, her internship was not just for school credit, it was to gain out-of-class experience that would prepare her for a PR career.

“It’s one thing sitting in class and talking about the professional world,” said Green. “It’s another to actually be in that environment and see how things are done and how things are run more clearly.”

According to Webb, an internship helps you understand that everyone you work with relies on you, and that your work is significant and meaningful to a wide range of people.

“I’ve seen her confidence grow through the way she tackles unfamiliar situations,” said Webb. “She knows she can face new challenges because she’s had the opportunity to confront them during her internship.”

Green’s advice for other School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) students looking for an internship is to join the media organizations provided on campus, use social media, reach out to professors and fellow students and to get involved in SJMC events and activities.

“Don’t be afraid to just really put yourself out there.” Mindy said.

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.

Father’s MS challenge inspires a PR purpose

LeahKeyworth

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.

 

 

 

 

 

SJMC Grad Heads to D.C. to Intern with NPR

ImageSchool of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduate School alumna Kiana Fitzgerald will be leaving Texas next month for Washington, D.C. to begin a digital music internship with NPR. She’ll be assisting in the production of radio-to-web and web only stories for the music website.

Kiana applied for the internship the first day applications were accepted last May after some nudging from a classmate. Then, she says, “I endured the waiting game.”

It wasn’t until two months later on July 31, she received an email from someone in NPR’s music department. After a phone interview, editing assignment, and talk with Kym Fox, Kiana’s mentor/reference and senior lecturer at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, she had the position.

“Music is such an integral part of public radio, the way it tells stories and connects with listeners,” says Fox. “The NPR internship will give Kiana an opportunity to use her new media skills and give her a chance to explore life outside Texas.”

This won’t be Kiana’s first time to the city. Earlier this year she was invited to the White House Correspondents Weekend after the organization True Blue Inclusion saw her work on the South by Texas State (SXTXState) project.

“I immediately fell in love with the area and knew once I graduated I would have to find my way back, but I never imagined it would happen this quickly or this awesomely,” she says.

Kiana’s advice for students getting ready to graduate or just looking to land a great internship, “don’t psych yourself out of aiming for the thing you really want to do. Don’t waste time in a position that you know isn’t going to lead you toward the larger goals in your life. Know your worth and keep pushing it higher. Don’t let yourself depreciate.”