2017 Graduating SJMC Grad Students


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Breanna Andrea Salinas (Concentration: Digital Media)

Breanna Andrea Salinas (B.S. in Public Relations, Texas State University) chose a concentration in Digital Media in SJMC graduate school because the growth of technology, social media and “all things digital” has always excited her.

“During my program, not only did I get to learn from brilliant professors like Dr. Royal, Dr. Rao, Dr. Higgins-Joyce and Dr. Grimes,” she said. “But I was also able to work under them like Dr. Ngondo, Dale Blasingame, and Jon Zmikly.” As a short-term plan after graduation, Salinas plans to work at a marketing, advertising and social media agency called Social Summer Camp as a Community Manager.

Dylan Elizabeth Lochridge-Fletcher

Dylan Elizabeth Lochridge-Fletcher (Concentration: Digital Media)

Going to SJMC graduate school at Texas State University helped Dylan Elizabeth Lochridge-Fletcher to network with many industry professionals in Texas and abroad, especially through the study abroad summer program. After graduation, Lochridge-Fletcher, who has been with Apple for 3.5 years, will stay in San Marcos working for Apple as an At-Home Technical Support full-time.

“I’m excited to continue this journey with them after graduation and beyond!” said Lochridge-Fletcher.


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Ashley Alvarez (Concentration: Strategic Communication)

Ashley Alvarez chose a concentration in strategic communication in SJMC to pursue a career in public relations.

“The graduate school program provided me with in depth knowledge and critical thinking skills that I will be able to apply in my career path for years to come,” she said.

“It also gave me an advantage in terms of my future plans, as only about 12% of Americans hold a graduate degree.” She added, “Obtaining my master’s has given me an a leg up in the job market and opened new doors for me in regards to positions that may require an advanced degree.”

Alvarez plans to move to San Antonio after graduation and work in public relations or marketing, where she is currently involved in the interview process with four different companies and government agencies located San Antonio.


Jordan Scott Cooper

Jordan Scott Cooper (Concentration: Digital Media)

Jordan Scott Cooper thinks SJMC graduate school gave him the confidence to pursue positions he would have previously felt unqualified to apply for. This September, Cooper accepted an offer to work at Umbel, a software tech startup in downtown Austin.



















SJMC Receives Grant to Host Ph.Digital Bootcamp

Applications are now being accepted for the first Ph.Digital Bootcamp in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University, supported by a $75,000 grant from the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

audience analysis and emerging technologies… data analytics… digital strategy… fluency in HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript… media entrepreneurship… mobile applications… experience with social media

These are all phrases included in position descriptions for tenure-track faculty on the job advertisement section of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) website. They represent emerging topics relevant to mass communication curriculum and scholarship. Are you prepared to teach in and lead curriculum in a rapidly changing digital world?

The Ph.Digital Bootcamp prepares mass communication doctoral students and early career assistant professors to become digital scholar/educators and lead curriculum innovation. The program is an online/in-person hybrid, starting late-February 2018. Students will be instructed to complete ten weekly online modules leading up to the in-person workshop May 14-20 in the Media Innovation Lab (MILab) on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos. The program is limited to up to 20 participants who will be competitively selected.

The program is free to selected participants. Thanks to support from the Knight Foundation, participants will receive fellowships to cover training, transportation, lodging, materials and meals for the in-person workshop in May.

Led by Dr. Cindy Royal, director of the MILab and a digital innovator with experience in curriculum redesign, the workshop will help participants develop strategies for staying up-to-date and sharing knowledge with students and faculty.

“Whether you want to teach digital skills or apply digital concepts to theory and research, the Ph.Digital Bootcamp will introduce the skill sets and mindset to embark on a career of continuous learning about the digital world,” Royal said. “We are thrilled to work with the Knight Foundation to help doctoral students and faculty develop these critical competencies that will ultimately influence mass communication curriculum and better prepare graduates.”

“Journalism professors are charged with ensuring that the next generation of reporters are prepared to meet new community information demands. The Ph.Digital Bootcamp will help them in this goal, offering an avenue for professors and scholars to become digital news leaders, and advance journalism innovation into the future,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism.

The program has recruited faculty and advisers from the SJMC and members of the media community who are leaders in virtual reality and 360 video, drones, data, social media, coding, multimedia storytelling and media innovation.

SJMC Faculty teaching emerging topics

The workshop will address the following topics:

  • digital platforms and product management
  • web and mobile development
  • data journalism and visualization
  • social media engagement
  • entrepreneurship and innovation
  • experiential learning in the digital environment
  • emerging media in drones, virtual reality and bots
  • pedagogy strategies and digital scholarship insights

Weekly online modules leading up to the in-person workshop will each require no more than 1-3 hours per week and will include video lessons, discussion posts and brief quizzes. We recognize that doctoral students are very busy. These online modules will be offered in a flexible, asynchronous format, so that participants may be able to easily work them into their schedules.

Who can apply? Students currently enrolled in a doctoral program in journalism and mass communication (or related discipline) and those who have recently completed their doctoral education (within the past two years) are encourage to apply. Visit PhDigitalBootcamp.com for more information and to find the application link. While previous digital experience is not necessary, we are seeking participants who have a strong interest in teaching and research agendas that deal with emerging, digital topics. Be specific in crafting your answers on the application.

Applications are due  by midnight (Central Time) January 15, 2018 and participants will be notified of their acceptance by February 7, 2018.

More information about the Ph.Digital Bootcamp can be found at phdigitalbootcamp.com. Contact Dr. Cindy Royal, croyal@txstate.edu, if you have questions.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.


About the Media Innovation Lab
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication opened the Media Innovation Lab (MILab) in Fall 2016. The MILab provides Texas State University with a central point for a broad range of digital media activities – scholarship, curriculum, courses, faculty development, community networking and events. Users are able to experiment with 360 video, drones, sensors and other emerging technologies and receive training in a range of web development and social media techniques. MILab faculty are committed to continuous learning and staying on the cutting edge of the intersection of technology and communication.


About the School of Journalism and Mass Communication
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication, housed in historic Old Main, offers a nationally accredited curriculum that introduces graduate and undergraduate students to the broad framework of mass communication, emphasizing what is fundamental to advertising, journalism, public relations, electronic media and the newest degree in digital media innovation. The mission of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is to pursue excellence. Our programs strive to cultivate strong professional, research, theoretical, critical and ethical skills in a diverse and engaging environment that prepares students to be socially responsible media professionals, scholars and citizens.


9th Annual International Graduate Research Conference

2017 International Research Conference for Graduate Students (1)

SJMC graduate students at 9th Annual International Graduate Research Conference

The Graduate College at Texas State University hosted a conference for graduate student to showcase their research on Nov. 7-8. SJMC graduate students shared their research about Hurricane Harvey media coverage, relief efforts, immigration, the 2016 election and political interactions on social media by college students.

Mass Communication student Janel Lee presented her research on “If Hair is Relaxed, are Folks Truly Relaxed? A Study of Modern Audience’s Perceptions of Natural Hair in the Media.” She shared that audiences tend to have an overall positive viewpoint of natural hair while believing that natural hair in the media is portrayed in a more negative light. “I greatly enjoyed listening to the research of my fellow Mass Communication students ,” said Janel. “I also appreciated the opportunity to look at other schools’ research through the poster session.”


Mass Communication student Ryan Leach presenting his research paper at the conference

Another Mass Communication student Ryan Leach presented his research on “Visual Framing of Immigrants During the 2016 US Presidential Election.” He examined whether the New York Times employed xenophobic visual frames in the month leading up to the 2016 Presidential Election and found that the New York Times did not employ negative visual frames of immigrants.  “It was an overall pleasant experience,” said Ryan. “It was nice seeing some of the people in my online class in person.”

We are very of proud that many of our SJMC graduate students made a significant contribution to the conference. We would like to recognize and thank those who contributed to the success of the 9th Annual International Graduate Research Conference!

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Bobcat Promotions Going to New York Jan. 7-13


Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, meets with Texas State University students following the daily media briefing.

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Members of Bobcat Promotions (BPR), the student-run media strategies firm at Texas State University, will be returning to New York Jan. 7–13, 2018, for its 4th Annual Professional Development Tour.

The trip provides BPR members and select others the opportunity to learn from other professionals in the industry. Students apply what they learn in New York to their work at Bobcat Promotions.

“The trip never fails to achieve its mission of developing students professionally,” said Chuck Kaufman, BPR adviser. “Students return to Texas fully charged to take on the world. They also get to digest life in the most exciting city in the world, America’s media capital.”

The group of 15 students will visit with top officials at Fleishman-Hillard, Edelman, Rubinstein PR, OgilvyPR and Cohn & Wolfe. Students will tour and meet with communications executives at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Another highlight will be experiencing the United Nations through a daily media briefing with Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The week-long visit opens Sunday evening with a mixer with Texas State SJMC alumni at the Park Central Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

Texas State alumna Taylor Carfield, former member of BPR, said the trip motivated her to strive for excellence at Bobcat Promotions and in all aspects of life.

“This trip really taught me to be confident, and that if I want something, I can work hard enough to get it,” Carfield said.

Daniel Martinez, BPR current executive director, said the opportunity to sit in on the UN media briefing and hear about real news before it came to press was simply incredible.

“The institution is so full of history, diversity and human rights,” Martinez said. “It was truly a remarkable experience and a college memory I will carry with me forever.”

Members making the trip will meet in December to finalize preparations as a group.

Bobcat Promotions is a professional, student-run firm at Texas State University, specializing in public relations and media promotion. Founded in 2006, BPR has worked with numerous clients in the San Marcos area on a wide variety of projects. The firm draws top students from all sequences of mass communication, integrating these different facets to create a robust agency that can serve the needs of clients. Visit www.bobcatpromotions.com and Bobcat Promotions on Facebook.

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!

Meet the Staff: Shawna White

srwhite_factulty-photo.jpgShawna White is one of our newest lecturers in School of Journalism and Mass Communication here at Texas State University. Shawna is from Texas and has spent most of her adult life in San Marcos and Austin. She received my B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Mass Communication from Texas State. She has always wanted to come back to Texas State University as a faculty member, so she is very excited to finally back in class!

White says she appreciates being able to make a difference in the lives of our students.

“Nothing can top when students have those ‘light bulb’ moments, and you know you’ve gotten through,” said White.

“This is my first semester teaching here and my first semester back on a college campus in a couple of years. I’m so happy to be back in a university environment, helping students and conducting meaningful research!”

Be sure to welcome Shawna next time you see her around Old Main!


Meet the Staff: Laura Krantz – University Star Director and SJMC Faculty Member


Lecturer Laura Krantz is the new director at the University Star, the Texas State University student newspaper. Originally from Houston, Laura moved to Albuquerque as a junior in high school and later attended The University of New Mexico where she graduated with degrees in English and Journalism. She spent eight years working in media and earned her Master’s Degree in Communication from Stephen F. Austin State University. She has worked as a department chair and junior college student media adviser for 10 years.

She is excited to be part of the pivotal time in a person’s life — the college years — and encourage them to do their best work and usher them out into the “real world.” At Texas State University, Laura loves teaching MC 1313 and seeing students learn the purpose and mechanics of media writing.

Laura likes to watch students who love journalism come onto a college campus and find their “tribe.” Laura’s office at the University Star is always open for students to get advice, so be sure to meet Laura and welcome her to Texas State!

#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!


#AlumniSpotlight: Tiffany Young

Tiffany young is a recent 2016 graduate from our Public Relations sequence in the SJMC. While at Texas State, Young served in multiple student organizations, including Student Government, Student Organizations Council, Cat Camp, and Student Foundation. Young is now a Deputy Account Associate at ROSS Communications in Austin. Congrats, Tiffany!

#AlumniSpotlight: Elan Tavor

alumnispotlight_elantavor copyElan Tavor graduated from the SJMC with a degree in Public Relations in 2001. Now a home builder with The Tavor Company and real estate broker with John Daugherty Realtors, Tavor says his degree has been an incredible asset throughout his career.

“I had an incredible educational experience at Texas State (SWT when I was there). The class sizes were small enough to allow for the best professor/student interaction, which allowed me to get the most out of the courses I completed. The professors I had truly had a profound impact on me at the time and what I learned still influences me today. The public relations skills learned at the SJMC have helped me tremendously at various times throughout my career.”