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Baylor JPRNM students use social media to cover conference

March 5, 2013

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Students and conference staff meet with Baylor's Athletic Media's Heath Nielsen after his conference presentation on Robert Griffin III's social media campaign.

The first CenTex New Media Conference offered two firsts: how-to from 20 cutting-edge gurus and hands-on social media reporting experience for Baylor's Journalism, Public Relations and New Media department's students. The inaugural event was held Saturday, March 2 at the Texas Farm Bureau Headquarters in Waco.

"This was hands-down one of the most valuable experiences I've had as a student at Baylor," Baylor senior Alekza Latte said. "I learned so much working in a newsroom environment."

The event attracted more than 100 new media enthusiasts and professionals, including marketers, developers, designers, bloggers and creative professionals from in and around Central Texas.

Baylor's Journalism, PR & New Media department was a Gold Sponsor. Newsroom managers and registration coordinators included Drs. Cassy Burleson, Liz Bates, Mia Moody and Marlene Neill.

Bates, a newsroom manager, said the conference offered a wonderful opportunity for students to hone their skills.

"Students often use Facebook, Twitter, etc., for personal gratification. But it was good for them to use these platforms professionally," Bates said. "This conference gave them great practice. Students always benefit when they can get hands-on experience."

Baylor Senior Latifah Adeleke agreed. "It was a remarkable chance to get some hands-on experience in a fast-paced environment. I'm so glad I participated."

Mirroring this sentiment, Burleson, also a newsroom manager, said she loved working with colleagues and students in a real-world setting.

"It was nice to be with so many smart people learning from so many experts in new media," Burleson said.

Conference Chair Jay Hicks said he thought the student newsroom was a valuable addition to the conference. "Newsroom volunteers created content across many platforms, including video, the mobile Web, audio and social media," Hicks said. "I was very pleased with their work."

Hicks added that students worked side by side with well-respected news professionals, demonstrating that undergraduates in Baylor's Journalism, PR & New Media program are talented and strongly qualified to compete at a high level.

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Student volunteers were Aimee Gomez, Alekza Latte, Ali Croom, Alyssa Maxwell, Areli Mendoza, Arielle Breedyk, Barrett Tomek, Callie Clevenger, Charlie Foster, Jenny Philen, Jordan Dunnington, Kaitlin Ramby, Kaitlin Ramby, Lauren Kreig, Kayla Millsap, Latifah Adeleke and Sam O'Brien.

To see student work, visit http://www.centexnewmedia.com/category/student-blogs .