Dec. 27, 2018
Phallan Davis, B.A. (Journalism) ’05, has joined the Bastrop Economic Development Corp. as its first marketing and communications manager to help develop and lead an integrated internal and external communications strategy to advance the corporation’s image and brand. Davis has 13 years of experience in brand management, media relations and digital communications. She has designed and executed communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and political officeholders.
Focus Magazine, a student-run publication at Baylor University regarded for its innovative pieces, has recently released its fall 2018 issue featuring fearless individuals and their inspirational stories.
Publishing their first issue in spring of 2011, Focus began as a way for students to gather creative insight into the community in which they would be a part of during their college years. 2011 Editors Jenna DeWitt and Lincoln Faulkner described the vision of the publication as that of bringing light to positive attributes of the Waco community in a way that fosters awareness.
Becoming an entrepreneur, photographer, pastor and mom of three before age 30 was never in the plan for Rachel Whyte. But a degree from the Baylor journalism department, a love for Waco and lots of faith enables Whyte to make balancing a diverse career and a young family seem easy.
Graduating in 2011 with a major in journalism and a minor in music, Whyte quickly began product photography work for Magnolia’s new show “Fixer Upper” and then for the HGTV Network. After deciding to start a family, Whyte left the corporate photography industry and began investing heavily in her own wedding and family photography business and blog, Rachel Whyte. Whyte’s photography uses natural light and a documentary style approach.
The work accomplished at Wieden+Kennedy, one of the nation’s premiere advertising agencies, can simply be described as game-changing. Wieden+Kennedy is renowned for their campaigns that consistently begin conversations, with this year’s most buzzworthy being Nike’s ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. The campaign was born at the Portland-based agency where Baylor University Department of Journalism and Public Relations alumna Becca Ramos has launched her post-graduate career.
It is always a joy to look back at the accomplishments of our faculty and students each semester and to share those with our alumni. This semester is especially significant for me as it represents my final semester of teaching at Baylor. After 36 years at Baylor University, I am preparing to retire in May.
I want to thank Alyssa Gonzalez, one of our graduate students, for writing a feature story that looks back on my career at Baylor University and the outstanding students I’ve had a chance to teach and mentor.
I am humbled to announce that my Baylor colleagues are setting up a scholarship in my honor. We will need to raise a minimum of $50,000 for the scholarship to be fully endowed. (For now, gifts can be designated to the Journalism Endowed Excellence Fund and then given in tribute to Sara Stone).
“Dr. Stone's eyes sparkle and dance when you talk with her,” said Tracey Whelan, a Baylor graduate and former student of Dr. Sara Stone, “She has a gift of making you feel like you are the most important person in the world in that moment.” This is exceptionally rare, Whelan added, “It's truly a gift.”
After 36 years of teaching at Baylor University, Dr. Stone plans to retire in May. In the midst of teaching her final semester, Stone says she adores the students she has this semester. “They are bright, they are engaged, and we have great class discussions.”
Encouraging a lecture hall full of Baylor University students, Alfredo Corchado shared his story of a collision of cultures between the United States, Mexico, and the border, and how it shaped him to be the writer he is today.
Corchado, the award-winning journalist and Mexico City bureau chief at the Dallas Morning News met with students on Oct. 11 to discuss the new release of his book, “Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries & the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration.”
Grace Valentine is a 22-year old author, who started her journey to publication when she was only a sophomore. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana, and graduated from the Baylor University Journalism and Public Relations department in May 2018. While releasing her book was a big step in her career, she continues to touch people’s lives through public speaking.
Since her graduation, Valentine’s first book “Am I Enough?” was published and now she is traveling around the U.S. doing book signings, public speaking and interviews, telling her story to many people through different organizations and colleges.
Nov. 16, 2018
AUDIO: On this week’s episode of Baylor Connections, host Derek Smith interviews Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., a leading researcher on social media and politics, stereotypes found on social media and media framing of women and people of color. Moody-Ramirez examines various angles of modern communication, including how social media has changed the way people consume and disseminate information. Baylor Connections is a weekly radio program/podcast that introduces the people behind Baylor’s teaching, research and distinct role in higher education.
“A feeling in China among the people running China was that there was something fundamentally flawed in the Chinese tradition,” said Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer. “The way of organizing Chinese society had to change fundamentally.”
After traveling all the way from Beijing, China, Johnson delivered a speech to Baylor University students on Oct. 3 about his book “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao.” His book dives into a study of religious practices in China after years of oppression.
“When I realized that the things I did in media meant more to others than myself, I was hooked,” said Andrew B. Church, a Master of Arts in journalism student at Baylor University. “Multimedia gave me the language to communicate what I felt in my heart.”
Church capitalized on his multimedia skills, introducing his Tiny Texas Docs project. These mini-documentaries feature people and communities in small-town Texas, shining a light on residents and their stories. He started these documentaries due to his interest in small towns and renewing journalism at the “grassroots level,” believing everyone deserves to be heard. Tiny Texas Docs officially went online in June 2018 with “Episode 1: Chicken Farmer.”
Occasionally when we get together for lunch, some of us who once worked at The Waco News-Tribune and Times-Herald marvel at the wonderful experience we had and about the people we worked with.
I was about to let 2018 go by when I began to tell myself I should write something about those times. Why 2018? Well, this has been exactly 50 years since 1968 – a year I remember as being one of the highlights of our experience.
Oct. 31, 2018
Professor Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., a nationally known expert on mass media representations of minorities, women and other underrepresented groups, is quoted in this article about colleges educating students on inappropriate and offensive Halloween costumes. “Cultural appropriation is distinct from equal cultural exchange because of the presence of power inequities that are a consequence of oppression,” she said. (Eric Eckert, assistant director of Media and Public Relations, pitched Dr. Moody-Ramirez as an expert on this topic.)
Oct. 25, 2018
In this story, Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., professor of journalism, public relations and new media in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, shares why blackface and cultural appropriation are inappropriate. Moody-Ramirez is a nationally recognized author and expert on issues of race and culture. “If you don’t know the meaning of the ethnic attire you are considering for Halloween, you shouldn’t wear it. For instance, tribal markings, headdresses and turbans would not be appropriate costume attire because they are tied to a specific ceremony or religious meaning.”
The roots and fruits of African American humor have been studied from various perspectives. In September, co-authors, Drs. Mia Moody-Ramirez and Jannette Dates added a new book to the fray titled, “From Blackface to Black Twitter: Reflections on Black Humor, Race, Politics, and Gender" (Peter Lang, 2018).
Baylor journalism faculty, Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez and Dr. Marlene Neill, presented research, served on various panels and were presented with prestigious awards at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Aug. 6-9.
Sept. 10, 2018
Tom Kennedy, B.A. (Journalism) ’68, is among six former Gainesville (TX) High School students who will be honored as Distinguished Alumni Sept. 22 as part of homecoming weekend festivities. Kennedy earned a track scholarship to Baylor and served as editor of The Baylor Lariat during his senior year. He graduated as Distinguished Journalism Graduate and went to work for UPI and later at The Houston Post, where he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1978. He retired after serving as director of marketing for the Houston Community College System.
The Arthur W. Page Center has picked two scholars to become the organization’s first research fellows. The two seasoned faculty members will conduct projects over the next two years that will conclude with white papers, in addition to academic publications and/or publications.
The two scholars, Marlene Neill, Baylor University, and Diana Sisson, Auburn University, have had a long history with the Page Center. They have produced top-notch, award-winning research through past Page/Johnson Legacy Scholar Grants. With this new endeavor, they will further examine important topics within the communications field.
Aug. 29, 2018
Nationally known advocate for diversity in journalism, Mia Moody-Ramirez, Ph.D., professor of journalism, graduate program director and director of American studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, is a guest on Gemma Holmes' Living Your Best Life podcast to discuss racial stereotyping and Baylor’s progress in diversity. Moody-Ramirez was recently awarded the Lionel Barrow Jr. Award for Distinguished Achievement in Diversity Research and Education by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
August 1, 2018
Meredith Aldis, B.A. (Journalism) '18, is the latest addition to the FOX34 team. Aldis is the Look Around Lubbock reporter on Good Day Lubbock. Her passion for sharing news started in high school and carried on into college, where she worked for the Baylor Lariat, was on the college broadcast team and interned at KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Since June, Baylor journalism alumnus and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has met with President Trump and other American leaders in Washington, D.C., Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Charly Edsitty, B.A. (Journalism) ‘09, has joined KTRK-TV, the ABC affiliate in Houston, as a multi-media journalist. Edsitty started her career at KPNX-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, as a planning producer, then was promoted to a reporting role in the station’s Northern Arizona bureau. A member of the Navajo tribe, she started her journalism career working in print specializing in Native American issues.
The Baylor Lariat, Baylor University’s campus newspaper, has added to its long list of awards by being named the best student newspaper in Texas by the Houston Press Club as part of its 2018 Lone Star Awards.
WACO, Texas (June 12, 2018) – Award-winning author Donna M. Johnson will present the 2018 Werlin Lecture at 2 p.m. Friday, June 22, in room 101 of the Castellaw Communications Center at Baylor University. The Werlin Lecture is free and open to the public as part of the 2018 Press Women of Texas Conference.
Masters of International Journalism alumnus and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi spoke at the opening session of the Brussels conference "Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region" cosponsored by the U.N. and the EU this spring.