As we enter the holiday season, it is appropriate to look back with thankfulness for the many blessings we have experienced this past semester. I would like to share some of those highlights with our Baylor alumni.
Journalists Christine Grandados and Cynthia Leonor Garza talked about their careers and how it transformed their writing on Oct. 31. Granados was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She has been a journalist with the El Paso Times and the Austin American-Statesman. She is a reporter at the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post. Her second book of fiction, “Fight Like a Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children,” was published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2017.
As part of the Baylor chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), professionals in the PR industry are invited to speak to students about their experiences, offering an opportunity for students to connect with professionals who have accomplished the kinds of goals they themselves are working toward.
The Journalism, Public Relations & New Media Department at Baylor University is welcoming two new, but familiar faces in the 2017-2018 school year. Bruce Gietzen and Amber Adamson bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with the students of the department.
If you’re looking for something new to read this winter, you might be surprised to know that eight faculty members from Baylor University’s Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media have books published over the years with a few more in press covering diverse topics such as Black gospel music, ethics, race and photography. The range of topics, assures almost everyone can find a book from the list that will interest him or her.
The 1960s and early ‘70s became a golden age of Baylor Journalism. For one span of time an assortment of students and faculty put the Baylor Journalism Department and student publications on the map. Looking back, what they accomplished seems unusual. At the time it seemed normal.
The 2017 Pruit Memorial Symposium, “Singing the Sermon: When the Message and Music Matter,” promised to be a celebration of Black Gospel Music and a celebration it was.
Baylor Professor, and founder of the Black Gospel Restoration Program, Robert Darden partnered with the Pruit Memorial Symposium and Truett Theological Seminary to organize this one of a kind event and return to the topic of black gospel music. This year’s focus on the power of Black Gospel song is expanding into historic recorded sermons by black preachers.
The two-day event was held on Oct. 5 and 6 at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Armstrong Browning Library. The keynote presenters were Melvin Butler, associate professor of musicology at University of Miami and Stephen Newby, associate professor of music at Seattle Pacific University.
Baylor journalism faculty and graduate students presented four conference papers and served on panels at the prestigious Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Conference in Chicago Aug. 8-12.
Baylor Public Relations senior Andrea Gaul remembers sitting in a journalism class during her freshman year. A guest speaker was presenting, and as she scrambled to take notes Gaul noticed the speaker kept emphasizing a specific point.
“Her presentation was all about networking with Baylor graduates,” Gaul said. “As a new journalism student that nearly sent me into a panic because I didn’t know anyone who had ever gone through the journalism program here.”
Three years later, Gaul has extended her network to include Baylor alumni and beyond.
The Baylor Journalism, Public Relations and New Media department hosted its annual awards ceremony on April 21 to recognize the academic accomplishments and honor its outstanding students. The guest speaker was Senior Cpt. Tramese Jones, public information officer in the Dallas Police Department, who was honored as the 2017 Alumna of the Year.
WACO, Texas (April 26, 2017) – Robert Darden, professor in the department of journalism, public relations and new media, was named the Outstanding Teaching Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences for 2016.
With spring commencement coming soon, we look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of the 2017 class. We recognized some of our outstanding students during the annual awards program on April 21, and were honored to have Senior Cpl. Tramese Jones from the Dallas Police Department as our guest speaker. She graduated from Baylor with a B.A. in journalism in 2007. Jones discussed her experiences working in media relations during the July 7, 2016 shooting, when five officers were killed and nine others were injured.
A team of seven Baylor students received the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to cover the 2017 presidential inauguration. The last time Baylor students covered a presidential inauguration was eight years ago for President Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
The team consisted of Gavin Pugh, Didi Martinez, Jessica Babb, Kalyn Story, Liesje Powers, Hannah Neumann and Erica Thorpe. The team included five Lariat staff members and two Baylor Round Up editors. Out of the seven, only two students have studied in Washington, D.C. through Baylor’s Semester in Washington Program.
Many advertising companies produce creative communication campaigns, but GSD&M of Austin, Texas, strives to build a relationship with their customers in order to create deeper value. Carmen Graf, senior vice president and executive media director at GSD&M, discussed the vision behind the company as well as gave students many job tips for the future. She and Marianne Rush, associate media director at GSD&M, spoke to Baylor advertising classes on March 29.
In order to excel financially as well as relationally, Graf said advertisers must utilize skills from both the left and right brain: science and creativity. As an example of art and science coming together, Rush shared background information about a campaign they did for Lennox, a company that produces air-conditioning and heating systems called “Degrees of Perfect.”
The Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media hosted the PRSA Educators Academy Mini-Friday, a regional conference, on April 7 in the Barfield Drawing Room located in the Bill Daniel Student Center. Through research presentations and panel discussions, the interactive event educated faculty, staff and students on new trends in public relations.
Two graduates of the Baylor University class of 2015, the first class to graduate with journalism degrees in new media – advertising, are now making their mark in the advertising world in Dallas and Austin.
Marissa Marak, a graphic design associate at Omni Hotels and Resorts in Dallas, immediately entered the workforce following graduation and explained the challenging transition between college and the real world.
Abigail Klein took a different route, attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, where she will be graduating in May with a M.A. in advertising.
“In college, I didn’t want to hear about someone else’s drinking problem because drinking was not a problem for me,” said Sarah Hepola, a New York Times best-selling author and journalist. “Drinking was a solution.”
Hepola, author of the book “Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget,” spoke to a group of Baylor journalism students on Feb. 2 about her book on binge drinking. The program was hosted by the Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media.
WACO, Texas (Feb. 27, 2017) — Millennials who are pursuing careers in public relations do not feel prepared to offer advice on ethics to their companies — and in fact, they do not expect to face ethical dilemmas at work, according to a Baylor University study.
The Baylor Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media’s faculty and graduate students will be presenting research at four academic conferences in March including the 2017 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Midwinter Conference at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, the International Public Relations Research Conference(IPRRC) in Orlando, the 2017 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium in Fort Worth, and 2017 American Academy of Advertising (AAA) Conference in Boston.
Michael Eckert, the 11-year-old son of Eric Eckert, adjunct lecturer for the journalism department and assistant director of media communications for Baylor University, succeeded in the monumental task of raising more than $30,000 to build a classroom in Gulu, Uganda, in less than a year, and on Nov. 3-12 Michael and Eric visited the country to see the completed classroom.
For years, the Baylor in D.C. program has been a way for Baylor pre-law students to learn more about the political climate of our nation. But for the first time ever, two Baylor journalism students have embarked on the program to further their studies and gain immeasurable experiences working for the nation’s leading news sources.
Jessica Babb and Didi Martinez, both juniors at Baylor, are taking courses at American University in D.C. while juggling part-time internships in the news field. Babb works for an ABC affiliate with the investigative team, while Martinez works with the political unit at NBC News.
Baylor in Budapest is the university’s newest study abroad program based out of the Journalism, Public Relations and New Media department. With its first trip in the summer of 2016, Baylor in Budapest gave students the opportunity to take journalism courses in a foreign classroom and be immersed in the Hungarian culture.
Students had the option to combine six hours of credit from four journalism courses offered. The classes focused on journalism and the foreign culture and provided a different classroom for students. The course work was supplemented by guest lecturers that spoke to the class.
As we enter the holiday season, we have many blessings to be grateful for this semester and would like to share them with our Baylor alumni.
At the top of the list, we are celebrating the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, which includes an exhibit highlighting the music preserved by Professor Bob Darden through his Black Gospel Music Restoration project. Darden and Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez both had the opportunity to view the exhibit in September in Washington, D.C. when it opened. In addition, Darden published his second book, “Nothing but Love in God’s Water: Volume 2: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City” in September.
Baylor Lariat was founded in 1900, and its mission has remained constant. From the very beginning through today, the Lariat has given students the opportunity to report news, and now that means on television along with print and the Internet. Lariat Television News (LTVN) now airs on Waco's local college channel. The channel used to have content provided KWBU, but once that relationship ended Baylor programming has been absent while some content was still provided by McLennan Community College and Texas State Technical College.
Whether beginning a public relations career or serving as the most senior public relations officer in a Fortune 500 company, Baylor alumni reflected back on their experiences as students and still draw on the foundational skills they built in Castellaw.
Alumnus Chris Talley, the vice president of CEO communications and chief communications officer of USAA, and May 2016 graduate Ashton Brown, an associate at Lewis Public Relations, discussed how their time at Baylor has helped them in their current jobs.