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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Professionals working in a variety of communication and mass media roles recently met with seniors in Northwest's Department of Communication and Mass Media as part of the department's Professional Advisory Committee day. The day allowed students to receive one-on-one critiques of their portfolios and gained professional insight.

Professionals working in a variety of communication and mass media roles recently met with seniors in Northwest's Department of Communication and Mass Media as part of the department's Professional Advisory Committee day. It allowed students to receive one-on-one critiques of their portfolios as well as gain professional insight. (Department of Communication and Mass Media photo)

April 3, 2014

Professional committee offers insights to mass media faculty, students

Dennis Ellsworth, executive editor of the St. Joseph News-Press, addressed Northwest mass media faculty and members of the department's Professional Advisory Committee about newspaper trends and issues. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Dennis Ellsworth, executive editor of the St. Joseph News-Press, addressed Northwest mass media faculty and members of the department's Professional Advisory Committee about newspaper trends and issues. (Photo by Darren Whitley/University Relations)

Students and faculty in Northwest Missouri State University’s Department of Communication and Mass Media recently gained valuable insights to trends in the mass media field during the department’s annual Professional Advisory Committee meeting.

The March 14 meeting gathered 17 industry professionals from companies throughout the region to discuss how new technology is impacting their work and the skills students need as they enter the field, among other topics.

The committee includes professionals working in social media, sports reporting, graphic design, marketing, public relations, and photography and videography. They represent companies such as KCTV5, the St. Joseph News-Press, The Kansas City Star, VML, UMB, Husch Blackwell and Time Warner Cable.

Senior students also had an opportunity to participate in one-on-one meetings with professionals to network and receive feedback on their portfolios.

“The professional advisory committee is a fantastic resource for mass media seniors,” said Haley Lewin, a senior from Osceola, Iowa, who is completing her degree in interactive digital media with a new media emphasis. “The committee is made up of professionals who will do everything they can to give back and help Bearcats succeed.”

Gordon Billingsley, a digital media consultant, took extra time to critique Lewin’s resume and portfolio, and Joe Cox, director of social media at Barkley, offered Lewin advice about preparing for a social media conference and connecting with some of its speakers.

Although Northwest faculty provide valuable advice for students seeking professional work, faculty also emphasize the importance of having professionals review students’ application materials and providing feedback.

“This event was very helpful in that aspect,” Lewin said. “It’s nice to receive advice from a number of professionals who sincerely want to help.” 

During a faculty presentation to the committee, Instructor of Mass Media Jacquie Lamer and Assistant Professor of Mass Media Dr. Jody Strauch noted the department offers a multitude of job shadow opportunities and field trips to help students learn and engage with professionals in the industry. Annual highlights include a job shadow day at PlattForm advertising in Lenexa, Kan., and the American Advertising Federation of Kansas City Career Day. Recently, broadcast students also visited Kansas City radio and television stations.

Additionally, alumni of the department often speak about their work to mass media courses, either by visiting campus or online. Keaton Guess, a 2008 graduate and accountant manager at Yahoo!, sent students a virtual tour of his New York office and participated in an online Q&A session with them. Scott Jones, a 1999 graduate and writer-producer for the Disney Channel, participated in a Skype session with students from his Burbank, Calif., office.

“By getting students out of the classroom environment and putting them into work environments, they learn so much more than we can say by talking in a classroom,” Lamer said. “By working with professionals, they end up having professional documents in their plan books and portfolios.”

Northwest’s Department of Communication and Mass Media offers seven degree programs that span communication and mass media disciplines including advertising, applied advertising, broadcasting and production, interactive digital media, multimedia journalism, public relations, organizational and interpersonal communications, speech/theatre education and sports media.

In addition to internship experiences, students have opportunities to gain real world experience by joining any one of Northwest’s nationally competitive student media organizations. Students learn skills in radio, television and print, through a converged print and online newspaper, a yearbook with a DVD supplement, online publications, and video and audio recording studios. For more information about the Department of Communication and Mass Media at Northwest, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/communications/.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468