April 18, 2014  

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Three New Staff Members Join Southern Miss Student Media Center

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Chuck Cook

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Mass Communication and Journalism has named three new professional staff members to leadership positions in its Student Media Center.

Chuck Cook, a Southern Miss photojournalism graduate who worked as a photographer at The Times-Picayune for more than 20 years, has been named news content advisor.  His primary responsibility is advising the editors of The Student Printzand studentprintz.com.  He is also teaching photojournalism courses.

Justin Martin, a doctoral student in the School of Mass Communication and Journalismwho holds a law degree from Mississippi College School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Middle Tennessee State University, has been named general manager of WUSM-FM. Martin also teaches courses in radio production.

Martin had been overseeing many of the station’s operations as a graduate assistant in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. A veteran of the radio industry, his family has owned WABO in Waynesboro, Miss, since 1956.

Lesley Sanders-Wood, who was previously a sales executive for Blakeney Communications in Laurel, Miss, has been named business manager of the Student Media Center. Sanders-Wood holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Miss. She oversees advertising operations at The Student Printz and program sponsorship at WUSM. 

“We’re very excited to have these three joining the school,” said Chris Campbell, director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism.  “They bring a ton of professional experience that should serve our students well.”

Campbell said that the Student Media Center is a work in progress: “The school’s faculty developed an ambitious strategic plan several years ago, and one of its key components was the creation of a center that houses all of its student media operations.” 

 He said those operations include The Student Printz and WUSM as well as new operations like The Agency at Southern Miss, a student-led advertising and public relations agency; The Crew, a student-run television production team; and South City Records, a student-operated record label.  Campbell said the school’s strategic plan calls for student media operations to eventually be housed together in improved facilities.

“The faculty realizes the importance of our students getting lots of hands-on opportunities, and we intend to see our students produce work that is competitive with the best student media work on a national level,” he said.

Former WUSM general manager Jeff Rassier has become a full-time instructor in the recording industry program, which was relocated from the School of Music to the School of Mass Communication and Journalism in July.  

Former Student Printz advisor Maggie Williams has become a full-time instructor of journalism and will continue to coordinate the school’s internship program.

For more information on the Student Media Center, visit www.usm.edu/mcj.