It’s all about who you know.
When you enroll in JMC, you join a network of nearly 8,000 alumni across the nation and across the nation and globe. We help our School of Journalism and Mass Communication alumni stay connected with each other and current JMC students through the following:
JARGON, our alumni magazine
- Social media outlets and our website
- Special events like Homecoming
As alumni rise to become leaders in their professions, Kent State University JMC provides opportunities for them to offer mentoring, internships, and job placement assistance. Our alumni have remarkable stories to tell about their career experiences; here are a few worth sharing.
READY TO LAUNCH
Where have our newest alumni landed? You'll find them working across the country and across the media and communication industries. We even have some famous graduates of Kent State JMC. Here are some highlights.
Alum of Note
PR Grad Joins the Major League
Story by Meghan Caprez
IMAGE: Phylicia McCorkle
Phylicia McCorkle, ’13, entered the major league of higher education when she decided to pursue a master’s degree in public relations at Kent State. After two years of extensive study and preparation, she’s entered the real major league -- Major League Baseball, that is -- as a community relations staff member for the Cincinnati Reds.
“I’m really excited to be getting my hands dirty and making a difference with the Reds,” McCorkle said. “I get to apply what I learned at Kent and see my thesis research come to life.”
Baseball played a large role in McCorkle’s Kent State experience. She spent eight months with the Akron Aeros (now the Akron RubberDucks), studying the team’s community relations initiatives for her thesis. McCorkle placed special emphasis on the relationship between sports and education.
The transition from studying the Aeros to working for the Reds was easy, McCorkle said, and she credits the skills and life lessons she learned at JMC with that ease. From learning the dynamics of building relationships in the Media Relations and Publicity course to honing her personal brand and professional skills in the Global Ad & PR course, McCorkle felt prepared to take on her community relations role with the Reds.
“Studying abroad for Global Ad & PR helped me see the global aspect of public relations, which is really helpful working with a large organization like the Reds,” McCorkle said.
McCorkle believes the faculty’s dedication to the success of their students is unparalleled and helped her complete her degree at Kent State.
“There are really great professors at JMC,” McCorkle said. “This was a big dream for me, and they really, genuinely believed in me. I had a great support system.”
Alumna Helps Increase Home Shopping Network’s Reach
Story by Meghan Caprez
IMAGE: Lauren Miller
Lauren Miller, ’12 and ’13, always knew she wanted to work for a cable television station, but she didn’t anticipate that her career would lead her to one of the world’s premiere shopping networks.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and completing her media management master’s courses, Miller landed a position at the Home Shopping Network (HSN) as a digital merchandise assistant, headquartered in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Miller is responsible for managing digital media for HSN’s electronics department.
“I absolutely love my job,” Miller said. “HSN is trying to strengthen its online presence, and that’s really what I’m here for. It is such an interesting network; there’s always someone talking about it.”
As an undergraduate, Miller said she received the practical skills she needed as a broadcast journalist, but she developed her passion for digital management as a graduate student.
“Digital media is becoming a huge player in the industry,” Miller said. “Social media is elevating that content. In college, I realized that you have to keep learning about social media and things outside of production so you can make that content even more successful.”
Miller also credits her internship experiences and her involvement in TV2 with preparing her to work for a large cable television network.
“I learned practical skills of how to be a manager and how to make things work in a high-stress environment,” Miller said of her time as a producer at TV2. “I learned how to coordinate pieces coming from all different departments, especially when I produced the 2012 election show.”
“To get that dream job, supplement your normal classes with some electives in the area of the industry you’re most interested in,” Miller said. “And when you’re looking for jobs in that industry, fight for your dream.”
2013 Grad Hosts Talk Show on WAKR
Story by Meghan Caprez
IMAGE: Jasen Sokol
“We do radio that helps people.”
That’s how JMC alumnus Jasen Sokol, ’13, describes his new radio spot on WAKR. His self-titled talk radio show, airing weekdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., is dedicated to reporting unbiased news for Northeast Ohioans.
“The Jasen Sokol Show” first aired Feb. 24, 2014, and Sokol said he could not believe he was hosting his own show so soon after graduation.
“It’s been great and kind of crazy,” Sokol said. “WAKR originally hired me to do traffic, so I didn’t think for a second that I’d be doing what I’m doing one year out of Kent State.”
Sokol completed his master’s degree in broadcast journalism as a Walton D. Clarke Graduate Fellow. This endowed scholarship is awarded to an outstanding student in the electronic media sequence.
At Kent State, Sokol worked for WKSU and TV2.
“My work at TV2 really helped me improve on air,” Sokol said. “I can’t say enough good things about TV2. It’s the best pre-professional training I had.”
Sokol was responsible for creating, anchoring and producing “Portage Pulse,” TV2’s public affairs news program. Interviewing public officials for the show prepared him for his current position at WAKR, he said.
Sokol said his education inside the classroom was unparalleled. Some of his classes - like Broadcast Beat Reporting with professor Gary Hanson - were able to “whip [him] into shape” and help him to become the broadcaster he is today.
“Kent State is a name brand in education for journalists,” Sokol said. “They train people the right way; students are trained to work in the real world and hit the ground running.”