Students have been selected to lead three student-run media organizations in the Journalism and Mass Communication Department this fall. The organizations consist of the Optimist, Morris & Mitchell and 99 West.
Beginning in August, the Optimist will be helmed by Madeline Orr, junior convergence journalism major from North Richland Hills, currently in her second year on staff. She spent her sophomore year as a copyeditor of the paper and stepped into the role of managing editor last fall.
This spring, she took a semester off from school to do an internship in Austin, in which she worked for a campaign and a non-profit organization. As editor in chief for the 2014-15 school year, she plans to have the Optimist start collaborating more with other news outlets on and off campus, including 99 West and KACU.
“I’m really excited about a lot of the changes happening on campus and that we get to cover all of it,” Orr said. “I also think a lot of the news here goes unread, but I’m looking forward to finding new ways to reach out to students. For instance, everybody plays intramurals and loves them here, so why don’t we cover them? We have a lot of ideas like that, and I’m really excited to get started.”
99 West, the student-run multimedia production agency, also welcomes a new leader, Brance Armstrong, junior multimedia major from Odessa. 99 West is a new organization, in its inaugural year, but it has already built a significant client base. Students direct, produce, shoot and edit projects, including commercials, documentaries and informational videos for paying clients. Armstrong will direct 99 West his senior year, helping the new program develop and garner more work.
“My experience so far has been excellent, getting to work with real, paying clients on large, professional-quality projects,” Armstrong said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to grow 99 West’s client base and continue to develop what 99 West looks like as a student media agency. We don’t have any specific clients lined up for the fall yet, but we will be looking throughout the summer and working to develop what we want to work on for next year.”
Bailey Werderich, a junior ad/PR major from Spring, will take the position of group account director of Morris & Mitchell, ACU’s on-campus advertising and public relations agency. She was a first-year staff member this year, starting out as account coordinator and promoted at the end of the school year.
Much like 99 West, Morris & Mitchell puts students to work for paying clients, creating real campaigns in a fast-paced environment. The organization deals with a wide range of projects, including multi-media ad campaigns, events, social media management and publicity campaigns. Werderich will head a growing Morris & Mitchell staff to try to expand the organization’s client base this fall.
“We’ll be working with many of the same clients as the previous year: Frontier Texas, Gutenberg event and the P4X Foundation, in addition to our new client, the ACU Career Center,” Werderich said. “We are delivering real work and real results for these clients and I’m looking forward to what they have in store for us next year.”