The Magnet Tribune
Communication students take part in university sessionsFriday, October 28, 2011 By Daisie Uridales and Vasty Patterson
The University Star newspaper and Hip Hop Congress were features at VMT’s day at Texas State's Mass Communication Week. Vidal M. Trevino’s media programs attended on October 18. This was VMT’s eighth year of attending. Kym Fox, senior lecturer, organized this event for high school students. These sessions were concentrated around modern communication. A tour around Texas State was an extra feature and is what started the day. “It is always great having the VMT students at Texas State because they are familiar with journalism and what we do at our campus newspaper and radio station. The college students enjoy talking to the VMT students about high school journalism because many of our students here involved in journalism in high school. It's a privilege to be able to share the Texas State campus with students from Laredo. I really appreciate how the VMT students engage in the Mass Communication Week experience,” said Fox. One of the highlights of the day was the session with J.R. Gonzales and Evelina Solis. Gonzales and Solis host their own radio talk show, 501 News Latino. Gonzales is a Southwest Texas graduate, and is now president and CEO of JRG Communications. Gonzales has had the privilege to dine at the White House with President Barack Obama and staff. Solis is a graduate of Ohio Northern University and University of Guanajuato. She is now a radio producer and certified life coach. They discussed about how in the U.S., 1 out of every 6 people, is Hispanic, which brings on the need for Spanish speakers. “We need to prepare to take a lead,” Gonzales said, and in order to do so we should “use technology to empower a message.” Gonzales and Solis gave advice throughout the session, like “have a dream and pursue it,” and “one person can make a difference.” VMT students also attended a session called “Careers in Online Media: Newspaper in the Virtual World.” Maira Garcia, social media editor and Tina Phan, multimedia producer and Emmy nominee at Austin American-Statesman newspaper discussed their careers. Garcia and Phan are both Texas State graduates and were both on the University Star newspaper staff. Austin American-Statesman received numerous responses and followers, they said, when they provided continuous news coverage and updates on the wildfires in Bastrop, Steiner Ranch, Pedernales Bend, and Hays County, in September. “Team effort was helpful for this event,” Garcia said . The wildfires still have an effect on people, and “this is something I can see we’ll be covering 10 years from now,” said Phan. Another session VMT students attended was with Elaine Aradilles, People magazine editor, in which she talked about what she did before her time at People. Aradilles is a graduate of Columbia University in New York with a journalism degree; she previously was a student at University of Texas in Austin with an art major. Aradilles worked for her hometown paper, San Antonio Express News, as a crime reporter and a feature writer. She enjoyed her job as a crime reporter, but stopped working as one after stepping over a body while covering a story. Aradilles started working for People magazine in a small California town, and then proceeded to Los Angeles. People's editors liked how she could do both crime and feature stories, she said. A few of her highlights were covering Kate and William when they visited the United States, and interviewing Kelly Osbourne, daughter of Ozzy Osbourne. The session with Hugh Forrest, event director of South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive, discussed topics that were suggested by viewers of the website. VMT students were divided into three groups, and each would go to a different site at Texas State, with a university student mentor and a VMT teacher, during a campus tour before the sessions. The sites in this tour were to KTSW radio, the University Star newspaper, and a residence hall. KTSW radio, 89.9 FM, stretches to San Antonio to Austin and is a station run by students. KTSW radio covers everything one can imagine, from music to sports. University Star, in the Trinity building, is the university’s award-winning newspaper. Just like KTSW radio, University Star is run by students. The residence hall, Jackson Hall, is a 12-story building which holds 429 students, and has a 24/7 laundry room and everything else like a study room and recreation areas. During lunch Hip Hop Congress, a university student organization, performed artistic work they wrote themselves and discussed their lives with VMT students. VMT student Ashley Galvan, a junior in print journalism/online media, said she had good experiences VMT’s day at Mass Communication Week. “This was a learning experience. Texas State not only talked about what they had to offer, but also about college life. I liked that our mentors were actually willing to answer questions; they were so friendly and willing to listen. I really liked the Hispanic media session; the people were so inspirational and motivational.” Staff writer Karinna Lopez contributed to this story.