An East Central University education can lead you down a different, but successful path.
Just ask Sarah Jones, who is now social media creative producer with the Chickasaw Nation. Jones, a 2015 ECU graduate, recently took home a Nextgen Under 30 Media/Public Relations Award from a statewide event which honors those, under the age of 30, who are already making an impact in their young careers by demonstrating talent, drive and service to their communities.
The Ada resident and Byng High School graduate attended ECU with aspirations of being a journalist, but was swayed a slightly different direction, thanks to the influence of the late Samantha Dillehay, an ECU filmography professor.
“I took some of her video classes. She was obviously a big part of ECU and my (educational) experience,” said Jones. “I got a lot of experience as an event photographer and on the yearbook working with Amy Ford (in ECU’s Communications and Marketing Department). It was a good experience and she gave me constructive feedback.”
As social media creative producer, Jones creates a lot of content for the Chickasaw Nation’s media platform.
“Sometimes its videos and sometimes its graphics,” Jones said. “Right now I’m working on Women’s History Month and trying to come up with different concepts. There are two different films we are heavily promoting right now – Te Ata and Chickasaw Rancher, which was actually shot in the summer.”
According to Jones, she was nominated for the award by Gentry Fisher, of The Chickasaw Press. Fisher received an award for The Arts from that same group the previous year. Jones also filled out a form and sent in a resumē during the nomination process.
“It’s an honor to be nominated by the people I have worked with and those who have received it before,” said Jones. “It’s kept confirmation that you’re doing a good job.”
Students can pursue exciting concentrations in advertising and public relations or mass media at ECU. Mass communication majors have access to Mac labs, TV and audio studios, professional quality equipment, student organizations and instructors with both academic and real-world experience.
Graduates with mass communication degrees have the skills employers need in an information-sensitive society. Among the careers which can be obtained with a mass communication degree are: editor, communication director, producer, station programmer, journalist, public relations officer, newscaster, advertising director, photographer, media buyer, speech writer, entertainment agent and much more.
ECU mass communication students have access to numerous professional and social activities that introduce them to industry leaders throughout the state. Many of these activities lead to internships and jobs. Among these activities are: Audio Visual Club, Club PRAD, Picturesque Photography Club and Paper Lantern Lounge.