The MC Department of Communication's
Newsletter for Alumni & Friends
Big River Strategies, Mississippi College's new student-run public relations agency, launched this fall. The agency's mission is to equip organizations with the communication strategies to foster quality relationships and long-term success through the work of dedicated students and to be a place for the student staff (above) to grow in their abilities to communicate effectively, lead confidently, and collaborate with their peers while investing locally. Learn more about Big River Strategies.
We're grateful for the ongoing support of our alumni and friends who advocate for and employ our students, pray for our everyday work, and contribute financially to our cause. If you'd like to know more about how you can help us prepare students to be successful communicators with their words, skills, and lives, please contact department chair Dr. Reid Vance.
Homecoming 2023 Honorees
CLIFF FORTENBERRY DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS
Michael Bowen (B.S. '03) serves as Media Minister for Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, Miss. Under Michael's direction, Broadmoor has developed a media ministry, built a 2,500-seat Worship Center, installed over 1.5 million dollars in production and broadcast infrastructure, and experienced growth in the media ministry's team to over 50 volunteers.
Bowen was actively involved in campus and department activities during his years at MC, working at campus radio stations WHJT-FM and WSLI-AM, participating in the musical touring group The Naturals, and working in media roles with several local Baptist churches. After graduation, Bowen started the Multimedia Services Division of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, earning several awards for excellence from the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Southern Public Relations Federation. Michael also served for several years as Media and Communications Minister at First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss.
Bowen is an active member of the Metro Media and Communications Association and frequently consults with other churches to help establish media and production ministries. In addition to serving in the local church, Bowen coordinates live sports production for Belhaven University. Michael completed his graduate degree in 2012 at Regent University and was ordained into gospel ministry in 2014.
A native of Pensacola, Fla., Bowen earned his B.S. in Communication in 2003. He is married to Krista Crone Bowen of Southaven, Miss. They have five children and reside in Madison where they are actively involved in various school, community, and foster care and adoption activities. Bowen was presented his award by MC Communication professor Cliff Fortenberry.
DISTINGUISHED YOUNG ALUMNUS
Richard Morris (B.S. '15) serves as an Emergency Management Programs Specialist at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VI in Denton, Texas. He works with local and state emergency management partners in delivering federal disaster assistance programs during federally declared disasters and provides technical assistance to enhance preparedness, mitigation, and capacity building strategies that help communities become more resilient.
Morris has been deployed to many natural disaster areas to assist local communities as survivors recover from hurricanes, wildfires, pandemics, flooding, and tornadoes. He serves as a Voluntary Agency Liaison who establishes and fosters relationships with government, volunteer agencies, faith-and community-based organizations, and philanthropic partners who help communities plan for, respond to, and recover from disasters. Through these relationships, he supports the delivery of inclusive and equitable services and empowers and strengthens capabilities of communities to address disaster-related unmet needs.
A native of Clinton, Miss., Morris earned his B.S. in Communication in 2015. He lives in Little Elm, Texas. Morris was presented his award by MC Communication professor Mignon Kucia.
Communication Students Hit the Road
Sports Media students traveled to Georgia in September to visit with 2014 Department of Communication Distingushed Alumnus Ben Ingram (B.S. '03), the radio play-by-play voice of the Atlanta Braves.
Communication students Zac Sewall, Charlie Williams, Evan Brown, and Jace Aymond met with Ingram for professional and career advice, and then enjoyed the Braves game as part of a sell-out crowd on a Friday night.
The crew continued on to Rome, Georgia, on Saturday to broadcast the Choctaws' football win over Shorter University, one of over 100 Mississippi College athletic events produced annually by Blue & Gold Sports.
Public Relations students recently visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., where they learned more about public affairs and internship opportunities with ERDCWERX, a corps initiative that helps identify new research and development partnerships for innovation and commercialization.
Accompanying professor Mignon Kucia were students Aryn Margaret Loyd, Abby Spires, and Liliana Talazac.
Alumni Pay It Forward as Adjunct Faculty
With a growing campus population -- over 1,000 new students enrolled at Mississippi College for the Fall 2023 semester! -- it's a great blessing to have dedicated MC Communication alumni who join full-time faculty in serving our students. These outstanding professionals represent the department and university with distinction in the workplace and are committed to teaching new generations of Choctaws from their unique perspectives.
Kenny Bizot (M.S., '95) is Director of Athletics at Mississippi College. The New Orleans native holds more than 20 years’ experience in coaching and athletic administration at the NCAA Division II and III levels and in Mississippi's community colleges. At MC, he serves on the university’s President’s Council and Deans Council.
Bizot earned the M.S. in Communication from MC. As an MC basketball student-athlete, he earned the team's "Mr. Hustle" award in each of his four seasons and was the Department of Communication's Distinguished Alumnus in 2012. Bizot teaches Public Speaking.
Eric Eaton (M.S., '10) is a Vice President and Bank Experience Officer for BankPlus with nearly 20 years of branch and operational banking experience.
Eaton holds a graduate degree in banking from Barret Graduate School of Banking in Memphis, Tenn., an M.S. in Communication from MC, and a B.A. in History from the University of Mississippi.
With over two decades of stage and voice acting experience, Eaton is an experienced public speaker and emcee and is SAG-AFTRA eligible. Eaton teaches Professional Communication Skills.
Kimber Riley (B.S., '12) is Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Wise Carter Child & Caraway, P.A., in Jackson, Miss.
Riley earned the B.S. in Interpersonal Communication from MC and her M.S. in Strategic Communication from Troy University.
Riley is an active member of Grace City Church in Jackson, Miss., and lives in Madison, Miss.. Riley teaches Public Relations Writing.
Katie Rogers (B.S., '14; M.S., '16) is Director of Business Development at McCarty Architects in Tupelo, Miss., providing architectural services to a select client group with a focus on healthcare, senior living, and higher education.
Rogers earned the B.S. in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations from MC, and the M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication from MC. While in graduate school, she served as a teaching assistant. She lives in Tupelo, Miss. Rogers teaches Professional Communication Skills.
The annual print edition of The Prompter will be in your mailbox soon after Thanksgiving. Do you have a professional or personal announcement to share with your fellow Communication alums? The time is now to let us know your latest news and moves and update your contact information! The deadline for inclusion is Friday, November 17.
Can We Get a Picture?
Thanks in large part to your generosity, our classrooms and hallways in Aven are looking better than ever. But our walls are still missing something... pictures from you!
If you have photos from your Mississippi College days that you'd like to share for possible display in the hallowed halls of Aven, please upload them here.
This is a great way to inspire our current students and to jog your own memories when you visit in the near future.
Please don't leave this important interior design task to our department chair. Share your photos today!