Welcome! Jargon is the digital alumni newsletter of the School of Media and Journalism (MDJ).
This page will be updated each month to include the most recent issue's highlighted stories. Our News & Events page is updated continuously with the School's most recent news.
The School of Media and Journalism prepares its students with professional experiences, setting them up for successful futures. Here's how some alumni have taken that experience and made it their own after graduation.
A degree from Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism can lead to opportunities to work across fields and businesses — and all over the world. Alumna Mary Jo Spletzer, ’10, has used what she learned as a public relations major to make her mark at Atlantis Resorts in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Spletzer met the man who would become her husband — an exchange student from Germany — during her senior year, so “it was inevitable that I ended up living and working outside of the U.S.” But she began her career locally at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron working in internal communications. She also spent time on public relations teams at the J.M. Smucker Company and Marcus Thomas before moving to London in 2016. For a little over a year now, she has led global public relations campaigns for Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai. Spletzer said she credits her education at Kent State for providing the skills needed to work professionally and switch between industries and countries.
“Without a doubt,” Spletzer said, “it would not have been as easy to switch between multiple industries without the foundational skills that the public relations major instilled in me. I am always confident that no matter what I am working on, I know what it takes to communicate strategically.”
At Atlantis, The Palm, Spletzer splits her time between traditional media relations and content creation.
When I walked into Taylor Hall as an 18-year-old freshman in 1983, I had no idea that the foundation for my professional and personal life would take place there.
While earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism in 1987, I was a section editor at the Daily Kent Stater — in a newsroom packed with future journalism giants whose achievements are too numerous to mention.
I took an architecture survey class upstairs – cementing my life of writing about design and the built environment.
My wife of 33 years, Heidi Johnson-Wright (B.A. in English, Kent, 1982) lived next door at Prentice Hall. My wife uses a wheelchair for mobility and did then. The seeds of my activism for people with disabilities and all marginalized folks were planted right there – in the sacred ground between Taylor and Prentice, where May 4th observances take place.
My first job was with the Columbus Dispatch (I zeroed in only on central Ohio where my wife was starting law school at Ohio State.) I figured I would work at a large daily newspaper as a reporter for 40-plus years.
I covered growth, planning, urban affairs and when I could get away with it – news, travel and lifestyle stories on people with disabilities, including the landmark passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
The opportunity given to Kent State Media and Journalism students to use real, up-to-date production technology leaves them with a great amount of knowledge and experience upon graduation. Jeff Johnson, ‘09, now a senior producer at MSNBC, saw Kent State Student Media, specifically TV2, as his first market to succeed in.
Beyond the magical experiences guests have at Walt Disney World every day, there’s a communications and public affairs team spreading the magic all over the world. Kent State alumna Meghan Caprez, B.S. ’15, M.A. ’17, is part of that team.
Alumnus Mike Jackson created 2050 Marketing to help clients to navigate the changing demographics in America as they relate to advertising and brand building. By the year 2050, the minority will be the majority in this country. Jackson wants to guide entrepreneurs through this transition and ensure that these voices are heard from every rung of the ladder.
From the Field
We invite alumni and faculty to share insights on industry trends, world and national news and more, through a monthly column.