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Professor named Vice President of educational journalism council

Courtesy of Tarleton Media Relations

Courtesy of Tarleton Media Relations

Angel Jauregui, Contributor

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Tarleton State University’s Dr. Liza P. Benedict has been chosen to be the next Vice President for the Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communications (SWECJMC).

“It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that promotes research, teaching, and service in journalism and mass communication within the southwest section of the U.S.,” Benedict said.

As Vice President, Benedict will oversee the organization’s research paper completion that will be held during the annual fall conference, set for October 6 and 7 at Arizona State University.

Benedict added on by saying, “During this year as the vice president, I have a steep learning curve but I am committed to ensuring the process of judging the research papers for our annual conference will go smoothly.”

But like many before her, Benedict was not always sure of what she wanted to do once she earned her degrees.

“Like many seniors, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do once I graduated. I was an English literature major so my writing skills were strong and I had professors who urged me to [consider] broadcast journalism,” Benedict said.

Benedict’s career however did not begin until she became a reporter for a Central Massachusetts station, and then promoted to early evening anchor position.

Benedict said, “I spent several amazing years there, but eventually decided I wanted a different challenge and I applied for some corporate public relations firms.” This is what led Benedict down to “Corporate public relations [which] led [her] to academic public relations and that led [her] to the desire to earn a terminal degree. Once I had my doctorate, I decided to give teaching a try and learned I love being able to pass along the knowledge and skills I have learned throughout my career.”

Benedict is a strong believer in a higher education and the “opportunities it provides people so I felt like I found my niche when I moved into academia.” The change to switch to academia was much like before when she was a journalist, the opportunity arose and she seized it. Benedict says, “The cards all lined for me to pursue my doctorate, a goal that had been on my mind for several years, and once that was completed, the opportunity to teach came up.”

Benedict says she has fallen in love with teaching, however, she says “at first it was intimidating – it always is when you do something outside of your comfort zone, but I feel more at ease now.” But what drives her to be an even better educator is that she hopes she makes “a difference in [her] students’ educational lives.”

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Professor named Vice President of educational journalism council