Dixie State to Dixieland: getting to know MSMS’s new PR Coordinator

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Dixie State to Dixieland: getting to know MSMS’s new PR Coordinator

Growing up in Las Vegas, Lewis has found her way to the Dixieland.

Growing up in Las Vegas, Lewis has found her way to the Dixieland.

Gina Nguyen

Growing up in Las Vegas, Lewis has found her way to the Dixieland.

Gina Nguyen

Gina Nguyen

Growing up in Las Vegas, Lewis has found her way to the Dixieland.

Aiden Leise, News Editor

For Taylor Lewis, getting hired as Coordinator for Public Relations at MSMS was the perfect combination of the right place, the right time and the right people. Her journey to the school has involved approximately 1500 miles, several learning institutions and a fair bit of coincidence.

Originally from the Las Vegas area, Lewis attended Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, earning a bachelor’s degree in news studies with an emphasis in multimedia journalism. While there, she joined the university’s student newspaper, and moved from a position as a staff writer to Features Editor to Multimedia Editor, overseeing news broadcasting while still writing articles. Then her interests shifted.

“I kind of wanted to see what the PR spectrum was like,” Lewis said. “I’d been doing journalism for two years, and I wasn’t sure that was the direction I wanted to go in, so then I went to Dixie State’s marketing team, the University Marketing and Communications–in other words, the UMAC–and I worked there for a year doing press releases, blog posts, and helping with campaigns and social media for the university.”

After graduating in May, Lewis had plans to move to Mississippi with her boyfriend, a student at MSU. That’s when she found out about the job opening at MSMS.

“(My boyfriend’s) mom, she actually used to work at the W, and she knows MSMS because she used to do some of the marketing when the school first launched. She knows that I’m interested in communications and public relations, so when I moved out here, she sent me a bunch of different job listings, and this was one of the jobs she sent.”

Lewis ultimately made the choice to apply to MSMS because she wanted to continue to work with a school of some type, as opposed to a company. She interviewed with administration on August 22, and was offered the position four days later.

Lewis plans coming into the school include revamping how it handles social media, incorporating more student and faculty viewpoints as well as starting an MSMS blog on the school’s website.

“I really want to promote MSMS’s vision, and I think to do that involves implementing a lot more writing styles,” Lewis said. “I want to build a relationship with the students and the faculty here to promote all the amazing things MSMS has to offer.”

The hiring comes at an important time for MSMS as it prepares to release a state-wide, multimedia advertising campaign. The school has been without a PR Coordinator since Janie Shields left in June, and has made multiple social media posts over the summer advertising the opening. Lewis, for her part, is impressed with what has been done so with the campaign so far, and based on her experience feels that it rises to the level of what might be done by a university.

In talking with The Vision, Lewis noted that her move from the Mojave Desert to the South has had some impact on her lifestyle.

“It’s so different here. I’m excited just for the change,” said Lewis. “I’ve grown up in Vegas my whole life, then I went to St. George for four years, but they’re all so different from coming here. I’m excited to experience a different way of life.”

Lewis noted specifically that she’s still getting used to strangers striking up conversations in public, the humidity in the air, and the different style of food in the South. She also looks forward to experiencing the sports culture in Mississippi as well as continuing interests in horror films, indie music, and hiking (although it was noted by Lewis that the last of those might be difficult in Mississippi.)

Beyond that, Lewis only had positive things to say about her experiences at MSMS up to this point.

“I’m excited to start working here. I’ve met so many nice faculty so far, and it’s such a welcoming community that I get to be a part of.”

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