College of Media & Communication Honors Five Outstanding Alumni
The breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 2) in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.
Written by Grace Acuña
A medallion is given to each honoree, and plaques are retained for display in the Media & Communication Building.
This year’s honorees are Jules Andres, Todd Chambers, Brian Gordon, Cathy Conley Swofford and Alex Wells.
Andres graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Prior to joining Mattel in 2002, she worked with global PR agencies such as Weber Shandwick and Edelman Worldwide. Andres has been recognized both nationally and internationally with awards from PR News, the Public Relations Society of America, Silver Sabre and International ARC. Currently she is the director of corporate communications for Mattel, the world’s largest toymaker, where she is responsible for such areas as employee engagement and internal communications, digital storytelling, crisis communications, corporate responsibility and citizenship communications.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in mass communications at Texas Tech, Chambers went to the University of Tennessee for his doctoral degree in communications. Since then he has published 29 journal articles and presented on 48 conference papers covering topics such as media ownership, Spanish-language radio and sports and media sales. In 1999 he returned to Texas Tech as a professor and was named department chair of electronic media & communications in 2005. Chambers has helped re-launch the student-run radio station KTXT-FM as well as launch other student-run media such as EMC Student Showcase, The Hub and Double T Insider. After teaching more than 20 different courses in the College of Media and Communications, Chambers has won the Innovation in Teaching Ethics, Faculty Recognition Award from Mortar Board and the Mass Communication Faculty Member of the Year. Chambers is now the department chair for journalism and electronic media & communications.
Gordon graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas Tech after serving as programming and sports director for the campus radio station. In 1988 Gordon started an 11-year career with ABC Sports where he worked as a freelance production assistant, assistant to the producer, associate producer, associate director and producer. During his time at ABC, he worked on four Super Bowls, ABC’s College Football, Indianapolis 500 and the PGA Tour. Currently he is the vice president of marketing at Brand Content and Distribution.
Conley Swofford received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from Texas Tech. She spent most her career as a journalist for the radio, print and broadcast audiences. Conley Swofford covered everything from education to the economy to the environment. Her passion for politics drove her to the public relations sector of communications and provided media relation services to politicians, prosecutors and state senators. Now Conley Swofford and her husband David own Conley Swofford Media, a public relations firm in Austin which promotes individuals and companies making a difference in their communities and world.
Wells graduated in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in advertising. In 2002 Wells established Aars | Wells, a full-service creative communications firm in Dallas, with his business partner Michael Aars. Now Aars | Wells has more than 200 clients including names such as BP, AT&T, Cotton Patch Café, The City of McKinney and Stream Energy. The firm offers brand development, advertising, design, video production and social media services and has received more than 50 awards for creative excellence. On top of being a principal at the firm, Wells has been an active member of the Dallas Chapter of the American Advertising Federation and in 2012 he was named “Member of the Year.”
The Media & Communication Outstanding Alumni Awards were instituted in 1981 to recognize alumni of Texas Tech who have made outstanding contributions to the field of mass communications. Any person, organization, media group or company can make nominations for the annual recognition.
College of Media & Communication
College of Media & Communication at Texas Tech offers undergraduate degrees in various communications-related disciplines including:
The College also offers graduate degrees in communications to prepare students for careers in the communications industry, communications research and academia. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.