Writing Samples

Student quits school, finds fame on Vine

Memphis, once home to the King of Rock n’ Roll, is now home to the King of Vine, 21-year-old Darius Benson.

Currently spending his days playing dress up, talking to himself, and capturing it all in six-second videos, Benson takes the “Do it for the Vine” saying to a whole new level. Vine is an app that allows users to create looping videos to share with their friends.

Courtesy of Darius Benson

     With nothing but an iPhone and a dream, this Memphian started using Vine in May 2013. By the end of that summer he had reached 20,000 followers; today he has more than 2 million.

His 6-foot stature and elaborate beanie collection are not the only things that attract viewers. The real crowd pleaser is the way he’s able to turn everyday situations into a comical six-second videos…. continue reading.


Mayoral candidates point fingers at each other in debate

Like schoolchildren pushing and shoving to be the next in line, the Memphis mayoral candidates jostled one another with accusations on Sept. 22 at a University of Memphis debate.

Current mayor A C Wharton was the lone wolf Tuesday, spending most of the evening deflecting criticism from the other three contenders, Harold Collins, Jim Strickland, both city council members, and Mike Williams, Memphis Police Association president,.

“I would like to make a rebuttal, but I’m all out,” Wharton joked.

The Millennials for Memphis organization focused the debate on the interest of…read more.


 VaporWize offers electronic smoking option

Bacon, banana, bourbon, brownie, bubble gum and blueberry are just six e-liquid flavors that line the walls of VaporWize, Memphis’s only store devoted solely to battery-powered smoking.

VaporWize sells all the items needed to smoke electronically, including e-cigs, e-liquids and e-accessories.

Since November 2013, fruity aromas and minty scents have filled the air of 569 S. Highland St., the VaporWize store located three blocks from the University of Memphis.

Osman Udtill, owner of the Highland store and two other VaporWize stores in Memphis, said he wanted to build a store as close to the U of M as possible to help encourage students to make the transition from regular cigarettes to e-cigs. Read more.


“Unfriended” is gruesome, eerie and just plain spooky.

Producer Jason Blum, known for using found-footage in his highly-profitable “Paranormal Activity” movies, pushes the envelope again with this cyber-cinematic horror film.

The film starts slowly, showing the audience only what a teenage girl can see on her mundane laptop screen.

There are mixed emotions from audience members as the movie picks up and they discover that the entire 82-minute film will take place on the MacBook screen of teenager Blaire, played by Shelley Henning.

The unconventional “set” of “Unfriended” is simple yet it is such a commonplace for most audience members that its relatability in itself is horrifying. Continue reading.


Resume and cover letter workshop

Graduate students Lauren Turner and Kate Friedel of Meeman 901 Strategies spoke to journalism students about how to create a strong resume and cover letter on Wednesday, March 25.

Turner and Friedel stressed the importance of well-written resumes and cover letters when applying for jobs and internships.

They believe that a good cover letter should company a good resume. Cover letters are written to the specific person that one is applying to work for and should be tailored to that job.

“Creating a resume can be daunting, but there are a few rules of thumb to follow,” Friedel said.

Continue reading.


Students look for work, companies search for talent

Many University of Memphis students made their way to the UC yesterday for the 2015 Career and Internship Expo hosted by Career Services.

The event was designed for companies to recruit qualified students, while allowing students to network and secure future professional positions.

“Even if students don’t find a specific job or internship at the expo, they will still have the opportunity to put their name out there and build relationships that might be beneficial in the future,” said Tola Jenkins, coordinator of Academic Experiences/Learning Internships for students at the university.

Approximately 80 companies, varying from McDonald’s to the United States Peace Corps, had recruiters present at the Expo. Continue reading.


Weekend of tennis unites friends and raise money

Adult tennis players headed to the courts of the Mid-South over the weekend, to compete in the 6th annual Memphis Cup tournament.

“We are very excited about this tournament,” director Shannon McCalla said on day one of the competition. “This is one of the largest turnouts in Memphis Cup history!”

The tournament had drew an estimated 200 participants coming from more than 17 different cities, including Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

Twenty-two-year-old Pauline Gilbert, of Minneapolis, made her long trip worthwhile by…continue reading.

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