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Frank W. and Sue Mayborn

School of Journalism

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Kellen Hill


Kellen Hill experienced firsthand the inner workings of a newsroom last summer when he spent three weeks at a Tyler news station working on a package of stories about obesity.

He started each day meeting with the assistant news director at KYTX CBS 19 before venturing into the community to find a story. He was expected to work on one to two stories a day just like actual reporters, shoot the stories and meet the 5 p.m. deadline for the newscast, he said.

“It just taught me how to plan accordingly,” he said. “How to always have a back-up plan just in case your primary (story) doesn’t come through.”

Hill was one of several Mayborn students who reported on obesity issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle as part of a community-wide effort called the Fit City Challenge, which seeks to overcome obesity in East Texas. The Tyler Morning Telegraph leads the campaign to raise awareness about obesity. The newspaper partnered with its sister television station KYTX CBS 19 to cover the health issues.

He said one of the biggest findings was the growing rate that obesity affects children.

“The numbers were alarming, and it kind of let you know that good health starts at a young age,” he said. “It should be done throughout life, but it should start at early age.”

Hill earned his undergraduate degree from McKendree University in Illinois. He said he chose the Mayborn School of Journalism for his graduate work because it’s an affordable program, and it was the only school accredited for graduate studies.

“They’re preparing me for the future,” Hill said of the Mayborn program in 2011.

As part of his independent study class, he worked with George Dunham, who is co-host of KTCK The Ticket’s Morning Drive show, and play-by-play announcer for North Texas football. Dunham graduated from UNT in 1987.

Kellen graduated in December 2011 and is currently an account executive at Chango in New York City.

They're preparing me for the future.

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