A majority of JMC students and graduates probably started out their JMC experience at ACU with Dr. Mendenhall. This is due to the fact that Dr. Mendenhall is the professor for JMC100 (simply titled “Media Issues”), a required course that gives an introduction to the field of JMC.
Dr. Mendenhall is easily able to relate and identify with his students, having been in their exact position. He was a student in this department, arriving just as the Don Morris Center was completed. Dr. Mendenhall thrived during his time in ACU, and was the editor of The Optimist during his junior and senior year. He graduated summa cum laude in the year 1982 with a B.A. in journalism and mass communication.
From then on, Dr. Mendenhall began a 26-year career in daily newspapers. He has shared his expertise in various parts of the US, including Abilene, Nashville as well as Decatur and Huntsville in Alabama.
During his time in Nashville, Dr. Mendenhall took night classes at Middle Tennessee State University and earned his masters degree in 2003. This accomplishment made him eligible to teach at ACU when a position opened in 2008. Due to his qualifications, Dr. Mendenhall was immediately interviewed and hired. This year marks his seventh year of teaching at ACU.
Dr. Mendenhall’s first job came directly as a result of his internship with The Abilene Reporter-News. That internship, in turn, came directly as a result of the long hours that he put in working with student media during his time at ACU as a student. When asked for advice for JMC students, he states that the best combination is to get their hands as dirty as possible with student media opportunities, and then continue to strive from there for the internships that they really want.