Hello again, grad school: Summer classes edition

This is semester number three for me in the University of Florida’s mass communications/social media master’s program. For some reason, three seems much farther along than two, and it seems hard to believe that three (which marks halfway) is actually here.

Despite never having seen any of my classmates or professors in person, I already feel like I know many of them quite well. We Facebook, we Tweet, we Hangout. But for those I haven’t met yet, here’s an introduction (and I look forward to reading yours!).

A relatively recent photo of the McKinneys. We're not very good at remembering to take photos of ourselves together. We're working on it.
A relatively recent photo of the McKinneys. We’re not very good at remembering to take photos of ourselves together. We’re working on it.

My name is Julie Clark McKinney, and I live in Birmingham, Alabama, with my incredibly supportive husband of almost two years, Will McKinney. I am the statewide community engagement specialist for Alabama Media Group, a media company that includes AL.com, The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Press-Register (in Mobile). Some of my main responsibilities include managing our branded social media accounts and working with community bloggers and commenters on AL.com. I’m looking forward to seeing how this class (Social Media Ethics) can help me better deal with any sticky situations that may arise in both my professional and personal activity on social media.

I graduated from Auburn University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. I know a lot of my classmates did their undergrad at Florida, and I love you guys — but War Eagle!

When I’m not working on work or school, you might find me baking something awesome but ridiculously unhealthy or attempting to keep my garden alive and weed-free. This semester may be an especially interesting one if we end up buying a new house this summer (we’re on the hunt), which means that between writing papers and blog posts I’ll also be painting, knocking down walls, starting a new garden, and who knows what else. Luckily, we have some wonderful friends I know we can count on to eat, drink and remodel with us. But still. If we move during the semester, y’all say a prayer or chant or whatever it is that you do for us.

Plus, I find inspiration in my classmates who have figured out how to balance work and school plus parenting or wedding planning or other demanding things. I’m looking forward to another semester with you all! Good luck, everyone!

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