By Emily Lanier
Scott Fiene, assistant dean for curriculum and assessment and associate professor in the Integrated Marketing Communications program in the School of Journalism and New Media, has a passion for working with students.
Fiene said he was an indecisive undergrad student who attended three different schools and, during his first few years, changed his major almost every semester. He settled on being an English major with a minor in journalism at the University of Iowa.
After graduation, he found himself feeling lost with an English degree. He used the journalism aspect of his credentials to land a position in the pension department of an insurance company. He did not know exactly what a pension department did, but liked the work.
Later, the insurance company had a job opening in the corporate relations department, which was basically public relations. He took a risk and was hired. This is when everything changed for him.
He fell in love with public relations.
After spending a few years in the corporate relations department, Fiene applied for a marketing opening in the company. He had no marketing experience, and the company paid for Fiene’s master’s degree at Drake University.
Going back to school, Fiene realized how much he enjoyed classes.
“I was truly a mediocre undergraduate student,” said Fiene, “But by the time I was in the graduate program, I nailed it.”
Graduate school left such a good impression on Fiene that he decided to start teaching at a local community college, but he later decided to teach courses at Drake.
A few years later, Fiene applied for a position at Ole Miss. He never had visited the school before that summer and, like most students and staff, fell in love with the campus and community of Ole Miss.
In January of 2011, he joined the faculty full-time. Ole Miss was just introducing its IMC program.
“I characterized the launch of this program as a start-up,” Fiene said.
According to the School of Journalism and New Media, he has taught marketing and sales courses at the collegiate level for more than 15 years.
“What I thrive on is working and talking with the students,” he said.
Evangeline Ivy, instructional assistant professor in IMC, said, “I started working at the university not long after Scott. From the beginning, his passion for IMC and educating students was evident, and it continues.”
Watching the IMC program grow from the ground up, Fiene has seen the massive accomplishments that so many graduates go out and do in the real world.
“He loves the student aspect of our program and truly believes in the future they will have in their careers,” said Debbie Hall, an instructional assistant professor in IMC.
“He has also been a staunch advocate for those of us who teach in the program. He has encouraged us as we developed classes and shared dreams.”
IMC graduates are successful because the degree itself is incredibly versatile. There is a creative side as well as an analytical side of IMC, creating a broad range of job opportunities.
“It’s just so fun to see where they go,” he said.
Fiene has been an essential part of evolving the Ole Miss IMC program. He has used his knowledge to better the program as well as the students in the program.
“Scott is a great leader,” Hall said.