Master of Liberal Arts (ALM)
in Extension Studies
2016 - Present
In the fall of 2015, I made the decision to pursue a master's degree. While an MBA was probably the smartest decision from a professional standpoint, I ultimately decided to pursue my options in journalism. My choices came down to the cohort-based program at the University of Missouri or the program at the Harvard University Extension School. I settled on the latter primarily due to the flexibility it offered.
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Major: Recording Industry Mgmt.
Emphasis: Music Business
1998 - 2000
I first visited Nashville when I was 14 in the summer of 1986, and I started writing songs when I was 16. Later in high school, I revisited Nashville with my father who was an over-the-road truck driver. On May 24, 1995, I made the decision to move to Nashville with the goal of working in the music business. I finished my degree at Texas that December, and finally, on January 14, 1998, I left Austin with $900 to my name. That summer I enrolled at MTSU where I got a quick education in the music industry.
Bachelor of Journalism (BJ)
It was my dream from an early age to attend the University of Texas at Austin - to be a Longhorn. During the 1992 spring semester in my final months at Kilgore, I applied to UT with the University of Texas at Arlington and Texas Tech University as backup options. I also had friends attending the University of North Texas and Stephen F. Austin State University, and those remained possibilities as well. I was elated that spring, however, to receive my acceptance letter from UT. In August, I made the move to Austin, and started school that fall.
Associate of Arts (AA)
I was fortunate enough in high school to get acquainted with the local journalism instructor at Kilgore College. Bettye Craddock was the advisor for the college paper, and I attended a workshop for high school students for two years that covered the Texas Shakespeare Festival. I knew I wanted to attend the University of Texas at Austin, but during my two years working with that workshop, it was clear that my path to Austin ran through Kilgore. With no regrets, I spent two years at KC, and I learned everything I know about journalism from Mrs. Craddock.
High School Diploma
We moved to Liberty City, Texas, where Sabine High School is located before I entered kindergarten. We built our house around the time I started kindergarten, and I attended all 13 years of my prep education in the Sabine Independent School District. I feel fortunate to have been lucky enough to grow up in a community that truly valued and invested in its children. In 2018-19, Sabine High School added to its reputation by winning the Academic State Championship in its classification.