NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State alumnus Jeff Breaux will be inducted as the 41st member of the College Media Association Hall of Fame.
Breaux is the assistant director of student media at Vanderbilt University. A 1993 graduate in advertising design, Breaux is a native of New Iberia. He earned a Master of Media Arts from the University of South Carolina and served as the art director for the Atlantic Records recording artist Hootie & the Blowfish. Breaux served as Director of Student Media at Tulane University in 1996-1997.
Breaux served as editor/designer for CMA’s Best of Collegiate Design, art director for College Media Review and as CMA’s Spring National College Media Convention publicity/services coordinator. He has received numerous CMA presidential and board of director’s citations. He also was honored as CMA’s Distinguished Four-Year Business Adviser in 2001 and was the first CMA member to receive the Ronald E. Spielberger Service to CMA Award in 2004.
“It is very special to be honored by my peers,” said Breaux. “I am very honored to be recognized as a Hall of Fame inductee for doing something that I love so much and by people that I respect so much.”
Breaux has been at Vanderbilt University since 1998. He works with 15 student media outlets including a student newspaper, two radio stations, television, two recording studios and several specialty publications. Vanderbilt’s student media staff works with approximately 600 students a year.
According to Breaux, he has always had to keep up with technological changes in his field.
“Technology has changed my work every year since my freshman year at NSU,” he said. “As a section editor of the Potpourri, I was forced to learn how to use a Mac from day one. NSU was ahead of the curve on utilizing computers for publication design and I was lucky enough to get to work with the excellent equipment they provided.”
Breaux said it has “been both fun and challenging to keep up with the advances in technology.” He said he continues to learn from his students.
“They have stayed ahead of the curve on new technologies and have helped introduce new techniques and software to me,” said Breaux. “The changing technology keeps our work, learning and media fresh and forces us to not be stagnant.”
Breaux said NSU was the perfect place for him because of the faculty and opportunities the university provides for students.
“I loved my time in Natchitoches and was able to learn so much to prepare me for my career,” said Breaux. “The art department taught me countless techniques and skills that I have used every day of my career. The journalism department provided me with training on the most-current computers and software and I learned so much there that has helped me throughout my career. The Potpourri was the most important ‘class’ I ever took. It has given me a career that continues to provide for me and my family. I could not have asked for a better combination of departments, advisers/instructors and peers for my undergraduate career.”
Breaux said that former journalism faculty members Tommy Whitehead and Steve Horton “were excellent advisers and role models.”
“They exhibited absolute respect for their student leaders,” said Breaux. “Both men allowed me to lead and allowed me to learn on the job without overstepping. It was a very important advising trait that I was lucky enough to have experienced. I learned an incredible amount working on projects for them and they had an amazing advising style that I have tried to mimic throughout my career.”
Breaux also credited art faculty like Michael Yankowski, Bill Bryant, Clyde Downs and Rivers Murphy for their ability to work with students. He said former Sports Information Director Doug Ireland and Director of Informational Services Don Sepulvado were valuable resources when he was working on student publications. He said alumnus Jim McKellar (1983) gave him his start as a collegiate media adviser at South Carolina. Breaux credited fellow students Van Reed, H. Scott Jolley and Chris Clark with teaching him about leadership and challenging his design ability in positive ways.
CMA was founded in 1954 as the National Council of College Publications Advisers. CMA now has more than 700 members and comprises the people who advise the nation’s collegiate media newspapers, yearbooks, magazines, broadcast and electronic media and their staffs.