Spring 2017 Schedule

Jan. 30

Anna Tauzin Rice, Vice President, Marketing and Innovation at Texas Restaurant Association

Anna Tauzin Rice is a TXST alumni with degrees in journalism and political science. She has a master’s degree in journalism and public affairs from American University. She is currently the vice president of marketing and innovation at the Texas Restaurant Association. Previously, she was Senior Marketing Manager, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Services, at the National Restaurant Association. Tauzin will be interviewed by SJMC Professor Cindy Royal.



Feb. 13

Jeff Wilson, CEO and Co-Founder, KASITA

Jeff Wilson is a pioneer and thought leader on housing and the connected Ai Home and CEO at KASITA, where his team is developing a revolutionary housing solution with smart, beautifully-designed micro homes. The inspiration for KASITA emerged from one of Dr. Wilson’s many unconventional social experiments–in this case a 33 sq. ft. modified trash dumpster he lives in for a year in the name of science. His work on housing innovation, minimalism, and social experimentation has been featured in news articles including The Atlantic, the New York Times, and The Washington Post. He speaks many times a year on these subjects. Wilson has authored dozens of scientific articles and was awarded the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. Beyond dumpster diving and CEO-ing, Wilson enjoys traveling: he has lived, worked, and couch surfed in over 70 countries. Wilson will be interviewed by SJMC Master’s student Joshua Morrison.


Feb. 27

Tim Levy, CEO and Founder, Levy and Associates

Tim Levy is a digital media marketing guru who has enjoyed a career as both an entrepreneur and intrapreneur. He founded his eponymous company, which advises business leaders around the world on digital marketing, search engine optimization, and how to craft viral campaigns – all of which are topics in his book, The Google Gamble. He has long been associated with Vistage, a global network of some 20,000 CEOs. In fact, Tim first spoke to a Vistage audience as a teenager, educating business leaders about the potential of the Internet. Over the course of his career in the U.S. and Australia, he has done work with IBM, Motorola, Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Sony. He has authored half a dozen business books, a handful of children’s books, and is a lifelong technophile. His latest consulting has been on maximizing YouTube marketing and he’s experimenting with using virtual reality in business training. Levy will be interviewed by SJMC Assistant Professor Kelly Kaufhold.


March 20

Vera K. Fischer, President and Founder, 97 Degrees West

Vera K. Fischer is a prominent digital entrepreneur in Austin’s robust tech and marketing community. She founded 97 Degrees West (Austin’s longitude) in 2004 to provide innovative marketing services to central Texas companies and is a mentor at Capital Factory, Austin’s tech incubator. Before 97 Degrees West, she worked for the global advertising agency GSD&M. She began her career in residential real estate but took advantage of numerous opportunities to innovate and advance her career. Just last year, she launched a regular podcast, interviewing marketing and technology entrepreneurs – most of whom she reaches through social media. She’s currently a graduate student at Texas State University studying digital media. Fischer will be interviewed by SJMC Master’s student Sara Shields.


April 3 

Amanda Zamora, Chief Audience Officer, Texas Tribune

Amanda Zamora leads the Texas Tribune’s audience growth and engagement efforts. A native Texan, Amanda joined the Tribune in 2016 after spending 13 years on the East Coast working for news organizations including The Huffington Post Investigative Fund, The Washington Post and ProPublica. Amanda got her start as a cub reporter at the Austin American-Statesman after graduating from the University of Texas. She strives to leverage her storytelling, digital and audience skills to create journalism that actively engages people in the issues that matter most to them. When she’s not poring over spreadsheets, she’s (hopefully) dancing, cooking or traveling the world. Zamora will be interviewed by SJMC Professor Dale Blasingame.



April 17

Skype Interview: Shannan Bowen Stevens, Editorial Product Strategist, McClatchy

Shannan Bowen is an audience development strategist and journalist. She works for McClatchy as an editorial product strategist, a position that combines her passions for local news, innovation and media strategy.

Shannan previously led audience development and engagement strategies at National Journal, a division of Atlantic Media. Also at Atlantic Media, Shannan worked for The Atlantic’s in-house digital consultancy, Atlantic Media Strategies. She also previously led audience engagement at The Hill, where she guided mobile and social media strategies that resulted in significant growth. Shannan started her career a reporter for the Wilmington StarNews, covering everything from regional politics to tourism and coastal issues in North Carolina. She also launched social media strategies and planned community engagement events and digital groups. Shannan is passionate about helping local and community news organizations find sustainable revenue models and engagement opportunities.

Shannan is a 2006 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and she completed a Master’s in Media Entrepreneurship in 2014 from American University.