Board Of Advisors

New Media Lab Logo is a part of New Media Lab LLC — a marketing and digital media think tank company with multiple ventures inspired by entrepreneurship and innovation. New Media Lab, LLC was founded by Dr. Ed Meek to support the Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

William Alias III

Secretary and member of the Board of Managers for Security Holdings, LLC


William Alias, III has held management and ownership positions with several companies in the debt collection industry, including Security Check, which he and a friend opened just after graduation from Ole Miss. Security Check was the fourth largest check collection company in the United States when it was sold to a private equity firm in June 2008. Alias was recognized as one of Mississippi’s “Top 40 under 40” by the Mississippi Business Journal in 2001 for starting a business when he was just 22 years old. Alias grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, attended the University of Mississippi, and now resides in Oxford.


Mark Burson

Managing Director at Burson-Marsteller and Adjunct Instructor of at Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Mark Burson is a public relations professional, adjunct instructor with the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi, and an avid cyclist. Burson made the move from Southern California to Oxford in 2014 after moving his daughter into the dorms at Ole Miss. Throughout a long career in public relations, Burson has directed branding and communications efforts for clients in a variety of industries, including technology, financial services and consumer products.


R. Barry Cannada

Attorney and Chairman, Business Department, Butler|Snow


R. Barry Canada has extensive experience in transactional advisory services, regularly representing numerous public and private companies in connection with mergers, acquisitions, capital formation, public offerings and private placements. He also handles joint ventures and various forms of financing (from tax incentive bonds to high yield rates). Cannada is a member of the American Bar Association, Mississippi Bar Association, and co-owns Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina along with J.C. Clark.


Lewis DVorkin

Digital Futurist


Lewis DVorkin is the chief product officer at Forbes Media and has worked in the media since the 1970s, starting as a student editor of a daily newspaper. He was Page One editor of The Wall Street Journal, a senior editor at Newsweek, and an editor at The New York Times. DVorkin was senior vice president for programming at AOL, where he was responsible for news, sports, and network programming, and helped launch He was also executive editor at Forbes magazine and founder and CEO of True/Slant.


Rocky Miskelly

Executive Vice President & Director of Wealth Management, Renasant Bank


Rocky Miskelly is the EVP and Director of Wealth Management for the Renasant Bank locations in Tupelo, Memphis, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, and Montgomery, where he provides vision, direction and leadership to Renasant Wealth Management. He is a former senior pastor of United Methodist Church and former senior executive vice president of Cargill Associations. Miskelly earned his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.


Charles “Charlie” Mitchell

Associate Dean and Associate Professor, Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Charlie Mitchell has won awards for his reporting from Iraq and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Mississippi State University and a juris doctorate from The University of Mississippi. He went on to work for the Vicksburg Post as a reporter, photographer, managing editor and finally executive editor until 2010. He is the former president of the Mississippi Press Association as well as the Mississippi-Louisiana Associated Press Managing Editors Association. His weekly column, Conversation, garnered him several state and regional awards and appears in more than 20 newspapers statewide.


Will Norton, Jr.

Dean, Meek School of Journalism & New Media


Will Norton, Jr. was born in the Belgian Congo to parents who were missionaries. At age 8, the family moved to Chicago, and during his first six years of school, Norton moved between six different schools, helping him learn to adapt to different situations. Norton has been a visiting lecturer at Addis Ababa University in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He is a partner in ownership of The South Reporter, Inc. in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and was publisher of The Daily Iowan. He was previously on the staff of the Chicago Tribune and was sports editor of The Daily Journal in Wheaton, Illinois.


Charles Overby

Chairman, Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics, Ole Miss


Charles Overby is the former chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum, a non-partisan foundation that educates people about the press and the First Amendment; over a span of 22 years he traversed six continents speaking about media issues and promoting First Amendment freedoms. He was CEO of the Newseum from 1997 to 2011 and supervised the building of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Before the Freedom Forum, Overby was a reporter and editor for 17 years, covering mostly the political circuit. He also served as vice president of news and communications for Gannett and was a member of the management committees of Gannett and USA TODAY. Overby has served on several boards focused on education and remains committed to education as an adjunct instructor of journalism at Ole Miss.


Randall Pinkston

Journalist/Educator, Previously Correspondent/Anchor, Al Jazeera America; Correspondent, CBS News


After attending the Michele Clark Fellowship Program for Minority Journalists at Columbia University, Pinkston became the first African American to anchor a 6 p.m. newscast at the local NBC affiliate. Within a year, he graduated to a CBS affiliate in Jacksonville, Florida. In 1976, Pinkston transferred to Post-Newsweek’s WFSB-TV in Hartford, Connecticut, where he held posts as anchor, reporter and producer of public affairs programs. Meanwhile, he earned a law degree from The University of Connecticut School of Law and joined CBS as a White House correspondent, where he covered the presidency of George H.W. Bush. He remained with the network until 2013, reporting for CBS Evening News. In August 2013 he joined Al Jazeera America as a freelance journalist. Pinkston has won four national Emmy awards and an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award. He lives with his wife, Patricia McLain, in Teaneck, New Jersey, and returns to Oxford periodically as an adjunct instructor of Journalism at Ole Miss.


Bill Rayburn

Chairman and CEO of Mortgage Trade


Armed with a Ph.D. in Finance, Bill Rayburn helped take the mortgage technology firm FNC, Inc. from a startup in the 90s to one that sold for $475 million to CoreLogic, Inc. in 2015. A former University of Mississippi finance professor for 12 years and a successful entrepreneur, Rayburn is now CEO of Mortgage Trade, located just across the street from his former FNC headquarters.


Kate Wallace

Event Coordinator, Magnolia Rentals


A former managing editor and University of Mississippi Journalism graduate, Kate Wallace has handled client communications for the Mabus Agency; been a marketing manager for the Oxford Park Commission; and interned for Fox News.


Neil White

Creative Director & Publisher, The Nautilus Publishing Company


Neil White has published and edited more than 30 books as the creative director and publisher of The Nautilus Publishing Company in Oxford. He has been a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, advertising executive and federal prisoner. His memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, focusing on the year he lived with the last victims of leprosy in the continental United States, was a finalist in the 2010 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance “Book of the Year” award. In 2010, he won the Outstanding Author of the Year award from the Southern Library Association, and Barnes & Noble honored him as one of the top three emerging nonfiction authors in America through its “Discover Great New Writers” program. White has contributed to The Oxford American, National Geographic and The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.