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CCI Doctoral Student Spotlight: Mirjana “Mira” Pantic

Mira PanticMira Pantic is a PhD candidate with a concentration in Journalism and Electronic Media.  Her dissertation utilizes a uses and gratification perspective to explore the role of readers in live blogging.  Her research focuses on digital media, alterations in journalism practices, and new forms of audience engagement with media. Prior to joining UT, she spent 12 years working for media outlets in Serbia and abroad.  She has won several awards for covering the European Union integration process and for investigative journalism.

Why did you choose the College of Communication and Information at UT?

My friends, who graduated from UT, recommended the college. Personally, I thought UT would be a good fit for me as it encourages students to conduct research in any area of their interest. The flexibility of the program also provides students with an opportunity to attend classes that they believe will help them develop research skills and build theoretical knowledge they need.

What opportunities did you have to use the skills that you have learned?

While studying digital media phenomena, I had the opportunity to share what I learned with my students. I believe it is precious for future journalists, as well as students majoring in communications and public relations, to gain more knowledge about the digital media environment. In addition, I used the skills to produce research papers for conferences and publications. Accordingly, these skills have helped me work towards my goal which is to contribute to increasing knowledge of the new media environment.

What did you gain from CCI?

I have developed teaching skills and gained experience in conducting research. In addition, I’ve created an amazing network of friends and colleges from all over the world. I am sure I will see them many times in the future at conferences and other formal and informal meetings.

What is your advice for future Ph.D. students?

Hopefully this won’t sound like a cliche, but I would say – be focused, work hard, and you’ll do well. Remember that it is crucial for you to work with a professor who understands what is it that you are passionate about and who is also supportive. Furthermore, think ahead of time what is it that you would like to study and start working towards your goal as soon as you enroll.  

When you graduate you will part of the CCI family for life.  Your success will contribute to the success of other CCIFLers and vice versa.  What does it mean to you to be CCIFL? 

I think that the way I feel when I think about this question says it all. No matter how much we are eager to get our degree and find a job, there is still that sadness that arises when you think about leaving this place. There are so many professors I’ve enjoyed working with. There are many students whom I’ve taught and who impressed me with their talent and wisdom. They’ve also made me laugh so many times. Also, the administrative staff at CCI did a great job in processing paper work. What they do is amazing. Not to mention all the friendships I’ve made while studying at UT. I am sure that I will see them in future. It just makes me sad knowing that I will not see them every day as I do now.

Prepared by the 2016-2017 CCI Spotlight Task Force
Lindsey Bier
LaVerne Gray
Abhijit Mazumdar
Whitney Tipton