MA Communication Graduate Teaching Assistants

Spring 2015 

  Bukky Babalola

Adebukunola (Bukky) Babalola
Lagos, Nigeria

Bukky hails from Lagos, Nigeria. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Lagos, Nigeria in 2009 as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Mass Communication in 2012, where she emerged as the best graduating student for that year. Bukky has always been passionate about building a career in Communication. She has worked as a newscaster, TV and radio presenter, actress, model, singer, dancer, producer and motivational speaker. She has also worked in the banking industry as a digital marketing officer in 2013. In 2014 Bukky resigned from her job and returned to television. Presently, she works for TVC News International, a subsidiary of Continental Broadcasting Services as an anchor/newscaster. Recently, she took a study leave to pursue her Masters degree in Communication at TAMU-­CC.

As a presenter and producer, Bukky has worked on programs including Video wheels, Hitz ONTV, Lunchtime Pop and Fashion Trends back in the 90s. She has also
anchored several Nigeria’s Nollywood programs and exclusive interviews with some A­ list Nollywood celebrities. Bukky has been nominated for Best TV Presenter award and won the Peak Award for Best Youth Presenter in 2009.

Bukky enjoys acting and her passion and skills earned her a lead role as a business tycoon on the NTA Network soap opera ­“Hills and Valleys.” Her role in this soap opera inspired her Post Graduate Diploma research study: The use of soap operas in promoting positive social values. As part of the research study, she sampled opinions from the targeted audience on the influence of “Hills and Valleys” on their behavioral pattern. Bukky loves to laugh and wants the world to laugh along with her. She strongly believes that nothing is impossible eve with this favorite quote: “Never stop believing because dreams come true.”

 Katie Cole


Catherine (Katie) Cole
Kingsville, Texas, USA

Katie obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with a minor in Speech Education from Texas A&M University – Kingsville (TAMU­K), Kingsville, TX, in December 2012. While pursuing her degree from TAMU­K, Katie was honored as the top blogger/vlogger for the website where she demonstrated her public speaking skills by informing potential TAMU­K students of the many activities and opportunities the university offered.

Katie commenced her Master of Arts in Communication program in TAMU­-CC during the Fall 2015 semester. She has passion for theater but she also prides herself as a teacher. Her ultimate goal is to teach public speaking as well as to research communication issues with regard to military spouses and military partners. She attributes theater to making her a lively instructor inside and outside of the classroom. During her free time, Katie enjoys judging high school speeches and debate tournaments. She loves to share her knowledge of public speaking. Katie attributes her success to her naval aviator husband, who gives her inspiration to conduct military­ based research, and her parents for showing her that higher education is something that no one can take from you.

 Jesse De Leon


Jesse De Leon 
Harlingen, Texas, USA

Ever since Jesse can remember, he has always been fascinated with media. At a young age, he became keenly aware of the local news broadcasts, the handful of local radio stations that covered the Rio Grande Valley or smartly written newspaper columns. Realizing that the common denominator in all of these magnificent media forms was their support through the creation and implementation of advertising, Jesse got his Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas in 1988 and was on his way to working at a big ad agency. That is, until he found himself on the air at one of the very radio stations that he idolized as a kid. Jesse spent over 25 years behind the microphone in the Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi while also freelancing as a voiceover talent and writing a weekly music column for the Corpus Christi Caller Times. He is currently pursuing his MA in communication and is also happy to be teaching Public Speaking. 

 “My media career was really connected to my childhood, but it also has a strong link to being a public speaking instructor,” he said. “My first time in front of an audience wasn’t at a radio station event but at a UIL speech tournament, so it’s great to trace my wide array of experiences back to the art of effectively speaking before an audience, no matter how large or small.”

 Jesse is a member of both the Texas Speech Communication Association and the Central States Communication Association.

 Tu Luong

Tu Luong
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Tu graduated from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam in 2013, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations. As a child Tu was always passionate about learning a career in communication and also exchanging culture with people from other countries. This informed her decision to further her education, as she is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Communication at TAMU­-CC.

Tu joined Zeno ­Edelman agency, a global company in Communication field, as a trainee and subsequently became an Associate Client Executive. “My love for communication campaigns has deepened, and my communication skills strongly improved when I worked with stakeholders such as key opinion leaders, manufacturers, celebrities and many more,” she said.

Tu sees Communication not only as a profession but also a lifestyle that she can see herself learning and improving in every aspect. She believes that anything is achievable, with her favorite quote: “If you change the way to look at things, the things you look at will change.” Tu is still getting used to the American culture and she is enjoying every moment of it.
Tu ascribes her success to her family who has inspired her over the years. 


Marisa Rodriguez



Marisa Rodriguez
Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Marisa has a BA in communication studies from TAMU-CC. She enjoys studying gender and family communication, and when she isn’t working on her thesis, she likes to read and spend time with her family. Marisa presented at the annual meeting of the Central States Communication Association in the spring of 2015.

Deborah Teixeira 


Deborah Teixeira
São Paulo, SP, Brazil, South America

Deborah received a bachelor’s in public relations in 2008 and completed a post-graduate professional development program in Marketing in 2013, both in Brazil. During college, she began an internship with Invista and shortly thereafter she was hired. She was later promoted to the Brand Communication department, where she specialized in trademark protection and media relations, while also supporting events, tradeshows, advertising and marketing strategies. In 2012, Deborah began her tenure as communication, marketing and community relations coordinator. In 2014, she left Invista to embrace a new opportunity to work for an advertising agency, where she served different businesses.


In December of 2014, Deborah faced her biggest challenge when she and her husband moved from Brazil to Corpus Christi. Although the move was a complete change in their lives, they are getting more familiarized and adapting to the American culture.