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Smith, Hall, Earley join MDOT public affairs

Payton Early

Jas N Smith

Drew Hall

Jas N Smith has rejoined the Mississippi Department of Transportation as the new Deputy Director of Public Affairs. The Department also added Drew Hall as Media Producer, and Payton Earley as a public affairs intern.

Smith is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication. He also has a master’s degree in education leadership from American Intercontinental University.

Formerly a Director of Information and Outreach at the Mississippi Forestry Commission, Smith has over two decades of experience in the communication and media fields. His career included work at Mississippi Department of Transportation as a public information officer, Hattiesburg Public Schools, Jackson Public Schools, WLBT-TV in Jackson, WebMD, and CNN. He has received numerous awards for public relations and communications work. In 2016 Smith was named State Communicator of the Year by both the Mississippi School Public Relations Association and the Mississippi Association of School Administrators.

Hall, a native of Clinton, graduated from Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications. He is married to Courtney Ann Hall.

Over the past 10 years, Hall has worked in the Jackson TV News market where he served as a news photographer. He has covered local, state, and national news throughout Mississippi and had a front row seat to many historic news events in our state.

Earley is a graduate of Brandon High School and Holmes Community College. She will graduate from Belhaven University this December with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

Earley has participated in many community service projects throughout her high school and college career. She served as president of the Alpha Lambda Sigma chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, as well as editor of the Horizon’s yearbook during her time at Holmes Community College. She also completed an internship with the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World in 2018. She is the daughter of Tim and Denise Earley.

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