JSU Department of Mass Communications
April 2011JSU Mass Communications e-News


 I hope you have enjoyed stories carried in our monthly JSU Mass Communications e-News. The past month has been a very exciting one for our mass communications family.


I am attending the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) full council meeting in Portland, Oregon on April 29-30.  The council will make a final decision on the recommendation of reaccreditation of our mass communications program. I will keep you informed of the council's decision in the next issue of the e-News.


The annual Mass Communications Day celebrated on Wednesday, April 13, was one of the most successful with full participation from students, local media and industry professionals.


Please relax and enjoy the April issue of the e-News. I hope you also will share your news with us in the department.






Dr. Olorundare E. Aworuwa
Interim Chair and Associate Professor

Panelists discuss entrepreneurship at Mass Communications Day

By Tamika Smith


Students get tips for success from business professionals
Ward, Davis, Dukes & Thomas (at table)


     Mass Communications Day was held April 13, 2011 in the e-Convention Hall at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU. The theme was  Entrepreneurship in a Digital World: "Creation + Determination = Innovation."


     The day included a Jackson Association of Black Journalists panel discussion, a student media recognition and awards luncheon, and a mini-career fair and portfolio critique. Dr. Sunny Fridge, clinical assistant professor, coordinated the event.


     A Mississippi e-Business Innovation Center panel discussion was titled "How to Mind Your own Business in a Digital World." The panel consisted of Henry Thomas, director of the Mississippi Small Business Development Center; Jennifer Ward, CEO of J. Ward Design Studio; Gary Dukes, owner of Cam Cam Productions LLC; and Terry Davis, founder of Good As Gold Enterprise Inc.


     Thomas said to start a business, you must have a business plan, determination and flexibility. You also must be customer focused. "There are more red lights than green lights," he said.  "It's not what you want, it's what they want. You have to produce a product or service that can solve somebody's problems."


     Ward specializes in layout copy designs, creative work and marketing materials. "Having hands-on experience, being able to get in there and take full force, and not being afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone are very important," she said. "You learn as you go so continue to learn as much as you can."


     Dukes presented a short film featuring life stories, weddings and parties his company produced. "The best tool is being able to listen," he said. "Figure out where you want to be in life ... and understand that it takes time."

     Davis' company is run by mass communications majors and focuses on major productions, music videos and media planning. He said you have to be internally motivated to succeed.


     "If you have a vision, you can get to that particular point," he said. "No matter what you do, there will be bumps in the road. But you cannot quit because one quit can turn into a quit for life. "


View photos by Terence Nimox


View photos by Jennea Clemon/GAGE


View photos by Karen Johnson 

Top MC graduating seniors honored for highest GPA, public service

By Sherita Owens

Lawrence, Herman also receive additional academic awards
Lauren Lawrence & Lakiesha Herman

      Jackson State University's  Mass Communications Day enlightened students about the importance of excelling in the field of communications. It also recognized top students for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the department. 


      Dr. Olorundare Aworuwa, interim chair, presented the Distinguished Student Award to public relations student Lauren Lawrence, and the Howard Lett Service Award to advertising student Lakiesha Herman. Lett, a pioneer in Mississippi journalism, was a veteran broadcaster, educator and public relations consultant. 

   Lawrence, 21, of Jackson, Miss., also received the Highest GPA Award (3.893) and the Public Relations Award. Some of Lawrence's achievements at JSU include being president of the Public Relations Student Society of America, editor-in-chief of the eXperience Magazine, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

      Lawrence, who has a minor in political science, said she fell in love with the field of public relations because it ties in with her love of writing and passion to work in the entertainment industry. "All the gratitude goes to Professor Riva Brown Teague for everything I've done," she said.

     Lawrence plans to find an internship in Atlanta, Dallas or Houston. In June, she will be one of 35 students nationwide and three JSU graduates participating in the Howard Media Sales Institute. The intense, 12-day workshop is offered by Howard University's Department of Radio, Television and Film and is sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation.

     Herman, 22, of Tamarac, Fla., a marketing minor, also received the Advertising Award. Herman said she would be nothing without professors Aworuwa and Dr. Sunny Fridge. "They took me under their wing and molded me into the student I am today," said Herman, who attended the Howard institute last year.


     Herman said her advice to JSU students is to always stay involved. She encourages everyone to jump on any opportunity that comes your way; it will be beneficial in the long run.

Past Mass Communications Day Winners 

Department recognizes students for excelling in emphasis areas

By Tiffany Tickles

 Outstanding mass communications minor also commended

Baxter, Hill, Freeman, Thomas, Lawrence & Herman



     Six graduating seniors received departmental awards at the 2011 Mass Communications Day at Jackson State University.


     The awards recognized one student for high academic achievement in each emphasis area  -- advertising, public relations, broadcast journalism, broadcast production and news -- and one student with a minor in mass communications.


     The winners were LaKiesha Herman, advertising; Lauren Lawrence, public relations; Alexandria Freeman, broadcast production; Kari Thomas, broadcast journalism; Ashley Hill, news editorial; and Nina Baxter, minor.


   Herman, 22, is looking forward to furthering her career in advertising and graphic design. She hopes to work with Weiden+Kennedy in Oregon. Lawrence, 21, said she is thankful for everything and plans to give back to the department to help motivate future students to strive for excellence.


     Freeman, 22, from Amite, La., has received a job offer with WAPT-TV 16 in Jackson, Miss. "I feel like all my hard work has finally paid off," said Freeman, who thanked the faculty for giving her tools to start off her career in broadcast production.


     Thomas, 22, from Pearl, Miss., is planning to continue working at WAPT.  "It feels good to be honored for my achievements, but I know that there are plenty of students that are grinding just as hard as I am," she said. 


     Hill, 22, a Chicago native, believes that if you work hard and apply yourself, you can make your dreams come true. "I have worked very hard to accomplish my goals and graduate in the desired time of four years," she said.


     Baxter, 22, of Springfield, Ill., plans on attending the Howard University Media Sales Institute in Washington, D.C. with Lawrence and Miss JSU Ronnika Joyner. Baxter, a marketing major, said she was surprised to learn that the department was honoring her for her academic achievements in her minor field of study. "It really feels great to know all my hard work has not gone unnoticed."

JSU students elect aspiring broadcast journalist Miss JSU 2011-12
By Sherita Owens 
Ashley becomes 7th MC major since '86 to secure coveted title
Mea Ashley, Miss JSU 2011-12



     On April 8, 2011, the voices of Jackson State University students were heard when mass communications major Mea Ashley won the title of Miss JSU 2011-12 with 54 percent of the vote.


     "I was relieved when I won Miss JSU. I have worked extremely hard on my campaign and this is something I have been working and praying for," said Ashley, 21, of Jackson, Miss. "I'd like to thank everyone who supported me throughout my campaign. I ask that you continue to support me during my reign, and I look forward to a great year."


     Setting admirable standards is Ashley's platform for her reign as Miss JSU. She plans to make students aware of the importance of professionalism by hosting forums and leadership workshops.


      Ashley, who has a concentration in broadcast journalism, hosts and produces her own community segment show on JSU TV23. Her hobbies include dancing, writing poetry, listening to music, public speaking and singing for fun. 


   "Being in the Mass Communications Department has helped me with my

miss jsu
Mea Ashley & Ronnika Joyner

interviewing skills as well as interacting with others," she said.


     Ashley will become the seventh mass communications major since 1986 to hold the prestigious title of Miss JSU. Others are Yolanda Harris,1986-87; Aletha Horne, 1994-95; Deirdre Bell Jones, 1995-96; Eunette Gentry, 1997-98; Alicia Brumfield, 2008-09; and Ronnika Joyner, 2010-11.


       "The best advice I could give Mea

is to stay true to yourself and always remember who you were before becoming Miss JSU," said Joyner, a Biloxi, Miss., native who is heading to the Howard Media Sales Institute after graduating in May. She is leaving Ashley with these words of wisdom: believe, conceive and achieve.


Read the University Communications Miss JSU story


Watch the Miss JSU YouTube video 


See the Miss JSU election results


(e-News layout by Jamilah Vaughn)

JSU Mass Communications e-News is a production of
clinical assistant professor Riva Brown Teague's spring 2011
Special Projects in Mass Communications class (MC 450-02).

Jackson State University
Department of Mass Communications
Mississippi e-Center @ JSU
Suite 100
1230 Raymond Road
Jackson, MS 39204

E-mail: jsumasscom@jsums.edu
Website: www.jsums.edu/jsumasscom

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