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


In recent weeks, our department has been in a celebratory mode because of our recent reaccreditation, the numerous awards Kourtney Paige and other students won, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the JSU TV22 studio. I would like to commend our students, faculty and staff who contributed to these tremendous successes.

I also would like to congratulate mass communications graduates in the JSU Class of 2011. We applaud you for your dedication toward earning a college degree, and we wish you continued success in your future endeavors. If you haven't visited our social media sites lately, please take a minute to log on to Facebook to see photos of several of our graduates who earned their degrees on May 7, 2011.

Finally, I would like to commend the Special Projects in Mass Communications class for working diligently each month to produce JSU Mass Communications e-News: Karen Johnson, Ronnika Joyner, Lauren Lawrence, Sherita Owens, Tamika Smith, Tiffany Tickles and Jamilah Vaughn. 


Thank you for reading the JSU Mass Communications e-News for the  past six months. It will resume publishing during the  fall 2011 semester.


Have a blessed summer!







Dr. Olorundare E. Aworuwa
Interim Chair and Associate Professor

ACEJMC members unanimously approve reaccreditation
By Tamika Smith and Sherita Owens


Administrators, faculty, students celebrate news at ribbon cutting 
JSU administrators, faculty and students celebrate at the JSU TV22 ribbon cutting.

 The Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications voted unanimously that the undergraduate program in the Department of Mass Communications at Jackson State University receive reaccreditation. The decision was made when ACEJMC met April 29-30, 2011, in Portland, Ore.

     "The Council concurred with the recommendations for reaccreditation made by the Accrediting Committee and the revisit team," ACEJMC President Peter Bhatia wrote in a May 5, 2011, letter to JSU President Carolyn Meyers. "Please accept my congratulations and best wishes for continued success for the Department of Mass Communications at Jackson State University, its students, faculty and the other professional media constituencies it serves."

    The next ACEJMC site team visit will be during the 2014-2015 academic year

   JSU administrators, as well as mass communications students, faculty and staff, were elated about the outcome. Many of them celebrated the news during a ribbon-cutting ceremony  for JSU TV22 on May 5, 2011, at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU.

  Here is what some of them said before the event:

  •  Olorundare E. Aworuwa, interim chair:  "Every faculty was delegated responsibilities, and people were willing to spend time and work as a team. By restructuring the program, we finally have an undergraduate program students can be proud of."
  • Quinton L. Williams, interim provost and vice president, Academic Affairs and Student Life: "The reaccreditation of our mass communications program confirms that we have a high quality program that will continue to produce competitive graduates. Dr. Olorundare Aworuwa provided the leadership that was necessary to really showcase the program's uniqueness. This program is a model program for others to follow."
  • Dollye Robinson, dean, College of Liberal Arts: "The re-affirmation of accreditation of the Department of Mass Communications allows it to be competitive with other accredited colleges and universities across the nation. Jackson State University will be able to positively recruit and retain students majoring in mass communications. It also allows our graduates to matriculate and receive a quality education from an accredited discipline. I had no doubt that the Department of Mass Communications would be accredited. It has the appropriate program, personnel, and technology to be competitive with any institution nationwide."
  • Thomas Calhoun, interim associate dean, College of Liberal Arts: "This accolade is a reflection of the hard work that the faculty and staff put into this endeavor. Of course none of this would have been possible without the support of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Office of Academic Affairs."
  • Debra Buchanan, executive director, program assessment and accreditation, Academic Affairs and Student Life: "The Mass Communications Department should be more unified and focused in its aim to provide quality education to its students and to prepare its graduates for career success." 

Media Programming class puts spin on popular MTV show

By Karen Johnson
'Room Raiders,' plus BET's 'College Hill' equals 'Dorm Raiders'
Jackqualine Barnes and Jeremy Evans



     Visiting instructor Dathan Thigpen's Media Programming class has put a Jackson State University Department of Mass Communications twist on a popular MTV show.

   During the spring 2011 semester, the students developed a television show, "Dorm Raiders," for JSU's closed-circuit channel, JSU TV22. 

     "The concept with 'Dorm Raiders' is MTV's 'Room Raiders' meets BET's 'College Hill,' " Thigpen said. "It's a dating show kind of like 'The Dating Game,' but instead of asking questions to find a date, you inspect their dorm rooms."

    The "Dorm Raiders" concept is where a person has three people to choose from for a date. However, that person does not pick the date based on their looks or charisma, but based on the attractiveness of their dorm rooms.

     With the goal to create content that the students really want to see, the class was responsible for creating a show for an on-campus audience.

     The students in the class were Amber Thomas, Martha Knighten, Philiph Caples, Nekia Gainer and Jeremy Evans. They brainstormed on ideas for shows and content for the station.

     Thomas, a senior broadcast journalism student from Jackson, Miss., said she had a great time throughout the planning and production stages. "The show prepared me for real-world production, and it made me really believe in media convergence."

     The first show, which already aired this spring, included two of the department's own, Jackqualine Barnes and Sonni Casey.

     " 'Dorm Raiders' was a fun experience and hilarious project," Barnes said. "Other colleges should definitely do it. And hey, I'm the winner so I really enjoyed it!"

     When it comes to getting new student talent for the show, Thigpen plans to advertise on WJSU88.5 FM or through fliers and e-mail blasts throughout the campus.

     Thigpen is working on continuing "Dorm Raiders" in the fall.

Class creates ad campaigns for Mississippi Center for Nonprofits
By Jamilah Vaughn

Students aid in enhancing JSU's image in community, state



     In Jackson State University's Department of Mass Communications, professors often provide students with hands-on experiences to help them land positions in the job market.

    Students in adjunct instructor Terence Nimox's advertising campaigns class gained practical experience when they were given the opportunity to work with the Mississippi Center for Nonprofits. MCN is a management and leadership development resource for all nonprofit organizations in the state.   

     Debra Buchanan, a member of the MCN board of directors, presented the opportunity when the center was reviewing strategies to enhance its stature among the state's nonprofits.

     "I thought that JSU students could receive some real-world experience in an area that they might otherwise consider working, in addition to receiving service-learning credits," said Buchanan, who also is JSU's executive director of program assessment and accreditation. "Also, I want to raise the profile of JSU and its students in the Jackson community and throughout the state."

     Two mass communications majors said they benefitted from the project.

     Sonni Casey, 21, a senior public relations student from Carthage, Miss., said the class was challenging, but it helped to enhance her public relations skills tremendously.

     Rochelle Moncrieffe, 21, a senior from Coconut Creek, Fla., studying advertising and marketing, said, "While doing the project with the MCN, we got a chance to see how we could 'help nonprofits help Mississippi,' " which was the slogan for her group's project.

      Nimox said the fact that MCN recognized that JSU students had the expertise to make a valuable contribution shows that the students are moving from theory-based learners to providers of a viable product.

     "I have very positive expectations on the outcome," Nimox said. "The client should be quite pleased with the final product provided."

Students create videos to help teach classmates about media ethics

By Tiffany Tickles 

Cohorts explore issues such as confidentiality, stereotypes
Students watch Sayisha Pendleton
    During the spring 2011 semester, the Media Ethics undergraduate class learned about ethical dilemmas in today's society in a creative way.
    The class was divided into five cohorts and presented videos as a final project.
     Assistant professor Teresa Taylor said this is the first time students in this writing-intensive course engaged in this type of assignment.
     "This final project required them to work together to consider ethical dilemmas that media practitioners may be faced with and to create a production that would provide an overview of ethics in specific areas to a larger audience, " she said.
   The videos covered confidentiality, theories and perspective, privacy, ethical dilemmas and stereotypes.
    One cohort 
created skits about the three levels on the ethics pyramid.
Jeremy Sanders, 22, a broadcast journalism student, had lots of fun working in his group. "It was a great way of teaching the class about ethics," he said.
    Another cohort explored stereotypes that focused on black males and females and Jamaicans. Willie Mosley, 22, a multimedia journalism student, said the project gave him an interesting outlook on how black-on-black stereotypes in the workplace cause people to treat others differently.       
     Ronnika Joyner, 21, also a multimedia journalism student, said the hands-on experience was better than an in-class paper test. It also taught her how importance ethics is in her concentration.  
     "It helped me to consume the material learned throughout her class," she said."We had to go out and do some ethical studies to create our video."

Graduate class hosts panel discussion about media's role in society

By Ronnika Joyner
Speakers address topics including social, religious media
Shannon Tatum
Shannon Tatum



   On April 26, 2011, the Media in Society graduate class hosted a panel discussion titled, "Informing and Transforming Our Role in the Media." 

     The event included media and medical professionals, community activists and Jackson State University students. It was held in the e-Convention Hall of the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU.

     Throughout the spring 2011 semester, students in assistant professor Teresa Taylor's class blogged about youth and media in society, social media and relationships, portrayals of life in the media, religious media and the decline of print media in society.

     The panelists spoke on the current media landscape and the prevalence of media.

    "I learned that even though online media is easier to get, I should still pick up a newspaper from time to time," said Jasmine Rivera, a sophomore speech communication and theater major from Jackson, Miss.

     Earnest Hart, The Clarion-Ledger's assistant managing editor for digital/onlinetold students that to be competitive in the media industry, they must present a complete package. They need to be able to interview and report the story with video, write an in-depth story for print and upload it online.  

    Shannon Tatum, a graduate student in Taylor's class, said she plans to use the research and information gathered in the class for her thesis on the decline of print media and the rise of online media.

     "The in-depth research and coverage of the various areas of media were very beneficial to us as graduate students in gaining a clear understanding of how society views and uses media," said Tatum, the production assistant in the JSU Office of Student Publications. "The blogs that were conducted over the course of the semester also gave us a chance to see differing opinions on various media events that were happening on a daily basis."


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).

 To read previous issues, click here.   

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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