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


Thank you for taking time to read the January edition of JSU Mass Communications e-News. This electronic newsletter will be published at the end of each month throughout the spring 2011 semester.

We hope you enjoy reading the articles written by aspiring journalists and public relations practitioners in our department.

We also would like your feedback. Please e-mail your comments to  jsumasscom@jsums.edu. Thank you.



Dr. Olorundare E. Aworuwa
Interim Chair and Associate Professor

'Sunday Best' star returns to alma mater as visiting instructor
By Ronnika Joyner

Gospel singer wants to help students realize their potential
Dathan Thigpen


   A two-time graduate of the Jackson State University Department of Mass Communications has returned to teach at his alma mater after a big appearance on BET's

Sunday Best.

   Visiting instructor Dathan Thigpen began teaching digital editing, production and media programming classes in spring 2011. He said he has the best job in the world.

    Thigpen graduated from Jackson State University in 2002 with a bachelor's degree in mass communications and an emphasis in broadcast production. He earned his master's degree in 2005 with an emphasis in public relations. "Choose Jackson State, I did -- twice," he said.

    He graduated in 2002 not realizing what a jewel the department is. "I never took advantage of our top-of-the-line television station or resources," Thigpen said.

    "I got my first job only by the grace of God, because I wasn't as prepared as I should have been; not because I didn't have a quality education or proper resources, but because I was more interested in graduating than equipping myself for 'the real world,' " Thigpen said. "I got fired from my first job after college, and it opened my eyes to the realization that I needed to grow up."

    Thigpen then enrolled in Jackson State's graduate program and got another job working in news. "Now I have the opportunity to teach in the same department and help other students 'wake up' and realize their potential, using the awesomeness that is the mass communications department," said Thigpen, who also worked as a part-time instructor in the department a few years ago.

   Before his appearance on Sunday Best, Thigpen was a praise and worship leader at Word of Faith Christian Center in Jackson, and he oversaw all media aspects of the church. Out of the thousands who auditioned for the popular BET show, he was among 20 singers selected to appear and finished in the top six. "It was exciting to be among gospel superstars such as Donnie McClurkinYolanda AdamsMary Mary and Kirk Franklin," he said.

   Thigpen wants Jackson State students to know that the mind is a great thing. It will help you find prosperity and wealth, he said, but when you follow your heart, prosperity and wealth will find you. "Always do what you're passionate about," he said.

Watch videos of Dathan Thigpen:

Video 1   Video 2    Video 3


Department gets new instructional studio to help train students

By Jamilah Vaughn

JSUTV22 planning ribbon cutting, official opening in February

   Out with the old and in with the new is how the Department of Mass Communications brought in the spring 2011 semester at Jackson State University.
    What started out as JSU22 in 2007 will now kick off its new season as JSUTV22, a student-run, closed-circuit channel that serves the campus. 
   More than $150,000 was spent on the instructional studio and control room renovations at the  
Mississippi e-Center @ JSU. 
   Dr. Sunny Fridge, director of programs and clinical assistant professor, said students and the department will greatly benefit from the instructional studio.
   "Now students are able to create their own programming; they are able to practice and apply the theories they learn in the classroom to the real world," Fridge said. "It's no longer just an assignment for students ... they get to actually see their work."
   JSUTV22 will provide the students with experience in news, production, sports, sales, promotions and management. Media Programming is a new class that will create programming specifically for the channel. JSUTV22 will have a ribbon cutting and official opening in February. Stay tuned!



Additional technology in classroom enhances student learning

By Karen Johnson
SMART Board, clickers used in Media Law, Ethics classes
Nick Samuel

   During the fall 2010 semester, attending class became more exciting for some Jackson State University mass communications majors, thanks to a SMART Board and clickers.

   Dr. Teresa R. Taylor, assistant professor, said she uses the SMART Board in her Media Law and Ethics classes "to provide the opportunity for better interaction with students during the class period."

   "The SMART Board technology can enhance learning and can also be useful in the assessment of student learning," Taylor said. "The technology allows the ability to integrate with other forms of technology such as the WebCT Platform and Turning Technologies Students Response Systems know as 'clickers.' 

   "When the SMART Board is used in conjunction with the clicker system, students are able to see their responses in real time, as well as receive those responses via WebCT so they gain a better understanding of the material," Taylor said.

    The technology gives the shyest students an opportunity to equally participate in class without feeling uncomfortable. As students answer questions, their responses pop up on the SMART Board.

   Some students said the technology makes class fun and enjoyable, and it brings life into discussions and debates during class. "I found that using clickers is a simpler way to take tests and quizzes in class," senior Nick Samuel said. 

Diversity Committee hosts mixer at Mississippi e-Center @ JSU

By Daedra Carline
Students get chance to interact with mentors
Diversity Mixer


     A diverse group of students in the Department of Mass Communications got an opportunity

to meet their mentors at a diversity mixer held Jan. 27 at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU.

   The mixer was open to all who wanted to come, but it was specifically organized to give the

department's minority students an opportunity to interact with professionals in the mass

communications field.

   The mixer was hosted by Dr. Judy Meredith, assistant professor and chair of the Diversity Committee, and Dr. Andrea Dilworth, assistant professor and secretary/communications officer of the committee.

   "This mixer is the unofficial kick-off of the committee's mentoring program, which we created to recruit and retain minority students," said Meredith.

   Mentors include Stuart Kellogg, general manager at 16 WAPT News and advisory member to the committee; Jean Gordon-Cook, senior writer/editor of JSU's Jacksonian magazine; Donna Ladd, editor of the Jackson Free Press; and Abby Sharpe, a 1991 graduate of the Department of Mass Communications who works as a staff writer/researcher in the provost's office and serves as the committee's vice chair.

   Kia Dorsey, a sophomore meteorology major with a minor in mass communications, was among the students who attended the mixer. "It was a great opportunity and a great experience," she said.

Click here to view photo gallery

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
1230 Raymond Road
Jackson, MS 39204

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



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