JSU Department of Mass Communications
November 2011JSU Mass Communications e-News
Dear Readers,

Thank you for taking time to read this month's edition of JSU Mass Communications e-News. 


This issue includes fascinating stories about students and alumnae who are appearing on national television; inspiring women to become media entrepreneurs; representing our university, city and state in pageants; and educating others about minority images in the media. 


Please share this e-News with your colleagues, as well as your fellow students and alumni. As always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback.





Dr. Olorundare E. Aworuwa,
Interim Chair and Associate Professor
JSU mass communications grad to appear on BET's '106 & Park'
By Khadetra Payton 

Local girl group, Chic Bang Theory, lands big gig 



     Mass communications alumna Cherita Brent and her band, Chic Bang Theory, are coming to a television near you when they perform on BET's "106 & Park" on Nov. 2. 

     The all-female group will appear on the network's Wild Out Wednesdays, said Brent, a percussionist and singer. The show airs at 4 p.m. Central time.

     Candace Sims, a 2011 mass communications department alumna, wrote the group's first single, "Diggin' You," which was released this year.

     Brent, a 2009 graduate, said the group's performance will last about two minutes. The band plays a mixture of genres, from neo-soul to R&B.

     "To vote, text A to 79922, and voters can vote up to 100 times," she said. "Our competition is very tough. One text is not enough."

      Brent is a percussion instructor at Forest Hill High School, a percussionist in the 41st Army National Guard Band and a chuChic Bang Theoryrch drummer. She also gives private drum lessons on a weekly basis and plays with other local bands.

     She credits members of her Jackson State University family for helping her get to this point. "I was referred by a former professor of mine, and one gig led to numerous ones," said Brent, who has been singing and playing the drums since she was about 9 years old.

     Brent, who joined Chic Bang Theory a year ago, said the group needs all the support it can get. "You can help us by changing your profile picture to our 106 flier on Facebook."

      Visit www.chicbangtheory.com, follow the band on Twitter @chicbangtheory, or follow Brent on Twitter @chic_withe_stix.

Media panel aims to inspire future entrepreneurs

By Dhahran Hall


Women business owners to share tips, technology trends


     Sunny Smith Fridge, clinical assistant professor in the department of mass communications, is moderating a panel discussion designed to demystify media ownership.

     "Media Entrepreneurship: Creation + Determination = Innovation" is scheduled for 11 a.m. Nov. 2 at Jackson State University. It will feature six women who represent a cross-section of dynamic business owners, Fridge said.

     The break-out panel is part of the 2011 Women of Color Entrepreneurs Conference, taking place Nov. 1-2 at the Mississippi e-Center @ JSU. The JSU Department of Entrepreneurship and Professional Development in the College of Business is hosting the event.

     "Panelists will provide tips for making the leap from working in a traditional news organization to running your own start-up media business," Fridge said. "This session will help you to recognize entrepreneurial opportunities and give you a sneak peek at some innovative technology trends to watch as you grow your business."

     The panelists' backgrounds are diverse:

  • Kathy Times, president, Yellow Brick Media Concepts
  • Wilma Mosely-Clopton, independent filmmaker
  • Shameka Reed, CEO and publisher, Savvy Inc.
  • Olivia Thomas, CEO, Fahrenheit Creative Group
  • Robin Valetutto, radio station general manager, sports director and host
  • Regina Toney, COO, Good As Gold Enterprise Inc.

     Reed and Thomas are alumnae of the mass communications department, while Toney is a student.

     Fridge hopes students, especially, attend the session.

     "Our faculty has stepped up efforts to prepare students for the real world, and I believe we need to encourage them to have an entrepreneurial mindset, especially in these tough economic times," Fridge said.

     "That means not only do students have to think about ways to tell the story. They can begin to think of ways to 'sell' the story. And this panel will hopefully give them some inspiration."

      For more information about the WE conference, visit www.jsums.edu/we.


Ashley Liddell contributed to this story. 

Mass communications senior crowned 2012 Miss Metro Jackson
By Spencer McClenty

Thompson to compete in Miss Mississippi pageant in June



     Jackson State University senior Kennitra Thompson was crowned the 2012 Miss Metro Jackson during the annual Miss Heartland, Miss Metro Jackson, Miss Midsouth and Outstanding Teen pageants, which serve as preliminaries for the 2012 Miss Mississippi Pageant.

     Thompson, a 21-year-old mass communications major with a concentration in multimedia journalism, was one of 13 contestants.

     "This has been a dream of mine since I was 6 years old," said Thompson, who also won the 2010 Miss Black Mississippi USA pageant. "Words cannot describe how happy I am. My ultimate goal is to win the Miss America Pageant."

     Thompson, a Jackson native, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the JSU Tiger P.R.I.D.E. Connection, the JSU Dazzlers and the National Association of Black Journalists. She's also a former member of the Prancing J-Settes.

     As a result of winning the Miss Metro Pageant, Thompson received several items, including a $100 gift certificate toward fitness training, a professional photo shoot and 25 percent off a custom swimsuit by GlamourSuits.

     Thompson will compete in the Miss Mississippi Pageant in June 2012.


Story courtesy of JSU University Communications


Watch video of Miss Metro Jackson Kennitra Thompson

Miss Jackson State University places in College Queens Pageant
By Lindsey Walker
Ashley lands in top 13 among her black university peers

  Miss Jackson State University Mea Ashley placed in the top 13 of the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundations' College Queens Competition.  

     The competition was held Sept. 22-25 in Atlanta during the 26th Annual Hall of Fame Weekend.

      The contestants were judged on interview segments, evening wear and talent, for which Ashley danced a contemporary piece to the song "Four Women."

     The mass communications major, who has a concentration in multimedia journalism, said she received tremendous support from JSU students.

     "People sent me encouraging text messages and flowers," said the Jackson native. 

     "I was constantly uplifted because of that, and it kept me going in the pageant."

   Although she hoped to win the competition, Ashley is happy that she placed. 

     "Placing to me is an affirmation of the work I put into the pageant," she said. "My hard work paid off."

     Ashley said this was her first pageant since being crowned Miss JSU in the spring. 

Mass communications graduate students present webinar series

By Jamilah Vaughn

Class discusses portrayals of minorities in the media


   Students in assistant professor Teresa Taylor's online Race, Gender and Media graduate class are reaching beyond the classroom to share their views on the media's portrayal of minorities.

   Once a month this semester, the class is hosting webinars via WebEx to promote a dialogue among students, as well as others who may be interested in the topics, Taylor said. 

    WebEx combines real-time desktop sharing with phone conferencing, so everyone sees the same thing as you talk, according to www.webex.com.

      "This is my first time implementing webinars for the course," Taylor said. "This is useful in graduate school and especially in a course that meets virtually so that students can easily connect with one another."

      The students are divided into groups, and each group is assigned an area to explore, research and present.

      The class "is very proud to be able to do a thorough analysis of the portrayals of minority cultures in the media," said graduate student Shannon Tatum. "The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture was my area of analysis, and to be able to have a member of that group share his take on how his group is portrayed in the media was especially important."

      The class already has presented two webinars: "Majority Rule: The Images of the Dominant Class" in September, and "Roots: Images of Minority Cultures" in October.

      Two more webinars are planned this semester. To see additional dates and RSVP, visit www.mediasmessage.blogspot.com

The fall 2011 JSU Mass Communications e-News is a production of
clinical assistant professor Riva Brown Teague's 
Writing for Public Relations class and assistant professor
Andrea Dilworth's Copy Editing class.

 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

Interim Chair: Dr. Olorundare E. Aworuwa
Email: jsumasscom@jsums.edu
Website: www.jsums.edu/jsumasscom

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