by Antonio Garland
From March 30-April 2, the Mass Communications and Journalism Department’s MCJR Week will mark the 40th anniversary of the department. Students and alumni are encouraged to come out to the events to build connections and relationships, which can last a lifetime.
The MCJR Week media conference (http://www.nsumcjr.com/) features alumni who serve on conference panels and conduct workshops for students. Students use this time to learn more about specific interests and secure internships and employment opportunities before or after graduation.
The department is bringing in local media industry professionals to connect with students for the purpose of expanding networking opportunities.
Since its creation, MCJR Week has had a number of celebrities that have made appearances, including Robin Roberts, Al Roker, Peter Jennings, David Brinkley and many other nationally-known and note-worthy media professionals. According to Dr. Wanda Brockington, chair of the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism, the most popular day of the conference is the alumni panels. The panels allow students and alumni to share stories in addition to sharing guidance and inspiration.
“It’s the most amazing thing,” said Brockington. “They’ve come as far away as Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, and no one’s asked for anything. They just do it and they do it to give back.”
Each year, alumni look forward to returning to share their stories and tools of success with students. The event also celebrates faculty and staff and honors the current students doing positive things with their careers.
“In my mind, it’s genius,” said Je’Nein Ferrell of the Department of Mass Communications and Journalism. “It keeps our alumni connected and engaged and it shows our students what is possible.”
Ferrell said this year marks 40 years of greatness, excellence and innovation.
“Our students have always had to think out-of-the-box in order to accomplish the things that they’ve accomplished over the years, and I honestly believe that has helped them to be more competitive in the market place.”
“I just hope that I can connect with them because there’s a lot that I want to do in my field, like sound editing,” said Jaina McCombs, a senior mass communications major. “I just hope that they’ll help me out, help me start somewhere.”
“[It provides] a lot of great networking and learning experiences for the students to help them progress their careers in the media industry,” said John Hamilton II, a senior mass communications major. “[It also helps build] the spirit, the Norfolk State Spartans and makes for a stronger alumni base as people graduate going on toward the professional world. People can continue to come back and give back to the students.”
Mass communications and Journalism is a diverse department that impacts every industry, as each industry relies upon accurate and clear communication. MCJR week is about network, relationships and demonstrating excellence. Students are encouraged to take advantage of networking opportunities to obtain or supplement their desired careers.