By Josetta Stutts

Mass comm student Jerrica Culpepper interviews Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. at the Valentine's Day gala.

Mass comm student Jerrica Culpepper interviews Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. at the Valentine’s Day gala. (Photo by Tamron Tobias)


Jackson State University mass communications students volunteered at a Valentine’s Day gala Feb. 14 held for members of the Tougaloo and T.L. Love senior citizens centers in Jackson.

“We started this event because Valentine’s Day is a special day, and there’s nobody more special than these seniors,” said Lynda Nolden, coordinator at the Tougaloo Multi-Purpose Senior Citizens Center. “A lot of people have donated their time and that makes me feel so good.”

Students in clinical assistant professor Riva Brown Teague’s Introduction to News Reporting, Practicum and Internship classes served food and drinks, conducted interviews, and shot photos and videos during the event.

“These seniors have a lot of wisdom and knowledge, and you can learn from them,” said Gloria Johnson, coordinator at the T.L. Love Community Center. “You don’t always get all your knowledge out of a book.”

The gala is in its third year. Tables were draped in red tablecloths and animal print. Seniors wore red to compliment the “Jungle Love” theme.

The senior citizens and mass comm students were not the only ones attending the gala. Some elected officials and political candidates, including Jackson Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr. and Jackson city councilmen Frank Bluntson and Chokwe Lumumba, also attended the event. The students got a chance to practice their interviewing skills on them.

Jackson State students also escorted the seniors inside the gala after the seniors arrived at The Room in limousines. The students also hit the dance floor with the senior citizens, grooving to “The Cupid Shuffle” and other popular dances.

Smiling faces lit up the room as much as the red decor.

“The highlight of my evening was the music and the dance,” said Clementine Mongur, a member of the Tougaloo center.

“It is a positive event for the seniors because it gets the seniors out,” said Tahirah Richardson, food coordinator. “It lets the people know that age shouldn’t be a factor to have a good time.”

Jerrica Culpepper and Latoya Carey contributed to this story.

Posted in Service, Students

JSU mass comm students excel outside classroom

February 26th, 2013 by masscomm

Jade Hewitt and Andrew Nomura

Jade Hewitt and Andrew Nomura

By Taylor Bembery

Jackson State University mass communications students were recently awarded opportunities to perfect their writing and broadcast skills as a result of excelling in their field.

Jade Hewitt, Andrew Nomura, Shawn Stiff and Michelle Hill Simon are using their mass communications skills to take them to another level.

Hewitt, a junior from Jackson, Miss., and Nomura, a senior from Carson City, Calif., will represent JSU at the 2013 21st Annual NABJ Multimedia Short Course sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists.

The program runs March 20-23 in Greensboro, N.C. The program is designed to help students perfect their camera, editing and newscasting skills.

Stiff, a junior from Jackson, Miss., and Simon, a JSU graduate student pursuing her master’s degree in mass communications at JSU, have been given an opportunity to blog for Jackson Voices.

Jackson Voices is a project of The Clarion-Ledger newspaper and The Maynard Institute, which supports diversity in American journalism. The nine-month program was created to put the power of storytelling in the hands of Jackson residents with the goal of elevating voices not often heard, particularly within the African-American community.

The program will enable people from the community to report on what they think is most important. If you would like to keep up with their blog entries you can visit

Posted in Award, Students

Two students in the Jackson State University Department of Mass Communications are serving as bloggers for The Clarion-Ledger’s Jackson Voices project.

  • Michelle Hill Simon, a 2010 cum laude graduate with a concentration in broadcast journalism, is pursuing a master’s degree. Read her blog.
  • Shawn Stiff, a junior with a concentration in media production, is a native of Jackson, Miss. Read his blog.


Posted in Students

The gang














Jackson State University mass communications and business students spread love on Feb. 14 by delivering gift bags filled with personal care items to Methodist Specialty Care Center residents.

2013 marks the third consecutive year that Riva Brown Teague, a clinical assistant professor in the JSU Department of Mass Communications, and her students have participated in community service on Valentine’s Day at the Flowood, Miss., facility.


Students enrolled in Teague’s classes, as well as members of the JSU women’s golf team, donated enough toiletries to fill goodie bags for 43 male and 17 female Methodist residents. Donations included toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, body wash, lotion, soap, deodorant, hand sanitizer and facial tissues. Some residents also received JSU items donated by JSU University Communications, and each woman received a red rose.


Cammrynn Stith, 22, a senior mass communications major from Wichita, Kan., embraced the project by rallying her fellow golfers to purchase items to fill all the men’s bags. She also helped package the bags and shot photos of her classmates interacting with Methodist residents.

“As we ventured through the hallways and dispersed the gifts to the residents in the rooms, joy filled our hearts and faces, and you could tell the residents were very excited to see us,” Stith wrote in her class blog. “To be able to bring that much happiness to an individual with something as simple as a smile, hug, conversation, and small gift…is actually one gargantuan gift in itself and very rewarding!”


Jarvis Harris, 24, a senior mass communications major from Jackson, Miss., said he got to do something that made him feel good.

“ I will always remember February 14, 2013, not because it was Valentine's Day but for all the faces that I helped light up,” Harris wrote in his class blog. “I think we really take things like walking, talking, and thinking for granted. I will forever be thankful for the little things.”

Posted in Faculty, Service, Students

Tiffany Edmondson

Mass comm senior Tiffany Edmondson of Jackson, Miss., was selected to participate in the PBS Newshour Inauguration Multimedia short course.

Edmondson earned a free trip to Washington, D.C., Jan. 18-22. She also will participate in a four-day multimedia production camp.
Edmondson was among 14 students nationwide selected to participate. More than 45 students applied for the program.

Posted in Award, Internships, Students

Class raises money for Salvation Army

December 12th, 2012 by masscomm

Dr. Monica Flippin-Wynn‘s fall 2012 Research Methods class recently raised $1,080 to help the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. The students, dubbed Wynn’s Holiday Helpers, earned points toward their class grade and community service hours.
“In the process, my students are instrumental in giving back to the community during a season that holds gloom and despair for so many families,” Flippin-Wynn said. “Hopefully, doing community service will become a consistent theme in their lives as they move on from Jackson State. My goal is to challenge minds and change lives. With this project, that is what we do.”
Last year, Wynn’s Holiday Helpers collected $500. December 2011 was the first time the class completed the project. Students sold snowflakes for $1 to raise the funds.
Student Darenique Henry said the snowflakes assignment was great. “It gave us a chance to earn extra points, but most importantly we helped a family have a Christmas!” Henry said. “This experience is truly humbling!”
Student Kachelle Pratcher also enjoyed the assignment.
“Having a chance to give back to the community and provide a smile on children faces is what giving is all about,” Pratcher said. “I am thankful that Dr. Wynn has given my class the opportunity to help a family in need and hopefully this encourages the student body that there is more to the holiday season then thinking about yourself. You can always lend a helping hand to others.”

Posted in Faculty, Service, Students

Hewitt wins NBC Universal scholarship

December 12th, 2012 by masscomm

Jade Hewitt


Mass comm junior Jade Hewitt, a native of Jackson, Miss., recently received the NBC Universal scholarship, a sponsor of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The scholarship award totaling $6,200 will be paid in two distributions of $3,100 per semester.

This scholarship was open to all students attending a historically black college or university. Other criteria included a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 and a choice between two essay questions. Hewitt chose “What inspired you to pursue a degree in your current field of study and what impact will it have on our society?”
Hewitt said she was honored to receive the scholarship. “College tuition is steadily increasing, and I need as much financial support as I can possibly get to cover the costs of following my dreams,” said Hewitt, 20, who grew up in West Columbia, Texas. “It’s a blessing and I’m grateful.”
Hewitt has a concentration in multimedia journalism and a minor in biology. She aspires to become a news anchor for CNN and an activist/advocate for women and children.

Meredith, Flippin-Wynn win award

December 12th, 2012 by masscomm

Dr. Judy Alsobrooks Meredith and Dr. Monica Flippin-Wynn won Best of Session in October 2012 at the International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research Conference in Biloxi, Miss.

Their double-blind, peer-reviewed presentation was titled, “A Reflective Look Back: In Their Own Words: The Experiences and Perceptions of Journalists Who Reported on the Civil Rights Movement.”

Posted in Award, Faculty, Research