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

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

Meredith to serve on Fulbright committee

December 12th, 2012 by masscomm

Dr. Judy Alsobrooks Meredith was selected as a member of the Diversity Task Force of the Fulbright Scholars Organization in December 2012. A charge of the committee is to bring greater diversity to Fulbright on a national level and to ensure participation from HBCUs regarding awarding grants to minority scholars.

Posted in Faculty, Service

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