I am excited to be named as the Scripps Howard/ Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) 2019 Teacher of Year (Awarded in 2020). This is one of the journalism industry's top recognitions and I was surprised, honored and humbled to receive this award.
I have always said that teaching is a calling. I literally wake up excited to share my insight with students, and see them as they begin to make their marks in the industry. Recognizing that I have not taken the usual path as an academician makes me even more appreciative, and reconfirms my belief that Your gift will make room for you (Prov. 18:16).
Gracie Lawson Borders, Ph.D.
Cathy Hughes School of Communications
We are so pleased to hear of Jennifer Thomas' recognition, She is one of the crown jewels of our school and we recognize and celebrate her accomplishment.
PRAXIS & PEDAGOGY
My classes emphasize information retention, storytelling, ethics, and practice. By combining the practical with the theoretical, the students leave my courses with my personal goal: to have them prepared to move “from classroom to newsroom or control room," or continue in higher education.
As journalism sequence coordinator in the Dept. of Media, Journalism, and Film, I ensure that the courses, instruction, outcomes and internship opportunities are in place for both journalism faculty and multi-media journalism students. The sequence has award-winning student chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists, Ida B. Wells Society, and National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). As stated on our website, our program has been recognized as a top institution for journalists by USA Today, College Factual, U.S. News & World Report and the National Association of Black Journalists.
Journalism Sequence Coordinator
Video I produced highlighting the Fall '19 semester
The students in the capstone broadcast journalism capstone have earned national award recognition for their coverage of the White House and Congress, national conventions, protests and sharing impactful stories on communities of color. Students receive hands-on training in editorial and production, and produce all aspects of live-recorded newscasts in-studio at WHUT TV, the nation’s only black-owned PBS-owned station broadcast to more than 2.5 million viewers. Graduates are working on air and as producers on the local and network levels as well as with digital media. They have won Hearst, NABJ and Emmy Awards. One of my classes was also featured in article in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Capstone class' special reporting assignment on COVI-19
Howard University Association of
Black Journalists (HUABJ)
Video I produced of the 2018 NYC Media Tour
I am pleased to have served as advisor to HUABJ since 2014. We are the largest journalism organization on campus, and were a finalist for NABJ Student Chapter of the Year in 2019. The students have hosted events including a panel with black reporters who have covered the White House, co-sponsoring the Power of the Pen panel discussion with Nikole Hannah Jones, alumni Ta-Nehisi Coates and Dr Jelanie Cobb, hosting alumna NPR's Ayesha Rascoe as well as several speaker series events, political debate watch parties, and resume and job prep sessions. The students also volunteer /mentor students at Howard Middle School and serve at various Food Banks/Soup Kitchens, and sponsor the much-anticipated annual New York City Media Tour of more than 14 media outlets and organizations.
Student Multimedia Project
National Association of
Black Journalists (NABJ)
My teaching experience has also extended by serving as a mentor with the noted Student Project Program with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), which offers an expenses-paid fellowship to outstanding journalism students to cover its Annual Convention and Career Fair. During this intensive, one-week training program, students report daily news stories that may appear on-air, online or in print, as well as manage a website, social media and contribute to convention's PR and communications projects. I served as a mentor in Boston, Minneapolis, and was the lead broadcast mentor during the 2016 NABJ-NAHJ Convention in Washington, DC, which was a joint conference with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Video of one of the NABJ NAHJ Newscasts