Feb 05, 2013

2009 Mass Comm Forum Extremely Successful

Discussion Panel Includes Familiar Faces From The News Media

Photo caption: (From left to right) Business writer for The Tennessean, Getahn Ward, assistant production director for Journal Communications Inc., Christina Carden, and broadcast meteorologist for WSMV-TV Channel 4 News, Dan Thomas participate as panelists at the Mass Communication Alliance Forum at Columbia State Community College. The forum provided high school students from Brentwood High School, Columbia Central High School, Culleoka High School, Mt. Pleasant High School, Giles County High School, Forrest High School, and Columbia State students with information and advice about careers in mass communications.

Students in the Mass Communications Program at Columbia State Community College hosted a Mass Communications Alliance Forum on Thursday, October 22. The discussion panel consisted of Getahn Ward, a business staff writer for The Tennessean newspaper, Dan Thomas, a broadcast meteorologist for WSMV-TV Channel 4 News, and Christina Carden, the assistant production director for Journal Communications Inc., a custom magazine publishing company.

"The mass communications forum is an event that brings together high school students, Columbia State's mass communications students and professionals in the industry who want to talk about exciting careers in the media," said Dr. Jane Campbell, professor of English and mass communications at Columbia State.

Students from six high schools attended and participated in the 15th annual event: Columbia Central High School, Culleoka High School, Mt. Pleasant High School, Giles County High School, Brentwood High School and Forrest High School. Each year the forum features a different panel. "We try to choose a panel that represents the different areas of Mass Communications: journalism, broadcast, the recording industry, advertising and public relations," added Campbell.

"This discussion provides insights to students on the real world, the media, and helps them make good decisions," said Ward.

Panelists discussed topics such as what to expect, how students can best prepare for careers in mass communications, and what talents are needed in specific areas. Panelists also shared valuable advice with the students.

"The best advice I can give would be not to get discouraged because there's going to be a lot of obstacles in the way. A lot of times they're going to come home from work initially, and maybe you'll say 'what am I even doing?' and second guess yourself. And you'll get that from people - people will say 'what are you doing?' - you know, that happens no matter what you do, so don't think you're not cut out for it. Just work smarter, get it done better and you'll reach your goals," said Thomas.

The forum featured a question and answer segment where students were allowed to ask the panel questions. "It is important because I had the same kind of things presented to me… Community development is really important as far as students coming out into the world. These young people might be our employees someday, so it's important to give them perspective and the real world ideas on that," said Carden, discussing why it is important for professionals to participate in forums.

The Mass Communications Alliance Forum is funded by the Columbia State Mass Communications Program, the Columbia State Foundation, and the Columbia State Lyceum Committee.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the sixth largest higher education system in the nation. For more information, please visit www.columbiastate.edu.