November 27, 2014  

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Southern Miss Faculty Adds Two Entertainment Industry Veterans

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Two veteran entertainment industry professionals are serving as distinguished visiting lecturers in The University of Southern Mississippi’s Entertainment Industry program for the spring semester.

Gina Charbonnet, owner of the New Orleans/New York-based GeChar Productions, and Drew Young, who produced records in London, New York and New Orleans, have joined the Southern Miss faculty.

“Our students are getting an excellent opportunity to learn from some high profile professionals who bring a ton of talent and experience to the classroom,” said Dr. Paul Linden, head of the program and assistant professor at Southern Miss. “Both Gina and Drew have excellent connections in the industry in New Orleans, and that’s a relationship that we believe is very important to the future of the entertainment industry program at Southern Miss.”

Charbonnet is teaching a course in live event business. Her company, GeChar Productions, creates and executes high quality film, television and concert productions, as well as corporate and live events. A native New Orleanian, she is a producer for the annual Essence Music Festival and oversees the festival’s ESSENCE Empowerment Experience, which has featured such high-powered speakers as Bill Cosby and Hillary Clinton. 

Young, an accomplished musician with several solo albums, is teaching courses in recording industry operations and recording industry history. He has worked as a record executive for Putumayo World Music and the general manager of Clinton Recording Studios in New York City. Now a New Orleans resident, he recently finished a full length CD of all original songs with appearances from legendary New Orleans artists Dr. John, Anders Osborne and Jon Cleary.

“We hope this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful tradition of bringing in professionals and connecting with the New Orleans market,” Linden said.

Housed in the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism, the Entertainment Industry program was created at Southern Miss in 2006. Currently, there are more than 150 students who are majoring in recording industry production and recording industry management.

For more information, contact Dr. Paul Linden at 601.266.4261 or paul.linden@usm.edu.