Stacey Hall Donaldson, Ph.D.
BA, Radio/TV/Film-Broadcast Journalism, 1993
Owner/Senior Consultant, Learn ELAtion, LLC
Instructional Designer/Adjunct Professor, Belhaven University
How did USM prepare you to achieve your goals?
The college experience should prepare one to deal with all types of people and social situations. My college experience prepared me to work successfully in the broadcast media industry. I have worked as a television news producer, reporter, anchor, photographer and used professional research, writing and editing skills to deliver the news across the state and nation. With a minor in speech communications, I was equipped to communicate professionally and understand the impact of good communication skills on building and sustaining relationships. Though I have spent more time in the field of education--my second career--I have used my journalism skills throughout my career.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to look for God's purpose in my career. This may or may not be the program of study selected in college. I would also tell myself that life is not fair and that not everyone will be an advocate for you. In fact, there are some who will create obstacles in hopes that you will fail. However, God is the author and finisher of your faith. Trust him to help you achieve your destiny. There is nothing man can do to make or break you when you're trusting God to succeed. Remain focused and position yourself to help others realize their dreams and become the best version of themselves. This effort will bring you joy immeasurable.
What words of wisdom would you give to Black college students?
Years ago I would have said, "Be the best you can be." In fact, I said and believed it. However, sometimes it appears one's best is not good enough in the real world. I have since learned not to connect my value with my performance. My advice to students is to work hard and pursue their passions--the things that give them joy--even if they are not being paid. Strive for excellence in their work. Find a mentor, and then become a mentor.
Was college worth the investment?
I believe the training was worth the investment of time. However, career paths can be ever-evolving. I believe I was born to teach, and journalism was an entry point on this path.
What was the most impactful topic covered in The Unheard Word?
I think the best part of The Unheard Word is the voice it has given to many of us who would not have had a voice otherwise. It has been a space designed to amplify voices of color and bring beauty and encouragement to the world.