School of Media and Communication
School of Media and Communication
When I first met Earl Stoudemire as a senior here at the School of Media and Communication, he was far more interested in me than in telling his own story. I later found out he was not only one of our top students but president of the Southern Miss Black Journalists student group and a leader in organizations across campus.
He didn’t try to impress with his long list of awards and offices. He wanted me to know his thoughts on how we could improve the broadcast program for the students coming behind him.
Every organization from time to time has to pause and think about what they do and who they are. We do that routinely here in the school. Sometimes we do that in a formal way. As one of only two nationally accredited journalism and strategic communication programs in Mississippi, we are required to conduct a review of our programs and how they are serving students. The university also requires regular and routine assessment of all our majors.
We use this information to make tweaks and changes to what we offer and how we offer it. We have nine majors in the school, ranging from Sound & Recording to Communication Studies to Strategic Communication, each serving a different segment of industry.
We try to stay in constant touch with the fields our students go into through our alumni and advisory boards. We use these contacts to help establish internships, stay abreast of new trends and to inform school decisions.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Media and Communication as among the fastest growing fields, with a projected 14 percent increase in the number of jobs by 2030. Our job as faculty is to help our students see the potential in their fields and ask them to prepare for the opportunities.
Like Earle did. He dreamed since a child of becoming a local television journalist. He chose the School of Media and Communication at the University of Southern Mississippi to help realize that ambition. In the weeks before graduation, he had multiple offers. The one he chose was at KFDA Channel 10 in Amarillo, Texas.
One reason I like to think of Earl when discussing who we are as a school is that he was never focused on just himself. His own journey served him well. He got what he desired and needed in his college program, friends, caring and engaged faculty, a curriculum that prepared him. Yet, in his final months as a student, he was thinking about those still here and those yet to come.
I listened intently to what Earl had to say. One of his main ideas was that students needed more opportunities for hands-on work outside of internships and classes. He was right. I hope you can take a few moments to check out our Student Media Center web page to see how we’ve put Earl’s advice to work and how we ask all our majors to spend some time with an expanded student media.
Of course, all of our students are unique as are their journeys to fulfill their dreams. Some, like Earl, have known what they wanted to do from their earliest memories. Others, maybe even you, are wrestling with all the possibilities. That’s OK, too.
Whether you are interested in communication studies, broadcast, stratcom, orgcom, video or any of the other majors or tracks you will see on our programs pages, we are here for you.
Dr. Edgar Simpson, Ph.D.,
Director, School of Media & Communication