SAU School of Journalism and Communications Hosts Open House


Anastasia Schober, Writer

On Jan 25, SAU’s journalism and communications department hosted an open house in Brock Hall. The open house was announced in chapel, the day of the event, although there were only two high school students, one who was homeschooled and myself who attended at the event.

There were around 9 faculty members who conducted the main tour including; Assistant Professor Alva Johnson, Assistant Professor Pablo Fernandez, Assistant Professor Ayanna Eastman, Associate Professor Stephen Ruff, Associate Professor Victoria Joiner, Associate Professor Pamela Harris, Dean Rachel Williams-Smith, and Associate Professor Lorraine Ball. Professor Ball had won a huge poetry award before she came to Southern to work as a professor, and all the staff were very proud of her achievement. 

While Southern is just down the road, it never hurts to go to Southern’s open houses, to see what you can do in college. I had learned that the journalism and communications departments do way more than just journalism and writing. 

I discovered that the students help manage their own classical radio station, FM 90.5, which is the area’s only classical radio station. Also, they have a huge room with all the old cameras of all sorts, and they even take black and white pictures, and put them in a dark red room so they can appear in the next couple days. Furthermore, if you’re not into old photography they have another room where you can take photoshoot pictures, or just any pictures you prefer with the many colored backgrounds. 

They have SAU news and IGNITE LIVE. The more setback show is called IGNITE LIVE and it’s a more creative show, also the set is quite small. For that show, they interview random students around Southern and ask them questions. Sometimes they might even have guest speakers come on the show. Along with that, they have SAU news where two or three students sit at a huge desk and talk about the news. It’s quite a set, the lighting is super nice and there’s huge cameras around the room. In the back there’s another room for all the cameras, microphones and lighting. They even have a button where you can talk through and everyone hears you in the other room during the time period when everyone is running around trying to get ready before the news channel begins.

In conclusion, going to open houses and opportunities Southern gives you, definitely is important, especially if you’re a high school student. It never hurts to explore new events happening in Southern. Besides photography and journalism majors, the other degree options are: media production, public relations, mass communication, media technology, broadcast journalism, and intercultural communication. If you are a senior, and you’re interested in perhaps going into this department, here is their phone: (423) 236-2330.

A few weeks later, the Echolier Staff was able to visit the School of Journalism and meet the staff of Southern’s student newspaper, The Southern Accent. Staff enjoyed a tour of the department from Professors Stephen Ruf and Alva Johnson, and enjoyed exploring the SAU News set, photo department, and Accent office.

SAU News Producer Elise Deschamps shows the Echolier staff how the crew films news broadcasts.