Thursday, November 8, 2007
Rust grads motivate, inform
By SUE WATSON
The examples of success stories coming out of Rust College are never ending, as attested by graduates who come home to help inspire students and faculty in the Department of Mass Communications.
The recent fourth annual Mass Communications Week brought back radio and television producers, photographers, advertising and marketing experts and industry professionals to celebrate the success of Rust College’s journalism program in existence since the early 1980s, according to chairman Debayo Moyo.
The college operates WURC-FM radio, with the help of station manager Wayne Fiddis, where students learn the nuts and bolts of radio operation and programming. The Rustorian serves as a laboratory for the print media, Moyo said. And Rust College’s TV Channel 2, serves dual roles of educating and informing the local community and students, as well as a place to learn television work.
Mass Communications instructor Sharron Goodman-Hill credited R.H. Brown and his wife, Bettye, for helping her get a start in radio broadcasting. Brown, a reporter for for WCBI, Columbus, also has an interest in publishing and writing and recently published an autobiographical book, “Call Me Gullah,” a story about the language, dialect and cuisine of the old African-American culture which still has recognizable vestiges of a mixed western African and Elizabethan English culture with roots on St. Helena Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina.
He likens Gullah, the culture of his birth, to the French influence in Louisiana, which also never died.
At a noon luncheon October 25, Dr. Paul Lampley thanked Rust graduates who have gone out and made names for themselves or have formed companies that bring job opportunities for other African Americans like Al Anderson, chairman and founder of Anderson Communications in Georgia.
Academic Dean Dr. Marion Talley thanked graduates for returning to share quality information with Rust students.
Saying the present time is “the best of times and the worst of times,” Talley urged students to “look to God for guidance in a trying hour.”
“We will learn to see, hear and report and you will be inspired where you need to be,” she said. “As we move through, as we grow, what God has promised is for us to do. We leave the rest to Him.”
Dr. Iely Mohammed, chair of the Humanities Division, recited the Rust College motto - “By their fruits ye shall know them”- in welcoming home alumni.
“I am pleased to hear your real-world experiences and down to earth inside information,” she said. “To a ‘T” all of them (guest presenters) said Rust College prepared them. They also appreciate their hard taskmasters.”
Moyo said, “Individuals making strides in endeavors are role models for young African American students.
“Anderson Communications is no small company. It is among the top 100 black-owned companies in the United States.”
Guest speaker at the luncheon was Dr. Emmanuel Alozie, professor at Governor’s State University, Chicago.
Aloxie is a graduate scholar - one who has become an intellectual, Moyo said.
Alonzie, a Nigerian immigrant who joined Rust as an undergraduate in 1983, gave the college all the credit for his success as a student and as a professional.
“Coming here is like walking through history,” he said.
His topic - “What shall I tell Rust College?”- was a testament to the help the young man received from the administration at Rust.
An only child of Nigerian parents, Alozie was married after high school graduation and sent to Rust College for higher education.
“My parents gave me one condition,” he said. “Get married and come to Rust College.”
After a year at the college, Alozie went to New York then returned to Rust. He asked Rust College to help his wife to come to the United States and the college arranged a financial package for his wife and for the couple to have an apartment. His wife was given a job and she became pregnant.
“The son today is a prospective medical student,” Alozie said.
Rust College provided a foundation, a place to go for help, he said.
A faculty member co-signed a loan that made it possible for Alozie to go to Arkansas State for graduate study.
“Most of what I do today is based on what I learned at Rust College - building relationships wherever you go,” he said.
“Rust College is also a place of motivatioin, a place to build confidence,” he said. “If your confidence is shaky, you will not do well wherever you go. But if you have confidence, you can go anywhere.
“Especially, in the area of mass communications, you really have to prove yourself. It is very important for you to work hard and listen to your professors. Be proud of where you come from. It has taken time to know that.”
Hill said Alozie has inspired not only the students but the faculty to push harder.
Rust College has three professors in mass communications – Hortensia Dean, Sharron Goodman-Hill and Moyo. The school has more students in broadcast journalism than in print media, Moyo said.
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