Jackson State University will transform its Department of Mass Communication into a School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the institution recently announced.

According to The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, the university plans to recruit four new faculty members to lead the new school. The executive director for the university’s communications department, Eric D. Stringfellow, will be named interim director for the new school until a permanent director is selected.

Stringfellow is an award-winning journalist who will be charged with developing an “intensive collaboration between the department and University Communications to create more internship opportunities for students and assist with the transition from status to school,” the university said in a statement.

Stringfellow said he was humbled by the opportunity and the challenge, and added that he was highly motivated by what’s best for students who aspire to be journalists.

In announcing the move, Jackson State University Provost and Vice President for Student Affairs James C. Renick cited a recent challenge from six prominent foundations which claimed that journalism education was “not keeping pace with new career opportunities for journalists.”

“This will allow us to leverage our many assets—such as the TV station, radio stations and Weathervision,” Renick said in a statement.


Maria Adebola

Special to the AFRO