COVID’s Effect on Hampton University

By Tahji Collins

As students from Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications take online classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty and staff are preparing for the day when students will return to campus.

"While students are learning remotely, Scripps classrooms are undergoing significant technological upgrades, so I look forward to the day students are able to return to utilize these learning resources," Scripps Assistant Dean for Administrative Affairs Edward "Butch" Maier Said.

In the Scripps Howard building, new computers and smartboards have been added to classrooms. New cameras, tripods, microphones and lights have been obtained for the studio.

Joining the evolutionary additions to the classrooms, Augmented and Virtual Reality labs and spaces were secured by Dean Da'Vida Plummer's efforts to partner with 21st Century Fox and EON Reality. The Scripps Howard School of Journalism has benefited heavily from this summer's donation.

"With all these upgrades and additions, you still feel right at home in the building you've come to affectionately know as your home by the sea," Dean Plummer said.

Several large donations assisted Hampton in gaining these technological advancements, including a $30 million gift from Amazon's Mackenzie Scott and $100 million IBM grant split with 12 other universities.

IBM representatives said their gift to Hampton University will add assets such as curriculum content, guest lectures, and software by the end of this year, according to a news story by WAVY-10 News. IBM-HBCU Quantum Computing Center is a multi-year program that connects students and faculty to the field of quantum computing.

As universities monitor COVID, the additional funding has helped them keep safe and improve technology. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation gifted Hampton University with $200,000 for COVID-related expenses. From this, each on-campus student received $100 to assist them in retrieving articles from campus when they returned home during the early days of the pandemic.

Hampton University President William R. Harvey and his wife, Norma, have also provided financial support to students who had needs related to COVID-19. Dr. and Mrs. Harvey made a donation of $100,000 for student expenses.

Hampton University students have not returned to campus for the Fall 2020 semester because cases have increased in states where some of the student body is located. These states include California, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania.

"Online courses took a while to adapt to, but the safety of students and faculty at this moment is more important," Scripps Howard Senior Olusola Fakinlede.

While students adjust to online learning, professors have been trying to find their groove as well. "I teach hands-on production courses which is tricky to replicate online. I feel there's been a greater learning curve regarding the material. The inability to physically guide the students through the experience is not ideal especially when trying to receive feedback," Scripps Howard Assistant Professor Thomas Heffron.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cases are expected to increase if precautionary steps are not taken seriously. Dean Plummer said the return of students to campus will be based on factors of health and welfare of the student body in conjunction with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Everyone will need to get tested for coronavirus before returning to campus, and on-campus tests will be conducted frequently. In public places and outdoors on campus, face coverings must be worn by students, faculty and staff. Visitors will also be ordered to follow campus health and safety measures. Food will not be self-served, but will be pre-packaged for safety. This semester was also cut short, beginning August 10 and ending November 20, 2020. Hampton University's administration has not made a decision on whether Spring semester will be in person or online.

Journalism Internships

Did you know that The Lead, a journalism blog by Taylor Blatchford in partnership with the Poynter Institute, publishes a database of internships?

The internship database includes only paid, summer internships in newsrooms.

This and other internship opportunities are listed on the Scripps website at

NYU MS in Publishing: Digital and Print Media program and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute

Join the information session to learn about NYU MS in Publishing: Digital and Print Media program and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, as well as information on new scholarship opportunities for the Summer Publishing Institute. NYU is excited to announce the Carolyn Kroll Reidy Scholarship for students from underrepresented backgrounds as part of the session.

Our upcoming online information sessions will take place on October 7, 2020 at 6:00pm EST and on November 17, 2020 at 6:00pm EST . Details and RSVP links for both of these sessions are below.

The MS in Publishing: Digital & Print Media program is a 42-credit graduate program at the NYU School of Professional Studies, now in its 24th year, for recent college graduates. We are now accepting applications for spring and fall 2021.

The NYU Summer Publishing Institute is a renowned six-week summer program for rising seniors and recent college graduates. In 2021, the program will run from June 7th to July 16th. (Note, for the fourth year, we are opening the program to rising college seniors.) The Priority Deadline for SPI applications is February 1, 2021.

Interested students can learn about both of these programs at our upcoming information sessions.

Online Information Session on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 6:00pm EST (RSVP here)

Online Information Session on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 6:00pm EST (visit our website.

American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students Program

The American Advertising Federation's Most Promising Multicultural Students program connects the advertising industry with the nation's top multicultural college seniors. Students get the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the advertising industry with networking, interviewing and industry immersion opportunities with advertising, marketing, and media professionals.

In 1997, the American Advertising Federation (AAF) began the Most Promising Multicultural Student program (MPMS) to connect the advertising industry with the nation's top multicultural college students. Since then, more than 800 students from 220 colleges and universities have participated in this premier event. 74% of these students attribute the success in obtaining a job after graduation to the distinction that comes from participating in MPMS.

"Networking is a huge part of getting anywhere in this industry and the connections made during MPMS helped immensely. There is so much talent out there and to be selected into a program where it's a mash of accounts, strategists, media and creatives was a great experience." -MPMS Alumni

Each year, the selected Most Promising Multicultural Students have an opportunity to meet with professionals from top advertisers, media companies and advertising agencies at an exclusive Most Promising Multicultural Students Recruiters Expo. Held in conjunction with the Expo, a Building Bridges for Our Future Awards Luncheon and Industry Immersion program provide invaluable networking and learning experiences. At the Building Bridges for Our Future Awards Luncheon, students dine among leading executives and multicultural industry pioneers, providing an opportunity for networking and mentorship. The Industry Immersion component of the program allows students to experience the excitement of a career in advertising firsthand by visiting major advertisers, ad agencies and media companies and attending workshops led by industry leaders.

The American Advertising Federation's diversity program has changed lives and impacted careers for the past 20 years.

Application Deadline: November 2, 2020. For more information of the Most Promising Program, visit

If you are a graduating college student, you can apply today.


Participating Companies include:

BBDO Worldwide; Bloomberg; The CDM Group; CNN; DDB New York; Deutsch; DigitasLBi; Energy BBDO; FCB; fluent360; General Mills; Google; Grey Group; GroupM; GSD&M; Hill Holliday; Interpublic Group; Leo Burnett; McCann Worldgroup; Mediabrands; Momentum Worldwide; Mullen Advertising; Ogilvy & Mather; Omnicom Group Inc.; OmnicomMediaGroup; PepsiCo; Publicis Groupe; Razorfish; RPA; Saatchi & Saatchi; Starcom MediaVest Group;TBWA;Team Detroit; Valassis; Wieden + Kennedy; Young & Rubicam; Zenith Optimedia

Johnson & Johnson information session

A Johnson & Johnson information session will be held on Wednesday 9/30/2020 to connect individually with students in areas from finance to journalism for internships and full-time employment.

Students can meet members of the Johnson & Johnson team, including Eric Ford, regional business director and Hampton University graduate, Simone Kingwood, Supply Chain Finance Director and Hampton University graduate, and Tony Wright, associate analyst, and Hampton University graduate.

The Johnson & Johnson team members can review your resumes as you prepare for the recruiting season.

If you are interested in a Johnson & Johnson summer internship or full-time employment opportunity post-graduation, the J&J team is more than happy to connect with you. Also feel free to connect with fellow students Julian Wright, Takiyah Stovall, and Danielle Boateng, past Johnson & Johnson interns.

Basic requirements for our internships and full-time employment (FLDP & VSLDP) are simple:

3.0+ GPA Permanent work authorization in US Majors include for Finance roles: Finance, Economics, Accounting, Tax, Business-related For Sales: beyond business majors, healthcare related majors (i.e., Biology or Biomedical engineering) and Journalism majors are welcome as strong communication skills are a must!

To apply, you can use the J&J links provided below. So that it is easier to find you, we ask that you join our Global Talent Hub and email Shanice Anderson at

Finance Internship:

Full-Time Finance LDP:

Full Time Sales LDP:

MULTICULTURAL MEDIA SUMMIT A Virtual Series kicking off on 10/14

You are invited to apply to attend the ViacomCBS annual Multicultural Media Summit kicking off on Wednesday, October 14th. This event was created to showcase the media industry and ViacomCBS as a first choice for students to build their career.

Those interested should apply by Friday, October 2nd. Registrations will not guarantee admittance, but students will receive status updates by Friday, October 9th. The invite and link to apply is in the information below.


A Virtual Series kicking off on 10/14

Join the ViacomCBS Campus to Career team for a virtual series of engaging speakers, networking sessions and career development. Get a glimpse at how the company behind BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and other global multi-platform entertainment brands champion diversity in content and culture. Learn what it's like to work in media and how to stand out during the internship application process.

Choose Your Own Adventure...

This summit was designed with YOU in mind! We realize you may have varied passions and interests...and that's OK! We've created various themes for you to learn all about what our business has to offer.

Interested? Learn more here.

Black Disney employees provide insight to HBCU students...

Full title: Black Disney employees provide insight to HBCU students on the billion-dollar company's "commitment to diversifying"

An article by Jamaija Rhoades for Professor Lynn Waltz's class

Former Hamptonians and now Disney employees shared the efforts they have seen Disney make to ensure more black and brown voices are a heard during the company's virtual HBCU Storytellers at Disney forum for students at Hampton University.

"When I came in as an intern, there was a moment where I was like oh my God, I feel alone. But within the two to three years I was at GMA, I could see the commitment to diversifying. By the time I left, there were three times more people of color than there were I started," said Christina Powell, a producer of the Tamron Hall Show and 2017 graduate of Hampton University.

Other panelists shared how their time at Disney has given them the chance to network and communicate with individuals of African descent who come from different cultural backgrounds than themselves.

"PULSE is one of Disney's resource groups, and it is centered around black and African American culture. One of the things I really appreciated with being a member of PULSE was that I got to learn about other cultures within the black culture," said Barry Dillard, the Vice President of Risk Management Services and a 1990 graduate of Hampton University.

Along with having resources and safe spaces for people of color, members of the panel attested to the fact that many of the people that they work with are allies of the black community.

"Disney is full of allies, there are great, great leaders that are aware of everything that is going on. Especially now with the George Floyd killing, we have been asked for advice on how they (allies) can do better to better serve the African American community," said Courtnee Collier, a manager of Public Relations and 2001 graduate of Hampton University.

Panelists spoke on how their employment at Disney has given them the chance to highlight the importance of HBCUs and as a result, the company is connecting directly with these universities for interns.

"I guarantee you, when they looked at my resume, they had no idea Hampton University was an HBCU, probably didn't even know what HBCUs were. Once I got the job, I certainly got to tell them about it, I can tell them about HBCUs and the importance of them," said Dillard.

Aside from sharing their experiences as a being a person of color and working for a billion-dollar company, panelists provided tips on how to land an internship and how valuable the Hampton University experience had been in their lives.

"You don't get what you get out of a HBCU education anywhere else. Really don't take for granted the professors that are really investing in you. It feels like a pain, but I promise no one will ever pretend to care that much ever again," said Powell.

Maintaining Blackness in a White Space

An article by Kennedy P. Buck for Professor Lynn Waltz's class

Many Black journalists within the entertainment world fight for more diversity as racism is forefront in the headlines. The top entertainment company in the country, Walt Disney, continues to recruit and reassure Black students that they will not only be embraced but will also be comfortable if offered a position within the company.

Courtnee Collier, the public relations manager of Walt Disney World Resort, was a part of a recruiting panel about internships for students who attend her alma mater, Hampton University. Collier said she maintains her blackness in a majority white space through balance.

"You're going to be the only Black person sometimes in these spaces and it's going to shock you," She said. "The key is to be able to balance how you interact with other races while also staying true within your blackness. It can be hard because you don't want to be too much, but you also don't want someone to question you. That's why you have to find that balance."

The advice to these Hampton University students did not stop there. Christina Powell, a 2017 graduate of Hampton University, talked about her experience as a young Black producer within the Disney world and how it led her to become a producer on the Emmy winning Talk-show: The Tamron Hall Show.

"There were many times I was the only Black person in the room, but I did not let that hold me back, I let my work speak for itself," She said. "I let my work do the talking for me where they never had to question my Blackness, because they knew I could deliver and that is why I am in the position I'm in today."

Barry Dillard, the vice president of risk management of Walt Disney World and also another graduate of Hampton University, touched on his own advice from the Executive side of Walt Disney. "I rely on communication," Dillard said. "If something is wrong, relay it to the people above you. Communication is key."

The panelists also touched on how to stand out to gain a competitive internship. They gave good advice such as to always research the company before an interview and how to sell skills and campus activates so the color of the students' skin would not even be a factor.

"You have to sell yourself on paper where they never even have to question your culture or your skin," Collier said. "If I'm being honest these white college students are coming into these interviews and they know their stuff. Stand out and research."

Even though the panel discussion was brief, the advice from the Hampton alum resonated with many students. Students were able to see that if they continue to work hard and reach high then they can achieve their dreams.

Orchestra During Coronavirus

By Sara Avery

Blackboard Collaborate is the new home of the Hampton University Chamber Orchestra (HUCO) amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Despite being virtual, students say that Orchestra Director, Jerry Bracey, has made the online environment successful.

"I feel Professor Bracey is truly doing the best he can given the circumstances," said Christian Peterson, a senior violinist. "I feel like it's been successful. I really don't know how he could make the situation better, because it's already hard doing it virtually."

While HUCO students are accustomed to playing "difficult" pieces like Symphony No. 38 by Joseph Haydn, they are using this time to go back to the basics, spending all of class and practice time on scales and arpeggios.

Although this may seem simple for a college-level ensemble, Bracey said that it is not in vain.

"Scales help students perform a musical selection better by knowing the key and the makeup of that composition. If they can play scales and sight read, it makes the music easier," he said. "Without scales, you would have no center."

While Bracey has adjusted to his new classroom, he is looking forward to meeting in-person again because he misses hands-on instruction with the students.

"To be able to go through the sections, give different advice, or just be able to coach the students, [virtual class] doesn't have the same quality," he said. "The virtual is okay, but I prefer the real in-person approach." Hannah Selders, a freshman violinist, agrees and can't wait to have in-person orchestra because she feels like she's missing out on building connections.

"I want to get connected with the people in orchestra more. It has been a little tough because everything is virtual," she said. "We're only talking in the group chat when an announcement gets sent out. It would be cool if we could talk and just check-in on one another."

Selders, who graduated from a performance arts high school, said that although HUCO is focusing on the basics, the class is still exceeding her expectations.

"This is what I was expecting. It's a little more actually," she said. "I thought we would just be playing songs. I was not expecting us to be doing basic things, but I think it's a good thing that we're doing it. People have different levels coming in, so we have to be understanding of that."

While she enjoys the current class set-up, she also has some suggestions on how to improve it.

"I think we'll get more done if we get an assignment at the beginning of the week and get two class periods to practice, then come back together to see where we are," Selders said.

Christopher Edwards, a junior violinist, also believes that some changes can be made.

"I would pick one person in each section to lead breakout groups and plan some type of online sectional," he said.

However, he is hopeful for the rest of the semester, and believes that with cooperation, it will all work out. "I think that we have the potential to be a great orchestra," he said. "If we just focus, set our mind straight, and keep practicing our scales, hopefully this will be a great semester."

Are you interested in a career in film? This could be your first step.

GeoAg Short Film Competition, Bringing Life to Rocks, is searching for filmmakers to bring the new realities of Earth's most abundant resource (rocks) to life through film, TV, documentaries, investigative reporting, etc.

Can you rock a short film?

Key Dates Friday October 2, 2020 - Register to Submit a GeoAg Short Film - $10 Fee - Tuesday December 1, 2020 - Short Film Submission Deadline Email -

Sunday December 13, 2020 - GeoAg Short Film Awards Zoom Event 6pm - Film Competition Overview

The science of Geological Agriculture (GeoAg) has come, and we need filmmakers to bring it to life. GeoAg is the study of growing plants in rocks without soils and fertilizers. Basically, we have unlocked the code of the rocks to grow food. Learn more about GeoAg at []. Now To Soil Less, the company behind GeoAg, is seeking to hear from the filmmakers to help tell the stories of what else rocks can do for the human experience.

What is GeoAg?

The process of growing plants in rocks without soils and fertilizers. Learn more about GeoAg at []. Subscribe to our GeoAg Media YouTube channel and see a host of videos, media, radio shows and workshops of team GeoAg teaching the new ways to grow in rocks in food deserts on the GeoAg Media YouTube channel:

Filmmaker Overview

We need filmmakers to bring the new realities of Earth's most abundant resource (rocks) to life through film, TV, documentaries, investigative reporting, etc. now that we have figured out that rocks do more than we knew.

Prizes 1st Place - $2,000 2nd Place - $1,000 3rd Place - $500

Competition Eligibility, Logistics and Timeline

Anyone who wants to submit can from anywhere around the world. (Must be in English or English Subtitles) You need to review what GeoAg is and put media ideas in a 5 minute short film.

Register to submit a film by Friday Oct 2nd. $10 registration fee. Once you register, we will send additional GeoAg information.

No pornography content nor crimes on film.

Upload your film to YouTube and email to by Tuesday December 1st.

Top 10 finalists notified by December 7th.

Top 10 finalists will screen at GeoAg Short Film Awards on Sunday December 13th at 6pm

Audience votes to select the top 3 winners.

Remaining 10 finalists to be posted on GeoAg Media YouTube channel.

Cashapp payments to top 3 winners the night of the zoom awards.

Examples of Storylines with GeoAg realities:

The kid who learns how to grow microgreens in rocks, starts a business and then...

Or the astronauts who travel to space, land on a planet and can use the rock to eat from and then.....

Or the guy who left jail with the skill of GeoAg and grows new strains of cannabis, and then....

Or the scuba team on the open seas looking for the best rock to eat from and then.....

Or the mom who is facing eviction and learns about GeoAg, feeds the family and gets hired to teach GeoAg in food deserts and then....

See US State Department blog about GeoAg:

See media interviews and 22-day time lapse training commercial shot and edited by a NASA videographer at the end of the 30-minute clip:

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