Hampton University's Efforts to Change the Stigmas Around Mental Health

By Alazja Kirk

At a time when people are becoming more aware of the importance of mental health, the fields of psychology and counseling are not meeting the mental health needs of African Americans in the United States. Hampton University's faculty and students are analyzing the problem and preparing to make a difference. The inner-cultural stigmas that keep people from seeking help include racial stereotypes and a history of abuse by medical providers that breeds mistrust in patients. In some cases, generations of poverty have left a legacy of mental health issues and a lack of ability to determine when to seek help.

Also, only 6.2 percent of psychologists and 12.6 percent of social workers are people of color, according to the National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI). Hampton wants to increase the number of African Americans working in the field.

"If we aren't able to address those pressing problems as mental health care providers, how can we expect minority groups to ask for our help?" said Dr. Kevin Tarlow, a Hampton University professor.

For the past seven years, 10 percent of Hampton University's student population has been psychology students. At least 60 to 70 percent of the students attend graduate school. There are nine faculty members in the Department of Psychology, who partner with the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which allows students to experience hands-on patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and other conditions.

African American patients tend to feel more comfortable about therapy when seeing African American psychologists. While improved results are challenging to quantify, African Americans report being more comfortable seeing a professional who comes from the same cultural background as they do and say they are more likely to seek help from a black doctor, according to Harvard Business Review.

Theoretically, the color of someone's skin should not determine a psychologist's effectiveness or empathy. However, many students in Tarlow's fall class think there is an implicit feeling of having a connection if they walk into a therapist's office and see that they are also African American. Students agreed that they feel that way themselves.

"When you have someone that looks like you, you can relate to them better," one student said. "You can build a relationship with your therapist and, in turn, that will help you out more."

But that requires getting patients in the door. And, experts say that's where the problem starts. Forty percent of African-Americans are more likely to experience more mental health issues than the general population and are less likely to seek help, according to The Office of Minority Health.

"It's almost as if we're in denial, as if we can't have something wrong with us," said Brianna Robinson, a senior psychology major. Problems that emerge as children, if not dealt with, can get worse and be more detrimental, she said.

African American children and youth in impoverished environments are often exposed to violence, and they are more likely to suffer the loss of a loved one, to be victimized, to attend substandard schools, and suffer from abuse and neglect. In turn, they usually encounter too few opportunities for safe, organized recreation and other constructive outlets, according to The National Research Council.

Mental health issues aren't considered to be medical issues within the African American Community, but are interpreted as character flaws, signs of weakness, or personal problems that can be overcome.

"It can be very much like pray about your problems or pretend they don't exist. Meanwhile, we're just continuing to suffer," said Dr. Kristie Norwood, director of the Counseling Center.

Social stigmas against mental health play a significant role in discouraging African Americans from seeking help. Norwood is working to normalize the idea of seeking mental health treatment. She believes that it isn't something a person should be ashamed or afraid of doing. Norwood's passion for psychology came from wanting to help people who look like her, something the program emphasizes.

"We have to change the stigma to be open to talking about it and get the necessary help," said Autumn Griffin, a senior psychology major. "A lot of people feel that if they have a mental illness, they are crazy. That's not what mental health is."

Dr. Kermit Crawford, psychologist and chair of Hampton University's psychology department, thinks some African Americans are less likely to seek help because they aren't educated about mental health.

"When I was growing up, I didn't think about seeing anyone as a therapist. There weren't any therapists in my community," Crawford said. "I didn't know anyone who would say they are seeing a therapist because they didn't want to be looked on as weak or not fit for what they are doing."

To change the stigma, psychologists have to look at why the stigma exists in the first place.

"Sometimes the outcomes are different, not because the illness is different, but because the health care system can't provide care in a non-discriminatory way," Tarlow said. In many cases, minority groups aren't able to afford health care options that aren't going to discriminate against them.

"Even when different groups have the same amount of stress or illness, we have to look at what the access to care is like for those groups," Tarlow said. "Can they access affordable, quality mental health care that works for them?"

The cost of mental health resources is not only less accessible in some communities, but it can also be a financial burden. In 2005, Crawford worked with victims and evacuees of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Later, he worked in Massachusetts, where two planeloads of Hurricane Katrina evacuees came.

He remembers speaking to one patient who said: "I first have to get my life together. I have to get my family together. I have to get my housing together. I have to get my employment together. I'll have my mental break down later."

Hampton University's psychology department faculty have science-oriented and diverse backgrounds, Norwood said. As a new member of the faculty, she was thrilled to see how invested the staff is in their students during their undergraduate career and preparing them for graduate school.

As part of that initiative, the faculty is working on project grants that could help students spend time in real-world psychological patient environments.

Hampton University has continuously made strides to help people in the Hampton Roads area who need to talk about their mental health. The first chair of the department was Kenneth Clark, who conducted the Doll Study, which looked at the psychological effects of segregation on African American children. Clark and his wife, Mamie Clark, used four dolls, identical except for color, to test children's racial perceptions.

Some years later, the "father of black psychology," Reginald Jones, became chair of the department.

"We've educated a lot of students over time. We try to encourage students to continue their education in psychology and go to therapy," Crawford said.

Hampton University's psychology students are trained to be graduate students during their time in the program. Students have the option to take a few different avenues; some students go on to become licensed clinical psychologists or enter into a master's degree program. Some students focus more on social work, which allows them to become a licensed clinical social worker.

Psychologists pride themselves on the ability to pay it forward and help those who seek help. For instance, Crawford believes he is doing God's work.

"The gift that I was given, I feel like I'm giving back," he said.

PSYCHOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS

Hampton University is home to many organizations that welcome students who have a passion for psychology in the African American community. The Psychology Club provides many opportunities for its members through social interaction, community service, and panel discussions.

The organization also sponsors a variety of activities throughout the school year, including volunteering at local shelters and nursing homes, fundraising for charities, campus speakers, and interactive movie nights.

Psi Chi is the International Honor Society at Hampton University. The mission of this prestigious organization is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship in efforts to advance the science of psychology. Members Psi Chi work together to initiate community service projects, host seminars and continuously aim to improve the organization's mission.

Leila Steinberg Highlights 4th Annual Hampton University Film Festival

By By Malcolm Carter

Inspired by managing Tupac, 20 years after his violent death, Leila Steinberg is finally trying to make their dreams come true by diverting young black men from the prison pipeline.

Steinberg was part of the Hampton University Film Festival (HUFF), appearing Nov. 12 and 13 on panels about emotional literacy and prison reform.

Using panel discussions, master classes and film screenings, the film festival delved deeply into black identity in America today. Themes included race, social justice, prison reform and the need for more black leadership.

Steinberg, a filmmaker and former manager of Tupac Shakur, highlighted a long list of some of Hollywood's best.

Steinberg is also an educator and founder of AIM4TheHeART, a nonprofit that is committed to aiding at-risk youth in finding their voices by teaching the importance of emotional literacy and proper writing techniques.

Steinberg held a master class Nov. 13, telling the story of how she started in the music industry and eventually become Tupac's manager.

"I met him at one of my poetry classes, and I was immediately struck at how talented and professional he was to only be 17 years old," Steinberg said. "He was able to put his feelings and thoughts on paper in a way that everyone could understand. Black, white, young or old, it didn't matter."

Tupac lived with Steinberg and her family for a short time, and she credits this relationship with becoming a better mother to her own children, who identified more with their's father's African-American heritage than with her Jewish one.

"He taught me about the important job I had in raising black children even though I wasn't black myself," Steinberg said. "He wanted them to embrace their heritage in a world that will judge them solely based on the color of their skin."

Steinberg and Shakur would seem to have nothing in common, but according to Steinberg, they shared the same passion for music, education and racial equality.

With her connections in the film industry coupled with Tupac's unique music style, the two would begin to gain traction across the West Coast.

She managed and mentored Shakur until he outgrew her, she said.

He went on to become one of the most influential rap artists in history and has held onto this title even after his death in 1996. Shakur was gunned down at a red light in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 13. His death was a shock to the music industry because he was only 25 years old and on his way to becoming one of the greatest artists of his time.

In addition to the great music they created, Steinberg and Shakur started The Microphone Sessions, a writing workshop that focuses on creating a free space for spoken word, poetry, singing and drama.

"The best way to positively impact the minds of youth is to first touch the heart," Steinberg said.

As the program facilitator, Steinberg sees confronting pain as the best way to move past it. She believes self-awareness is key to making better choices.

Weekly gatherings are held worldwide, led by educators trained by Steinberg. Aside from the microphone sessions, arguably some of Steinberg's most important work over the past 25 years has been her teaching inmates at San Quentin prison, through the No More Tears program.

The program was founded by inmates at San Quentin in 2002 to combat the rise of violent crime in Oakland and to reduce the recidivism rates of black men.

Like the AIM program, No More Tears provides a safe space for inmates to talk about their feelings.

The prison system nationwide has failed to provide avenues for inmates to express themselves and to work on becoming better citizens once they return to society, Steinberg said.

Steinberg is also working on a short documentary on the program.

"The goal of this documentary is to promote what people of color in America are going through," Steinberg said. "It's about reaching those people who don't go through these struggles to help bridge the gap."

Since 2004, more than 1,000 men have completed the program.

Steinberg would like to see the entire prison industrial complex abolished, she said.

"Prison is supposed to be a place where you learn from your mistakes and get help to become a functioning citizen in society, but instead, prisoners are left in cages for years to rot," Steinberg said. "This cycle needs to be broken."

Is the Smoke Worth It?

By Calyx Stover

At least three out of every ten Hampton University students use some type of vaping device, the same kind that has killed dozens of users in the United States and sickened hundreds of others.

Vaping has become one of the biggest health concerns involving teens and young adults, and Hampton health care workers are determined to protect students.

"We have to look at how the use of e cigarettes among young adults has sky rocketed," says Megan Hill, a health education specialist at Hampton University.

Hill urged students to call help hotlines, contact the Ex program on campus which helps smokers quit, or call her directly.

Vaping companies have made their product enticing to students, Hill said.

The appeal includes the small amount of odorless smoke the vaping device emits, making it easy to use in public without public knowledge. Vapes are also small and easy to conceal because they appear to be a flash drive or other school supply. They are often thin, flat, long and wrapped in metal.

At a cost of $35 to $50, devices provide high doses of nicotine in flavors appealing to young people including bubblegum, mango, mint and watermelon. One JUUL pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes and one THC oil cartridge used for dab vapes is equivalent to a gram of weed.

Photo courtesy of www.juul.com

Students on campus say vape devices are easy to obtain from smoke shops. Students older than the required minimum age of 21 will buy them and resell cartridges and pods to classmates as a small business.

"Vaping is super easy and convenient. Most people on campus hear about it from a friend who helps them get the vape and the cartridges or pods," said Jayla Poindexter, a junior psychology student.

A side-by-side comparison shows that cigarette and JUUL ads send similar messages about the portability, taste, appearance and "cool factor" of the products. JUUL's ads are nearly identical to tobacco companies, according to research by Stanford University.

A small study, conducted at Hampton University, showed that two out of every four vape users were not smokers before they began vaping indicating that many students are forming new unhealthy habits with vapes.

"Vaping is being marketed as an alternative smoking sensation to help customers quit, but research is showing that people partaking in vaping were not smokers before," Hill said.

While JUUL Labs insists that their products are marketed toward and meant to be used by adults, Stanford's study of the company's marketing campaign between JUUL's launch in 2015 and fall 2018 indicates that the startup was intentionally targeting youth.

"These vapes are advertised everywhere that young people go," said Hill.

Most gas stations near Hampton University's campus sell everything needed for a JUUL. There are also three smoke shops within a five-mile radius of the campus, so dab pen devices are easily accessible to students as well. Several lawsuits have been filed against JUUL claiming the product marketing has caused use to skyrocket in minors. In one, plaintiffs allege the company's use of social media targeted minors with visually appealing ads, according to The Washington Post.

The company is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for similar reasons.

"I found out about vapes on Instagram because I would constantly see ads. Next thing I knew, I would always see people smoking them on campus and at parties," one student said."

JUUL acknowledges there is a problem.

"The numbers tell us underage use of e-cigarette products is a problem. We must solve it," CEO Kevin Burns said in a post to the company's website.

The FDA's investigation has resulted in restrictions on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and an age verification process for those who visit e-cigarette websites, both of which have been implemented in the state of Virginia.

"It's kind of hard to tell if the new bans and initiatives will work, but they are a start and it takes time to see change," said Hill.

Hampton University Welcomes Students from the Bahamas

By Raven Harper

Shortly after Hurricane Dorian swept across the islands of the Bahamas, destroying homes, lives and families, President William R. Harvey extended Hampton University's campus to students from the University of the Bahamas. In an agreement with the North Campus of the University of the Bahamas, displaced students were offered free tuition and room and board for the 2019 fall semester.

At an orientation program Sept. 24 in the Student Center Ballroom, the new students were greeted by the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Program, administration and fellow peers. The HU Marching Force and Blue Thunder Cheerleading Team opened the ceremony, and Vice President of Administrative Services Dr. Barbara Inman officiated the program.

During the program, administration and faculty members congratulated the new students for having the brave spirits to take a huge leap, and President Harvey shared how this all began. After the hurricane, President Harvey reached out to the president of the University of the Bahamas to inquire about the state of the school and found out the North Campus was destroyed.

"Obviously, that touched my heart," President Harvey said. "So, I thought about it overnight. Next morning, I called him back and told him that Hampton University would provide room and board, free tuition fees and other incidentals for any of the students from that North Campus."

For more on this story, read the Oct. 4 issue of The Hampton Script or visit HamptonScript.com.

Defamation of a New Legacy

By Kobie Polk

The somber mood was enhanced Monday by the overcast sky and misty rain as a group of Hampton University students saw – most for the first time – the bent and twisted glasses on the bronze statue of Rosa Parks.

Parks' statue was vandalized about a week after it had been unveiled on Founder's Day. After it was repaired, police say, it was vandalized a second time.

"Honestly, it's a shame," said David Glover, Chief of Hampton University police. Glover said the department was trying to figure out who did it and why. If it was because, as rumored, students were unhappy over the amount of money spent on the park – given the amount of unfinished projects and problems on campus – Glover said that was a mistake.

"If that's the case, I get the message, but I don't agree with how they did it," he said during an interview.

The statue was one of 11 representing notable figures, most African American, who contributed to the history of the university. Legacy Park, with its central fountain and landscaping, sits on the waterfront near the founder's mansion and Memorial Chapel overlooking the James River.

During the first vandalism, Park's glasses were bent downward in the middle and her nose was scratched. Police believe this happened during a celebration commemorating the last 100 days before the seniors graduate. A photograph circulated on Twitter, prompting alumni, employees and students to ask the question: Who would do this?

Hampton University custodian Herbert Hodge went to see the statue when he heard. He recalled growing up during the Civil Rights movement.

"It was a time when blacks couldn't go to certain places," Hodge said, describing the importance of what Rosa Parks did when she refused to give up her seat, launching the movement that brought an end to legal segregation.

Seeing her statue defaced left him nearly speechless.

"I just don't understand," he finally said. Like others, Hodge believes a student damaged the statue.

"We can't blame anyone but ourselves," he said.

Students agreed.

"Honestly, it's appalling," said Alexandria King, a sophomore English major. "I don't understand what the purpose would be. It's just stupid."

Campus police are questioning students and have obtained footage of the incident, police said. Even if justice is served, Hampton University family members like Hodge and King believe it will not undo the pain.

"It hurt me," said Hodge. "We go to a black school and it hurt me."

Mango Mangeaux owners expand with venue and boutique hotel

By Alexus Baldwin

HAMPTON,VA--The owners of the avant garde restaurant, Mango Mangeaux, have expanded their business in Phoebus with a new event space called "Simply Panache."

The entrepreneurial trio – Lakesha Brown, Tanecia Willis and Nzinga Teule-Hekima – had been running events out of their award-winning restaurant on East Mellen Street, but were having to close early and were concerned about the impact on regular customers.

The new event space is directly across the street.

"Our goal is for our guests to have an entertaining experience. We don't provide just food. It is an experience that our customers get and it is one of a kind," said Danielle Goodman, event manager.

The new venue can seat up to 100 people seated or up to 150 at standing events such as cocktail parties. The decor and furnishings are white, but color can easily be added with furniture or decorations. A stage is also available for rental.

The venue attracts mainly wedding receptions, art shows and fashion shows.

The menu will be similar to the restaurant's, including the "House Favorites" Quiche Florentine, Chesapeake Benedict and Magnolia Shrimp and Grits. It will also include one of their best sellers, gumbo with seafood, sausage and chicken.

"I attended a wedding reception, and it felt really good to have comfort food that makes me feel like I am back at home in New Orleans," said Anthony Johnson, a guest having lunch at Mango Mangeaux.

The owners first hit the national scene on Shark Tank with their mango preserves. It can be spread on toast, croissants and bagels or paired with red wine vinegar and olive oil. The chefs combine it with another one of their products "Jammin Ginger Party Mix" to make their signature dish "Mango Ginger Shrimp."

"It was literally the best food I have had since visiting from my home in Georgia," said Kelly Wright after lunch at the restaurant.

Event Manager Johnson says the new venue serves the same quality of food and customers have been pleased with the choices and services.

The Boy and the Paper: From Wall Street Journal to Bloomberg News

By: Zoe Griffin

The deeply rooted romance between boy and newspaper began much earlier than college years for Matthew Winkler, the co-founder of Bloomberg News. In the mid-1960s, the rosy-cheeked boy would eagerly grab a newspaper from one of the bundles that landed in his driveway each morning, tearing through it as if he were opening presents on Christmas day.

He only delivered papers for three years, but the pungent smell of ink had left its mark on Winkler. He was hooked on newspapers, he told journalism students at Hampton University at a Q & A on Tuesday, Sept. 25. By the time he attended Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, he was ready to plunge into the riveting world of media and news.

In his freshman year, he applied to become editor of Kenyon College's school paper, never expecting to get the job. It was fitting that he was surprised, he told a packed auditorium at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

"Surprise is the definition of news. There is no more stimulating occupation than coming to grips with surprises and the meaning of surprises and to me that's what the news business is," said Winkler.

Winkler got a summer job after his freshman year as a newspaper reporter and was working full time by the time he graduated. He covered courts, police, politics and even sports. Then he got an assignment he knew very little about: Business and Economics.

It changed the course of his career.

As Winkler pursued business writing, he developed a love for the Wall Street Journal, considered one of the best-written papers in the world. He admired the newspapers "errorless" articles, noting that it seemed there was not a single comma out of place.

In those days, the Wall Street Journal had no photos, relying on the vivid writing of its reporters.

"The Wall Street Journal was a newspaper that said a thousand words were worth a picture," said Winkler. Winkler was so driven to work there, he personally handed his application to the head of personnel. Then he waited impatiently. Two weeks later, he got a letter from the managing editor.

The letter said: "Dear Mr. Winkler, We have no openings for you now or in the future."

Two weeks later, he got a phone call from the New York bureau chief saying, "You may have received a letter. Disregard it. Can you come in for an interview?"

Winkler never knew why there was a change of heart, but he still went for the interview.

As a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, Winkler covered topics such as financial markets and the global economy. While there, he found out about a mysterious computer monitor called "The Bloomberg" sitting on the desks of government securities traders. The Bloomberg, founded in the early 1980s, used technology to rapidly disseminate financial information to subscribers.

Winkler and a colleague decided to do a story on how information technology was transforming Wall Street. He called Michael Bloomberg, then president of the company that produced The Bloomberg, and published a front-page profile of him.

Winkler didn't talk about exactly how it happened, but a year and five months later, he was working for Mike Bloomberg. Together they developed Bloomberg News, the leading source of financial news in the world today, touted as the "Central Nervous System" of global finance, with 19,000 employees in 176 locations around the world.

So, why did he come to Hampton to tell students his story? As an editor, Winkler had an epiphany, he told students. He looked around the newsroom and realized everyone looked like him. White and male. "If everyone looks like me, the stories are going to be fundamentally flawed," he said. "There are certain questions that should be asked but are not asked ... Take the most powerful institution, The Federal Reserve. The 40 years I've been writing about money, not once in those four decades, on an international, local or national level, not once was there a journalist of color covering the most powerful corporation."

Winkler urged the students to go into business journalism, saying their perspective is vital to accurate and complete news coverage. He added that this is a great time to be a journalist, "view every problem as an opportunity and follow the money." Today, students at Hampton don't deliver newspapers, and most never experienced the aroma of fresh ink on newsprint, but they can still fall in love with the surprising and rewarding world of journalism as they follow the money.

The Hidden Gem: HU’s counseling center is starting to attract more of the student body

By: Naomi Ludlow

While some students are happy with the newly reorganized counseling center, some students point out the hassle of scheduling an appointment.

In a survey, there was a trend of great reviews for the counseling center, but there is a need of more counselors. Out of 32 responses, 13 responses said this will make their experience better.

"More people are finding out about them, so they're busier and they can't focus on everyone like they used to," said one junior Journalism major from Detroit, MI.

According to the director of the counseling center, Valerie Proctor, there are peak seasons for appointments. The beginning of the semester has the most availability with less than five days from the time that students set the appointment. Toward the end of the semester, the center becomes more hectic which causes a two to three week wait.

At times when the center is booked, counselors recommend community resources instead.

The counseling center is made up of three counselors and a secretary who make it their duty to service as many students as they can. The director is currently interviewing counselors to join the center.

The three counselors are Valerie Proctor, Ayana Churn, and Amanda Albright. The expertise of these counselors ranges from mental health and wellness, LGBTQ and substance abuse to depression, anxiety and anger.

On the Hampton University website, it says the counseling center's sole purpose is to "offer individual counseling for enrolled students who have personal concerns, emotional distress, interpersonal issues, psychological disorders, and critical crisis situations."

The counseling center is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Counseling, however, takes place from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by phone or in-person. There is limited walk in service, but depending on the crisis these women will take students.

Emergency appointments are determined by a screening tool used to evaluate the severity of the situation. If there is a crisis, the next available counselor will see the student. Other appointments or meetings taking place at that time are pushed back.

"My first appointment was referred by my professor after I had a really bad panic attack in class. It took some time for me to warm up, but in the end, I'd say it was definitely effective," one student who prefers to stay anonymous said. Students are not forced to attend sessions.

Students can be referred to see the counselors by any faculty member, coach, parent, or health center staff member, Proctor said. "The most effective way is if students come in on their own because although someone may believe they need help, the student may not be ready to seek help." The only mandated sessions are for students who are involved with drugs and alcohol and anger management.

600 appointments are made per semester and the center services 12 to 15 percent of the student body.

Proctor has been the director of the counseling center for two years and has seen an increase in student appointments due to implementing a new software that keeps track of appointments.

The counselor center is planning to do more outreach to service as many students as they can.

Sixty-two students filled out the survey, and mostly sophomores and juniors use this resource. Other students are not aware of the benefits of the counseling center, so enhancing outreach methods and hiring more counselors will further increase student participation with the counseling center.

Boys Don’t Cry: Why we should be talking about mental health with Black men

By Tahshea LaBrew

It is no secret that life is rough for Black men and for people who suffer from mental illness.

The intersection of mental illness and the black man was the theme of the stage production "Boys Don't Cry" written and directed by Timea Whitsley and Brooklyn Baker, sponsored by The Greer Dawson Student Leadership Program.

There are four main characters and each is a young, black, male, college student going through their own unique problems regarding mental health.

Writer and director Brooklyn Baker gave feedback on the subject of the play in the student center theatre. "The reason why there are four main characters is so that it could represent four different types of men. At Hampton University the ratio is 12 women to 1 guy so we really wanted to touch on a subject that would really just resonate with black men specifically. So we really wanted to touch on mental health in the black community. A lot of black men told me that it resonated with them."

Erlanger A. Turner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Houston-Downtown shared information on this subject. "In the wake of increasing injustice related to police aggression and brutality there is growing concern about the impact of these events on mental health. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health noted that those who reported more police contact experienced more symptoms of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, few Black men seek mental health care. Black men may avoid seeking mental health treatment due to stigma, mistrust of providers, or lack of culturally-informed care."

Because most students at Hampton University, where the play was performed, are women, many events, panel discussions, and campaigns are geared towards women's issues. The campus doesn't have many events regarding black men and their struggles however, this event was an exception. Despite how noisy the environment was, one junior mathematics major spoke about his experience with mental health after the positively received stage production.

"I've struggled with depression for most of my life. It's a lot to talk about honestly," he said "There's always this kind of air of cowardice that's shoved on men with depression or suicidal thoughts. Like you aren't brave or strong if you think about taking your own life. It's never made sense or been helpful to me."

"In general, men in society are taught to be very emotionless, especially with each other. You're seen as weak or gay or feminine otherwise. As a result, I don't trust 90% of people with my thoughts or emotions. People don't understand me or seem to care too much to try so I stopped trying years ago."

The student's statement described hypermasculinity.

According to Britannica.com, Hypermasculinity is a "sociological term denoting exaggerated forms of masculinity, virility, and physicality."

According to strengths and weaknesses of the young Black men, masculinities, and mental health (YBMen) Facebook project, An initial exploration of what 'mental health' means to young black men, Journal of Men's Health and Gender and Huffingtonpost. "Studies show that Black men often are socialized or grow up in homes where masculinity is emphasized and men are not encouraged to talk about their feelings or emotions."

"Research shows that African Americans often under-utilize therapy compared to White counterparts. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 18.6% of African Americans report living with a mental health condition but only 16.9% report using mental health treatment."

Having a mental illness has a negative connotation. More black men should seek help and not just ignore it and refuse to address or even acknowledge it. The play "Boys Don't Cry" opened a discussion that should not end soon.

WHOV: The Hidden Gem of Hampton University

By James Philip JAC 210

Many Hampton University students seeking to pursue a career in media and entertainment are not aware of a broadcast opportunity right under their nose, WHOV Radio. Although the jazz music is extremely popular in the community, students in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism do not like it, and the school does not do a good job of promoting it.

WHOV Radio offers students at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism the chance to improve their skills in broadcast and production. For those who discover this hidden gem, bold career goals can be met.

"My ultimate goal, I want to become a station manager and run a station myself," Freshman Jabari Resper said.

Smooth 88.1 WHOV-FM broadcasts to the Hampton Roads and Norfolk areas in Virginia. The station runs continuously for 24 hours a day, year round.

Hosting three main formats of music, with several successful and critically acclaimed talk shows. An incredible selection of jazz, gospel, and R&B are permanently played. With a diverse appeal to the Hispanic community, WHOV plays a Hispanic Sounds program over the weekend that is in first place with fans of Latin American music listening in Hampton Roads.

The station does live coverage of the Hampton University football games, and women and men's basketball games, all the way into the playoffs. These live games are broadcasted across the country.

WHOV is a nationally ranked radio station that's directly linked to Scripps Howard. The station has an influence that stretches far around the Hampton communication students' immediate vicinity. It also fits inside the mold of what many students expect their time at Scripps Howard to include.

"To network, hook up with people, and collaborate in any way possible because it's really an advantage to be in a place with so many black creatives," said fourth-year journalism major Mariah Mingoes.

Hampton students often don't know about the career goals, broadcasting opportunities, and internships.

While meeting with WHOV employees, the Station Director Mr. Lang addressed the way students feel about the current format. That Hip Hop and R&B radio stations represent the majority of today's Urban America and receive the highest coverage.

"Many of the students in the University do not like the jazz and gospel music that is always playing," Lang said. "When students hear that their favorite genres of music are not in circulation, they immediately become disinterested."

Mr. Lang understands the student's concerns, and still believes the radio station has a lot to offer, even without the music of their choice. There is a disconnect between WHOV and the number of students at the university encouraged to explore creative opportunities, but limit themselves by not advancing toward the most obvious media outlet. The average Hampton student would be made to work around music they do not enjoy. By avoiding WHOV, they avoid this dilemma and the potential for career elevation.

"I don't really know what goes on in the radio station. It sucks that we have a radio station on this campus and it's not being used to its full capacity," Mingoes said There is no promotion for the station by the teachers, or the school. A class that involved students going to the radio station and practicing their recording was cancelled at the end of the 2017 school year. Students would need to do their own research if they were interested in the station. Inside of the Scripps building there aren't any fliers promoting the WHOV radio station, any of the opportunities, or any of the events they are involved in.

WHOV played an active part in the university's high school day. Although broadcast occurs throughout the Hampton Roads and Norfolk areas, the message for media benefits does not reach students.

Operations and Program Director of WHOV Radio Kevin "Moose" Anderson said, "For those who commit to the station it provides you with some skills that you can take out into the professional world and succeed." Students who enter through the halls of WHOV leave with a firm professional mindset, not only that but also, "We can provide you with the skills to hold your own, and a broadcast facility or any kind of media situation."

Students who become connected to the station are given the resources to branch off into every radio station affiliated with WHOV. The Station Manager, Mr. Lang, and the Program Director, Mr. Anderson, give students the broadcasting skills to carry with them into a professional radio setting.

For Scripps students seeking jobs in radio, stations will be more welcoming to the ones who are extra prepared when they walk in. Students gain experience in speaking professionally, production, recording, and submitting scripted newscasts, weekly and on a deadline. The media industry is difficult to navigate, and the more a person knows how to do, the more valuable they are in the industry.

Many hours of sweat and button pushing as a producer is sometimes rewarded with placement at another station or media center. Treating the station as a hidden gem that only a few students are aware exists, Jabari Resper, has succeeded early in discovering the potential of WHOV. "Its helping me learn how to run a station and learn everything that goes on behind the scenes that people don't normally see." Resper said

"As far as securing internships. Mr. Lang and I can place students in certain positions, but it's not for everybody." Anderson said, Anderson helps students get jobs when he believes the student has met enough of the station standards, and can encounter the constantly changing world of communications with the highest possible understanding.

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Lang have built connections, resulting from years of being in the broadcast industry. When asked by a capable student, who has procured many working hours, these two are willing to extend a hand in procuring an internship opportunity for students. A recommendation from either of these men will carry weight in an interview or radio job. The doors open for students working at the station. They have the chance to intern for other stations in D.C., Virginia, New York, Atlanta, and many other states in the country.

"If you're going to get an internship at a broadcast facility you need to take some experience with you." Anderson said "One thing I do a lot is I help broadcast the games that we have on campus from the press box to the station and then out to the people." Resper said Not wasting any time on his approach into the industry, Resper does many jobs around the station.

"I help make the newscasts that come on at 5:55(pm) every day and I help to work on spots and commercials that need to be made." He said By working hard and putting in the effort within an already established and well-promoted radio station, his vision for the future becomes clearer.

Student workers have many broadcasting opportunities while apart of WHOV. While there, students learn to operate nearly every behind the scenes aspect of a radio station. During the business week, students are allowed to shadow the live talk shows held at the station. Regularly scheduled newscasts are broadcasted to the Hampton Roads and Norfolk areas. Lastly, students have full access to the production boards.

For Jabari Resper, The WHOV Radio Station is not his end goal, but only a temporary platform he chooses to use in order to further his media aspirations. "You kids from the 90's don't know. This is WHOV, you can do it all here son!" Anderson said.

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