From Savannah to the newsroom


From Savannah to the newsroom

Don’t just show up—do something. She’s been seen on TV, heard on radio, and she’s a known fighter (after all, she beat breast cancer). So, naturally, people ask JaQuitta Williams ’93: What’s her biggest piece of advice?

“When you’re in college, it’s not enough to simply go to your internship and get your hours in. Do it. Be proactive. Introduce yourself to people, ask them to use you, get involved. It’s your job to ask, not theirs.”

SSU’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communications’ Alumni Mentoring Program gets students one-on-one with communications veterans—all former Tigers themselves.

Instilling that kind of take-charge confidence has long been the backbone of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC). For nearly 65 years, it’s run the Southern Regional Press Institute (SRPI), an on-campus conference of speakers and workshops for college and high school students interested in communications.

SRPI hosts experts who shine a light on everything from new industry tech and social media tactics to journalism and career preparation tips. Students anchor a news desk with the pros, improve InDesign skills, write a PR pitch, and maybe even land internships or jobs. The Press Institute is just one way JMC prepares writers, broadcasters, and producers beyond graduation and the first job. Just ask Williams.

She was a journalist for WSB-TV, the Atlanta ABC affiliate, and for CBS Atlanta. Being an on-air personality wasn’t always part of Williams’ plan. Her roommate turned the then-music major onto JMC’s television broadcasting focus. It was the perfect fit. Williams loved talking to people. (Her grade school teachers always commented on her gift of gab.) The journalism program at SSU showed her she could build those natural talents into a career she was passionate about.

“As a journalist, I have to interact with a lot of different people and adapt to various situations. SSU taught me how to do that, giving me the confidence to do things like conduct interviews. When people ask me where I went to school, it gives me great pride to say, ‘Savannah State.’” Seriously Impressive.

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