FAMU Among New NBCU Academy Partners

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Last updated on January 19th, 2022 02:31 pm

For Immediate Release

Jan.18, 2022

FAMU Among New NBCU Academy Partners

New Partners Include School of Journalism & Graphic Communication and  FAMU-FSU College of Engineering 

NEW YORK (January 18, 2022) – Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) and the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering are among 13 new academic partners with NBCU Academy, the NBCU News Group’s multi-platform journalism training and development program.

With the addition of FAMU, the University of Florida, Howard University, Arizona State University and five others, it brings to 30 the number of academic programs partnering with NBCU, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced Tuesday.

The 2022 cohort introduces STEM programs into the academy and grows NBCU Academy’s geographic footprint, diversifies the student population through specialized programs and expands beyond journalism to include business, engineering, technology and sports programs, the company announced.

“This partnership represents a real investment in the next generation of underrepresented minority engineers who are students at places like our college today,” said Farrukh Alvi, Ph.D., interim dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the joint engineering institution for Florida A&M University and Florida State University. “These are real-world opportunities for our students to grow, expand their horizons and make an impact on the world at large.”

FAMU SJGC Dean Mira Lowe sees the partnership as a groundbreaking initiative.

“NBCU Academy’s investment in our program through scholarships and direct course support strengthens our capacity to prepare students to be superior communicators and leaders in media,” said Lowe, who assumed the SJGC leadership last October after serving as assistant dean for student experiences at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. “This partnership grants us access and resources that will be game-changing for our school.” 

NBCU Academy will invest $2 million in grants toward building sustainable relationships to support the 13 new partners, enriching the online experience and growing signature pipeline programs–while keeping diversity and inclusion as a core driver.

“The way we gather and consume news is consistently evolving,” said Yvette Miley, senior vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for NBCU News Group. “Through NBCU Academy, we’re forging a generation of diverse journalists that are ahead of the curve on media technologies and have a deep understanding of a range of industries.” 

In 2021, NBCU Academy issued $6.5 million in funding to campuses–with 50 percent going directly to students–established NBCUAcademy.com, and launched Original Voices, a fellowship program formed in partnership with NBC News Studios.

Original Voices awarded seven diverse documentary filmmakers $315,000 in grants and access to NBCU News Group resources to support feature-length nonfiction films highlighting social issues and identities.

Two of those films have been selected to premiere at Sundance in January 2022. NBCUAcademy.com offers free online instruction and digital content for students. In the last year alone, NBCU Academy produced 65 online tutorials, hosted eight livestreams and generated more than 40 Original Equity Lab stories. Journalists and leadership across the NBCU News Group portfolio participated in NBCU Academy curriculum, providing access and insight to linear platforms, streaming channels, and digital, audio and social brands across NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo News and Peacock. 

Additionally, NBCU Academy developed an embed program, hiring six recent graduates from five NBCU Academy’s partner schools to work full-time for NBC News Digital’s award-winning diversity verticals, including NBC Asian America, NBCBLK, NBC Latino and NBC Out, as well as CNBC Make It and CNBC en Español. The embed program builds on NBCU Academy’s mission to provide more equitable access to diverse and marginalized communities that have been historically underrepresented in the news industry. 

The initiative reflects Comcast NBCUniversal and NBCU News Group’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. It is also part of Project UP, Comcast NBCUniversal’s comprehensive effort to help build a future of unlimited possibilities by connecting people to the Internet, advancing economic mobility, and opening doors for the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, storytellers, and creators.

Launched in 2021, NBCU Academy provides tools, resources, and platforms for young, underrepresented voices in partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions and colleges with significant Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous and tribal populations. In June 2020, Comcast NBCUniversal announced a multi-year $100 million commitment to help address systemic racism and inequality. In July 2020, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced the Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative, an aggressive action plan to turn the NBCU News Group employee base to be 50 percent women and 50 percent people of color.

The 13 new academic partners include:

  • Arizona State University Global Sport Institute in Tempe, Arizona
  • Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, Arizona
  • Community College of Philadelphia Division of Business and Technology​ in Philadelphia, Penn.
  • Florida A&M University-Florida State University College of Engineering in Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication in Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Howard University Cathy Hughes School of Communications in Washington, D.C.
  • Howard University College of Engineering and Architecture in Washington, D.C.
  • Montclair State University School of Communication and Media in Montclair, N.J.
  • New Mexico State University College of Engineering in Las Cruses, N.M.
  • New Mexico State University Department of Journalism and Media Studies in Las Cruces, N.M.
  • Universidad del Sagrado Corazón Ferré Rangel School of Communications in San Juan, P.R.
  • University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in Gainesville, Fla.
  • University of Texas at Arlington Department of Communication in Arlington, Texas

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About the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication

As the first accredited program of its kind among the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication sets the standard in journalism and graphic communication. Since its founding in 1982, SJGC consistently receives high marks for the quality of its graduates. Students have earned awards and honors for their work on multiple media platforms from the SPJ Florida Sunshine State Awards, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences College Awards, the Associate Press, CNN, the coveted William Randolph Hearst Medallion and numerous other entities. SJGC is composed of two divisions: the Division of Journalism that offers degrees in journalism and public relations, and the Division of Graphic Communication that offers a graphic communication degree.

Media Contact

Asia Miller

850-599-3379

Asia.johnson@famu.edu