Briana Michel and Kinnedi Bonner visit S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Credit: Kinnedi Bonner
Briana Michel, a senior broadcast journalism student, was one of 33 students from eight historically Black colleges and universities to visit the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University for their first-ever HBCU Open House.
From March 30 through April 1, students toured the facilities, participated in hands-on learning sessions, and networked with students, faculty and alum while learning about Newhouse’s graduate and study abroad programs.
For Michel, the open house manifested what she could only once imagine.
“As someone who’s never traveled north of Tennesse, let alone flown on a plane, I viewed this open house as an opportunity to broaden my worldview – and it did exactly that,” Michel said. “The resources and options available to gifted storytellers reignited a flame in me. I’m grateful to Newhouse for the professional and personal connections I fostered in just three days.”
Associate Dean of the Newhouse’s Office for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Acess (IDEA) Rockell Brown Burton, Ph.D., launched the initiative as a commitment to establish “meaningful, mutually beneficial partnerships with HBCUs,” as outlined in the event posting.
Junior broadcast journalism student Kinnedi Bonner, who also represented FAMU, said she learned the importance of experiencing different schools and graduate programs.
“In the career of journalism, there are so many different branches,” she said. “So, you don’t specifically have to stick to broadcast journalism. You can do magazine article writing. You can do production. You can do television, radio, and film – there’s so much to do.”
“One of my highlights was meeting people from different HBCUs and knowing that we all have similar interests, but we’re all dynamic in our own way,” she added.
Michel said her biggest takeaway was the transparency and advice from Newhouse’s students and faculty, specifically, what she recalls as Dr. B’s Three P’s: peace, purpose and passion.
“Every day since then, I remind myself that every decision, from what graduate school or career path to pursue, deserves to run through that checklist,” she said.