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  • E-News U. Contributor 1:14 pm on September 29, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: anxiety, graduation, , , seniors   

    Opening convocation brings seniors’ fears to light 

    By Olivia Lewis

    The official welcome Sunday to the new school year has seniors around Hampton University thinking about their soon-to-be goodbyes to their Home by the Sea.

    Opening convocation is supposed to be a joyous occasion for seniors sitting in Ogden Hall as they reflect on their time at Hampton and dream about what may come after graduation. However, the surreal feeling of wearing a cap and gown for the first time has some seniors nervous and panicking about life after Hampton University.

    Carmen Hamlett, a political science major from Charlotte, N.C., has already accepted an offer to work for Hargrove Incorporations, an event planning company that focuses on large-scale government and political events, after graduation. Pleased with the opportunity she has been given, Hamlett said she is still anxious about her future and doesn’t find herself better off than any other senior:

    “I really don’t because honestly anything can happen from now until graduation, and honestly life changes and you have to roll with the punches. Nothing is really guaranteed, so no I don’t think I’m any better off than someone who’s not sure what they want to do in life.”

    The too-good-to-be-true lifestyle at Hampton University has served as a cushion for Hamlett during her four years in Virginia, and she admitted she was fully aware of the bubble she has been living in.

    “I’m extremely nervous about graduating and going into the real world because Hampton is so comfortable,” said Hamlett.

    Rhia McKissic, a political science major, biology minor from Baltimore, has also fallen head-first into the lofty Hampton bubble during her four years.

    “I’ll miss the leniency with everything,” MsKissic said. “I mean I have to do my work, I have my deadlines, but I could just as easily go talk to one of my teachers and they’ll stretch something.”

    Apprehensively looking into the future, McKissic had a few reasons for her uneasiness of the transition to post-grad life.

    “I’m a little concerned, taking into consideration, the direction we’re going in right now,” said McKissic. We’re about to have this big election and it affects me one way or another.”

    Aware of the government policies that could potentially increase or decrease the amount of money she will owe in student loans after graduation, McKissic said her best alternatives are to apply to a wide range of opportunities.

    Like Hamlett, McKissic knows anything can happen between now and May.

    “I’m giving myself a lot of options,” McKissic said. “I’m applying for Teach for America, I’m applying for a lot of post-grad programs, masters programs, Ph.D. programs; so I’m just giving myself a whole lot of options.”

    Tyrone Stamps, an accounting major from Newark, N.J. is also inquiring about different possibilities and admitted to the same uneasy feelings towards graduation, but said the feeling is a necessary part of the process for all seniors.

    “You’re going to be nervous when going to the next step,” Stamps said. “I mean there’s always that chance that your plans may not go as planned. But if you are prepared somewhat, you won’t be 100 percent nervous to take that next step.”

    While some members of Hampton University’s Class of 2013 has acknowledged its fears of the after-life, a number of them took a moment with a bittersweet look on their face to remember the things that meant the most while attending Hampton University.

    “I’ll miss having the accessibility to so many talented people in all different areas,” said Hamlett. “Like planning the {Mr. Pirate} pageant this year; I could pull someone who was a Terp to help choreograph something, someone who was a business major to help with sales, or a graphic design major to make tickets. You’re not going to have so many talented and intellectual African-Americans around you all the time; that’s not real life.

    “That’s Hampton and that’s what I’m going to miss the most.”

    The writer – a senior – is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 5:58 am on September 28, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: forbes, , new york times, , wall street journal   

    Mass Media dean is HU Opening Convocation speaker 

    By Janiece Peterson

    Hampton University will be welcoming Brett Pulley, dean of Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, as the speaker for the 70th Annual Opening Convocation on Sunday, Sept. 30.

    Pulley returned to Hampton University on Jan. 1, after serving as a senior editor at Forbes magazine. He has a bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

    “It feels great to be the speaker for the opening convocation this year,” said Pulley. “It is an honor for me in many regards, and humbling given that I have just returned to the university earlier this year.”

    As a graduate of the Class of 1980 graduate, Pulley said he knows what it is like to be in the shoes of many seniors here at Hampton. “I’ve been out there on the front lines of industry. This is an opportunity for me to share a pearl of wisdom, and I never imagined that I would have a chance like this to speak to students.”

    In Pulley’s speech for the 70th convocation, he hopes to be able to provide many seniors with information that will be beneficial to them as they begin to make their transition into the industry.

    “What I would like to convey through my speech is the idea that students should use this school year as a time to really tap into their potential,” Pulley said.

    The theme for this year’s Opening Convocation speech will be on how students should unleash the genius that is within them.

    “I wanted to have a theme that will be able to inform and remind [individuals] the kind of value that is being created by young people like themselves,” Pulley said. “They should take this year to become more aware of the value that they can create as they become professionals.”

    Pulley worked at the New York Times for five years as a national correspondent and as a local reporter. His work at the Times was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

    He also has worked at the Wall Street Journal as a correspondent, where he was based in Chicago and New York.  Pulley has received numerous journalism awards for his work within the industry.

    Serving as a member of the board of trustees at Hampton University, Pulley has also delivered a speech at Hampton University’s 117th Annual Founder’s Day in 2010.

    Opening Convocation will be held on Ogden Hall and will begin at 10:45 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

    The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 5:48 am on September 19, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: CNU, , , , presidential election   

    Overflow crowd at Paul Ryan rally on Virginia Peninsula 

    By DaReinn Stevens

    NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan and the GOP team arrived at Christopher Newport University for a Tuesday evening “Victory Rally.” Many people came out despite stormy weather and a tornado watch until 7 p.m.

    The 1,600-seat Ferguson Center for the Arts was overcapacity with over 3,000 fans registering online to witness this event. Overflow crowd and latecomers had to stand in the lobby and watch from television screens.

    Before the speech, Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin, greeted supporters in the lobby and thanked them for coming out in great numbers.

    Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling welcomed spectators and urged the crowd to elect former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney president: “Virginia, are you ready to win?”

    Most of the crowd waved flags and cheered.

    Throughout his speech, Ryan stressed national defense, unemployment rates, and the importance for maintaining and putting to use this country’s strong military.

    Few African-Americans were present. Romney/Ryan supporters asked the African-Americans – including this reporter – about their political views.  After acknowledging the questions, friendly conversations began while most people enjoyed the positive atmosphere of the evening.

    The writer is a junior at Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications

  • E-News U. Contributor 5:02 am on September 13, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: Direct TV, Guyana, , UPS, Viacom   

    Foreign embassy, call center or truck, it is summer work 

    Summer employment took some Scripps Howard School of JAC student to the American heartland, or out of the country to South America. Here are three vignettes.

    By P.J. Bolling

    Hampton University broadcast journalism major Lane Grooms interned this summer at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.

    “I was ecstatic when I learned will be going down to South America to do an internship,” said Grooms, “but at the same time I was a little nervous about going outside the country.”

    Not only did he have to worry about leaving the country, but Grooms quickly had to get acclimated to the extremely hot weather.

    “Guyana is very, very humid,” said the future journalist. “I got off the plane sweating.” The average summer high temperature in Guyana was 86 degrees.

    Grooms, a junior, said that he had to drive on the opposite side of the road: “It took a few days to get used to.”

    On top of going out of the country, getting acclimated to the humidity and driving on the opposite side of the street, Grooms expressed his discomfort with the native music called soca, which is a blend of reggae, hip-hop, and R&B music. “It was audibly displeasing,” he said.

    However, during his stay Grooms enjoyed exotic fruit such as lime-like genips and passionate fruit.

    “It was surprisingly pretty good,” he said.

    At the embassy, Grooms had to communicate with Caribbean-speaking people as well as English speaking folk. One of the Caribbean speaking people he met was Prime Minister Samuel Hines.

    “He was down to earth and had a sense of humor even though we had a little trouble understanding each other,” said Grooms.

    The internship lasted from June until August. Grooms said that working for the embassy taught him more discipline. “It was a government job, so I had to get serious,” he said. “It taught me order. That’s something that I took back with me to the states.”


    By Lane Grooms

    This summer P.J. Bolling was loading and unloading boxes and packages from UPS trucks. Bolling worked the 1 to 5 p.m. second shift in greater Cincinnati.

    Working during the hottest part of day in 100-degree-plus weather has its perks though, he said: “They gave us water, candy and watermelon every Wednesday, and I was sometimes let off early.”

    Bolling said it took a while for him to get acclimated to his new work environment. However, he had ample time to adjust because he began his workdays in mid-June and worked all the way until it was time to go back to school in late August.

    My best day at work was my first day on the job,” said Bolling, “because it was relaxed and they gave me Gatorade.”

    Because of the harsh conditions of loading and unloading trucks for four straight hours each day, Bolling explained, “I have a lot of new scars.” He said on his worst day of work, “I unloaded three trucks back to back in 105-degree weather with no break.”

    When asked what he will miss most about the job, Bolling answered, “making money.”


    By Porchia Bradford

    For Hampton University’s Brazier Bryant, hard work continued after the fall and spring semesters. In her hometown, Omaha, Neb., Bryant went straight to work.

    Bryant’s summer work began at the Allergy Relief Center. She was a representative in the call center, where medical surveys were conducted. Her time at the center was short lived. She described her duties as “boring.” After two weeks, Bryant resigned.

    Direct TV hired Bryant right away. She began in the NFL department, working directly with the customers. Her duties included service calls, promotions and bonuses.

    During her tenure at Direct TV, Viacom’s contract expired. Viacom is the network responsible for popular TV channels such as BET, MTV and Nickelodeon.

    Customers directed their anger at Bryant, she said: “One lady threatened to sue me because she thought I took her channels away.” She had to remind people that she was just a representative for Direct TV and had no control over the company contracts. This experience taught her to exercise patience and tranquility.

    As summer came to a close, so did Bryant’s job at Direct TV.

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