Tag Archives: Journalism

Personalizing the major

26 Feb

It’s that time of year: the time for sophomores to declare an initial major. I was fortunate enough to come into W&L knowing that I wanted to major in journalism. I also knew that I wanted a second major to explore another interest to complement my journalism major.

At the academic fair during orientation week, a professor encouraged me not to rush into choosing a second major. He suggested that I take a variety of classes and find subjects and professors that interest me the most. I took a variety of courses from art history and literature to mathematics and economics during my first year at W&L. This past fall term, I took a course in politics that was very interesting and useful to my study in journalism and taught by a great professor. I decided to take a seminar with the same professor this winter term and I really liked working with her.

Now that I am required to officially declare an initial major in journalism, I have also decided that I want to add politics as a second major. I am fortunate enough to get to work with my politics professor even more as an advisor for my politics major.

Because W&L is such a small school, students get to choose their advisors when they declare their majors. I feel very fortunate that I not only get to create my curriculum around topics that interest me, but that I also get to pick the professors that I get to work with.

Taking the classroom back home

17 Feb

One of the perks about W&L is a week off from classes for George Washington’s birthday. It is a much appreciated break from classes and the fraternity house. This Feb Break has also given me the opportunity to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to my hometown of Westfield, New Jersey.

I am learning a lot about communication technology in my Intro to Digital Journalism class. Communicating with audio, for example, requires the ability to interview people and ask questions in a way that forces the subject to give detailed and emotional responses. It requires the ability to write a script for the ear and work with sound technology.

This Feb Break, I was encouraged to highlight a person of interest at home through an audio feature and photo gallery. My subject is the caretaker at the Swim Club where I would lifeguard during the summer. Not only to I get to spend time with the caretaker and see all of the work that he does when I am not at home, but I also get to practice what I have learned at W&L on an off campus subject that matters to me.

My school work hasn’t completely left me during Feb Break, but I have been able to slow things down and take what I have learned back to my home life.

Department Details: Journalism and Mass Communications

11 Feb
Our studio at W&L

Our studio at W&L

As the nation’s only accredited journalism and mass communications program in a highly competitive liberal arts university, we remain committed to our first and highest mission: to educate, to broaden minds, to inculcate habits of honor, careful analysis, reasoned discourse and excellent writing in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic culture.

The Department of Journalism and Mass Communications is among the largest programs at Washington and Lee. The department faculty believe journalism is the ideal liberal arts major, combining a deep grounding in the liberal arts and sciences with solid experience in research, analysis and clear communication. Its majors have an excellent reputation throughout the news industry, in the law and in advertising and public relations.

Since the total renovation of the department’s building, Reid Hall, students and faculty have worked in an environment perfectly designed for the convergence that is sweeping the professional media world. The W&L journalism program had been among the first in the nation to fully computerize all reporting and editing classes, and now it is among the first to create totally digital classroom and laboratory systems.

All students must have at least one internship, perhaps the most important criterion for a job in journalism. That experience and the demanding professional courses they take mean that journalism majors are well positioned for excellent jobs upon graduation and rapid advancement.

As graduates, they have been highly successful professionally as journalists and lawyers, in advertising and public relations, and in a wide variety of other communications-related fields. They are valued in virtually any field for their ability to gather information and present it compellingly, with precision and clarity, in any medium.

For more information about our Journalism and Mass Communcations Department, click here.

Tour Guide Spotlight: Jamie Davis ’14

4 Dec

Jamie Davis ’14

Hometown: Bradenton, FL

Major(s)/Minor(s): Journalism

What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus? Workstudy, Chi Omega, RUF, Outing Club

How are you involved in the Lexington community? I attend the Trinity Methodist Church and I hope to start tutoring at the elementary school soon.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests? I really like to dance, babysit, read, watch movies in Stackhouse, and eat sushi : )

Favorite weekend activity? Saturday Brunch

Favorite thing about Lexington?  I love the small town community feel that extends beyond the campus. I go to church with two of my teachers, one of which is my advisor I wouldn’t have those connections at another school.

What’s your favorite W&L memory? I loved building my first snowman. Afternoon classes were cancelled and I spent the afternoon having snowball fights and building snowmen in the Quad with my best friends.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member? In high school I really struggled with math, but my Calc I professor was so patient and instructive that I ended up really enjoying the class and even took Calc II in Winter term.

Professor Support

24 Sep

One of my favorite things about W&L is how easy to get involved in extracurricular activities, especially when they relate to the classroom. As news editor for the Ring-Tum Phi, W&L’s independent newspaper, I am able to build on the skills I learn in my journalism classes. This summer, the editorial staff of the paper worked very diligently in revamping the paper. While we remain independent from the journalism school, we have received a lot of support from the journalism professors in learning how to run a newspaper and report the truth to the school. Unlike many larger schools, where office hours are limited and professors give little personal attention, the professors at W&L are extremely accessible, even if the advice you are looking for pertains to something outside class. Whenever I have had questions about my work on the newspaper, my journalism professors have been a great resource for advice. The professors genuinely want to play a role in student learning and they genuinely care about student success. It really is one of the best feelings to get an email from a professor saying how great the paper turned out this week and knowing that I can continue to look to them for support.