On Wednesday, March 7, the Department of Mass Communications at the University of West Georgia will celebrate academic and professional development excellence at their annual event, Media Day. Celebrating its 37th year, the signature event will take place in the university’s Campus Center Ballroom from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Media Day celebrates us—the department, the students, and our alumni. It gives us a chance to reflect on our accomplishments, where we’re going as a department, and how we can empower our students to succeed in the field,” said Assistant Professor John Sewell.
Media Day events include a panel discussion, a networking session, lunch, speakers, and an awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of students and alumni. Dr. Brad Yates will moderate the panel discussion, which brings professionals from various media backgrounds together.
The panelists for this year’s panel discussion are Melanie Boyd (UWG University Communications and Marketing), Tracy Brown (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Taylor Bryant (University of Alabama), Dave Lang (Atomic Films), and Jared Yamamoto (News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB).
This year’s Honors Luncheon Keynote Speaker and Distinguished Alumni recipient is Jacob Hawkins, who currently serves as Corporate Communications Manager at Georgia Power. A 2006 graduate, he credits his collegiate experience and the passion of educators as his reason for staying at UWG and not transferring.
“I’m proud of the work that I’ve been able to accomplish over the 10-plus years working in public relations,” explained Hawkins. “I wouldn’t have been successful as I am without the support of the West Georgia community and my professors. Because of that, UWG holds a special place in my heart.”
From his point of view, Media Day continues to evolve and add value for students. During his time at the University of West Georgia, Jacob saw it as “the event” for mass communications students, as it brought working professionals in the field to campus and provided unfettered access. The current growth of the public relations major (as well as the department), the talent coming out of the university, and the networking sessions are just some of the bright moments that Jacob looks forward to at this year’s Media Day.
“Every year, it’s gotten bigger and better. The diversity of professionals that students get access to during the networking session is incredible,” said Hawkins. “All of your career options as you come out of college are on display at Media Day and making those connections and interactions with students is always one of my favorite parts.”
The department expects a record crowd of well over 300 attendees. For more information about Media Day or the Department of Mass Communications, you can check out their website or their Facebook page.