HAMPTON, Va. (January 18, 2019) – Writing, writing and more writing was the theme of the 2019 Hampton University “Scripps Days” Event in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. Scripps welcomed honored guests from The Scripps Howard Foundation to showcase students and to demonstrate how a $100,000 grant from the Foundation has been used to embark on a new content management system.
This annual event commemorates the Hampton University’s longtime partnership with The Scripps Howard Foundation. It also celebrates the impact the Scripps Howard Foundation has made on the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications since its $10 million gift in 2002.
Honored guests from The Scripps Foundation included Liz Carter, President and CEO of The Howard Scripps Foundation; Dr. Battinto Batts, Director of the Journalism Fund; and Karen Hite, Director of Talent Acquisition. The guests met current Scripps students, visited classrooms while in session, and attended a presentation where a video was shown highlighting various students and their accomplishments.
There was also a question and answer session held where students asked the Scripps Howard delegation on tips on how get ahead in the journalism field. Each member of the Scripps team doled out important advice to Scripps students, but the one piece of information highlighted throughout the session, was honing great writing skills was absolutely key in the journalistic world, no matter the actual job.
Liz Carter, President and CEO of The Scripps Howard Foundation, was incredibly impressed with the students, and truly enjoyed the entire day. “One of the highlights of what we do is being able to go out and meet the students who are going to be the one who carry this industry into the future. We see them bringing their unique perspectives to the journalism profession, and their unique talents. They bring an understanding of things that are enduring, like the ethics of journalism and the qualities that ensure journalism created is meaningful. Those students will carry the profession forward,” said Carter.
Dr. Battinto Batts, who received his Ph.D. and served as Scripps-Howard Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, now serves as the Director of the Journalism Fund for The Scripps Howard Foundation. “It’s always great to come back to Hampton and the Scripps Howard School, to see my colleagues who I’ve worked with and meet new people,” said Dr. Batts. “Today is all about meeting students and getting to see the next wave of talent coming through. Getting a sense of their passion in journalism and communications. It is exciting to see that students are really on fire for this craft, for their careers. For us, it’s really all about helping to guide and hone that passion and turn that into a career.”
Scripps students also enjoyed the day’s festivities, including the presentation and Q&A session. “I thought the presentation was extremely enlightening. I feel that it’s extremely important for us as Scripps students to know what The Scripps Howard Foundation has to offer. We definitely got insight into the industry and all the things we need to know as students, especially as African American students, since they are going to diversify media outlets and the industry,” said Kimberlee-Mykel Thompson, freshman, strategic communications major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
The evening reception was followed by a special ceremony to induct Hampton University alumna Rashida Jones (’02) into the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications Hall of Fame. Ms. Jones has had a very lucrative career in the journalism industry. She is currently the Senior Vice President of Specials of NBC News and MSNBC, and is in charge of programming for the network’s digital streaming network signal. Her industry credits include news director of WIS-TV, director of live programming and executive producer for The Weather Channel, and producer for WTKR-TV.
Ms. Jones was extremely excited about her recognition and believes that her experiences as a student at Hampton University prepared her fully for her future career. “The way that Hampton prepares you to go out into the real world and the way of how you interact with people, how you talk to people, how you carry yourself and that level of professionalism is something that I’ve always carried with me,” said Ms. Jones. “I think Hampton, for me, taught me that I am as skilled, talented, and capable as any other student at any other University. I think that’s important when you go out into the real world and you’re competing with all these other people, especially in an industry as competitive as the journalism industry, and I attribute that to what I learned at Hampton and the empowerment that I got while I was here.”
After the induction ceremony for Ms. Jones, all the guests were invited to watch a live broadcast of the student-run newscast, WHOV-TV Scripps News Watch.
“Every now and then you have an opportunity as Dean to sort of sit back and see the fruit of the labor of your faculty and staff,” said B. DàVida Plummer, Dean of the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. “And then at the end of the day, being able to say thank you to The Scripps Foundation for all they’ve done for us. Of course at the top of everything I experienced today, was the opportunity to meet Rashida Jones. To know that she came out of this stellar institution and that she’s soaring in the NBC network, so it’s a full circle from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. of really realizing how great Hampton is and how great Scripps is.”
Students also got the chance to interview for internships with The Scripps Howard Foundation.