"If you are good, strive to be better. Then strive to where your better is best."
That advice comes from Jasmine Monroe ('13), who followed in her mother's footsteps and now works in mass media as a news reporter at NBC-affiliate WFMJ Channel 21 in Youngstown, Ohio.
Her media interest was piqued at an early age while tagging along with her mother to her job as producer of "The Real Deal with Marty Griffin" morning show KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Armed with that interest and looking to continue her schooling, Clarion was first and foremost in her mind, based on the reputation of the communication department and the facilities offered.
"I fell in love with the TV station (CU-TV) and was impressed with the nice apartments in Reinhard Villages," she said. "It was the first and only campus I visited. I knew I wanted to go here."
She credited numerous communication department faculty members who helped her learn organization and appreciation for education. She gained valuable experience as a news anchor and host of the "CU-Talk" variety show at CU-TV, was news director at WCUC radio, president of the Minority Interracial Association of Communicators and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
Service in the sorority had Monroe working with a myriad of personalities which served as a good primer for her duties as a reporter.
"I learned to communicate with the sweetest people to the most difficult people," Monroe said. "Being a reporter, you never know what kind of people you are going to interview."
Through the communication department, she also participated in a co-op at KDKA during school breaks, and she experienced just how fast news cycles shift. While preparing for a carefully planned 9 a.m. show, focus suddenly shifted as the Sandyhook Elementary massacre took place.
"We were constantly giving updates to listeners with little or no information at all on the story," Monroe recalled. "But we consistently kept our listeners informed."
This is where Monroe says she saw the need for fair and balanced news; however, it also gave her more appreciation for the softer stories.
"I know there is always a need for hard news, which I love, but feature stories are those that viewers remember," Monroe said. "Those are the stories I take pride in reporting."
As a student, Monroe expanded her television experience through an internship at BET in Washington, D.C., which opened her eyes to how expansive television media really is. "I learned about music law, and that has already helped in my current job," Monroe said. "
Monroe also cites Dr. Naomi Bell O'Neill's human communication class which taught her the benefits of direct communication. Personal, positive voice-inflected invitations to guests on her show are much more successful than email requests. "They are much more willing to come in to WFMJ at 5 a.m.," she said. "You have to make every guest feel as important as the next."