Cheers! How to Make Heartfelt Toasts for the Holidays

2Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for family, friends and blessings, but it can be a challenge finding the right words and the best way to say them. Toastmasters International, the global leader in communication and leadership skills development, offers tips on how to deliver a toast of gratitude this season. As William Arthur Ward famously said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” Continue reading


Live2Lead coming to Jackson, MS



Get ready to lift your leadership lid! Live2Lead simulcast is coming to Jackson, Mississippi on October 7th.  Organizers describe it as a leader development experience designed to equip you with new perspectives, practical tools and key takeaways.  The half-day event features New York Times best-selling author, coach and leadership expert John C. Maxwell.  He will be joined by Liz Wiseman, president of the Wiseman Group, Dan Cathy, President and CEO of Chick-fil-A, and Simon Sinek, author, speaker and optimist.  Continue reading

The Law of the Inner Circle

maxchatjohnmaxwell_picWhen it comes to success as a leader, your potential is determined by those closest to you.  If you’re on Twitter, join me today on the #MaxChat show at 12noon eastern.  I’ll be interviewed by the @JohnMaxwellTeam about the law of the inner circle.  This law is from the “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,”  the book by leadership expert and best selling author John Maxwell.  A Twitter chat tool such as makes taking part in the conversation easy.  Simply log on to and put in the hashtag #MaxChat.  Then start chatting!  Here’s a short tutorial on how to use

Remember, you are what you tweet (a little bird told me) 🙂



Hey Siri give us a hint about the new iPhone!

Just when you’re getting used to your new iPhone, here comes the new iPhone 6s Plus or iPhone 7!  Today Apple is expected to make the big announcement in a few hours.  I tried asking Siri to give me a hint, but all she said was, “Everything you need to know about Apple products is at Apple’s website.”  Thanks a lot Siri!.  Meanwhile, the new iPhone is rumored to be thinner and “touchier.” In case you’re thinking about upgrading or buying the new iPhone, here’s what you can expect…

Siri not talking!

Siri not talking!



Madea’s Neighbor Chats with Upward Bound Students

UpwardBound2015My how time flies!  Wednesday was the last day of my six week broadcasting class with high school students in the Upward Bound program at Tougaloo College.  It ended on a high note.  Special thanks to actor/singer @DathanThigpen.  The Jackson State mass comm alum who now lives in Atlanta, took time out of his busy schedule to chat with my students via FaceTime.  The teens enjoyed the DVD of “Madea’s Neighbors From Hell” and were ready with questions.   Dathan played “Desi” and talked about how he got the role, what it was like working with executive producer/actor Tyler Perry/Madea, and he also gave career advice.

Continue reading

Jackson State Campus Media win 19 times at Mississippi AP Broadcasters Awards


Middle Picture: (WJSU Issues & Images team: L.A. Warren, Dr. Sunny Fridge, Kourtney C. Paige). Bottom Picture (JSU mass comm winners Perrymon Wright, Courtni Wilson, Kris Campbell, DaShawna Wright, Regina Toney Gerald Harris).

It was an evening of honors for students, faculty and staff of campus media at Jackson State University at the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcaster’s Awards Banquet.  The event, which was held April 18, 2015,  honored the best in professional and collegiate broadcasting across the state in 2014.

A total of 19 awards were won with WJSU 88.5FM, the public radio station at JSU, nabbing a first place award in the Professional Radio “Best Spot News Story” category.

Mass Communications students won in ten categories, including several 2nd and third place awards for TigerTV, the campus-run television channel, a third place award for WLEZ 98.1, a community radio station, and several awards for reporting for WJSU.   As a journalism educator, and director of programs for TigerTV and faculty host of JSU Connections on WLEZ, it was such a proud moment to see our students receive recognition for their hard work.

I served as host and segment producer for WJSU’s Issues & Images program.  This was my first ‘1st place’ award (last year I received a 2nd and 3rd place award), so needless to say I am so proud!  Kudos as well to WJSU news director and show producer  L.A. Warren; WJSU reporter Kourtney C. Paige; and WJSU engineer Dale Morris.  I&I won 1st place for the show’s coverage of the untimely death of Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba.

AP Judge’s comments: In the wake of the sudden and unexpected death of a city’s mayor, this newscast includes some of the most important voices to hear from — family, the interim mayor, and those who had been close to him and his campaign. (best quote at approximately 5:22 — getting 90 percent of people to agree on something.)

I&I also won third place in the “Best Newscast” category.   I&I’s Dwain Doty also won 2nd and third place awards. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Here’s a listen to our WJSU I&I show that won first place in Best Spot News Story:

AP Plaque WJSU

Winning was such a blessing and a wonderful way to end the semester!



JSU International Week 2015 ” | ” FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP

Slide01Lights…cameras… action! Once again, I have the pleasure of coordinating the JSU International Week Film Festival at Jackson State University. Films will be shown Tuesday, March 24th and Thursday, March 26th at the JSU Student Center Theater. All screenings are free and open to the public.  Two days of diversity and dialogue…culture and conversation.

This year’s film screenings range from immigrant rights to civil rights…. From lost boys of Sudan to “happy” people of Mississippi…. A little religion and rap… survival and triumph… We’ll take you to China…Africa and Cuba…from the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta to the campus of JSU…and back to the Magnolia State….  We will show a few music videos that highlight the diversity of the Magnolia State.

We will give our audience several opportunities to celebrate diversity and engage in dialogues after the films.
For the first time this year (weather permitting), we will have “Popcorn & a Movie” outside on the plaza on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. “The Good Lie” is inspired by a true story of young victims of the civil war in Sudan who became orphans after their villages were destroyed and their parents were killed. Thanks to a humanitarian effort more than 3500 lost boys and girls received the chance to settle in America.  The film stars academy award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon… who plays a Kansas woman who opens her home to several lost boys of Sudan and follows their transition to a new life.

And on Thursday, March 26th check out “Dirt & Deeds in Mississippi,” a documentary about the U.S. civil rights movement as witnessed by the farmers in Mississippi. It’s the untold story of how black landowners became the secret weapon in the fight for civil rights and equality. Directed and Produced by David Shulman.

For more information you may call 601 979-3601 or log onto



Check out the film trailers: (the film times are below)

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Chevy TV Commercial technical glitch stunt not funny to Superbowl XLIX fans

Millions of viewers watching Sunday’s Superbowl XLIX almost had a panic attack when they thought their signal to the big game went black. But alas, it was only part of a commercial by Chevy.

Although the commercial was annoying, it got people’s attention.


Twitter “heat is on” during #Ferguson Decision


CartoDB tool

Wow!  What an evening on the Twitterverse last night as millions of eyes were on Ferguson, Missouri awaiting the Grand Jury’s decision on whether or not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of black, unarmed teenager Michael Brown.  According to Twitter, there were more than 3.5 million tweets about #Ferguson during that time that included comments, pictures, videos and links. It’s a conversation that will definitely continue to grow as folks weigh in on such an emotional and sad story.

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Here is a great geotagged graphic illustrating the millions of tweets across the country mentioning “Ferguson” or “#FergusonDecision” leading up to the Grand Jury’s decision. The info graphic was created using a heat map tool by CartoDB.

Click on this link to a related article by PBS about how Ferguson spread across the country via Twitter back in August.

If you’re a blogger or journalist, what other technology tools impressed you during the coverage of #Ferguson?


Videolicious is a cool digital tool for storytelling!

videolicious logoI’ve been experimenting with an app called Videolicious.   At JSU we’ve been empowering our students to do  mobile storytelling. According to the creators, you can instantly weave together interviews, videos, photos, music and more into a sophisticated video production—in seconds. Just talk and tap—or watch and tap—to make the perfect video.

Alan Haburchak

I tried it out and found it to be a really useful tool to tell stories, quickly! And this week I took part in a Poynter newsu webinar.     The webinar was hosted by Alan Haburchak is Director of Video Evangelism at Videolicious, as well as a member of the faculty at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  Among the topics discussed:

  • What types of stories are best suited for telling with mobile video.
  • How to plan for reporting video stories with a smartphone or tablet.
  • Best practices for reporting video stories with a smartphone or tablet.

So far, I’ve done a demonstration for several mass comm students and faculty in preparation for a Homecoming project and can’t wait to see what they share during next’s weeks activities.

Today the JSU Student Chapter of NABJ will be hosting high school students from the JPS Career Development Center when they visit the Digital Media Center at the MS e-Center@JSU. Our NABJ members will share the tool with the students. Stay tuned for some of their videos later today! In the meantime,check out the demos below and if you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod, try the app yourself…