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October 25-26, 2023

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5 – 6:00 p.m.

A Fireside Chat with the Dean

SJGC Lecture Hall Room 2002


Featuring Hollywood PR Executive and Alumna
Staci R. Collins Jackson ’96, The Collins Jackson Agency

Grads Are Back After Dark
Mira LoweDean at The FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication
Staci R. Collins Jackson ’96CEO at The Collins Jackson Agency
6-7 p.m.

Grads are Back Opening Reception

SJGC Gallery Room 2015


8:15 – 9:15 a.m.

Board of Visitors Meeting

SJGC Gallery Room 2015

**Invitation Only

9 – 10:15 a.m

Polishing Your Presence

SJGC Room 3127

Join us as we explore diverse pathways within the industry of graphic design. During this session you’ll learn valuable insights and techniques to chart your career path with precision. We’ll delve into the pivotal role of internships and expert strategies for design students to cultivate, promote their unique personal brand, and secure a competitive advantage. Come with your questions ready. Don’t let this opportunity slip by – seize the chance to refine and elevate your professional presence.

Brain Rice
Brian Rice ’91SVP at Chief Brand and Design Officer, 3M
Kia Dolby ’97Visual Communications Professor at SCAD
9 – 10:15 a.m

PR -vs- Press: How to Get the Media Attention You Want

SJGC Lecture Hall Room 2002

No matter what your major is, come learn about the different aspects of Public Relations and see how the skills you learn are transferable.  You’ll also learn that relationships are key and hear how the Rattler and NABJ networks help get the job done!

Paula Witt ’91Vice President at Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis
Carole Sykes ’91Dir. of Communications at Fulton Co. Government
Dana McPherson ’93AVP Marketing and Communications at Howard University
Ashley Flete ’18Client Relations Specialist at
Rod Carter ’90Anchor/Reporter at CBS17
Sean Sanders ’17Producer at Good Morning America
9 – 10:15 a.m

FOIA: The Other Four-Letter Word

SJGC Room 3052

What is it, how to use it, and why it’s a foundation of Journalism. Join this intensive workshop, and take a deep dive.

Jessica Larche Washington ’05Anchor/Reporter at WTKR-TV
10:30 – 11:45 a.m.

The Future of AI: Where Diversity, Academics and Content Creation Meet

Charles Winter Wood Theatre, Tucker Hall

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing content creation, introducing new methods and emphasizing the importance of diverse, authentic storytelling. It raises questions about original versus proprietary content, but also simplifies many tasks, as seen in Generative AI creating text and images. The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is delving into AI’s workings and implications through a colloquium. The discussion will explore diversity representation and potential job impacts, offering a glimpse into how AI is reshaping the creative realm.

Powered By Paramount Content for Change Creators House
Mira LoweDean at FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication
Dr. Desmond StephensDirector of Faculty Development at Florida A&M University
Lakshman NathanCIO/EVP at Paramount Global
Christopher ParsonsCreative Director & Celebrity Photographer
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Grads are Back Career Fair

SJGC Library (3rd Floor)

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Grads are Back BBQ

SJGC Plaza

2:15 – 3:30 p.m

In Living Color: The Power of Producing

SJGC Lecture Hall Room 2002

From newsrooms to studios and writers’ rooms – the power behind the content lies with the producers. But if they are not in the room, how will our stories be told. Join us as we examine the importance of this vital role and how you can break into one of them.

Denise Hendricks
Denise Hendricks ’92Executive Producer at MSNBC
Kareem White ’97Director of Talent Production at ESPN
Alyssa Camacho, ’19News Producer/Internship Coordinator at WCTV
Ila Wilborn, ’19Content Producer at CNN Newsource
Sakina Bowser, ’08Segment Producer at NBC News Now
Danyelle Johnson, ’16Producer at CBS47/FOX30 Action News Jacksonville
Rickayla Mitchell ’20Producer at WFAA-TV
2:15 – 3:30 P.M

From the Highest of Seven Hills to Hollywood

SJGC Room 2037

Many of the world’s top brands look to make an impact on consumers by partnering with celebrities and athletes to promote their products and services. Leveraging entertainment and your personal network through these types of celebrity partnerships and high-profile events is a proven PR strategy for brands to secure media coverage and social media amplification to, ultimately, influence positive perceptions and generate sales. Join this session to hear how a leading multicultural communications PR firm, led by three SJGC graduates, have gone from Tallahassee to working on brand projects with entertainment tie-ins in New York, LA and yes, Hollywood. More importantly, gain insights on the media relations and influencer-marketing campaigns they used to create successful campaigns.

Damali Hill ’94Account Manager, Lead Media Relations Strategist at PRecise Communications
Hillary John ’95Executive V.P. & Managing Dir. at PRecise Communications
Laroyce C. HawkinsActor at Chicago P.D.
2:15 – 3:30 p.m.

Beyond the Degree: Where Design Meets Destiny

SJGC Room 3127

Join us for a thrilling discussion with accomplished alumni and industry experts who will share their journeys, insights, and the latest trends in the design field. Gain career advice and find inspiration to shape your own path in graphic design. Get ready to bridge the gap between design education and your professional destiny, beyond the degree.

Alicia HopeInstructor at FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication
Dian HoltonArt Director at Do the Work and AARP
Novia Lindsay ’01Sr. User Experience Designer at Amadeus
Teirra Tysinger ’22Designer at OVME
Kah’Milah Ledgester ’22Jr. Brand Designer at BET/Paramount
3:45 – 5 p.m.

Keeping it in the FAMUly

SJGC Lecture Hall, Room 2002

Mixing family with business is always a good idea when it comes to these change-making Rattlers. Meet some of FAMU’s most influential and multigenerational sibling duos and trios as they discuss working with family to move their personal and professional brands forward; sharing space to make cultural impact in various industries; and the art of continuing their FAMU family legacy.

Rashan Ali ’97Multi-Media Personality, Author, Voice Talent
Ameer Brown ’14President/Head of Product at Breakr
Anthony “Tony” Brown ’10CEO at Breakr
Dr. Atira Brown Charles ’04CEO at The Charles Consulting Group
Monique Mitchell ’10Franchise Manager at 9 Story Media Group, Netflix’s “Karma’s World”
Mel Mitchell ’15Comedian, Influencer and Actress at
Melissa Mitchell ’05CEO at Abeille Creations
Elijah Rutland ’22Graphic Designer, COO at Fix My Sole
Edna Rutland ’23Production Associate at ABC News Live
3:45 – 5 p.m.

The Other Side of PR: The Road Less Taken Public Relations

SJGC Room 2037

Public relations is the art and science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action that will serve the organization and the public interest. These skills translate in industries beyond the known PR avenues of entertainment and traditional agency.

Anna Taylor ’08Director of Global Communications at Phenomenex
Akeem AndersonSVP at Digital at H/Advisors Abernathy
Ricquel Lewis Jackson ’05Int’l and Executive Comms Lead at Blue Shield of California
Tyre SperlingCommunications Director at Royal Canin North America
Mikhail A. ScottDirector of Government & Corp Relations at Indelible

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510 Orr Drive
Suite 4003

Tallahassee, FL 32307
Phone: (850) 599-3379

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