Ruelle Fludd, a December 2019 graduate of FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, didn’t start her college career in Tallahassee.
She transferred to FAMU after earning an associate’s degree at Florida International University in her hometown, Miami. Born in the Bronx, New York, Fludd grew up mostly in South Miami.
“[FIU] wasn’t really fulfilling. It just felt like high school all over again and I just needed to get away from home and needed to get out of Miami,” Fludd said.
Fludd decided to pursue her journalism career at Florida A&M University.
“I actually came up to Tallahassee for a wedding, I saw how beautiful the campus was and the Black people,” Fludd said. “I was convinced and thought to myself, this is where I need to be.”
Fludd had a plan, grasped what the program had to offer, put her all into everything and came out a success.
During her two years at FAMU, Fludd was the lifestyles editor for The Famuan, the copy desk chief with Journey Magazine, a live-shot reporter for TV News 20 and produced and anchored the annual Homecoming Special in 2019.
Outside of the areas of media, Fludd was an extraordinary leader. She was an officer for FAMU’s chapter of NABJ and she volunteered with the Journalism LLC program.
“The biggest thing FAMU prepared me for was the confidence you need to have in this job,” Fludd said. “People are a bit cruel, so you learn a lot about yourself and the type of person you want to be just because you’re surrounded by so much excellence.”
She believes she wouldn’t have excelled the way she did if it wasn’t for her professors steering her in the right direction.
“Your professors care about you at FAMU, even if you guys butt heads, they look out for you. I still keep in contact with some of my professors today. They have helped me mentally, spiritually and academically. Many students at other universities don’t have that sort of connection back to their alma mater and that makes all the difference to me,” Fludd added.
Professor Kenneth Jones, who oversees the broadcast courses at SJGC, was impressed by Fludd’s enthusiasm.
“She did a lot really quick. Just by her discipline, character and work ethic, I felt then she could do some dynamic student work within our program,” Jones said.
It didn’t take Fludd long to land a job in her field. She is a reporter at WCJB TV 20 in Gainesville. She began working for the station within a month of graduating from FAMU.
“At first there was a learning curve,” Fludd said. “By the third month coronavirus hit and I’ve been working from home ever since. I have been working from home longer than I’ve been working out of the station.”
Kalisha Whitman, oversaw the TV news shows on FAMU’s public access channel, developed a close relationship with Fludd.
“Ruelle showcased a lot of great skills through journalism and through her coursework,” Whitman said. “It can be tough as a transfer student to get acclimated, but she came in and took charge, got in the leadership roles and positions within student media which made her successful.”
In the next five years, Fludd plans to take her talents to Texas where she will continue reporting.
“The goal is to eventually anchor and host my own show,” she said, “something along the lines of politics. I’ve been the politics person here in Gainesville which I enjoy, so I see myself doing something politically based.
“The biggest tip I would give upcoming journalists coming out of the SJGC media program is to just do it. Don’t ever feel hesitant to do something,” Fludd added. “This is the perfect area and opportunity where people are going to nurture you, support you and help you learn. It’s a rare experience especially for young Black men and women.”