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FAMU Students Tour The White House

Journalism and PR Majors Meet Jay Carney, Top FAMU Alumni in Washington D.C. Trip

Multimedia/Online Editor

Published: Saturday, October 29, 2011

Updated: Monday, October 31, 2011 13:10


D. A. Robin

Ten Florida A&M students took the trip of a lifetime last week, visiting The White House and meeting more than one dozen African American communication and business professionals - many of whom graduated from FAMU.

Ten Florida A&M students Friday toured The White House, met staffers there and explored the media nexus, the White House briefing room. They also met three Capitol Hill communications professionals who graduated from FAMU's journalism program. 

Tiffany K. Bain, 22, Public Relations Graduate, from Miami, Fla.: "The biggest lesson that I learned from the trip to the White House and Capitol Hill was to evaluate my professional network and determine which people are my sponsors (those who connect you to other contacts and opportunities) and which are my mentors (those who offer career advice).


FAMU walked the historic halls of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the East Wing, and talked to more than one dozen African-America professionals who staff the building. At one point, during a brief tour of the vaunted West Wing, students were just feet away from the Oval Office, where the president was in meetings. 

Brittany Holman, 21, Broadcast Journalism Senior, Leesburg, Fla.: "Everything about the trip was memorable to me. I mean, who gets to just go to forbidden areas of the White House just because? But if I had to choose one I was say it was in between meeting alum who are doing well in their respected fields, meeting White House Press Secretary Jay Carney and speaking with Capitol Hill Communications Staffers."

Students were whisked from the White House to the U.S. Capitol Rayburn Building and back again, for lunch, just missing the briefing by minutes, but eventually meeting met Press Secretary Jay Carney, a former reporter, who shared his journey from Time Magazine intern to the voice of Obama Administration. They also met several journalists whose jobs are covering The White House.

Denecah Nickerson, 21, Public Relations Senior, from Houston, Tx.: "One of the biggest lessons that I learned during my experience at the White House is how necessary it is to step out of your comfort zone and go after what you want. It was incredible hearing stories from professionals who put everything on the line to make their dreams come true."


They went to Washington D.C. turn strangers into contacts for future internships and jobs. What they found on this networking trip was that many people linked to The White House were almost family.

Clarece Polke, 20, Newspaper Journalism, Senior, Archer, Fla.: "Life is pretty much one huge Facebook. Everyone is linked to everyone else in some way, and that's how it seemed to work in the White House. No one got to the position they were in on their own; it was because of a positive connection they had made with someone who believed in them."


Quintin Haynes, 22, is the Associate Director of Finance for the White House. He graduated from FAMU last year. David Gibson graduated from FAMU's MBA program in 2008. He is an analyst at the Federal Reserve. Tasha Cole graduated in the 1987. She is a media professional working on Capitol Hill. And the list goes on. Many Rattlers take their career aspirations to the nation's capitol, and apparently succeed.

Alexandria Collins, 20, Broadcast Journalism Junior, from Tallahassee, Fla.: "My fondest memory was meeting Melanie Roussel (DNC Press Director). I heard about her before and knew that she went to FAMU, but never thought I'd have the chance to meet her. It just goes to show how tight our FAMUly is and that she's just a phone call away!"

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