Digital Journalism Conference winners from FAMU

Winners left to right: Cara Hackett, Angelique Fullwood, DaMarcus Snipes 


Despite the hardships of this year’s hurricane season, three of Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) very own School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC) students have been awarded the opportunity to expand their career horizons, for free.

Senior's Cara Hackett, Angelique Fullwood, and DaMarcus Snipes will be attending digital journalism conferences in October. They eagerly applied online and received the wonderful news during the week of Hurricane Irma.

Their accomplishments have been noticed and celebrated by their peers.

Jamilla Colson, a senior public relations student at FAMU said, “Cara and Angelique are two of the hardest working students I’ve met while on campus. They are the example of what hard work will get you when you don’t quit and don’t sleep.”

“They are not only sweet, friendly and nice, but they are always willing to help, give advice and guide fellow students,” Colson continued.

Being in the position to attend these well-known conferences has definitely boosted their confidence in their skills and personal drive.

“I’m very honored that I was chosen and it makes me want to get more of my work out there in the journalism world and make a name for myself,” Fullwood said.

Together these seniors serve as an inspiration for current journalism students that are doubting themselves.

“Anytime you feel like you’ve experience failure, it’s not the end of the world. Experiencing failure is just a lesson. It will only make you stronger and better,” Fullwood said.

They are all very excited, yet nervous, to build and craft their skills in a new atmosphere. As well as, continue to build a pipeline of success for their soon to be alma mater.

DaMarcus Snipes will be attending the 2017 United Negro College Fund’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Innovation Summit in San Mateo, California next month. This conference aims at empowering, connecting, and educating HBCU students who are interested in new connections between technology and communications.

“It is a humbling opportunity to be able to showcase FAMU, in particular, the School of Journalism. As an African-American male I find it extremely important for me to show what I can do and not just what my degree will state,” Snipes said.

This conference will be accompanied by corporations such as, Google, Amazon and eBay. Snipes’ primary goal is to initiate relationships with these companies, so that being a black man does not limit him or anyone else.

While Snipes will represent FAMU in California, both Hackett, and Fullwood will be in Washington, D.C. attending the Online News Association (ONA) conference under a digital fellowship.

The ONA is a nonprofit, national organization specialized for digital journalists. This year there are only six students in the digital fellowship and FAMU accounts for two of them.

“It means a lot to me to have my vision for news noticed. I knew that I was a good writer and I speak to people well, but being able to do it on a wider platform, outside of Tallahassee, tells me  that I do have what it takes to go out in a wider platform in a major city and make my name known in journalism,” Hackett said.

This conference will enable Hackett and Fullwood to work directly with media professionals as their mentors. They will be able to engage in things, such as, networking, exploring new tools and technologies that can be used, and improving their interview skills.

Both of these young women are more than anxious to take on this new platform and flourish. They are very open minded and ready to display what FAMU’s SJGC can produce.

“I believe it is of extreme importance that students garner knowledge from not only the classroom, but from professionals actively working in the field,” Maurice Johnson, a public Relation professor at FAMU said.

“The academic science of a profession is necessary, but the application of skills learned during internships and the counsel of individuals in the career field that student wish to enter are just as critical to their professional development,” continued Johnson.

Hackett will be graduating this Fall 2017 semester while both Fullwood and Snipes will be graduating in the Spring 2018 semester. However, all three of these individuals have plans of furthering their education once leaving FAMU.

Snipes wants to attend law school, preferably at Cornell University. Fullwood plans to attend graduate school, and Hackett plans to be involved with digital media and print journalism.

Through their future aspirations and current endeavors, they have expressed that students be diligent to be involved in the pursuit of journalism.

“If you want to be a journalist or get into journalism you have to be calm, be curious and be a critical thinker,” said Cara Hackett.  

Having the pleasure to attend one of the top HBCUs in the nation, Florida A&M University, has taught them: they are just as capable to succeed as anyone else.