President of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and the Reynolds Endowed Chair in Business Journalism visited Grambling State University Monday.
On a one-day visit, Andrew Leckey spoke to a carpet laid and window vented room with over 30 eager students from The Department of Mass Communication on the importance of business journalism and the opportunities African Americans have within business reporting.
“Business journalism is a great opportunity for folks of color, because they are the ones usually most affected,” said Leckey.
His knowledge of business journalism and candid conversation sparked the intellectuality of the student audience.
“I admired his ability to connect with students about the lack of minority business journalists,” said Andrea Beasley sophomore business journalism major. “I hope many students were able to have a better understanding of what journalism is.”
Leckey’s first visit to northern Louisiana was in part of the long relationship he has with The Department of Mass Communication and his excitement in speaking with students.
“I’ve heard a lot about Grambling. I was interested in meeting with students,” said Leckey. “One thing that stands out about Grambling is its heritage and its importance of education.”
Department head Dr. Martin Edu said Leckey’s visit was a follow up visit after the department received a $50,000 grant earlier in the year.
In January, GSU was chosen to be apart of the Reynolds Visiting Professors Program. The program brought seasoned journalist Will Sutton who taught a class for a semester where students were exposed to the field of business journalism.
“He made the final selection of the four schools that received a $50,000 grant that supported Mr. Will Sutton’s tenure as the Visiting Business Journalism Professor beginning January to June 30, 2012,” said Edu. “His visit was to enable him to see the progress our department was making in advancing business journalism, meet with the faculty and students, and determine ways that he could further assist us.”
Sutton is now the director of communications and public relations for the university.
Leckey said GSU was chosen for the visiting professor grant because of the application the department submitted.
“It was clear from the application that the school had the potential, intelligence and tradition that would foster excellence,” said Leckey.
Possibilities of the department receiving another visiting professor has yet been discussed, but Leckey hopes to further a partnership with the students at GSU and his at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in Phoenix.