E’Vonne Gipson is used to seeing her byline in the school newspaper, on websites and even on college awards, but the first time she saw her name printed in a magazine that is distributed nationally and internationally was “incredible.”
“When I first received a copy of the magazine, I looked at the page my story was on several times and just smiled,” she said. “It is absolutely amazing to me how the help of my mentors at Grambling State University, my education, dedication and determination has provided me with so many opportunities.”
The senior mass communication major was introduced to an opportunity to write for the South Carolina-based publication, Sheen Magazine, by her supervisor, Tracy Wright, director of University Communications at Grambling State University.
“E’Vonne is such a bright and engaging student,” said Wright. “I knew it would be a great opportunity for her to receive hands-on experience, and I am so proud of this young lady. She epitomizes what every student should aspire to be.”
Sheen Magazine is a Southern national lifestyle and beauty publication. The magazine is the preeminent voice for the American beauty on new trends, techniques and products. The bi-monthly publication always remains current on what is happening and what you need to know in the field of beauty, fashion, hair and entertainment.
“Writing for Sheen Magazine has definitely been a positive learning experience,” said Gipson. “I started off writing for my school’s newspaper and website and for news outlets in Northern Louisiana, so magazine writing was pretty new for me.”
As a virtual intern at Sheen Magazine, Gipson was able to learn more about covering events from out of town, conducting professional phone interviews with celebrities, editing and the importance of meeting deadlines.
Gipson’s story was printed in the September/October edition of the magazine. The story was a feature on well-known singer, songwriter and actor Tank. Gipson got to interview the multi-talented star about his music, physique and role in the new TV One Show entitled “Born Again Virgin”.
“Being able to have a phone interview with Tank was so cool, not to mention he’s a ladies’ man,” said Gipson. “Although I was super excited about the interview, I had to make sure I was prepared and professional. To prepare for the interview, I had to research recent news about Tank, prepare interview questions and pre-write the story.”
What Gipson loves the most about interviewing and writing is that it does not feel like work to her, because she has such a passion for it.
“I loved being able to use the skills that I learned at Grambling to create great content,” she said. “Of course as a young journalist in the industry, I have a lot to work on, but it meant so much to hear London Alexaundria Whitson, the managing editor, say that I was a great writer. It really encouraged me to strive for even greater accomplishments.”
“Sheen Magazine isn’t just any regular company,” said Whitson. “We love to give back and help people achieve their dreams. This is why we work with a lot of students, particularly students from HBCUs because we want them to grow and know that anything is possible. It sounds cliché, but it’s what we pride ourselves on. E’Vonne has been with me for a few months, and she really keeps me on my toes because she is serious about her work and I love that!”
Although Gipson did not get to attend the events firsthand, she loved that she got the opportunity to write recaps of nationally viewed award shows such as the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards 2015 Red Carpet and the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards (CFDA Awards). These stories were published online.
The young, award-winning journalist has also been published in Houston-based magazine, Houston Style Magazine, and an Atlanta-based online magazine, JubileeMag.
Sheen Magazine will be sponsoring this year’s Bayou Classic. As a student of one of the HBCUs involved in the event, Gipson is excited to help cover an event that has such historical value to her university.