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Aug 2006Present

Mass Communication and Art

Houston Baptist University

Bachelor of Arts, double major in Mass Communication and ArtOverall GPA: 3.4

Work experience

Sep 2008Present

The Collegian

Features Editor: Sep. 2008-present

  • Design layouts, write and edit stories
  • Interview faculty, staff, students and off campus sources

Advertising Assistant: Feb. 2008- Sep. 2008

  • Marketed potential advertising clients, sent advertising information to potential customers
  • Communicated design needs with customers, designed and placed ads

Photography Editor: May 2007-Nov. 2007

  • Organized and assigned photography shoots
  • Trained new photographers, chose and prepared photos to be printed
Oct 2007Jan 2008

Public Relations board member

Student Programming Board
  • Designed ads for on-campus events
  • Developed creative marketing ideas

Writing Sample

Black history monthPerspectivesKristen CrawleyIssue date: 2/26/09 Section: Feature

The world watched U.S. history being made Jan. 20 when President Barack Obama recited a revered oath that only 43 others have vowed. His words echoed from the Inaugural stage to the crowds packing the National Mall, to the Washington monument, to the reflecting pool, to the Lincoln memorial, across the nation and around the world. Proud Americans of every race, religion and age came together to see and hear the new figure that represents democracy worldwide. They came to see the man who was making history not only because he was elected the 44th president, but also because he is the nation's first black president. Most people, including many University faculty and staff, can recall a time in their lives when the election of a black president did not seem possible because, for most of U.S. history, cities and towns were divided by racial barriers. One of those cities in the 1960s was Cleveland, Ohio. It was divided into the mostly-minority East Side and the mainly-Anglo West Side. Isaac Simpson, director of instructional media services, called the East Side his home. Simpson said Cleveland was very segregated at that time, not just between blacks and whites, but also among other groups. "There was a place in town called Murray Hill; only Italians lived there, and a placed called Parma where only Polish people lived," Simpson said. This separation exacerbated many of the problems with race relations in Ohio, Simpson added. "No one tried to work or socialize together. Blacks stayed with blacks, whites with whites, Italians with Italians." Simpson said that as people became more tolerant and educated about other races, relations between races started to change. "Even though there are still problems, you have to have forward thinking." Another perspective came from Dr. Felisi Sorgwe, assistant professor in Christianity, who is an American immigrant and a native Nigerian. He said two American missionaries visited his home in Nigeria in 1972 shortly before he departed for Seattle to study chemical engineering and math at the University of Washington. The missionaries warned him of the underlying racial issues in America. "We want you to know that you could go into a church and feel unwanted. If and when that happens, we don't want that to affect your faith," they said. Confused, Sorgwe thought to himself, "In the church?" He would soon discover what the missionaries meant. Sorgwe said his race was not an issue in most of the U.S. churches he visited, but on several occasions, the missionaries' fears were manifested. One day, while in seminary school at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary College in Kansas City, Mo., Sorgwe entered a Baptist church by himself. Immediately upon entering he said it seemed like he was in the wrong place. "All eyes were on me." "I felt as if everyone was thinking, 'How dare he come to this church.'" A year later, he transferred to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated with a Master of Divinity and Master of Religious Education. During an evening worship service at a church in Fort Worth, Sorgwe sat down on a long pew, opposite of some other attendees. As soon as he sat down, the people left the pew. "There I was, sitting all by myself," Sorgwe said. Despite these happenings, Sorgwe said he also had many wonderful experiences and most churches, including those that were predominantly white, have shown him much love. "For every person who treats you badly because of the color of your skin, there will be 100 others who do not care about the color of your skin," Sorgwe said. He added that he has seen a major change in American culture since 1972. "With the landslide election of Barack Obama to the presidency, winning just about every voting demographic and two-thirds of voters 25 and younger, a new day has dawned in race relations in America." He said while it may be premature to claim that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has been realized, it is fair to say that, as a nation, we are coming closer and closer to the realization of that dream. "Hallelujah," he added. Another professor, Dr. Connie Michalos, professor in English, talked about her own unique experience being raised by Grecian parents in a home where racial differences were not an issue. She said everyone was equal who lived in her mostly-immigrant neighborhood of Washington Heights in upper Manhattan. "We were all immigrants, so who was going to be superior to whom? We were all in the same boat, literally." Michalos said she was not exposed to racial prejudice in her neighborhood. "You are automatically black, Jewish and Puerto Rican if you grew up in New York," Michalos said. Albeit, she realized this was not true of everyone when an all-white high school from across the Hudson River in New Jersey came to visit her multiracial school, George Washington High School. The two schools were practicing for a spring festival musical production when a girl from the all-white high school turned to Michalos and said, "How do you do it?" Michalos replied, "How do I do what?" "How do you go to school with them?" the girl asked. Michalos looked at the girl and said, "How do you go to school without them?" Michalos has written many articles pertaining to African-American history, including her latest essay, "Coerced or Committed: The Conversion Experience of America's Slaves," which she hopes to develop into a book. She has presented this article at Baylor University at the National Association of African-American Studies. More than 1,400 miles away, library assistant Nora Hayes lived with her grandparents in Louisiana. She said her grandfather taught her from an early age the principles of being peaceful and living among others. "We lived by our standards and white people lived by theirs. We actually got along," Hayes said. When she was six years old, Hayes moved to the Third Ward in Houston. It was not until then that she began to feel racial tension. "When I came to Houston, I really learned what prejudice was; black people hating white people, white people hating black people," Hayes said. Hayes came to the University in 1968 to work as a library apprentice. She was one of the first black people to work in the library. After two years as an apprentice, Hayes earned a library certification and was hired full time. When Hayes and her husband walked into the annual faculty-staff Christmas dinner at the University in 1970, they approached a familiar professor that had been nice to Hayes in the past. "My husband and I went to his table where he sat with his wife. We were getting ready for a good evening with good conversation, when they politely got up and left," Hayes said. Hayes said that over the years, those racial barriers have been broken down and she is glad she has stayed at the University long enough to see the transition. In 1987, the year Dr. E.D. Hodo came to the University, Hayes took her granddaughter to the Homecoming dinner. They were sitting at a table opposite of Hodo and his family when she heard him say, "Nora, why don't you come over here and join us?" "What a difference that was from the Christmas dinner," Hayes said. The stories related by these faculty and staff members account for a small slice of U.S. history and demonstrate the racial obstacles that America had to overcome to make possible the election of President Barack Obama possible. Family pride: Professor's grandfather fought for civil rights Preparing for a banquet address that she was to give at her family's annual reunion in 2003, Dr. Renata Nero, professor in psychology and chair of the department of behavioral sciences, accidently came across a profound and undiscovered part of her family's history. An Internet search led her to her grandfather's name, Symiel T. Nero Sr. His name kept appearing in government documents, along with the names of other family members. "After a while, I realized that his name had been a part of a government file," Nero said. "The government kept tabs on him during the late 50s and early 60s because, at the time, he was the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Marshall County, Miss. They started keeping record of him in 1957." After the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission was established March 29, 1956 to discourage black citizens from participating in the voting process. This was implemented by senators and police officers throughout Mississippi. "If there was any activity to register voters or rally support for voting rights, it would be squashed," Nero said. Besides finding her grandfather's license plate numbers repeatedly appearing in government documents, she also found his name on different programs where he was the featured speaker and communications between the police chief of Marshall County and the state senator about his activity. "It was sort of like unraveling a mystery," Nero said. "I found out there was a paid informant who would go to all of those meetings and report these activities to the police chief, who would then report it to the senator," Nero said. The most compelling detail in her grandfather's files was that her grandfather not only got to vote, but he was also an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1968. He was 88 years old.


James Steen

Dr. Alice J. Rowlands

Michael Collins


Additional Experience

Italy study abroad trip May-June 2008

  • Traveled with Artis (art research tours and international studios) to Florence, Italy studying art and culture for five weeks
  • Trip also included a five day side trip to Germany

FYE (freshman year experience) student teacher Fall 2007

  • Assisted in teaching a group of 10 freshman things such as studying techniques, facets of the university, and ways to improve their collegiate experience
  • Answered student's questions, kept class records, organized street clean-up activity, often conducted class

Student Tele-counselor Fall 2007

  • Called prospective students to answers questions and offer information about the University

Communications Department student worker

  • Maintained mail distribution, led office organizational projects, kept up with department information board, answered phones, assisted professors in tasks such as making copies, filing papers, and helping students


Basic Computer
•    Experienced in internet research and reporting •    Experience with both Macintosh and PC •    Microsoft Office
Computer Design
•    Adobe Photoshop •    Adobe InDesign