Meet the New Interim Chair of the JOMC Department: Dr. Robbie R. Morganfield

thenewsstar.com

Aisha Frazier , Contributor

Dr. Robbie R. Morganfield, a Mississippi native, accomplished newspaper journalist and esteemed professor, has been appointed as the new interim chair of the Journalism and Mass Communication department. 

Dr. Morganfield came to N.C. A&T  as a Janice Bryant Howroyd News and Record Endowed professor which provided him with funding and a full-time professorship. 

He was accepted as a professor in  2020 based on his 30 years of journalism experience and his educational background: 

  • Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from University of Mississippi 
  • Masters of Arts in Public Affairs Journalism from The Ohio State University
  • Ph.D. in Journalism and Public Communication from the University of Maryland

Journalism has been an interest of Dr. Morganfield’s since he was in highschool. He wrote for his school’s newspaper and reported for the local Mississippi radio station as a highschool representative. 

“I found that writing was more natural for me than talking,” Dr.Morganfield said.  This eventually led me to pursue this career choice.”

He decided to pursue teaching at the University of Arkansas after being recommended by a professional. He left the position to accept an offer in a newsroom but later found that his love of teaching was larger than he had anticipated. 

“I wanted to be at an Historically Black College & University (HBCU) because I felt like it was a place where I could have the greatest impact,” Dr. Morganfield said. “I feel very fortunate to be here because I feel like this university is well positioned to be a place of great impact.” 

Dr.Morganfield is most excited by the hunger and desire he sees in the students. He said, “I love being a part of helping younger people realize their dreams,” and he even has a portrait on his wall that states “let your dreams set sail.”  

In Addition Dr.Morganfield plans to lead this department with three main focuses; strengthening web representation, elevating the curriculum and reinvigorating student media programs.  

The department is focusing on recalibrating the web presentation so that it is more representative of the department as a whole. Dr. Morganfield explained that he wants the presentation of the JOMC program to be more reflective of “who we are and what we do.”

Secondly, curriculum is at the center of the department’s plans this year. The leaders are in discussion with industry level professionals and aim to have a more structured and detailed curriculum that trains and prepares students to meet the industry standard.

Lastly, Dr.Morganfield wants to increase student engagement with school-based media projects. 

“I want students to begin to do the things they want to become,” Dr.Morganfield said. He intends to provide accessibility to all the students in the JOMC department so that they feel better prepared and have experience in their respective fields. 

With all Dr. Morganfield has in store, the department has also begun conversation around a JOMC master’s program. With tentative dates not yet available, Dr.Morganfield is  hoping to at least complete a proposal by the end of the 2022 academic school year.

When he is not dedicating his time to his students he enjoys jazz music, traveling and exercise. 

“Some people call me a renaissance man,” Dr. Morganfield said.  “I’m known to be involved in many different activities.”

Dr. Morganfield plans to use this year as a strengthening and revitalizing period for the journalism and mass communication department.  

His most upcoming initiative is a senior JOMC town hall on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 5 p.m. He wants students to meet him and network with other students.  

The event will take place in Crosby 217 and go to GCB A218 at 5:20 p.m. Refreshments will be provided for students who come in-person but a zoom link will also be available for students who choose to be virtual.