Professor Jackson interview

Professor Melissa Jackson mjackson@piedmont.edu 706-778-8500 ext. 1196

From thinking still photography was for her, to news, documentaries and production. She’s done it all and now professor Melissa Jackson hopes to bring decades of field experience to the classrooms here at  Piedmont College.

“I decided I could either tell more stories or I could help the new generation tell stories,” said Jackson, “I wanted to bring all my experiences that I had had and help this generation tell the stories now. I think there are plenty of students out there that want to learn and go out there and make a change. I think that video and film is one of the ways that they can do that.”

Before joining Piedmont College’s Mass Communications program in the 2018-2019 school year, Jackson had her big start in news with two different internships in college: one her junior year and another her senior year. The second internship led to a job two weeks after her college graduation. This brought her into the world of news, documentary videoing across the world along with working for an Atlanta based news, weather, traffic and sports station, WSB-TV.

“I worked in what they called a special projects unit and was a field producer. I put together pieces for the anchors you see,” she said. “Everyone from Dr. Randy Martin, Clark Howard, Monica Pearson John Pruitt, Jovita Moore.”

Jackson was a main part on the WSB-TV team behind the scenes. She covered all areas of stories for the team, and sometimes be in the midst of the action for a breaking story. Jackson worked with the main anchors at WSB-TV and was requested to come back and help with their farewell material. Once she ended with her field work, she headed back to the classroom to get her master’s degree from University of Georgia and to then give back in the classroom.

“It’s really cool to have a professor that is coming straight back to the classroom setting from the real world,” sophomore sports communication major Davis Barlow said. “It adds to her credibility as a professor since she knows exactly what she needs to teach us.”

Barlow believes professor Jackson is here to better Piedmont students and also help them get prepared for what jobs are available after graduation.

Mattie Keaton, senior mass communications major said, “I think she helps students because she gives them assignments that allow them to get out into the field and really get comfortable with the different equipment.”

Professor Jackson says she has high hopes and big dreams for Piedmont Colleges mass communications program.

“I’ve been blessed to work in every part of this,” she said. “The movies, film, documentaries, production, cooperate, news. That’s what I want to bring here.”

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