(Luverne High School student Marcus McLeod operates a camera for a mock broadcast in the Troy TrojanVision newsroom during J-Day at Troy University. PHOTO/Joshua Thurston)
By Brittany DeLong
A record-breaking number of junior high and high school students from across Alabama attended the annual J-Day event in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication Thursday, Sept. 26.
More than 490 students and advisers from 23 schools, some as far away as Tuscaloosa and Smiths Station, attended the event for an opportunity to experience the journalism field through various workshops.
This is a significant increase from the 150 attendees in 2008.
“This increase is due in part by the efforts of Kate Rowinsky, the department secretary, and the assistance of interns and student volunteers,” said Dr. Steven Padgett, director of the Hall School of Journalism and Communication.
Rowinsky said that much of the credit for the success of J-Day belongs to the more than 70 Hall School student volunteers.
“Their service was invaluable whether it involved stuffing folders, filling gift bags, transporting more than 500 backpacks from Wallace Hall to the Trojan Center or serving as ambassadors to the visiting schools,” Rowinsky said. “It was inspiring to see the number of Hall students eager to help with J-Day while expecting nothing in return for their service.”
“Many schools have to be very careful about what they spend on field trips and things like that, because schools budgets are very difficult right now,” Padgett said. “We had 23 schools that saw a benefit in what we did during J-Day.”
“This has been something we’ve done for more than 30 years, and for many of those years we would celebrate when we had more than 200 students.”
“I truly believe that J-Day and Troy University can be that spark that my students need to take their education and passion for communications to the next level,” said Hunter Ames, communications teacher from Smiths Station High School. “We weren’t able to make it the past couple of years due to scheduling conflicts, but I made sure that we got to attend this year.”
“I made this trip a top priority this year and was overwhelmed at how much it had grown.”
J-Day gains exposure for the Hall School and the university.
The event showcases what the journalism and communication department does and it showcases the Troy campus to perspective students.
“We’re also showcasing what we do here in the hall school and for a lot of the students it’s their first exposure to Troy University,” Padgett said.