Dr. Andre Nicholson, a member of #MGA's Media, Culture and the Arts faculty, uses social issues to drive discussion and learning among his students.
Full Name: Dr. Andre Nicholson.
Full Title: Assistant Professor of New Media and Communication in the Department of Media, Culture and the Arts, College of Arts and Sciences.
Degrees: Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Howard University after serving 21 years in the United States Air Force and earning an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration.
Describe your service to Middle Georgia State University and the community at large.
“Some things that are important to me are social issues that affect our community. During my time here at MGA I’ve become quite aware of our diverse student population which in essence is a mirror of the world we live in outside these campus walls. So, it is extremely important for me to address topics such as police brutality, legalization of same sex marriage, and social movements such as Black Lives Matter.
“In an effort to begin the dialogue among different communities I organized and moderated several panel discussions that address these very issues. The breath of these topics reach a national, sometimes international level and it was imperative that Middle Georgia State be a part of the discussion, as our local community is also affected.
“I recently presented research that took a critical look at both professional media and citizen journalism’s role in the messages they disseminate and how that content influences a person’s perception of the Black Lives Matter movement and African American men in our society. Media is a powerful tool with far reaching implications and quite often, the portrayal does not reflect the reality.”
What attracted you to a faculty/staff position at Middle Georgia State University?
“I came to MGA right after it was created through the consolidation of the former Middle Georgia College and Macon State College. It was the perfect time because I had no ties to either of the previous institutions. I saw it as an opportunity to grow with the University and to develop courses that reflect the world we currently live in.”
What do you like best about teaching/working at Middle Georgia State?
“I’ve been working since I was 14 years old and I’ve had many jobs during that time. I can’t always say that I’ve been happy at those jobs or looked forward to even going to work. So, the one thing that I always reflect on when working here is how do I feel in the morning when I wake up? Do I want to go to work? And the answer is always yes. If I can continue to answer that question with a resounding yes, then that is the best thing about teaching here. There are so many things that go into teaching other than standing in front of a classroom so I can’t pinpoint just one, but as long as I enjoy coming to work I don’t want to pinpoint one particular thing.”
In your opinion, what does it take for students majoring in your discipline to be successful these days?
“The field of New Media and Communication is very broad and there are so many directions students can pursue under that umbrella. But, in order to be on an even playing field with other students entering this discipline they need to master writing coherently, using production equipment such as video cameras and editing software, and developing their creativity. Often you will be working independently without much supervision or direction so students have to take initiative to get the job done in order to stand out among the pack. Doing just the minimum isn’t going to cut it!”
What would students be surprised to learn about you?
“Professionally, I was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for my work with an organization that advocates for our wounded veterans. As a journalist in the military I often covered stories about our service men and women that led to me creating a publication and serving as the editor.
"Socially, I hike Stone Mountain every weekend. It’s a steep mile up the mountain but it’s a great cardio workout.”
- Compiled by Kelsei Etchison