Don’t leave me! North Dakota and Minnesota competing for “my” Southern-bound college students

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Are they using their smart phones to shop for schools — colleges and universities?

I’ve been teaching college students for a few decades at schools in Arkansas, Florida and Georgia. The warm weather, relatively low college and university rates, costs-of-living expenses, and the so-called Southern hospitality are among the top reasons why students — like me — love our school and location choices.

Also, southern cities are the primary sites for historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) where many Hispanic and Black students have matriculated. As a Clark Atlanta University graduate, I too loved the warmer climate (in comparison to my home state of Nebraska) and cost-of-living attributes. Yet, to boost my career sustainability, I trekked north to Evanston and Chicago, IL to complete a Master of Science in Journalism program, specializing in financial news, at the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University.

IYet, unlike me, it is in the northern cities where an increasing number of minority students are beginning their college education. Due to demographic changes in the population, North Dakota and Minnesota are expected to receive a healthy share of minority colleges in its colleges and universities.

It also helps that, on average, North Dakota’s and Minnesota’s college tuition and fees are low for bachelor’s, associate’s and certificate-seeking students in comparison to the national average. The national data does not necessarily provide an apples-to-apples comparison on college and university costs in each state.

While this study is helpful, you are not able to directly compare the national colleges and tuitions’ averages for an undergraduate education to each states’ figures. The states’ data are grouped together for community colleges, trade, and public and private schools undergraduate and certificate degrees. The national data separates each certificate and degree program related to undergraduate or bachelor’s education.

That’s why I took the available states’ data and compared it to the national colleges and universities’ statistics by averaging all six categories (1st and 2nd year certificates, associate, 2-4 year certificates, bachelor and post bachelor certificate). Using my bargain hunting wisdom, I used those averages to reach my comparison conclusions on the best-priced colleges and universities.

For instance, the average annual cost of a bachelor’s degree nationwide is $7, 934 for in-state residents and $21,201 for out-of-state students. A 2 to 4-year certificate is $4,113 and $14,077 for in-state and out-of-state students, respectively. In North Dakota, the comparisons are $6,608 and $9,845 for the in- and out-of-state students. Minnesota‘s average college costs are $8,004 and $17,223 for the same comparisons.

Connect the dots …

The continual rise in college/university tuitions, fees, expenses and related student loan costs, are causing many smart thinking parents and students to price shop in higher education.

  • This is a perfect time of year to begin planning for the 2020 and beyond years for your choices among colleges and universities.
  • Use the abundant Internet search engine tools to begin your real school shopping.
  • Don’t shop on price alone. Location, ambiance, safety statistics, campus housing, school policies and more should be considered in your final equation.
  • Ask friends, neighbors, co-workers and others by connecting via social media with graduates of your proposed colleges and universities. Get their feedback on and importantly, track where those graduates are working and how they are thriving (or not) in their careers.
  • If it is financially feasible, visit the campuses of the schools you are interested in. While there are many organized college fairs for students and parents, also consider an impromptu or planned visit to the classrooms where you or your child will likely spend the most time in as a prospective major.

Happy school shopping!

Posted in Connect the dots, How to select best college or university, School shopping, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

It’s the big things that carry us through life

This image is lasting. There is a direct connectivity between cheering young folk onto their next level and sustained success. Great job, Dads, and the folk who had this idea.

Posted in Family, Good news, Mental health, Spiritual strength, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Journaling to reduce stress and add value to your journey

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Prayer pouch with a purpose

I was wrongly speaking aloud about another one of those”worse year of my life” moments when my mother gave me a colorful cloth pouch.

I didn’t go to church with her. I told Mom that I had too many things to sort out and that no one would miss me if I did not attend that day’s service. I also told her earlier that I needed additional funds to repair my vehicle and honor the medical co-payments related to my youngest son’s blindness. I was asking for patience, peace and a semblance of a so-called normal life. It was a too-often state-of-mind for me. I craved a change. That was in 1994.

My mother returned from church and was talking over me about how I should place photos, notes with my hopes and dreams, receipts and faith examples of any type. I tried to again interrupt my mother with my lengthy list of needs. I gave up and decided to try her way. After all, I had nothing to lose.

Nothing to lose: That’s a great place for spiritual interference to enter the room. I found myself clinging to the pouch like it was a necessary hand bag or makeup carrier. I still stuff the pouch today with items that are disparate and have individual meanings to me. The remembrances evoke tears, smiles and frowns from the stuffed away memories of the good in my life and the fears.

Several years ago, I heard a sermon by Dr. Barbara King, founder and senior pastor of Atlanta’s Hillside Chapel & Truth Center, about temporary possessions we give power to in place of the real power source — God, Allah and other deities. She spoke of a rabbit’s foot and other items deemed lucky by its owners. Dr. Barbara — as she is known — told the congregation to use until they could gain strength in trusting the true source.

I was in that place. I was a “baby Christian” as my Atlanta area pastor used to call us who stayed in the same spot without spiritual growth. Dr. Leon Hollinshed was among those kind individuals who helped me to get to my greatest place. For that, I am grateful to him and so many others who stood in the gap with prayers during the year my youngest son became blind and our world became a shadow of its former place.

Since 1994, I’ve cherished memories from some funeral programs, happy and encouraging notes, photos of my children in their early years, an usher pin, an airline ticket, donation receipts, name badges and encouraging letters and notes from family members and now deceased friends.

Connect the dots

1. Even if you don’t feel like it, graciously accept a gift of encouragement.

2. Listen to the still, small voice and act accordingly.

3. Believe in prayer.

4. Do something to honor your gifts. I write thank yous to folk who have extended kindness to my family and me.

Posted in Fear, Financial, Good luck charm, Good news, Her-story time, Prayer pouch, Spiritual strength, Stress relief | Tagged | 3 Comments

How to find best bereavement and emergency travel rates when time is not on your side

Don’t fly away from the last-minute travel fares during times of bereavement or emergencies. Compare cheapest travel rates on all websites and avoid the stress.

When my 81-year-old uncle died in Pensacola, FL on the first Friday of August 2019, his next journey of 1,100 miles placed him in our hometown of Omaha, NE. My family members, too, trekked from several states by planes, trains, buses and automobiles to Uncle Sam’s funeral and burial.

Yet, the real trip was wading through the varied policies and rules on bereavement travel discounts. Hunting for bereavement and emergency rates is not your typical fun thing to do, unless you are in the funeral services business or a travel agent. Travel discount discussions about end-of-life are avoided or never conducted.

Part of the reason is that the bereavement, compassion and emergency rates are not easily understandable. It’s stressful enough dealing with trauma associated with a death of a loved one, whether it was immediate or anticipated after a lengthy illness. Add sorting through the tons of different rules by carriers and hotels to achieve discount rates, and it almost becomes unmanageable and therefore, often the grieving travelers end up paying too much for their travels.

Now that my uncle’s services have passed, I’m happy to share what I have unearthed from the latest emergency and bereavement offers among the airlines, buses, trains and hotels. Because of the time-sensitive nature of our travel, I relied on trustworthy blogs such as . It also helps that my sister is a hotel concierge and she guided my logistics.

Don’t cry: It’s personal

Also, most of the carriers and hotels will award the discounts if bereaved travelers are members of its respective loyalty programs. It is helpful to check online for the general policies, yet beware that what is published online may not be the latest information.

Despite my tips and that of others, if the discount travel shopping cause additional stress, choose stress-free living. Cheaper fares are no match for peace of mind.

The journey begins

Amtrak announces on its website that the train carrier offers bereavement rates. It doesn’t. I spoke with two persons from Amtrak and also tweeted a query. It shores up my recommendation to check with each company on its policies. I know it is time consuming during a time-sensitive mourning period.

Another piece of advice is to consider the low-cost offers on sites like Priceline, Kayak, Expedia, Cheap Tickets and more. Compare the travel website rates to the bereavement fares.

Fly away

Delta Airlines, 1-800-221-1212, has a bereavement page on its website that offers answers to most queries about its policy to obtain discounts. Be sure to call Delta if you wish to book a flight at its bereavement rate of 10 – 20 percent. They asked if my relative had a frequent flyer number and thankfully, he did. That is how we yielded a flight at a great rate. You also have to call Jet Blue, 1-800-Jet-Blue, to get discounts for the family members and the mourners attending public services of firefighters, police officers and others in similar professions. Like Delta and Jet Blue, Air Canada, 1-888-247-2262, wants the bereaved to call to finalize details displayed on its website page. The carrier’s bereavement page explains that its policy on discounts for travel and refunds for tickets that were booked at full rates.

Lufthansa offers discounts for the bereaved. In its words, ” In the event of a death abroad Lufthansa offers immediate family members special fares for outbound and return flights to attend the funeral if their journey starts in the USA or Canada. Customers from the USA or Canada are kindly requested to contact their Lufthansa reservations office in the USA or Canada before the start of their trip for further information and to make a booking.” Its number is 1 800 – 645 3880.

Yet, one of my other favorite airlines, Southwest Airlines, 1-800-435-9792, offers condolences to the bereaved and yet does not provide discounts. Frontier Airlines,1-801-401-9000, also does not offer discounts in its fares, yet it has a very liberal refund policy for emergencies that include bereavement.

Check with other airlines and all hotels for special rates and sometimes waived fees for ground transportation and room costs.

Where to lay your head

My family prefers the Marriott hotels and for good reasons. Much like the airlines, if you are members of its loyalty program, the hotel chain offers lower rates for its rooms. Also, similar to the airlines, contact each hotel, compare the bereavement or compassion rates to that of the low-cost airfares offered on travel websites.

Consider other sources

Groupon, for instance, has discount coupons on its websites for low cost travel in times of emergencies. Some ‘plan ahead’ funeral services offer to arrange and pay for travel for the bereaved. My advice is to read the fine print and check the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection and other oversight agencies for ethical practices.

Even with the best planning and discount rates, flights may be cancelled. It happened to my family. Give yourself extra time to reach destination.

Recap: Connect the dots

  1. Take a breath. Choose mindfulness techniques as sitting in peaceful stillness before planning your travel.
  2. Organize your “proof of death” materials and your relationship to the deceased. If the materials are not readily available to you, the funeral home’s contact information can be used as verification by the carriers, hotels and rental car companies.
  3. Check airline discount fares first and compare it to the bereavement, emergency, compassion rates offered by major carriers and hotels, motels.
  4. Choose stress-free over haggling over cheapest rates. Save your grieving energy.
  5. Remember all of the loving condolences extended to your family or close friend. I offer my condolences and wishes for safe travels.

Posted in Family, Fear, FTC Consumer Protection, Funeral travel, Mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Why revisiting grief in the public spotlight is tragic

I know what it’s like when the ‘weight of the world’ seems put upon your shoulders yet few people around you want to help carry the load.

My friend, Gwen Carr, knows well this heavy feeling. She is the mother of Eric Garner, the New York man who received an acknowledged, illegal chokehold by a police officer for selling single cigarettes. Selling cigarettes in this increment is against the law and the husband, son, father and community retailer, died after crying out,”I can’t breathe.”

It’s hard for Carr and other family members to breathe after learning the Justice Department will not charge the police officer who allegedly placed the chokehold on Garner that was found to stimulate death for the cigarette vendor. Five years nearly to the day that Garner died, Carr had to hold another impromptu press conference and lead the charge to ask that the police officer be fired by the city of New York.

I know it hurts. Carr has spent each anniversary of her son’s July death with fellow Moms who were pushed in the public commentary because of the deaths of their sons by persons assigned to “serve and protect them.” In their collective anger, the women have channeled their energy to help one another. The annual gathering was Carr’s idea and each year, she has shouldered the burden of travel and hotel costs and logistical planning.

Carr and her sisters in this sad bond, seek to rise above the injustices as they form a I applaud the women whose names have become household words because of the tragedies. In nearly all of the public cases resulting in deaths for their loved ones, questions loudly arise on whether justice was served for the families and communities.proverbial circle to laugh, share, cry, forgive and live for brighter days. The New York Times agrees that justice still hangs in the balance for Garner. See

I applaud the women whose names have become household words because of the tragedies. In nearly all of the public cases resulting in deaths for their loved ones, questions loudly arise on whether justice was served for the families and communities.

Want to help their healing?

$quared, $CashApp, $garnerwayfoundation


Garner Foundation c/o Gwen Carr

“Weekend to Breathe”

P.O. Box 20502

Staten Island, NY 10302

Posted in 'Her-story lesson, Her-story time, Mental health | Tagged | 2 Comments

Update: FAMU Alumna Keta Browning credits her alma mater for “natural” passion in successful business start up

Keta Browning answers students’ queries
Film and still photography crews captured Browning’s presentation

July 15, 2019, Tallahassee, Fla. — It’s 3:20 p.m. on a hot summer day and Keta Browning is cool as a cucumber while answering individual questions from students whose class ended a half hour earlier. Browning was gaining energy ftom every student as she distributed fragrant samples from her Natural Oats Co. assortment of homemade soaps, body scrubs, oils and more health and beauty goodies.

She just completed a nearly two-hour marathon of sharing her story and fielding questions from broadcast journalism students during their news conference. The weekly news briefings feature alumni who are standouts in their fields.

Here are some highlights ftom her talk. Sudents are writing news stories as partial fulfillment of their grades’ requirements;

  • She started her business in August 2019 with $300.
  • She credits the faculty, staff and students of the FAMU School of Journalism & Graphic Communication for teaching and encouraging her in all areas that she utilizes in Natural Oats.
  • Her musician father planted the seeds for her love of radio and entrepreneurship.
  • She continues to make every product in her cookware and produce all designs, labels and packaging.
  • She was in business only five months when she landed a coup by being featured in an upscale magazine with a two-page spread.
  • Every picture in her social media messaging is a Keta production.

“I am so grateful for what FAMU taught me … juggling,” she says.

For more on Browning, check out the variety of social media posts by journalism students. https://www.instagram/ketaleigh/ #classactssjgc2019

Earlier today: Keta Browning used to dominate the local and streaming radio waves with her show on WANM-FM. She delivered informative content in a distinctively crisp and smooth style. She earned a reputation for smartly questioning guests of the station’s sports and news shows.

Today, she is making record-setting waves on the other side of the microphone as an entrepreneur who put her passion into play and launched Natural Oats Co., an Ocala-based, upscale health and beauty products company. The young alumna of Florida A&M University will make her first official trip “home” to the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication since her company’s launch in 2017.

Browning is not coming to campus empty-handed: She will award the top two FAMU SJGC student winners in the Natural Oats’ social media contest. Last week, Browning sent the students enrolled in Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough’s course, a social media challenge that was due at 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 14. Browning said since she began her career as a social media analyst, it is fitting to incorporate her expertise into her presentation.

Browning is a guest of digital storytelling students as part of their summer series of weekly news conferences to build their reporting and writing skills.

Before launching Natural Oats, the FAMU student Browning was cast into the orbit of SiriusXM Radio as a host on its HBCU Channel 142. The SiriusXM show, FAMU Now!, was launched in 2015 as a student and alumni -produced, 30-minute show. As as inaugural member of the expert FAMU Now! radio team, Browning gained recognition for her reporting and delivery of feature shows. #classactssjgc2019

Once featured on student radio, now featured in magazines: Natural Oats Co. founder Keta Browning
Posted in Career boosts, Communications careers, Good news, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

What’s your GPA? It depends on where and how you live on campus

Fast read: When I received my freshman year room assignment in the Merner Hall dormitory on the campus of my small, undergraduate college, I thought I hit jackpot.

Today’s architects and campus project managers believe they too hit pay dirt with the construction of new residence halls complete with private apartments. It is backfiring: The first-year students feel isolated in their fancy housing. If that seems the young co-eds are grateful, they are not. A new study shows that there is a correlation between incompatible housing and poor grades during the first year in college. Worse, black students are especially vulnerable to poor academic performance in relation to their freshmen year housing. according to a , “The Hidden Structure: The Influence of Residence Hall Design on Academic Outcomes,” which was released in June 2019.

Building lives

In the estimated $35 billion university construction and renovation industry, the new dorm digs are a far cry from my counterpart. In the mid-1970s when I arrived at suite 220 in Merner Hall, I recall my greatest amenity was the picturesque, tree-lined sidewalks’ view that led to and from the dorm When I received my room assignment, I believed that the suite was a double-bed room with a private bathroom and cozy chairs in a living room. Instead, it was a four-person suite with a half-bath and it had enough space for a large desk that we used to store our books and purses. It was a noisy first year of college for me with a constantly ringing, communal telephone just a few feet from our door. The shared bathroom and showers were down the hall.

There were several structural maladies maladies in the nearly 100-year-old dorm. It was also hard to study in the dorm so my group made frequent visits to the library. Our rooms were steam heated and therefore, we kept the fans running year-round.

Guess what? I loved every minute of it. I made lifelong friends beginning with those nights when some forgot their room keys or just wanted to talk. None of us were ever alone walking to and from the cafeteria, library and the central gathering spot where card games and good food were staples. I lived in Merner Hall through the end of my junior year.

It is perhaps a similar experience of shared living and common experiences that must be alluding today’s freshmen who arrive on campuses with impressive physical accommodations that largely please their parents. Increasingly, university administrators are now asking questions to find hopefully stem the tide of unhappy freshman

Ask the users how they wish to live

The study that was published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, was based on a four-year case study of nearly 6,000 students attending a private, southern university. It found that grade point averages suffered when socialization was limited. Of the first-year students in the study, more than 14 percent were black students. For black students, the difference between the isolated apartment-like dwellings and traditional dorm living was 2.3 to 1.9 GPAs.

Other students about freshmen year housing experiences are turning up other uncomfortable findings. This year, highly regarded Williams College in Massachusetts, included input from the Black Student Union in its public queries and retooling of its housing for first year students. Now, the university is planning to retool existing residence hall space to “affinity” space that allows for more open areas for activities the students deem valuable and critical for their successful matriculations The student newspaper published an editorial in favor of residence halls allowed for open spaces and conversations. The strategic plans for residential housing at Stanford University is proving favorable based on the responses from students and the student newspaper leadership after reading a 104-page ResX report. The findings call for building residence halls that are friendly to the freshmen students, especially those who seek arrangements in communities with friends

Fancy amenities score better with juniors and seniors

All the news is not bad for university administrators building new facilities for the aged-out dormitories. In the “Residential Satisfaction among College Students: Examining High‐End Amenity Student Housing” study published in March 2019, customer service, fancy swimming pool and high speed Internet are the big winners among student soon to leave college life. But game rooms and coffee shops on the premises of new residence halls, are found to be unfavorable. The extensive study included satisfaction questionnaires and other observations in a case study of a housing leasing company with properties across the United States.

A sample of today’s campus living amenities include;

Snapshot of Properties and Amenities

CityBuilt‐inAmenities offered
St. Louis, MO2015Pet friendly, resort‐style pool, fitness center, pool table, fire pit, walk to campus, ping pong, study room, tanning
Ann Arbor, MI2015Close to mass transit, retail centers and restaurants; rooftop terrace with stadium view; outdoor grill and fire pit; café’ study lounge with private study room; computer lab; free building Wi‐Fi; club room with foosball, arcade game, and billiards table; state‐of‐the‐art fitness facility; wellbeats fitness‐on‐request, free tanning; electronic key access to all amenity spaces; garage parking available; bike storage with keyed entry
Corvallis, OR2015Clubhouse, fitness center, greenspace, game room, pool area, computer lab, gold simulator, coffee bar, tanning, yoga studio, bike storage, pet friendly
Newark, DE2014Pool area, basketball court, greenspace, clubhouse, golf simulator, computer lounge, cardio space, strength center, tanning, outdoor grilling, pet friendly
Orlando, FL2014Pet friendly, clubhouse, large pool area, volleyball, basketball court, tennis, bocce ball, multipurpose fitness room, greenspace, sauna, golf simulator, computer lounge, tanning, pool hammocks
Tucson, AZ2013Pet friendly community, free shuttle service, expansive clubhouse, computer lab with study room, large multitiered pool w/tanning ledge, swim‐up movie, screen on pool deck, weight and cardio room with state‐of‐the‐art fitness equipment, free tanning featuring two stand‐up beds and one lay down bed, spa suite offering manicures, pedicures, massages, and other spa services, virtual golf simulator featuring PGA tour courses, water volleyball, outdoor grilling stations, community basketball hoop, bocce ball court
Tuscaloosa, AL2009Large pool, fitness center, basketball, tennis, putting green, greenspace, clubhouse, private shuttle, pet friendly
Knoxville, TN2009Pet friendly, luxury clubhouse with theater, state‐of‐the‐art 24‐h fitness center, study rooms, business center, resort style saltwater pool, sand volleyball, grilling area in‐unit laundry, walk‐in closets, high‐speed Internet included, tanning beds, green spaces and sidewalks, gated community
Athens, GA2008Furniture package available, hardwood‐style floors, in‐unit laundry, flat‐panel HDTV in living room, patios and balconies available, 24‐h fitness center, study spaces, business center, game/media room, resort‐style pool, grilling stations, 24‐h on‐site management, covered parking in attached garage, bicycle storage, pet friendly
Columbia, SC2008Clubhouse, fitness center, pool area, volleyball, movie theatre, computer lounge, basketball court, putting green, greenspace, tanning bed, pet friendly

Source: Residential Satisfaction among College Students: Examining High‐End Amenity Student Housing,2019.

Accommodating international students

In other countries, the focus on student friendly housing is similar to the concerns in the United States dorms of isolation and avoidance of embarrassments in adapting to new cultures, according to the Student Wellbeing Matters. Exploring on and off campus student wellbeing in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and Australia. Isolation and depression were the unintended consequences from apartment-type top concerns, according to the study’s sponsor, the Global Student Accommodation.


Brown, J. , Volk, F. & Spatto, E.  (2019). The Hidden Structure: The Influence of Residence Hall Design on Academic Outcomes, Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 56:3, 267-283, DOI: 10.1080/19496591.2019.1611590 .

Moore, H. P., Carswell, A. T., Worthy, S. and Nielsen, R. (2019), Residential Satisfaction among College Students: Examining High‐End Amenity Student Housing. Fam Consum Sci Res J, 47: 260-275. doi:10.1111/fcsr.12298.

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Get a job!

Who says there aren’t internships and full-time jobs for journalists, other media professionals, social media whiz kids, specialty communicators and seasoned professionals? and specialty communicators? Also, check out the state-by-state offering of the latest and greatest communications jobs.

Be sure to like, share and comment!


High Noon is looking for a summer intern based in Washington D.C. 

The Minnesota Vikings are looking for a Social Content & Entertainment intern:

Business beat

The Wall Street Journal is seeking a reporter to join Life & Arts to cover social-media and internet culture: the latest trends, personalities, influencers, memes and communities that exist on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and emerging social-media platforms. The reporter will cover the ever-changing ways people are communicating and socializing within established and new social media, the social and political micro-communities that exist on various platforms, and the broader youth zeitgeist. The focus of this beat will be newsy features about lifestyle and culture rather than on technology.

At least five years of beat reporting experience is required. Please include a cover letter and at least five clips in your application.

Sports specialities

LA Sparks Job

Bengals Reporter

Position at the upstart network DAZN.

USA TODAY Sports in NYC. Check out the description below

Charlotte Hornets Job

Minnesota Lynx Job

Washington Nationals Job

Philadelphia 76ers job

Chicago Sun-Times
(This post will go live May 28 and stay up for two weeks. This is a senior-level position and not for recent graduates. Please feel free to contact me with any questions before you apply:, Kathy Chaney,Chicago Sun-Times,Deputy Managing Editor, Breaking News and Staff Development).

The Chicago Sun-Times — home of one of the nation’s best sports sections, as well as the new Sun-Times Sports Saturday product — is seeking a digital sports editor who can work with beat writers, other editors and the newspaper’s audience team to make sure the most people possible are viewing the sports staff’s award-winning content… This is a senior-level position, requiring a sports journalist who has deft writing and editing skills and knows industry best practices. This position reports to the Deputy Managing Editor, Sports and Production.


• Edit copy throughout the day and optimize it for the Sun-Times’ content management system
• Write and aggregate posts on breaking sports news
• At the sports editor’s direction, communicate with beat writers about daily and long-term coverage
• Manage the sports homepage on and other online sections
• Work with the Sun-Times audience/homepage and visual teams to develop interactive elements that engage both digital and print readers — with some of these elements to be used to promote stories on social media

Skills required

• Write and edit stories clearly on tight deadlines and thrive in breaking-news situations
• Make sure daily stories include multiple elements (text, photo, video)
• Team player with sound news judgment
• Working knowledge of social media and SEO best practices


• Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or related field
• Experience as a Chicago pro- or college-beat writer — along with previous editing experience in Chicago — strongly preferred
• While this position is geared toward driving attention to Sun-Times content during the day and assisting the sports editor with planning, night and weekend work will be expected depending on the news cycle

Candidates are encouraged to provide samples of work to show evidence of the ability to excel in this position. Please send these clips or links to your work — along with a resume and cover letter with “Digital Sports Editor” in the subject line — and (No phone calls, please..)

This is a non-exempt (union) position. Sun-Times Media Productions LLC does not discriminate in its employment decisions on the basis on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, color, religion, age, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, citizenship or national origin, and military membership or veteran status, or on any other basis which would be in violation of any applicable federal, state or local law.


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Mother’s Day 2019 article that appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper

My blind son opened my eyes to the world | Opinion

Ann Wead Kimbrough, Your TurnPublished 4:00 a.m. ET May 12, 2019 | Updated 11:58 a.m. ET May 12, 2019CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

John Charles Kimbrough graduates this weekend from Lindenwood University.

John Charles Kimbrough graduates this weekend from Lindenwood University. (Photo: Ann Kimbrough)

It was the darkest day in the life of young John Charles Kimbrough. Literally.

During a creative activity at the Southwest DeKalb Summer Arts Camp, John told his twin sister, Jocelyn Cheryl, that he could not see. They made a pact to finish the camp day by walking arm-in-arm and sticking together until his sight returned.

Jocelyn, now a minister, recalls their faith was based on a Bible verse. The camp counselors uncovered the 8-year-olds’ secret after John gained a few bruises from walking into doors and tripping over children while he was changing into his dance clothes.

Seven eye surgeries later, in early August 1995 the surgeons declared John would not regain his eyesight. The after-effects of the meningitis that crept upon him at 3 months old severely damaged his retinas.

The news of the inevitable hit me in the midsection and I landed in a familiar, uncomfortable hospital chair. John was asleep in his hospital bed with bandages covering his eyes.

Our pastor arrived and asked his dad, Wendell Kimbrough, Sr., and me if we believed John would see again. Realizing his question was spiritually metaphoric, I replied, “Yes.” I did not know then how much John would open my eyes to a world of focused, sightless individuals and their advocates.

This Mother’s Day weekend, John will receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lindenwood University in Southern Illinois. With his twin sister as his guide, John will be bestowed with magna cum laude honors, and will begin graduate work in June.

John’s big brother, W. Earl Kimbrough II — a math teacher at Rickards Hi­gh School and Ph.D. candidate at Florida A&M University — and I will join John’s grandparents and more family and friends to witness what some doctors and ­­therapists suggested would be next to impossible.

It is in the impossible that John has guided me to live. His infant brain grew at a rate faster than his skull could withstand, and he was scheduled for life-altering surgery. He suffered from seizures and was at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The seizure medicine was addictive and the weaning process was like that of an adult addict. It was horrible, but necessary, for a 3-year-old.

Medical insurances dropped John’s coverage because of pre-existing conditions, so the hospital stays and doctors’ visits were out-of-pocket expenses.

John was developmentally delayed by 18 months compared to his twin; he lost hearing in one ear and learned to walk much later than she did. 

Today he is in the early stages of prepping for a kidney transplant, as the harsh medicines that saved his life cost him an organ.

Yet John has thrived and so have we — during periods of financial, emotional, physical and spiritual challenges. He is a skier, golfer, goal ball player and a track and field competitor. John was named a Helen Keller scholar and spent a week in a leadership institute in New York.

He has helped with hurricane relief while a student at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind, and received accolades and scholarships during his high school graduation. He married and is the father of a 5-year-old daughter Jazymyn, who lives in Ocala with her mother. Eventually, he returned to Lindenwood to finish his degree.

It is because of John that Florida legislation was signed by former Gov. Jeb Bush to streamline and facilitate the process for disabled students to take the then-FCAT. I asked state legislators to mandate the Education Department to offer John a Braille test. The governor’s office staff, initially incensed with me for my advocacy, created a statewide task force and placed me on the committee.

I’ve been trained as a blind guide, participated in “Dinner in the Dark” fundraisers, taken elementary school field trips as John’s chaperone. The most memorable was a camping trip when John and I laid on the cool grassy knoll and I described the stars in the sky. John, whose memory became nearly “steel trapped” after he his lost sight, explained the configuration of the constellations.

FAMU professor Ann Kimbrough

Buy Photo

FAMU professor Ann Kimbrough (Photo: Democrat files)

There is not enough space to describe the insults I’ve endured, tears I’ve shed, miles  I’ve traveled and the sleep that will never be returned, all for John. His siblings and other family members have shared in the joys and pain.

This Mother’s Day, we count it all joy.

Dr. Ann Wead Kimbrough is a professor at FAMU.

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