news-category: Black History Month Profile

Gardner-Webb Experiences Help Eriana Meadows, ’23, Pursue Broadcast Journalism Goal

black history month graphic

Senior Cheerleader Appreciates Academic and Extracurricular Activities That Improved her Leadership and Communication Skills   

“While at Gardner-Webb, I feel that I have learned what it is like to lead but to also listen and work alongside my classmates, which aligns with what the real world is like.”

Eriana Meadows

At Gardner-Webb University, senior Eriana Meadows, of Lexington, Ky., has participated in many leadership opportunities that will help her pursue her career goals. She is the co-editor and co-executive producer of GWU-Today, the student digital news organization, and is the founding co-anchor of the GWU-Today Newscast.

She is also a member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), which is the largest journalists’ organization of color in the nation and an advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C. NABJ provides professional development, and educational and other support to members from around the world.

On top of all her academic work, Meadows is a cheerleader, a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and president of Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society. These experiences have enriched her overall college experience, connected her with students across campus and improved her leadership skills. “My most memorable moments as a cheerleader would have to be NCA cheerleading camp in Myrtle Beach (S.C.), receiving choreography and a bid to go to NCA Nationals, cheering at basketball tournaments and the FCS playoffs,” she reflected. “It has been an honor to be a competitive Division I cheerleader for the past four years.”

Because of her talent as a communicator, Meadows celebrates Black History Month by utilizing social media to promote the observance and highlight past and present African American icons who have made a significant impact on history. “Social media plays a big part in today’s generation,” Meadows noted. “I’m a communication major who posts often on social media about current events, so continuing with that notion is important during Black History Month because it is a quick and easy way to educate others.”

Membership in NABJ also provides access to training, opportunity and advocacy initiatives for black journalists. “As a new member of the wonderful organization, I am honored to have connected with a few members and have received some of their expertise through conversation,” she asserted. “I look forward to connecting with more members this semester and attending the HBCYou Training Day on Feb. 25th.”

Meadows’ work with GWU-Today and the GWU-Today Newscast has refined her communication skills. “I have been able to report about campus events and connect with other students here at Gardner-Webb,” she explained. “With this opportunity, I have gained valuable experience in leading a school broadcast newsroom. I have also been able to share my work with reputable news personalities and receive positive feedback that will give me leverage as I finish up my last semester and start my job search.”

She added, “While at Gardner-Webb, I feel that I have learned what it is like to lead but to also listen and work alongside my classmates, which aligns with what the real world is like. Gardner-Webb provides a safe space where students can ask questions, receive help and perform on their own—emphasizing independence.”

Meadows continued, “The professors in the communications department have been a great influence on what type of student and person that I am today. I can say with complete confidence that I am ready to start a career after graduation in May (2023) with the help of Gardner-Webb and the professors who have influenced me greatly.”

Black History Month Events

  • February 1-28
    • National African American Read-In (Exhibit in Dover Library)
      • Make literacy a significant part of Black History Month—and throughout the year—by reading books, poems, and speeches by black authors.
  • Thursday, Feb. 9
    • 2 to 4 p.m. – A Slice of History: Trivia and Free Pizza, Tucker Student Center Lobby.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 14 (Frederick Douglass’ Birthday)
    • 3 to 4 p.m. – Frederick Douglass Day is celebrated on his birthday to remember this author, publisher, writer, orator, and most prominent African American abolitionist of his time. Room 103, Dover Memorial Library.
  • Monday, Feb. 20
    • 6 to 7 p.m. – Diversity Dialogues: My Hair, My Crown. A discussion aimed at celebrating Black hairstyles and diversity. Third Floor, Tucker Student Center.
  • Thursday, Feb. 23
    • Open Mic Night – 8 p.m., Tucker Student Center.
  • Black History Month: A Family Affair
    • TBD – Sign up with friends and compete for prizes in Black History team trivia. Enjoy good music and food while you test your knowledge of Black culture and history.

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