Six things my MJS students need to know

UPDATED FOR JANUARY 2020

Cuyahoga Community College has completed a transition of our course sequencing and even our name.  What was once JMC .. journalism & mass communications, .. is now MJS or Media and Journalism Studies. We effected this transition to more accurately reflect what we offer in our curriculum, what’s happening in the work force (more and more jobs are available in social media and public relations, less so in journalism), and to better align our courses with those in the program at Cleveland State University (CSU). As about 45 percent of Tri-C graduates who go on to earn a bachelor’s degree to that at CSU, it makes the most sense for us to align that way.

Here’s a link to all our course descriptions: MJS Course Descriptions

As a new school year approaches, students are understandably curious about their professors.  Below, in less than 500 words, is a brief “statement of philosophy” which should help you do better both in your academic studies and in your life.  It is six snippets of advice:

  1.  If you’re green, you’re growing. If you are ripe, you’re rotten.  We all need to practice continuous improvement in everything we do. Higher education teaching wasn’t my first profession. I’ve even joked about being an “accidental professor,” going from an adjunct (part-timer) in 2003-2004 and moving up the college professor ladder, slowly, step by step, over the past 16 years. I earned a certificate in college teaching, a second master’s degree, and a wealth of knowledge and experience about how to teach and how to motivate student learning in the past decade.  If a guy who’s over age 60 can keep learning, you can too.
  2. You need a S.I.P. a self-improvement plan, for all areas of your life. Yes, academics are important.  So is taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Finances are important. Faith is important. Relationships are important.  So are family members and loved ones.  What’s your strategy to become better in all of these areas?  How do you carry out that strategy?

    john half cropped

    The next challenge — A Half Marathon.

  3. Setbacks should only be temporary. We all have them. I needed surgery at the beginning of this year, and after then I had to follow the full advice of the surgeon and medical team to recover. You’re going to lose a job, a relationship, a loved one.  It’s how far we come back AFTER suffering a setback or getting knocked down that really matters.  Watch this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXA1jsHYLNs
  4. If you talk with me and share with me your aspirations and goals, you’ll never find a more caring professor dedicated to helping you succeed.  My former students have jobs and careers, working at places such as Great Lakes Publishing, WKSU, WKYC Channel 3, the Cleveland Museum of Art, large public relations agencies, and NBC Universal in Hollywood. They got there through hard work, and through sharing their aspirations with me (and/or other professors).  I’ll go to great lengths to encourage my students and help them do well, if they put forth the effort.
  5. You have been created for something great — greater than you know right now. You want to have all the knowledge and preparation you can so when that opportunity for greatness arrives, you are ready to walk through that door to success.
  6. We ALL need challenges. It’s how we improve.  I’m training right now to run a half-marathon in October. (YES, I have a specific training program and a goal for this event on October 13.)  With God’s blessing, the favor and support of my wife, and some good fortune (meaning no accidents or setbacks), I’m confident I can complete the course and rise to the challenge.  I’ll be a better and healthier person as a result.  Challenge yourself this year.  You’ll be amazed at what you are capable of achieving.  “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson  UPDATE – I finished the half-marathon in under two hours. I’m beginning training now for another one in April 2020.

John Kerezy, Associate Professor, MJS, Cuyahoga Community College
john.kerezy@tri-c.edu  or 216-987-5040

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