MCC English Department faculty co-chairs national conference of women journalists

Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez MESA, Arizona – Oct. 7, 2022 – Mesa Community College Journalism and New Media Studies Program Director Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez co-chaired the Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS) Conference and Mentoring Program (CAMP) Sept. 9-11 in Austin, Texas.

JAWS is a 36-year-old national organization supporting the professional empowerment and personal growth of women in journalism working toward a more accurate portrayal of the whole society. Members include working journalists, from Pulitzer prizewinners to those working at the grassroots level, journalism educators and researchers from across the country.

The theme of the conference was JAWS Reunited: Truth, Justice, Community. “This year’s goal was to bring together, after a two-year absence, veteran members and new practitioners in the field to shed light on issues that impact members as professionals, and to create a space to support one another,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez chose to be active in JAWS because the group, as she stated, “is a proponent of greater inclusivity and diversity in its organization and the journalism industry as a whole, which is of great interest to me.”

As co-chair, Rodriguez, who began teaching journalism at MCC in 2016, was tasked with leading and supporting the conference committee in developing sessions, identifying and inviting leading journalists to present session topics. “I also developed initiatives that foster mentors and professional support for our members,” she pointed out. “In addition, I was selected to co-lead a session on best practices in teaching journalism and guiding a dialogue about how journalists can transition from being ‘in the field’ to ‘in the classroom.’”

Rodriguez credits her JAWS membership with helping her better achieve her primary goals as an MCC instructor. “One of my goals is to connect our journalism students with professionals in the field. As a member I have expanded my access to seasoned women journalists who truly enjoy sharing their knowledge, experience and resources, all of which ultimately evolve into resources and networking possibilities for MCC journalism students.” She added, “Our pool of guest speakers has quickly expanded to where I’m currently in conversations with media experts in several areas to develop current industry-based skills sessions for our students.”

Moreover, serving as co-chair of CAMP 2022 provided her with opportunities to contribute suggestions and propose new initiatives in the advancement of the group. “Among my recent recommendations is for JAWS to bring a “training” CAMP to college campuses, like MCC, to connect with and support the next generation of journalists.”

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Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

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Publication Date: 
Friday, October 7, 2022