Interim Dean’s Hello

By Zeny Sarabia-Panol
Interim Dean

The 160-strong faculty, staff and administrators of the College of Media and Entertainment warmly welcome you. Thank you for visiting our site and we look forward to having you on our campus.

There’s no other time that’s as good as this time to be in media and entertainment. Just look at or listen to your cell phone. The need for content – words, images, music – has exponentially increased now more than ever. And we are in the content business.

We pride ourselves with providing a contemporary multiplatform curriculum and nurturing a culture of creativity, innovation, diversity and engagement. Our students are taught by faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized scholars, book authors and outstanding professors with deep and ongoing connections with the media and entertainment industries.

Our students go on to become recording engineers and artists, music business professionals, journalists, radio and television producers, podcasters, public relations and advertising practitioners, animators, film makers, etc.

Dr. Woodard and I are immensely thankful for the opportunity to lead our college. We are both alumnae of American public universities. Dr. Woodard has all her degrees from public universities and earned her bachelor’s here at MTSU in the School of Journalism. I, however, went to small, private Catholic schools as well as public universities.

My family was not rich but my parents valued education. They sent me and my eight other siblings to the best schools they could afford. We lived very simply. My father used to say that he’d educate us because unlike material possessions, no one can take our education away from us. All nine of us siblings have at least a college degree.

Dr. Woodard, along with her six siblings, is amongst the first-generation of college graduates in her family. A good 34 percent of our student population in the college are first-generation college students.

A whole world of opportunities awaits all of you who are pursuing a college education, regardless of your background. If you persevere, study hard and work through the many challenges you’ll experience along the way, you can become the much better version of yourself. We are here to help you quiet the voices of self-doubt and fear. So please don’t hesitate to see Dr. Woodard and me or any of our caring faculty and staff especially our academic advisers when you hit a rough spot.

Dr. Woodard and I have overcome countless difficulties. I hope you’ll find us credible living proof as to what a good quality education can bring to one’s life. Going to college and completing a degree is the best investment you’ll make. Our communities, families, our country (native and adopted) and, for that matter, the world are the better for it.

I am eternally grateful to my country of choice, the United States of America, for welcoming me and for giving me so many opportunities. Dr. Woodard and I are living the American dream. In our books, America is and has always been a great country.

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