Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The next chapter: Going "home" to make a difference
When I retired in March from Gannett and my role as executive editor at the Montgomery Advertiser, friends and colleagues said they would be waiting to hear about Wanda Lloyd"s "next chapter," so sure they were that I am not ready to settle down and completely rest in the near future. Even close family members said something like "yeah, right," when I told them I was ready to retire.
Journalism and communications studies have been a lifelong pursuit for me. Ever since I was a high school student in Savannah, Ga., and later as a student at Spelman College in Atlanta, I have found opportunities to pursue my goal of becoming the top editor of newspapers. Now seven daily newspapers later and as a participant and leader in the transition from print to the digital revolution, I felt like I had done all I needed to do in newspaper newsrooms.
Even with a side step along the way as the founding executive director of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University, and lecturing more times than I can count in university classrooms, it took me a while to realize that my ultimate career destiny might be on a university campus.
I am able to report that my career has come full circle -- literally.
I left Savannah the day after I graduated from high school. Now Savannah State University -- where I participated in numerous communications workshops as a student, and where I have been a keynote speaker twice at the Southern Regional Press Institute -- has called for me to return home.
In July I will return to the campus as chair of the Department of Mass Communications, and dedicate the next few years working with the faculty to ensure that students are prepared for a 21st Century world of communications.