Three new partnerships benefit Newhouse students from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups

Thanks to the commitment of Newhouse School alumni and partners, three new industry partnerships have been established to benefit students from historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.

“We are committed to increasing the diversity of our student body and, ultimately, of the workforce. These new opportunities don’t just benefit students, they also benefit our partner companies with an influx of young talent and new perspectives on the communications industry of today,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato.

Diversity Fellow at DKC

Melissa Chessher, Newhouse’s interim associate dean of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, and public relations professor of practice Brad Horn worked with alumnus Dave Donovan ’92 to set up a Diversity Fellowship at New York City-based public relations agency DKC. Donovan is executive director of DKC / DKC Sports.

“Giving back, mentoring and positively impacting future leaders is central to our mission at DKC and quite significant to me personally as a proud Newhouse alum,” Donovan says. “We look forward to collaborating with Syracuse University and its talented faculty and students to maximize this unique fellowship program.”

The annual paid summer fellowship is open to graduate or undergraduate students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Students spend the summer working at the company’s New York City headquarters, where they experience the agency’s dynamic, cross-sector practice areas and are exposed to external client work that jives with their own areas of interest and career aspirations. Students also create content such as press releases and media resource materials.

“We’re thrilled to further strengthen our relationship with DKC and create this incredible, sustained opportunity,” Chessher says. “We are committed to building out new career pathways and creating these real-world, world-class experiences for our students.”

Michael Ras Tafari Spencer, a graduate student in public relations, is the inaugural fellow.

“I can’t wait to start my diversity fellowship at DKC because I believe the program is setting me up to embark on a career,” Spencer says. “I want to gain experience and develop my professional insight, but most of all, I want to get connected with the people who have fought to open the doors for people like me.”

Diversity in Media Internship at Fairchild Media Group

Facilitated by Tara Donaldson G’12, executive editor of WWD, a new Diversity in Media Internship program at Fairchild Media Group offers three eight-week, paid internships for Newhouse students from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds.

“The opportunity to make space for more people of color in media is really an honor for me—and, even more importantly, voices in media should reflect global diversity, so this just brings us one step closer to where we need to be,” says Donaldson, who is head of diversity, equity and inclusion for Fairchild Media Group. “And to do this all with Newhouse, which provided me with so many of the tools to get me where I am today, just adds to the significance of this moment.”

Students are placed at three Fairchild publications: WWD, Footwear News and Sourcing Journal. The program also offers mentorship opportunities, career development workshops, networking opportunities and a chance to learn the ins-and-outs of covering the full end-to-end fashion industry. At the culmination of the internship, the three students collectively present a program project to leaders across Fairchild Media Group and the greater Penske Media Corp. In doing so, the students are able to demonstrate their understanding of the nuances across fashion and the supply chain and convey their acquired skills to mentors and potential hiring managers.

Elijah Brown, a junior in broadcast and digital journalism, Ayana Herndon, a senior in magazine, and Paola Gonzalez Torres, a graduate student in magazine, news and online journalism, are the inaugural interns.

Carol Cone ON PURPOSE Diversity Fellowship

Kelly Barnett, director of Newhouse’s Career Development Center, worked with Carol Cone, CEO of consultancy Carol Cone ON PURPOSE, to create a virtual paid internship for diverse and underrepresented groups.

“As more students and young professionals seek roles in the field of purpose, we wanted to bring more diverse individuals into this critical career path,” says Carol Cone, the company’s founder and CEO. “For purpose, ESG [Environmental, Social and Governance] and sustainability initiatives to be truly authentic and reflective of the world we live in, the professionals developing such strategies must come from diverse backgrounds. We are delighted to partner with Newhouse.”

The summer fellow will work as a junior team member on key accounts for the agency, which serves organizations and brands whose mission is social impact beyond profit. Social impact initiatives for clients may be in the fields of plastics recycling, mentoring for youth, affordable housing, regenerative agriculture or overall purpose positioning. The fellow will also perform issue landscape research, contribute to portions of presentations and research for the company’s podcast, “Purpose 360.”

Ezozhon Ismailova, a graduate student in public diplomacy and global communications, is the inaugural fellow.