Student Life: Student Stories

Spelman Spring

Student Stories

D'Shonda Brown, C'2017, Shares Love of Global Travel

January 2016

dshondabrownEnglish major D'Shonda Brown, C'2017, is taking advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime. This semester, the New York native is working as a Reach the World  correspondent while studying abroad at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England.

During the 12-week RTW program, Brown will create her own blogs, journals and media albums. In addition to writing, Brown will be paired with classrooms in New York City where she will develop virtual lesson plans based upon her personal experiences.

Typically granted to Fulbright and Gilman Scholars, Brown was awarded the RTW opportunity because of her impressive writing samples. As part of the Global Classroom Assistant program, RTW volunteers work as classroom interns to provide a substantive, engaging opportunity to underserved public elementary and middle school classrooms.

In Her Own Words . . .

As a student at Spelman and an emerging public relations and communications professional, I have developed a deeply-rooted commitment to advocating for the positive representation of African Americans in the media. As a child, being active in sports and the arts, gave me the competitive edge I possess today while also allowing me to build my credibility in regards to the connection of the ‘Black celebrity’ that every child wishes to be, such as Misty Copeland, Serena Williams or Denzel Washington.

Although people may not realize it, Black athletes, singers, actors, rappers, etc. are pressured every day by the media to not trash their reputation in the public eye.
Therefore, because paparazzi are always hiding in the bushes trying to make a dollar, my job as a risk management and crisis communications executive will be to develop strategies necessary to prepare my client for any reputational damage they may experience. 

In addition, I have a wide range of skills in writing and journalism, which further develops my expertise in media pitching, press release writing and event recap development. My study abroad experience heightens my appreciation for global marketing and public relations campaigns and allows me to express gratitude towards the other cultures and ethnic backgrounds I may come across as an account executive.