Why the Missouri School of Journalism and FIGs program rocks

So I’ve officially started my position as an SC, and I am loving it so far. Part of it has to do with the fact that I am not, for the first time in two years, in training from 8 am-10 pm every day, but really, it has more to do with my passion for student affairs.

I was CC’d on this email from a faculty Co-Facilitator to his future FIG students a few days ago, and I think it’s the perfect example of why the FIGs program and the Journalism School here at Mizzou are so amazing. Take a look:

Future FIGgers,
Please accept this e-mail as a welcome to the FIG program this fall. My name is Stacey Woelfel (and just so there are no surprises when you actually meet me, I’m a “he,” not a “she.” Go figure) and I’ll be serving as your co-facilitator as you enter the program. Before I get into what it is exactly a co-facilitator does, let me tell you a little bit more about myself.

I’ve been faculty with Mizzou for 24 years now–all of that time spent in the newsroom at our television teaching lab, KOMU-TV. I’ve been news director here since 1990–longer than anyone else in the history of the station. Before coming to Mizzou, I worked in television in Florida. And before that, I was a proud graduate of the J-School myself. I have stayed on this job so long because I love working with students who love the news. I get excited each semester as the new and eager reporters arrive in the newsroom. And there’s nothing more exhilarating than breaking in with the big story with a bunch of people doing it for the very first time. To tell you the truth, it’s also a lot of fun watching all these nervous people do their first on-air work at the station. They are so shaky sometimes, they can hardly hold the scripts. But it’s fun watching them go from that shaky start right on through to graduation.

Now that you are arriving at Mizzou to start what will be four great years, let me offer to share some of my ongoing enthusiasm with you. You’ll see me at various FIG events throughout the semester, but I also extend to you a personal invitation to sit down, talk about why you are here, spend some time in the newsroom at the TV station, and share the excitement of really starting out on your career. You can reach me at this e-mail address or on my cell phone anytime. The number is (He actually left his cell number here, but he probably didn’t intend for my blog readers to get it, so I’ve taken it out.).

In exchange for this offer, I now need a little bit back from you. Send me a note and tell me about yourself. I won’t put limits on the topics, but I would love to hear why you picked Mizzou, what you are most excited to see/do when you get to school, what you are worried about, and some odd and interesting facts about yourself. I’ll start with one about me. I’m an identical twin, and my brother is in the TV business, too. We look just alike and constantly run into each other’s business contacts who then mistake us for the other. It’s sort of funny and annoying at the same time.

OK, enough from me for now. I’m e-mailing all of you new FIG members together, but there’s a valuable (sort of) prize for whomever writes back first. It could be you!

See you later this month,

Stacey (please remember, we are on a first name basis from day one around here)

Wasn’t that awesome?!?

First off, this is the news director of KOMU, a huge name at the J-School, sending a personal email to freshmen. I think it’s absolutely awesome that these students will have access and personal contact with such a faculty member so early on in their time at Mizzou. Secondly, he wants to know personal things about them. That’s what the FIGs program is all about; getting freshmen plugged into Mizzou socially and academically as soon as possible, and it wouldn’t be possible without great faculty.

Thirdly, as he so eloquently stated, “Please remember, we are on a first name basis from day one around here.” This is so true. That’s one thing I always talk about on my J-School tours; I cannot tell you how many professors I am on a first-name-basis with. It’s an awesome opportunity that the World’s Best Journalism School provides. And lastly, he gave them his cell phone number. What kind of professor does that?!? An awesome one, obviously.

The cool thing is that Stacey isn’t the only professor like this. We have over  100 co-facilitators who will send similar emails to their students this fall. And that rocks.

This email just made me really proud of the program I work for and the school I attend. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to do my undergrad. It’s going to be an awesome semester.


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