National Press Club president to talk with SMAD students Feb. 24

Media Arts and Design

By Charlotte Matherly, staff writer

JMU alumna Lisa Matthews (’90), the Associated Press assignment editor for U.S. video and newly inaugurated president of the National Press Club, will talk with students and answer their questions about journalism during a virtual event at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24.

To attend, students and faculty must register in advance using a JMU email address. 

lisa-matthews-ap-172.jpgThe Zoom event will focus on Matthews’ professional life, as well as her time at JMU. She said she’s always felt at home with other Dukes.

“Having JMU in common is really strong,” Matthews said. “You just feel a natural connection to a person. You don’t even have to know them — but to know that they shared in a very similar experience … I always say, welcome to the family.”

Matthews now leads the National Press Club, the prestigious Washington-based journalism organization that advocates for press freedom and provides resources for journalists and public relations workers. 

At her inauguration Jan. 30, Matthews laid out her plans for the Press Club's future and journalism in general. She said she hopes to bridge the gap between journalists and the public and educate people about how and why journalists “do what we do,” especially in a time when some people don’t trust what they read and see in the news.

SMAD Director Gwyneth Mellinger, who will attend the Zoom session, said the inauguration highlighted Matthews as a hard worker with passion and determination. She also said she’s looking forward to students having the opportunity to learn from Matthews and suggested students come prepared for an insightful discussion.

“[Matthews] strikes me as a person with grit and determination,” Mellinger said. “I was so grateful that students got to see what is possible for someone who graduates from JMU with a degree in media … I would encourage students to ask her questions that matter about navigating through the business.”

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Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Last Updated: Thursday, November 2, 2023

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