A Huge Shout Out To Michael Schoonmaker As Spring Semester Rolls Around

A Huge Shout Out To Michael Schoonmaker As Spring Semester Rolls Around

My first and only fall semester at Newhouse was a pleasure to take on, as I found myself diligently putting time into my academics and news media startup.

Along with rigorous classes, I am also an instructional associate (IA) in the Television, Radio and Film (TRF) department, and my experiences learning along with great professors are unforgettable.

I would be remiss to not mention the immense impact Professor Michael Schoonmaker had on me last semester when I was his IA, but his encouragement struck me before I was even a student at Newhouse.

When I first visited Newhouse at the Master’s Open House back in November 2016, Schoonmaker was honestly the determining factor in where I would decide to take my postgraduate education. Syracuse was my only school choice, but I almost applied as a Broadcast and Digital Journalism major because a mentor of mine (Jeremy Menard) gave a glowing recommendation to me about it. It wasn’t until I listened to Schoonmaker in person at the Open House talking about the Media & Education program and all you could anticipate accomplishing with it, that I chose it.

In my initial semester over the summer, I was fortunate enough to have Schoonmaker as my lead instructor for TRF 655, and it gave me the chance to confirm my initial impressions of him as an educator. His demeanor and command over his field of study is evident in how he carries himself in and out of the classroom, and I can tell his professional work throughout life is carefully weaved into how he teaches.

Schoonmaker has been a great resource for me to seek advice from throughout my year as a Newhouse student. Aside from my entrepreneurial aspirations, I can see myself taking on a career in the academic field, and Schoonmaker’s teaching style just seems so close to how I would envision myself running a classroom lecture.

I recently made it a goal if mine to build the perfect resume/skillset to become a Professor of Practice as soon as I can, even right out of college! The curriculum and program Schoonmaker has in place for TRF and Media & Education students allows people like me to chase practical opportunities in multimedia, as I have had a blast putting together my capstone assignment for M&E.

With the window of opportunity starting to dwindle as Spring semester commences, I hope to continue building key relationships with mentor figures like Schoonmaker while I’m at Newhouse. Multimedia entrepreneurship is a challenging field to operate in due to uncertainty, and my career path is filled with risky bumps in the road. But the amount of confidence Schoonmaker and other faculty have instilled in me continues to drive me to work harder every day, hoping to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

With just a few more months to keep my head down and find a sustainable business model for DOodle the NEWS, I can only hope to keep mentors like Schoonmaker around for the long-term game we call life.

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Tobenna Attah
Transmedia Entrepreneur
Tobe V. Attah is a multimedia entrepreneur with a mission to innovate in today’s new media landscape while making a meaningful impact in the world. He founded Doodle the News in October 2017, a mutliplatform hub for people to have their voices heard and help them become more civic minded through bite-sized journalism.
He has been published across a wide variety of media outlets, including Sports Illustrated, the Cornell Daily Sun, SportTechie, Clutchpoints, Cavs Nation, the Cornell Chronicle, and many more.
Tobe has a plethora of hobbies, including writing, athletics, drawing, acting, and collaborating with others about ideas and startups working in the multimedia space.