Back to News

Journalism and public relations students visit DC to talk with industry professionals

Mar 20, 2017

Posted in: News

Last Friday, journalism professors from the VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture took a group of 25 undergraduates to Washington D.C., where they visited the Washington Post and a major public relations firm to talk with seasoned communicators at both establishments.  

Students and faculty members stand outside of The Washington Post building, where they had the chance to talk with longtime columnist Petula Dvorak. Photo provided by Vivian Medina-Messner.
Students and faculty members stand outside of The Washington Post building, where they had the chance to talk with longtime columnist Petula Dvorak. Photo provided by Vivian Medina-Messner.

In addition to touring both the Post and Hill & Knowlton Strategies, employees at the respective outlets fielded questions in Q&A sessions from students on the day-to-day of working in the industry and other inquries related to their work as communicators.

The trip was organized by the Robertson School's Virginius Dabney Distinguished Professor of Journalism and retired Post columnist, Bob Levey. Journalism professors Jeff South, Vivian Medina-Messner and Bill Oglesby also accompanied students on the trip.

At the Post, students talked with columnist Petula Dvorak.  Dvorak is one of the most-read columnists in the U.S. and has been at the Post for more than 15 years. Before coming to the Post, she covered courts in Los Angles and New Orleans.

Bob Levey (right) sits with  vice president of Hill& Knowlton Strategies, Matthew Felling (left), during a Q&A session with Robertson School students. Photo provided by Vivian Medina-Messner.
Bob Levey (right) sits with vice president of Hill& Knowlton Strategies, Matthew Felling (left), during a Q&A session with Robertson School students. Photo provided by Vivian Medina-Messner.

While at H&K Strategies, students talked with Vice President of the firm Matthew Felling. Feeling has worked in communications for many years holding a variety of positions, including commentator on CBS-TV and as press secretary for Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Feeling talked with students about the importance of flexibility while working the first few years in a career field like public relations.

"It was such a pleasure to introduce Robertson School students to a major newsroom, and to many of the people who are marquee talents in it," Levey said. "I'm sure that the sights and sounds will stay with all of them."