Fast-forward to the future and you may see Elijah Joseph in front of the camera, interviewing athletes, newsmakers and celebrities. Or perhaps he’ll be behind the camera, capturing the great shots that catch your eye and draw you deeper into the broadcast.
Broadcast is a passion for this second-year SUNY Broome student, whether he chooses to stay behind the camera or in front of it. As he works toward graduation, the Mount Vernon, NY, native plans to either transfer to SUNY Oswego – and apply to Syracuse University’s prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
“I wanted to find the best school with a communications program to help me start on the path to a great career,” Joseph said. “This is one of the best schools for communications.”
With a 3.5 GPA, the Communications major is developing both as a scholar and a budding broadcaster. But he’s also making strides in another way: as a Man of Excellence, encouraging other young men of color to succeed in the classroom.
Sponsored by the President’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, the year-long Men of Excellence program focuses on providing SUNY Broome’s men of color with intensive academic, professional and social support, and kicked off with a student-oriented conference in late August. Members of the group get together for meaningful discussions, ranging from current events to coping strategies for difficult situations. While they range in age, Men of Excellence view each other as equals – and as brothers and scholars, Joseph explained.
“We’re overcoming our obstacles, coming together and working hard. We study together,” Joseph said.
Joseph is also part of the college’s Educational Opportunity Program, which draws many low-income and first-generation college students and offers both academic support services and financial aid. For his on-campus job, he handles EOP’s social media, an opportunity that exposes him to platforms used by many media organizations today.
He’s also active on campus with the Communications Club, the Phi Alpha Kappa honors society and the Student Assembly, for which he is a senator. The Student Assembly, he explained, is more than a club: It’s the voice of the students, and an opportunity to discuss and address issues concerning campus life and policies. The Assembly also gives students the opportunity to participate in the school’s Shared Governance process with faculty and staff, making recommendations to the college Administration.
Add into the mix an internship with the Binghamton Senators, which gives him the opportunity to see the other side of the media business: public relations.
“I really like my internship. I’m learning professionalism and getting a glance at the media work field,” he said.
He first discovered his love for broadcasting at St. Raymond High School for Boys, where he nervously – but successfully – transferred during his junior year. At St. Raymond, he participated in the New York Catholic High School News and Views competition — and also found a desire to make a difference in the world.
As a SUNY Broome student, his current goals are “to grow into a mature young man and to learn new things” – and to set the foundation for his future. While Newhouse is his dream school, Elijah knows it’s firmly in reach.
“SUNY Broome prepared me for the field,” he said. “My goal is to make a difference and to lay a foundation for other black men like me. If others see me doing it and succeeding in college, they know they can do it also.”