Before joining the faculty at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Marquita Smith served as Division Chair for Communication and Fine Arts at John Brown University. Prior to the academy, Smith worked in various newsrooms for 16 years. In her last newsroom position, she served as Virginia Beach bureau chief at The Virginian-Pilot. She joined The Pilot as a local government editor in 2001. In 2008, Smith went on leave from The Pilot to complete a Knight International Journalism Fellowship in Liberia. During her time in West Africa, she created a judicial and justice reporting network and continues to help journalists develop skills to cover the post-war nation’s poverty reduction efforts. Ghanaians elected a new president in 2008, and she created several training models to help reporters and editors prepare for covering the event. Smith was named to the list journalismdegree.org publication entitled Top 50 Journalism Professors in 2012. In 2016, she was named a Fulbright Scholar – teaching and researching – at the University of Ghana, Legon. Here at the School of Journalism and New Media, Smith serves as the Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs. Her research interests focus on media development, public health communications and topics on diversity, equity and inclusion.