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26 September 2005

Two Proud Parents Say JSU Helped Daughters

Pictured here, from left to right, are Stephanie, Steve, Melanie, and Audrey Pendergrass.

By Randy Wilson
JSU News Bureau

The parents of two recent Jacksonville State University graduates say they're proud of their daughters' academic accomplishments and the assistance JSU provided as they prepared for their new careers.

Steve and Melanie Pendergrass of Birmingham reported that daughter Audrey landed a job in banking while daughter Stephanie got a job with Country Music Television (CMT).

"I couldn't be more proud of the both of them," said Pendergrass, who phoned JSU President Bill Meehan to express his sentiments directly. "They have always strived to be the best they could be and no parent could ask for more than that."

Audrey Pendergrass graduated from JSU in the fall of 2004 with a bachelor's in finance. Audrey was recently hired as a personal service representative with Wachovia Bank of Birmingham.

"I was accepted at larger universities," said Audrey. "But I'm glad I choose JSU because of the small-town atmosphere."

Audrey attributes her success at JSU to small classes that afforded her an opportunity to get to know her fellow students and professors.

Audrey will be tracking account balances and transactions for bank customers to help them manage their accounts. She will also be looking for clues to help prevent identity theft, such as large transactions or suspicious credit card spending.

Stephanie found her dream with Country Music Television (CMT), the popular cable television network. CMT programming includes music, videos, and biographical programs about country stars past and present. CMT is owned and operated by MTV, a subsidiary of Viacom.

Stephanie, who lives in Nashville, has been working as an associate producer with CMT since September 12. She graduated from JSU magna cum laude in communication in the summer of 2004. As a student, she served as news editor and later as the managing editor of the Chanticleer.

Stephanie assists producers in all phases of their work, including writing promos for the CMT website, producing newsletters for members of, standing in for producers when regular staff members are absent, and assisting in the production of Studio 330 sessions.

"JSU helped prepare me for this job by teaching me the basic skills I need to survive at a television network," said Stephanie.  "The classes really push you to succeed, and however difficult that may get, you realize how much they benefit you once you get out into the real world."

JSU's communication students must complete 350 hours of internship training. Normally, an intern works 10 to 15 hours a week. Stephanie went much further and worked 28 hours a week during her internship.

"I think they achieved their success because of their dedication and hard work," said Mr. Pendergrass. "And the excellent education they received from JSU laid the foundation for their success."

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