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Alumni Spotlight: Jamil Smith

February 19, 2014

jamil_smith_252_jrwJamil Smith is a 1997 graduate of Penn’s College of Arts and Sciences. While on campus, he was involved in many of the happenings at The W.E.B. DuBois College House as a resident. He was also a campus rape crisis center counselor and a writer for The Daily Pennsylvanian. His interest in journalism developed in the 9th grade, and he was able to grow as a writer through his very own column, Invisible Man, which he wrote for five semesters during his tenure at Penn.  His writing and involvement on campus truly informed his position today on MSNBC.

Currently, Smith is a segment and digital producer at The Melissa Harris-Perry Show. The MHP Show’s goal is to stretch the boundaries of news–as it relates specifically to race, gender, and class–and provide current information in a way that is entertaining and engaging to audience members. In his capacity as a segment producer, Smith is responsible for the content of a show. This includes conducting the research, writing, video, sound clips, and prepping the show’s host, Harris-Perry, for each segment. As the digital producer for the show, Smith also handles all of its online content. He is responsible for all the tweets that coined the infamous #nerdland, he archives the videos of each segment to the website, and he controls the show’s media handles such as the official Facebook page.

While Smith has had quite a few positions that shaped him for his position today and he has worked through his fair share of adversities, his advice to students is to keep pushing. Upon visiting campus on February 17th to speak to undergraduate and graduate students, he noted, “There are people who celebrate your quitting. Even if you get tired, don’t quit. Don’t give them that satisfaction.”

Rachel Palmer, Wharton’16

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