By Halie Owens | Contributor
Last Thursday, I wasn't expecting anything spectacular when I attended the conference for media majors. However, I found myself blown away by Fox 59 news anchor Fanchon Stinger. I resonated with her in many ways, from my struggles with faith and self-confidence, to my desire to speak the truth through my art.
She was profound. Eloquent, encouraging, passionate. Poised and graceful.
Stinger spoke of her journey to self confidence. She was extremely timid in high school, so she went on random job interviews to build her self esteem. I've had a journey in finding my own voice as well. My peers made fun of me for the way I spoke, and so I responded with silence. But since coming to Taylor, I've found that my voice does matter, as I use it to speak on important issues. Through my activism, I get to be apart of something bigger than myself.
"She demonstrates a sincere passion for her profession while standing true to her convictions and beliefs," said assistant professor of communication Jeanne Sigworth.
Speaking the truth is something both Stinger and I value. I appreciated how she highlighted the importance of absolute truth. Being a film and media major, keeping my integrity as I enter into the field will be important.
Additionally, I learned a lot about professionalism and what employers are looking for. While Stinger was going on random job interviews, employers were impressed with her communication skills and integrity. She was offered jobs in Wall Street with no experience in finance! Goals.
Stinger is a woman of character, and her personal values have gotten her far. During the chaos of 9/11, she was one of the only reporters allowed into Ground Zero.
"In that moment, they didn't need a reporter," Stinger said. "They needed hope."
Even on a regular basis, she upholds a disposition of virtue. As a reporter, her job is to present a balanced argument, rather than lean toward her own personal opinions. Perhaps institutions can learn from this approach as well. When a hot button topic is addressed, both sides should be presented equally to let the audience form an opinion for themselves. Isn't that what God does? (Hints, themes of free will and "The Truman Show.")
Looking into Stinger further, I found that she gives back to her community. She intentionally picks out stories to shine a light on those who have testimonies in her segment, "Champion of the Week." She is also involved in various organizations, including National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The Boys and Girls Club and Women Empowering Women, to name a few.
Stinger also taught a lesson about faith. "How committed are you for what God has for your life?" she asked. She talked about the most challenging moment in her career. And how she had to make the decision to persevere, to trust God more. A Word.
On a more personal note, seeing a black woman in this light meant so much to me. Representation matters, and I hope that all students on campus can experience such a life-giving moment as well. I wasn't expecting to be blessed by Stinger's presence, by her elegance, and by her words, but I am so glad I went.