Melinda Booze: Assistant professor of communication and The Lance adviser
March 26, 2012
Melinda Booze joined the Evangel faculty in 2006, where she currently teaches communication courses and serves as adviser for The Lance, Evangel’s student newspaper. Booze is the founding editor of the Assemblies of God’s On Course magazine, a position she held for 10 years. Along with writing for On Course, Booze has written articles for publications such as The Pentecostal Evangel, Enrichment and Focus on the Family’s Family Focus.
Some of Booze’s hobbies include reading, cooking, and hiking. She also enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew.
How did you become interested in journalism?
There was not one particular event or big story that I can point to as being “the inspiration.” I have always been interested in the whole story. I’m insatiably curious. (One friend says “nosy” is the better term.) Truth and transparency are important principles for me, and those principles are significant underpinnings for the profession of journalism. I was editor of my high school paper and Evangel’s Lance. I enjoyed then (and do now) starting with a blank slate and putting together a relevant and meaningful product with a team of like-minded people.
Did you ever envision yourself coming back to Evangel to teach? What is it like?
No, I didn’t. My mom was a high-school teacher and college professor, so I knew that teaching isn’t all summer vacations and banker’s hours, like many think. What is it like? This has been the most challenging, stretching responsibility I have ever signed up for. God clearly directed me to walk through the door that opened for me at Evangel. The experience has taught me (and is teaching me) that I am terribly insufficient in my own power and wisdom.
What is your favorite part about working with Evangel students?
Working with students who want to prepare themselves for what God will open up before them rather than being limited by our own human understanding of what the future will require.
Communication is an evolving field, especially journalism. How does Evangel equip its students to compete in this rapidly-changing industry?
The liberal arts environment and requirements at Evangel prepares students to understand and interpret how the world works from a holistic perspective. Journalists, as one of my Evangel professors taught, must be “informed generalists.” Journalism schools focus on niches, and that certainly has some benefits, but a student in a liberal arts environment has the opportunity to see and practice the integration of skills, interests and principles that life will demand. Journalists are going to be reporting on business, on art and music; reporters will talk to teachers and judges. A grasp of the basics in multiple disciplines results in more powerful and accurate story-telling.
What is the most memorable moment in your career so far?
Overall, I most cherish the fact that On Course magazine, the magazine I had the privilege to start for Assemblies of God young people, is still around 20 years later and is making a difference for this generation of young tweens and teens. The current editor is also an Evangel graduate who I hired and who followed me as editor.
What advice do you have for students considering Evangel, especially those considering Communication programs?
Look at job postings. Whether the job is for a CEO, manager, secretary, team leader, police officer, facility worker — every position up and down the ladder — one of the qualifications to be considered for the job will be “excellent oral and written communication skills.” A communication degree prepares students for a wide range of post-college opportunities, even in fields outside of the academic category of communication.