Joy Thornton, born to parents Xavier Thornton and Dr. LaWanda Thornton, is a Junior Mass Communications major with a concentration in Print Journalism at Alcorn State University
Growing up in Pass Christian, Mississippi, Thornton was undecided as to what major she wanted to
pursue or what college she planned to attend. She did not decide until her final semester as a Senior in high school that she wanted to attend Alcorn. She knew she wanted to write, so she looked into Mass Communications and Journalism. “I like Mass Communications because it is a broad major, and I figured that I could discover what I wanted to do specifically within that field of study,” stated Thornton.
Thornton is a member of several organizations on ASU’s campus such as the National Association
of Black Journalists (NABJ), the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and the Editor-in-Chief of The Campus Chronicle (Alcorn’s online newspaper). She will be inducted into the Alpha Chi Alpha Chapter of Lambda Pi Eta which is the honor society of the National Communication Association in March.
She received the Alyce G. Clark Leadership Scholarship as a Freshman and in February 2023 she was awarded Disney’s National Geographical HBCU Media Scholarship. With this scholarship, she will travel to Washington, D.C. for two weeks this Summer and spend time at the National
Geographical Headquarters. “I have a chance to learn, connect, and network with professionals
in the field that I am pursuing a career in. I also get to meet with the other recipients who are
students with similar interests as me,” stated Thornton.
The scholarship emphasized storytelling, so she submitted a video that told an impassioned story. She was provided a mentor, Lauren Jackson, who is a senior line producer for the Nature team at National Geographic. Thornton stated, “I am so blessed to have this opportunity and can’t wait to see what comes out of my stay in D.C. Alcorn has given me the opportunity to connect with people I may never have met that will definitely help me with my career going forward.”
Thornton’s plans after graduation are not fully decided yet although she is considering graduate school or going straight into her career.