“Commit to your dream
And the desired resources
Are provided now!”
McDonald has pledged to attend the UW Oshkosh Radio-TV-Film (RTF) program’s 50th anniversary celebration during homecoming weekend Oct. 17–18. RTF alumni are invited to pledge to attend the 50th anniversary celebration and challenge others to attend.
McDonald, who grew up in Chicago, said the importance of education was instilled in her at an early age.
“I knew in first grade I would go to college and by third grade I knew I would get a master’s degree,” McDonald said. “It was expected of me.”
Desiring to leave the Midwest and its harsh winters, McDonald had applied to and was accepted to four universities. She received a full-tuition scholarship to UW Oshkosh, allowing her to earn her bachelor’s degree without having to take out student loans.
“UW Oshkosh was the best choice for me,” McDonald said. “I gained a wealth of hands-on experience in my field, made life-long friends and had an amazing time at UW Oshkosh.”
McDonald’s determination and focus led her earn a Master of Arts in Radio, Television and Motion Pictures and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication Research from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill.
“I completed my M.A. program in two years and my Ph.D. in three,” McDonald said. “It was my goal to get my Ph.D. at age 25. I studied the course catalog and went in knowing what courses were required to earn the degree, then designed a blueprint to achieve the goal.”
Her journey to achieve her goal of earning a Ph.D. by the time she was 25 didn’t come without obstacles. It took the help of a transcriptionist when McDonald developed carpal tunnel in March 1995, a neighbor cooking meals for her, a month of all-nighters and daily phone calls from her parents reminding her they would be with her at graduation in May to help motivate McDonald.
After finishing her Ph.D program, McDonald used her time of unemployment to apply for teaching positions and lay the groundwork for three books, which led to her founding the publishing company Reyomi Global Media Group.
“I stepped out on faith and made the decision to start Reyomi Publishing on Feb.13, 1999,” McDonald said. “Reyomi is an acronym for Renew Your Mind using the first two letters of each word. It comes from my favorite Bible verse, Romans 12:2 which says, ‘Be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.’”
In addition to starting her own business, McDonald taught courses at North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, and Spertus College, and is currently a professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
For McDonald, UW Oshkosh gave her opportunities and laid the groundwork she uses today in her coursework she couldn’t have received elsewhere.
“I’m really happy that I attended UW Oshkosh, as I was able to get involved with WRST in an on-air position as a freshman, was station manager during my last semester at WRST and I was also active with Titan TV-2 and worked on several of the shows in production and on-air,” McDonald said.
McDonald was involved with the Black Student Union and connected with the Multicultural Education Center in addition to her involvement at WRST and Titan-TV, and encourages current students to get involved and connect with University resources.
“Utilize the support services on campus to help you reach your goal,” McDonald said. “Map out a plan and work that plan to your benefit and connect with your classmates and build relationships. You each have a different set of skills, gifts, and talents. Hone those gifts and talents and join forces.”
McDonald was also a 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.