Senior Micah Sanders vows to continue to take initiative



Micah Sanders, a senior boadcast journalism major, takes a minute to adjust the settings on his video camera before he takes some footage of Alabama State University. Sanders is a DeSoto, Texas, native who was offered an academic scholarship to attend the university. Since arriving, he has maintained his status as an honor student and hopes to have a career in the film industry.

Kendal Manns, Sports and Intramurals Editor

Editor-in-chief of The Hornet Tribune Micah Sanders will graduate on May 6. He will graduate with summa cum laude status. (Ephrem Tilahun)

Taking initiative even when you are not guaranteed success is a big step in an individual’s quest to become a professional. To go far, you have to be willing to take “a leap of faith,” and senior Micah Sanders knows a lot about taking a leap.
On May 6, Sanders, a communication major with a concentration in radio and television, will be graduating from from the university. He has accomplished quite a few things in his four years at the university.
In Aug. 2020, he joined The Hornet Tribune, the official student newspaper, as a writer and was quickly promoted to arts and entertainment editor. During this time, he showed flashes of greatness as a writer and as an editor.
As time went on, he continued to excel in his craft and climb the ranks, receiving another promotion as the managing editor for editorial operations in Nov. 2020. Six months later, Sanders would find himself as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper. While in this position, Sanders led the newspaper to new heights, growing the social media presence and producing more issues than any editor before him.
In his down time, Sanders enjoys reading, playing video games, watching movie commentaries, video and photo editing and all things Marvel. His last two hobbies drew him to the entertainment industry. Because of his tremendous work ethic and attention to detail, the DeSoto, Texas, native earned himself an internship with Paramount Pictures as a national publicity intern. While in this role, he collaborated with the New York publicity team to execute publicity campaigns and assisted in scanning and flagging talent, among other things.
During the spring semester, he had the opportunity to work at WVAS 90.7 FM, a jazz radio station that offers news and entertainment for the central Alabama area. Sanders researched and prepared entertainment for morning shows and helped produce daily radio shows during his time at the station.
Sanders has built himself quite the resume in the classroom as well. Similar to his high school years where he graduated 24th in his class, Sanders excelled at ASU. He became an honors student in the W.E.B. DuBois Honors Program in April 2019 and has been featured on the Dean’s and President’s Lists for his consistent 3.5-4.0 grade-point average. He also maintained his Academic Excellence scholarship.
Despite earning all of these achievements, Sanders remains humble in his feats, attributing many of them to the professors, faculty, and staff that he met at the university. Some of those that he thanks personally are Kimberly Baker, Ph.D., Ashla Roseboro, Ph.D., and Kenneth Dean, J.D.
Baker served as a guide in his Introduction to Photojournalism and Introduction to Multimedia News Writing classes.
“When I took those classes, I was not a part of The Hornet Tribune, so that was a new area for me that I enjoyed a lot,” Sanders said. “She was really good at making sure that I had everything I needed, all the necessary tools and skills to do a good job at The Hornet Tribune.”
Sanders thanked Roseboro for consistently challenging him in the classroom, forcing him to test his limits and capabilities.
“She also made my assignments more difficult for me, because she knew that I could do them correctly. She knew that I was the editor-in-chief for The Hornet Tribune, so she expected more from me.”
He gushed about Dean’s influence on his life as the two worked closely during Sanders’ time as the editor-in-chief of the school paper, of which Dean is the general manager.
“Mr. Dean is amazing,” he said. “He has been like another father to me. He has been really caring, kind, dedicated and always motivating. He is always joyful and jubilant.”
Sanders credits all three with his growth and development, not only as a student and writer, but as a young man heading into the real world. One of the most visible examples of his growth has been his confidence in his abilities. A natural deflector of compliments, Sanders used to solely give credit to others and their involvement, leaving little to no room for himself. With the help of the aforementioned staff members and others within the communications department, he has gotten better at “accepting the recognition and reveling” in his success.
Sanders has also grown socially. A natural “home-body,” being at ASU has forced him to come out of his comfort zone a little bit. One of Sanders’ reservations has been fitting in with the “culture” at ASU. He grew up with four older brothers and two older parents in Karin and Ronnie Sanders, making his mindset a little different from that of most of his peers. Despite Sanders not necessarily fitting in all the time, he has found his own way allowing him to meet some “amazing” people and make a lot of memories.
He looks back on his trip to the Magic City Classic in Birmingham, Alabama this past football season as one of his fondest memories. As a few members of his staff went to cover all of the events, he was able to bond more closely with them in less professional settings like restaurants and parades.
Another memorable experience Sanders had while at was being a part of the honors program. It allowed him to diversify his social circles as he met people from different backgrounds and cultures.
As with any college experience, there are going to be challenges along the way. During his tenure at the university, Sanders had issues with “miscommunication” and “lack of “transparency” with the leadership at ASU. These issues affected areas, such as housing, food, classrooms and professors, among others.
He believes that the university needs to address these issues to improve student life. To do so, Sanders suggests a revamp program or having the leadership attend a leadership summit that addresses the university’s specific issues. Before the university changes for the better, he believes that change has to start “at the top.”
Even with these issues in mind, Sanders’ advice to the future generations of Hornets is simple, “stay focused.” The university, much like any other, opens the door to a lot of distractions, and he believes that students cannot fall into those traps if they want to succeed at the university.
“Take the opportunities at ASU to the fullest. There are a lot of opportunities that people miss out on here because they are too busy focusing on themselves or partying,” he said. “ASU does have a lot of opportunities, and those opportunities can allow you to be whoever you want to be in life. Honestly, I have received so many different experiences and opportunities at ASU just by taking initiative.”
From taking on the responsibility of editor-in-chief to getting his internship with Paramount Pictures, he has taken the initiative time and time again. He took the “leap of faith.” While he may not have always known the outcome, he still leaped, and it is continuing to pay dividends.
Sanders plans on building upon the foundation he built at ASU and continue his work in the entertainment field at an entry-level position. He wants to be an executive assistant at Marvel, Disney, Netflix or Paramount Pictures. Upon his graduation, Sanders plans on joining the Dallas-Fort Worth alumni association in Dallas, Texas. He also plans to travel the world and visit all 50 states, as he and his family take road trips to travel often.
As he looks back on his time at ASU and his future after graduation, he feels prepared for the real world, because of the university’s “wonderful professors, challenging curriculum, vivacious faculty, and professional organizations and clubs.”
Sanders leaves with a simple message, “stay tuned for the future. I will be making big moves and making sure I make my Hornet family proud. I will be exuding confidence that I learned at the university.”