Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Journalism and Graphic Communication alumna, Rachael Shackelford, recently received a News and Documentary Emmy for her work on the CNN special “Election Night in America.”
Shackelford, who currently works as an associate producer for CNN’s “The Situation Room” served as producer for the 24-hour news network’s election night special, which received the honor under the category of “Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story (Long Form).”
Though she is not often listed on television credits or seen in front of the camera, Shackelford said that seeing her ideas and production work implemented on both a national and international scale is rewarding enough. More importantly, Shackelford said the Emmy recognition provides her with an opportunity to inspire future Rattlers to go after their dreams.
“I hope winning an Emmy sends the message that all of your highest goals lie within the power of your own perseverance,” Shackelford said.
A Tallahassee native and 2005 graduate, Shackelford credits much of her success in journalism to the foundation she received as a student at FAMU. She specifically credits the late Dean James E. Hawkins, Ph.D. and Professor and 90.5 WANM–FM Director Keith Miles for their direct influence in her personal and professional development and the work ethic they imparted in her.
“Dean Hawkins and Professor Miles pushed me, pulled me, talked to me, mentored me, directed me and fed me. They did it all. They were the secret to the brightest memories I had in undergrad.”
Because her father worked in FAMU’s Perry-Paige Building, Shackelford said she grew up on FAMU’s campus and started walking “the Highest of Seven Hills” when she was only four-years-old. After going on to attend the university, she said she now considers it home.
“I bleed orange and green and couldn’t be happier that the university that held and nurtured me growing up, later educated me and has now catapulted me to working for an international network and winning an Emmy,” Shackelford said.
Shackelford received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from FAMU and received her master’s in international affairs from Georgia Tech University.
Photo: CNN producer and FAMU alumna Rachael Shackelford and “Situation Room” host Wolf Blitzer display the Emmy trophy for“Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story.”