August 1, 2013

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Media Arts Geniuses Showcases VSU Students’ Talents

VALDOSTA — Leaving his hometown of Savannah behind, E. Chad Lawson, 20, arrived at Valdosta State University in August 2011 with a desire to study computer information systems and a passion for photography. No one knew about his artistic talents or his desire to use those talents to help others. As far as anyone was really concerned, he was merely a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.

“No one knew that I took pictures,” he said. “It was frustrating.”

Lawson met S. Juwan Andrews, a fellow photography enthusiast and freshman from Thomaston, in a core-level history class. The two became fast friends and discussed forming a campus organization that would make it easier for talented students, such as themselves, to share their gifts with the university community.

They just needed a name.

Media Arts Geniuses, or M.A.G, was born in September 2012. Less than a year later, the student organization boasted more than 40 members, including talent from the performing arts (singers, dancers, comedians, poets, and more), media arts (graphic designers, photographers, and more), and event planning.

Media Arts Geniuses has a dual purpose. It hosts variety entertainment-type events designed to showcase the talents of its members. It also makes its talented members available to other campus organizations in need of live entertainment, photography, videography, posters, fliers, event coordination services, and so on.

Andrews serves as president of Media Arts Geniuses and is responsible for the day-to-day management aspect of the organization. Lawson serves as vice president.

“Every event has trended on Twitter,” said Andrews, 20, who is pursuing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in management. “We had more than 500 attendees at our premier event,” which was held on Nov. 29, 2012, in the Fine Arts Building’s Whitehead Auditorium.

Students interested in learning more about Media Arts Geniuses should make plans to visit the organization’s booth at The Happening, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, on the lawn in front of West Hall. The organization will soon begin accepting applications for new membership. All talented students with a 2.0 grade point average are encouraged to apply.

Media Arts Geniuses will host its first M.A.G. Week Sept. 23-28. Festivities include a comedy competition like the one created by Nick Cannon on MTV, an upfront look at the ins and outs of college from a student’s perspective, a dance competition much like the one portrayed in the movie “You Got Served,” a dodge ball tournament, a fun game of “Don’t Forget The Lyrics,” and more.  

Contact S. Juwan Andrews at or E. Chad Lawson at to learn more.

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Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

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