Department of Communication Visiting Scholars Program

University of North Florida

In collaboration with VOTAC, the UNF Department of Communication Visiting Scholars Program is an opportunity for journalists, other media professionals, and academics from Africa and the Diaspora to get mentoring from communication professors on topics related to the media profession and/or work with communication professors on research. The value to the visiting scholars is in learning more about how U.S. mass media work and how media systems in a variety of countries operate.


TV set picture for visiting scholars program   faculty photo

The UNF Department of Communication includes a high-definition TV studio and other broadcast facilities, as well as a diverse faculty with academic and professional credentials.  



Why you should apply: 


University of North Florida

  • Build upon existing understanding of operating dynamics between Africa and global markets.
  • Expand your network of resources and channels in media, industry and government. 
  • Enhance your managerial skills and knowledge for Africa’s emerging digital economies.  
  • Add to your investigative and journalistic toolkit as principal organizer and facilitator of seminars and conferences, involving academics, public leaders and captains of industry. 
  • Interact with UNF Communication faculty at a monthly colloquium.  
  • Sit in on select classes informally as a guest (subject to availability and permission by the professor). 
  • Work directly with UNF communication faculty on sharpening media and broadcasting skills, shadowing American media professionals, and learning the internal workings of the American media industry. 
  • Participants need to make all arrangements to ensure their lawful entry to the United States.

  • Participants should arrive in Jacksonville at least a week before classes begin. 

VOTAC (Voices of the African Continent)

  • UNF program fee is paid by VOTAC.
  • Serve as on-air talent and managing editor of (live-streamed) VOTAC news and current affairs programs.
  • Participants receive travel, transportation and lodging support from VOTAC
  • Participants are offered employment in their home country at the completion of the program from VOTAC.
  • Participants will receive a monthly stipend, medical and dental benefits during the program from VOTAC
  • Participants receive immigration law services assistance; and reimbursement of U.S. visa application fees from VOTAC.


VOTAC website picture   VOTAC website picture

The Visiting Scholars Program gives reporters and editors in Africa the opportunity to learn more about U.S. journalism.



Who should apply:  


For the 2018-2019 academic year, only applications from these countries will be considered:  

  • Egypt 
  • Ghana 
  • Kenya  
  • Nigeria 
  • South Africa   

How many seats (positions):  

  • Five (one per country)
What you must have:
  • Undergraduate and graduate degrees from accredited institutions (in mass communication, journalism, broadcasting, digital media, etc.)
  • 10 to 15 years of professional experience in home country  
  • Language fluency: English and one of the local languages
Application package:


Those who wish to participate in the UNF Department of Communication Visiting Scholars Program must submit:  

  • a current resume, and
  • a statement of purpose, and a description of what you are interested in learning and doing as part of the Visiting Scholars Program, and
  • home country proof of citizenship, and
  • a professional portfolio (copies of published newspaper articles, video clips of news reporting or on-air interviews).
  • Online submission: Click Here (Application packages sent by postal mail will not be reviewed.)

Program timeline and dates: 

  • Application submission: November 1, 2017 to December 1, 2017; incomplete application packages will not be considered.
  • Notices of Acceptance/Rejection: January 7, 2018 (via email)
  • Visiting Scholars Program: May 2018 to May 2019

For more information about the UNF Department of Communication: 


Dr. John Parmelee, Chair of the Department of Communication

University of North Florida

Department of Communication

Building 14D, Room 2035

1 UNF Drive

Jacksonville, Florida 32224


Please note    

  • The program fee -- $2,500 (U.S. dollars) for each participant enrolled in the program each semester.
  • Visiting scholars do not receive academic credit and are not formally enrolled in classes.
  • Visiting scholars arrange for their own transportation and housing.
  • UNF will not assist in the immigration requirements and visa needs of visiting scholars.
  • Participants need to make all arrangements to ensure their lawful entry to the United States. 
  • Participants should arrive in Jacksonville at least a week before classes begin. 

Also note   

  • UNF reserves the right to withdraw or dismiss any participant from its program or facilities at any time such participant's conduct is not in accordance with the program curriculum or the policies or procedures of the institution or is detrimental to others. When reasonably possible, UNF will counsel such participants about their conduct and provide them an opportunity to cure. UNF will provide an orientation session to all participants to make participants aware of those actions which may result in withdrawal or dismissal for cause. 



About the University of North Florida and VOTAC 


University of North Florida

  • The University of North Florida (UNF) is a public university in Jacksonville, Florida. A member institution of the State University System of Florida, the university is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters and doctorate degrees to its students. Its campus comprises 1,300 acres surrounded by a natural preserve on Jacksonville's Southside.
  • UNF opened in 1972. UNF is organized into five colleges which offer 53 undergraduate degree programs and 28 graduate degree programs.
  • Beginning in 2007, The Princeton Review has named UNF one of the best colleges in the Southeast for four consecutive years, and has been named one of "America's Best Colleges" by Forbes Magazine.
  • The UNF Department of Communication is dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge about human and mass-mediated communication processes through high-quality teaching, scholarship, and service to the community. We offer two undergraduate programs, the Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies, and three minor programs: Communication Studies, Mass Communication, and Political Campaigning and Advocacy. We also offer a Master of Science in Communication Management. Our B.S. in Communication is accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.

VOTAC (Voices of the African Continent)

  • VOTAC is a Digital Media Platform. It will offer products and services in these key areas: Content, E-Commerce and Experience. And, it will deliver its offerings to a global audience, Over-the-Terminal (OTT), focusing on Economic, Political and Cultural events in Africa and the Diaspora.