Behind the major with Tearanee’ Lockhart: Communication leads to the breaking of barriers


Tearanee' Lockhart

Tearanee Lockhart (right) poses with the Black Student Union float for the 2021 Homecoming parade.

Tearanee’ Lockhart is a senior broadcast journalism major from Amarillo. Lockhart’s passion lies with the connections she makes with other people. Being involved and surrounded by people is where Lockhart loves to spend her time.

During highschool, Lockhart found a favorable place for her passion for storytelling in the studio of channel 4, KAMR, with an internship. West Texas A&M University coordinates with local highschools to help students gain valuable experiences in career fields.

“They had this program called the pro program,” Lockhart said. “You got to be a part of whatever job you’d be interested in, so I was thinking about journalism.”

Lockhart enjoys the hands-on requirement that communications requires for success. Some of her most enjoyable classes hold experiences that she will treasure for her entire life.

“It was something taught by Dr. Baum and we had to go to a refugee center where we actually got to choose what we wanted to do,” Lockhart said. “When I took my leadership class, we were actually leaving every single month to go help students around the Amarillo and Canyon community.”

Broadcast Journalism specializes in telling a story at the most basic level, the community impacts and intersecting with the public. You cannot be a broadcast journalism major without knowing the community you are sharing information to.

“Some advice that I would give to students that are interested in being a part of WT is definitely what you make of it,” Lockhart said. “They’re not going to come to you so you just need to be willing to put yourself out there.”

Lockhart is perhaps one of the most recognizable faces at WT. She is the current Black Student Union President, a member of the Forensics team, RA for Jarrett Hall, a part of Buffalo Advertising, Event Coordinator at the Panhandle Plains Museum, and many other organizations!

Residential assistants pose in Jarrett Hall after a successful start to the semester.

“I think, honestly, we should require more communication classes,” said Lockhart. “There (are) many people I know that can’t even get up and present, that’s something that’s required for almost every job.”

People’s perception of communication varies, but an integral part of communication is interpersonal communications. Speaking with other people is how humans have learned things for millennia. Broadcast Journalism is the 21st century adaptation of the art of storytelling and learning new information.

“Especially because we’ve gone into the COVID-19 lock-down and we were separated from each other for a lot of times, I think things can be very polarizing now,” Lockhart said.

The lockdowns that occurred in 2020 highlighted the need for communications. People need to get information about their community in order to stay safe, both physically and mentally. Especially in our age of disinformation and echo chambers, more communications classes would be helpful for helping society progress.

“When you’re face to face with people, at least for me, I’m more thoughtful with what I’m saying,” Lockhart said. “What it has taught me is I have more in common with people that I might not agree with politically than I thought I did.”

Communication is a simple human action that undoes the differences that our minds come up with from misconceptions. Biases are present in all people, but the communication surrounding one’s perspective helps unravel any contempt and/or worry.

“I think if you look deep down, you can find a connection with someone, even if you don’t necessarily agree with their beliefs,” Lockhart said.

Tearanee’ Lockhart and staff with the Panhandle Plains Museum celebrate the holiday spirit. (Tearanee’ Lockhart)