Miss Arkansas State 2017 Destiny Quinn sure does have the right first name.
Quinn, who was born and raised in Jonesboro, has already fulfilled her destiny to become a Red Wolf. Now she plans to fulfill another by following in her mother’s career footsteps. Her mom, Diana Davis, is a news anchor at Jonesboro ABC affiliate KAIT, where she has worked since 1989.
“Growing up with that was pretty interesting,” Quinn said. Her mother’s popularity as a TV personality meant that “trips to the grocery store were always pretty long, but she really inspired me. That’s why I decided to go with this.”
Quinn is enrolled in the digital media management track of A-State’s online Master of Science in Media Management program. As she moves toward graduation in August 2018, Quinn hopes to land a full-time job in front of the camera. She currently works as a manager for Jonesboro leasing firm Young Investment.
“I had an internship at WMC Action News 5 in Memphis last semester,” Quinn said. “I really noticed how much they utilize digital media. That’s really what pushed me over the edge for doing this degree. It’s going to put me a step ahead in learning about social media and how to reply back. I loved it. I hope to one day end up in Memphis. It was a lot of fun.”
Quinn graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Journalism with a sociology minor in May 2017. As a full-time student, she was involved in several extracurricular activities on campus, including being a member of the school’s dance team, the Red Wolves Dancers.
“It was a great decision,” she said. “I looked at other universities, but Arkansas State just made sense. I have grown up a Red Wolf. I love the university. I have truly enjoyed getting to represent the university as Miss Arkansas State. And it’s growing. Every year they add something new, so I’m very proud to be a Red Wolf.”
On Campus to Online
Quinn had not planned to enter a master’s degree program until she talked to her adviser at A-State, Dr. Mary Jackson-Pitts.
“Online education was kind of a new concept for me,” Quinn said. “My adviser told me the online master’s program would be flexible, and I would be able to work and do both. That was a pretty attractive option for me.
“I am working right now, and it has been easy to do with my schedule. It’s better to go ahead and do the master’s program fresh out of school instead of waiting. I don’t think it would be easy to jump back in. So far, so good.”
As an added bonus, Quinn’s degree is paid for through her involvement in the Miss Arkansas and Miss Arkansas State University pageants.
“My family is pretty excited about it — especially since they don’t have to pay for it,” she said. “I believe the master’s degree will probably make me a better candidate, because I went the extra mile to focus on my degree and make myself a better candidate. I’m excited to see how that plays out.”
Quinn has loved her time at A-State, and the flexibility of the online program allowed her to continue her higher education with the university.
“Being on campus was truly a very special experience because I was so involved,” Quinn said. “I wouldn’t take that back at all. But, doing my master’s online and having a full-time job has been really beneficial for me — especially trying to go to my next chapter.”
Quinn’s pageant career began while she was attending Jonesboro High School where she was class president. She has competed in the last four Miss Arkansas pageants. She finished in the top 10 at the 2017 competition, but does not plan to compete again in the future.
“It was really exciting to make the top 10,” she said. “I also enjoyed getting to meet all of the people throughout the years. It’s really been an incredible networking opportunity — especially being Miss Arkansas State and getting to represent Jonesboro and the university. It was truly a very neat experience. To have everybody rally behind you is pretty incredible. I’ve made some good friends, too.”
That experience could also give Quinn an extra advantage when she looks to land her first full-time job as a TV anchor. While she was enrolled in the undergraduate program, she acquired some on-air experience as an anchor for ASU-TV news for two semesters.
“I did a lot for my resume reel at Memphis, but I couldn’t actually be on TV because I wasn’t under contract,” she said. “I’m really excited to start applying for jobs in December.”
Of course, she doesn’t have to look very far for advice from a seasoned professional.
“My mom does give me advice, and I’m very open to it,” Quinn said. “She obviously sees things that I don’t. It’s really an extension of the mother-daughter relationship, except that she has nearly 30 years of experience in front of a television camera.
“She’s still my mom and wants the best for me. I try to do some of the things she says. But, I am my own person, too. So, sometimes we just collaborate on ‘changes.’ She’s a good sounding board for me, and I give her feedback, too. Overall, it’s a pretty healthy relationship in an industry where you don’t find many second generation on-air broadcasters.”
Learning the Ropes
Quinn has completed just two courses in the master’s program — JOUR 6253: Audience Market Analysis and MCOM 6043: Theory of Mass Communication. However, she has already taken away plenty from the curriculum.
“I liked both of them a lot,” she said. “Audience Market Analysis was a little bit more enjoyable for me. My adviser was my professor for both of them. She made it very easy to connect with her. I could reach out to her at any point, and she would be willing to help me. Especially with diving into a master’s program, I found her very helpful.”
With all Quinn has had on her plate the last few years, including serving as vice president of special projects for A-State United Way for more than a year, she was prepared to make the most of her time.
“It’s important to practice time management, so if you are able to have a planner, write everything out and allow time to study and do your assignments, it’s going to be a lot more beneficial to do an online program,” she said. “You just really have to be able to manage your time well.”
Quinn, who enjoys running, hanging out with friends and “cheering on the Red Wolves” any chance she gets, plans to take the stage at least one more time for her second A-State graduation.
“It’s very special to be able to walk — especially once you have put in all of those hours,” she said.
Once she does that, Quinn hopes to deliver the news on air at the same time as her mother someday.
“That would be cool,” she said. “That’s what everybody says!”
That would be so Destiny.
Learn more about the A-State online Master of Science in Media Management program.