MBA student’s writing talent goes international
June 29, 2009
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( www.lasierra.edu )Mum’s the word on her current project. But by year’s end La Sierra University Master of Business Administration/marketing student Taneshia Farquharson hopes to find out the status of a pending copy editing assignment with sources in her native Jamaica.
The 29-year-old has rapidly gained high-profile writing experience over the past year with an article in SkyWritings, Air Jamaica’s in-flight magazine, profile writing for Jamaica’s Reggae Sumfest, newspapers, industry magazines and a five-page cover story she co-authored last fall in Jamaque International Magazine. The latter publication is a slick, Vogue-style magazine published quarterly with a readership of about 150,000, according to its Web site. It is distributed around the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and London.
The Jamaque piece details the history, contributions and religious practices of Jamaican Jews, a population that began arriving on the West Indian island more than 350 years ago. Ainsley Henriques, a historian, genealogist and Jamaican of Jewish ancestry is listed as co-author of the article. Henriques is a director and former president of the United Congregation of Israelites and a former chairman of the National Trust. The article includes Farquharson’s interview with him in question-and-answer format.
The Jews began arriving at the island nation around 1655 from Spain and Portugal, seeking respite from religious persecution. They eventually built synagogues, established law firms, held political office, opened medial practices and other businesses. For example, Jacob and Joshua de Cordova founded the Daily Gleaner newspaper in 1834. Stanley Motta, a Jamaican Jew, was the first to record Jamaican music. The Henriques brothers, one of who is Ainsley Henriques’s grandfather, centralized the sugar industry, rebuilt a synagogue destroyed in a 1907 earthquake and started a construction company to replace structures flattened by the temblor, according to the Jamaque article.
“One of the fascinating things about Jamaican Jewry of course is the assimilation, so there is nothing overtly Jewish other than the practice of Judaism itself,” Henriques said in the story.
Farquharson grew up part of a large Seventh-day Adventist family in Montego Bay, Jamaica where she attended a high school that overlooks the beach. Her writing interests trace back to the age of eight, when she began writing during church to keep awake, she said with a smile. At age nine she performed a Christmas poem she had penned. Later on, the love of writing coupled with an abundance of energy propelled Farquharson into deadline-driven occupations; at age 17 she landed her first job writing for a newspaper. After earning a bachelor’s degree in 2002 in mass communications from the University of the West Indies, Farquharson wrote copy for advertising agencies and worked on documentary and event coverage production teams.
Believing a background in marketing and business would meld well with her work experience, Farquharson began searching for such an MBA program. After investigating Florida’s schools, she decided to try La Sierra based on the advice of a friend who works as a recruiter for LSU, Farquharson said.
She is completing the MBA/marketing emphasis degree this year and plans this fall to start work on a Master of Ministry degree. Ultimately Farquharson wants to start a nonprofit organization back home in Jamaica that addresses teens’ self-esteem issues. “With the economic situation in Jamaica, we have a lot of young people who grow up and feel they don’t have very many options,” and sometimes this despondency leads to bad decisions, she said. “There has to be a point to your life. There has to be something more.”
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University