TV Talent Times Two
Two former BSG presidents now working for CNN will return to the area in December to keynote Brockport’s Winter Gala.
As CNN Washington Correspondent Ryan Nobles ’98 covered high-profile shootings over the past few years, he often relied on the expertise of CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson ’88 to assist him in his reporting. Later on, Nobles discovered working for CNN wasn’t the only thing he and Jackson had in common.
“Ryan and I first met in the CNN bureau in New York City a few years ago,” said Jackson. “He introduced himself as a Brockport alumnus, and — like myself — a former Brockport Student Government (BSG) president. I was floored!”
Because the two work in separate bureaus, their appearances together are usually limited to the television screen — Nobles in a box on one side and Jackson in a box on the other. Despite their distance, they’ve become acquainted through their work.
Jackson calls Nobles an “amazing talent” and “a rising star,” and Nobles has been a “huge fan” of Jackson since before he started at CNN, well before he knew of their several commonalities.
“[Jackson] is an expert with a terrific legal mind whose job is to provide our viewers with the proper context on some of the big legal matters of the day,” said Nobles. “He is a prime example of how Brockport prepares someone for success.”
Both Jackson and Nobles maintain strong connections to their alma mater, and they feel their college experiences have had pivotal influences on their careers. Jackson believes his interactions with mentors and classmates at Brockport taught him to “think creatively, independently, and strategically.” He has returned to campus in recent years for a BSG reunion, to speak at Academic Convocation, and to deliver the 2016 Commencement address.
Nobles feels Brockport provided him dynamic outlets to learn about journalism and its importance in today’s world through classes and the College’s radio station.
“I lean every day on the lessons I learned in my academic courses, from my work at WBSU, and from my term as Brockport Student Government president,” said Nobles.
Nobles said Brockport was the gateway to an internship at television station WHEC in Rochester, NY, which led to his first on-air role at WUHF. He then worked in Utica, Albany, back in Rochester, and in Richmond, VA. Throughout his three years at CNN, Nobles has covered the 2016 presidential campaign and now the White House and Capitol Hill.
After graduating from Brockport, Jackson started his legal career as a prosecutor in Manhattan and later became a defense attorney. He made his television debut on Fox News discussing the 2007 OJ Simpson robbery case, and he subsequently began receiving calls from other national television networks. Five years later, Jackson was hired by Court TV, and he works today as a legal analyst for Turner Broadcasting on CNN and HLN while maintaining his own legal practice.
This December, Brockport will bring Jackson and Nobles together in a special way.
The pair will keynote the College’s second annual Winter Gala on Saturday, December 2, at The Wintergarden by Monroe’s in downtown Rochester. Also in attendance will be special guests Lauren Dixon and Mike Schwabl of Dixon Schwabl Advertising and news anchor Ginny Ryan of 13WHAM News. Ryan served as a mentor to Nobles early in his career, when he worked for a short time at WHAM. One of his hopes for the Gala night? A selfie with her.
“My favorite part about coming back to Brockport is re-connecting with the great friends and mentors I met during my time there and checking in on the amazing progress the school continues to make every day,” said Nobles. “The Gala is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the hard work that goes into making Brockport so special.”
Winter Gala proceeds benefit the Extraordinary Academic Scholarship Program at the
College, which provides four-year tuition awards to qualified freshmen. Last year,
nearly 400 Gala guests collectively contributed more than $145,000 in support of student
success, including $45,300 for the
Extraordinary Academic Scholarship Program in aid of 36 scholarships. For more details, sponsorship and auction information, and to purchase tickets for the Gala, visit alumni.brockport.edu/gala.