Melaine R. Rochford
(BS, Video/Television and Business, ’03; MA, Rhetorical Studies ’12)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite class was definitely Producing and Programming. I love television, and that class taught me a lot about the business side of the television industry. My favorite professor is kind of hard to name. So many professors impacted me during my undergraduate years. Dr. Peter Gershon stands out, as I took several of my foundational television courses with him. Also, Dr. Matt Sobnosky and Dr. Lisa Merrill pushed me a great deal during my graduate studies.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
My first job upon graduating from Hofstra was a training position in the Programming Department at Fox 5 WNYW in New York City. I literally started the day after graduation. I was so adamant about getting into the media industry that I went to job fairs and networked to make valuable connections. I learned that relationships are key in every industry, and you never burn bridges.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I’d say my field of specialty now is ministry. I finished seminary in 2017. Now I use my education and experiences to help people in various ways. I’m an associate minister at New Life Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. I teach, preach, sing, plan events and conferences, and even use social media networks like Instagram (@melrocs) to share Christ’s love.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
Take advantage of every opportunity afforded to you as a student. Participate in conferences. Join student organizations and clubs. Run for office. Get to know faculty and staff members. You never know what connections will pay off in the future. Also, if you’re having a difficult time, please utilize the services of the counseling center and get the help you need. We all go through tough times. Be encouraged!
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- Having worked as a communications coordinator for various media groups, including Fox Television Studios and Katz, what led to your transition to nonprofit sectors, specifically your current role as the communication consultant for New Life Cathedral?
Communication is critical in every industry. After earning my master’s degree in rhetorical studies at Hofstra, I transitioned to the nonprofit sector. I took the skills I garnered from school and applied them to my work at the church. At the heart of the church’s mission is simply “communicating” the message of Christ’s love.
- What inspired you to become an ordained Christian minister?
I believe that becoming a minister is a divine calling. It’s not something you choose; rather it’s something you’re chosen for. Growing up as the daughter of a pastor, I never really wanted to be in ministry. I always wanted to be in media. I had no plans to be ordained. I wanted to be a mogul. Like the famous quote says, “We plan and God laughs.” I guess the joke has always been on me.
- As the author of Launch Time: The Fast Guide to Making Your Career Take Off! and co-author of Got Faith or Nah?, can you explain what sparked the creation of both books?
I saw a need for both books at the time I wrote them. Launch Time came about as millennials were first entering the work force and graduating from college. I immediately noticed the gulf between our expectations of “the real world” and our reality in it. There were hundreds of articles and studies being written about millennials and the differences in our perceptions and attitudes, especially in the workplace. I was living it and wanted to write about it too. As for Got Faith or Nah?, that book was written to encourage youth to spend time daily reading the Bible and deepen their spiritual lives. It was a blessing to many churches.
- What is the single most rewarding experience in your career thus far?
I think my most exciting experience has been traveling to Ghana, South Africa, and South Korea with my seminary. I learned how to relate to people in different cultures and on different continents. I shared meals, music, and experiences with my global family and learned so much in the process. I will travel as long as I am able to.
Melaine R. Rochford is a sought-after communicator, theologian, author, scholar, and singer who utilizes her multifaceted abilities in service to God and humanity. An ordained Christian minister, Melaine currently serves at New Life Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, as the youth and young adult ministry director, where she is building a holistic program to address the complex needs of today’s young people.
A firm believer in the power of education, Melaine is a graduate of Hofstra University, where she earned both a Bachelor of Science in video/television and business and Master of Arts in rhetorical studies. Most recently, she earned a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology at Drew Theological School, where she was one of the inaugural Sampson-McCann Social Justice Scholars. During her time at Drew, Melaine was able to study in Ghana, South Africa, and South Korea.
A lover of music and a performer since her youth, Melaine has been a featured soloist on ABC, BET, TBN, and The Word Network, and has lent her musical talents as a supporting vocalist for Patti LaBelle, Mariah Carey, The Cheetah Girls, Donnie McClurkin, Mary Mary, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Donald Lawrence, Jules Bartholomew and JudaCamp, the Harlem Gospel Choir, the Super Bowl Gospel Choir, and many more.
Melaine is the author of Launch Time: The Fast Guide to Making Your Career Take Off!, a guide for college students transitioning into the workforce, and the co-author of Got Faith or Nah?, a 31-day devotional for youth.
After the unexpected passing of her mother in 2014, Melaine and her family turned their tragedy into triumph and launched the Lois E. Rochford Foundation Inc., a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to improve lives around the world, beginning with women and girls of the African Diaspora. This year, the first scholarships will be awarded to young women of color pursuing higher education.
Melaine’s greatest desire is to inspire people to live a life full of faith and purpose.