I advise clients on their most pressing communications, public relations and public affairs needs. Based on their individual issues, I design and execute strategic communications programs to achieve their goal or solve their problem. Sometimes this is proactive (“get me in the news”) while other times it’s reactive (“get me out of the news”).
The Mount Union Community
Mount Union has a close and tight-knit community, and everyone is involved. There weren’t a lot of strangers. I knew the people who were in my classes, the professors, the people who worked at the library, the lunch ladies, the ResLife people and everyone else. You talk to them and get to know them. The professors and everyone that you meet take such an interest in your growth and development; I just don’t know that you get that everywhere. After almost 10 years, there are still professors I talk to regularly and who know where I am, what I’m doing, etc. That’s a pretty key differentiator.
I can say that every professor I had at Mount Union made an impact on my academic and professional growth. I have to say, though, that Rodney (Dr. Dick) and Dr. Cunion really did a lot to push me and help me figure out some sort of professional path at a time when I had no idea what I wanted to do. What both of them did and continue to do so well is that they have such a knack for getting to know students on a personal level that they can really help to accentuate your strengths and guide you through building up areas where there are weaknesses. They are compassionate, understanding and down to earth so you can have real and honest conversations with them. They embody what it means to care as a teacher, guide and mentor. Both of them provided professional advice while I was a student and they’ve continued to provide professional advice from time to time as I develop a career.
The Theatre House
Really, some of the greatest nights of my life were built around the camaraderie we had at 431 Simpson St. (The Theatre House). All of the guys who lived there were like brothers and we all still stay in touch and try to get together at least once a year. It was a supportive environment where we were able to succeed academically while also having a lot of fun. To this day we try to get together at least once a year for a weekend. We also travel to visit each other in our respective home cities as well; Orlando, Chicago, New York City, Pittsburgh or any others.
My First Job
I worked as a staff assistant with Congressman Harry Mitchell, who represented Arizona’s 5th Congressional District. I stayed on with Rep. Mitchell, working on his campaign in 2008 and later handled press and media issues in his office.
I spend a lot of my professional time writing – proposals, press releases, statements, talking points, blog posts – sometimes for my firm and sometimes for clients. At Mount Union, in all of my classes, I really developed an understanding of how to write well and what it means to be a writer. I developed my voice. I moved to Washington, D.C. less than a week after I graduated because of a character on a TV show (Sam Seaborn, The West Wing). I didn’t have much of a plan beyond that. The investment at Mount Union taught me very crucial writing skills, which have become tough to find in today’s world. It taught me critical thinking skills, which helped me navigate one of the most powerful cities in the world and a job market that is notoriously cut-throat. It taught me leadership and intrapersonal skills which have helped me grow a personal network and succeed in every environment I’ve been in. All of these things have led me to the position where I am today.
In college I was involved in Student Senate, College Democrats, the MUC Players and theatre productions. These days, I read the magazine every time it comes and the email newsletters. I get on the website from time to time. I signed up to help others who want to get into communications/PR/politics as a career. I had a lot of people help me during my time at Mount Union and really hope I can pay it forward by helping others.