COM Alumni Spotlight
|Graduation Date:||May 1989|
Director of Workforce Development
National Center for Construction Education and Research
|Current Location:||Gainesville, Florida|
What was your favorite class in the COM Department? Why?
Any class taught by Dr. Carole Tallant. She taught me to be myself and pushed me to think outside the box. Extemporaneous speaking has been essential for my success throughout the years. Her performance studies classes really helped in this area.
What organizations/groups were you involved in while you were a student?
I was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity and served as President my Senior year. I was also a UNCW Ambassador.
Did you complete a departmental internship? If so, please list your internship agency.
No, I did not participate in the internship program but wish I had.
How are you using the skills/concepts learned from your COM degree in your life?
I have used the skills I learned as a communication studies major in many different aspects of my life, from public speaking and written communication as the Director of Career and Technical Education for Fort Worth ISD and as a CTE Consultant for the Texas Education Agency, as well as in my current position as Director of Workforce Development. I have used those skills and more that I learned from my classmates as a teacher, coach, parent, husband and friend.
What are your proudest accomplishments since graduating from UNCW?
Becoming a teacher and coach where I had influence over a small group of students. Then becoming a High School Principal where my influence expanded to more students. As Director of CTE for Fort Worth ISD and Education Consultant I influenced teachers, students and state personnel in Texas. But the best use of my communication skills has been with my family and friends.
Communication is. . .
something you do all the time. I believe the part of communication people neglect the most is the art of active listening. Confusion, arguments, fights and misunderstandings could be avoided if we all took time to stop, listen, then speak. I know I have had a hard time doing this but in my career listening is one of the most powerful tools you can ever have. Although a good speech is effective too as long as the audience is listening!
What advice would you give current COM majors?
Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and be flexible! I had no intention of ever being in the field of education, training, or workforce development. My plan was to be the next newscaster like Peter Jennings, but I would not trade one day of my professional career. What I learned at UNCW through my classes and extracurricular activities has shaped me into the person that I am today.
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