Comm Arts Course Making a Huge Impact on Students


The Communications Department’s PR Event Planning and Crisis Communication course drew over a hundred students to learn about CA (Image credit: Kayla Healey).

Kayla Healey, Contributor

STAC alumnus Gianna Pisano took a job in journalism after graduation, but soon decided she did not want to spend all her time just talking and writing about what’s going on in the world.

“I wanted to be that change and be in a position where I could be a part of the action, rather than just reporting on it,” Pisano said.

With the hands-on experience she gained at STAC, in communications courses and internships, Pisano made a career pivot. She’s now the social media coordinator for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in Washington DC.

“Having all the experience on my resume that STAC provided was how I was able to change careers and be where I am today,” Pisano said.

Pisano joined a number of STAC alumni who turned out earlier this month for “What’s Poppin’ with CA,” an event put on by students in Professor Elaine Winship’s PR Event Planning and Crisis Communication class.

The class is focused on learning about the world of public relations but it’s more than that.

Students gain hands-on experience by writing press releases ahead of the event, creating social media content, planning logistics, conceptualizing, and working as a team to get the event from an idea to a reality.

“CA 322 is an amazing class because we get to use what we learn,” student Nina O’Connell said. “It is very fast paced and exciting and there is never a dull moment.”

As Winship says: “This event is part of a semester-long experiential learning project where students learn how to plan public relations events in the classroom and then immediately apply this knowledge by actually planning a PR event.”

More than 100 people attended the event, which was held in the Romano Student Alumni Center on March 7th, 2023.

The event featured tables stationed by people from STAC career services, CA alumni, CA professors, and more. Students had the opportunity to network and talk about what’s happening in communication arts at STAC, while enjoying free snacks or taking part in raffles provided by donors.

One table even provided students with the opportunity to read from a teleprompter and complete an “on-air demo” with STAC Professor Patricia Stark.

Also among the alumni was Samantha Rosenthal, a senior social media manager at Audacy.

 “It is really great to come back to STAC and to see classes like this one doing what I did when I was here,” Rosenthal said.

“Having opportunities from these courses that I could put on my resume is really what set me apart when it came to job interviews and is also what made my experience at STAC so special.”