Eduarda Pavao

"Looking back, I don't see myself studying communication at any other school. The way that the communication department at Stetson University educates their students prepared me to deal with challenges that I face on a daily basis. The discussion-based classes, the relationships that I was able to build with the amazing professors and the connections that I was able to create are something that I will take with me wherever I go." -Eduarda "Duda" Pavão '17, Broadcast Coordinator, Orlando City Soccer Club

Samantha Zarek

"After graduating from Stetson University in 2017 with a major in Communication and Media Studies, I moved to the beautiful mountains of Northeast Tennessee to join the local NBC/FOX affiliate television station as a multimedia journalist/ anchor/ producer. During my time at the station I reported on news and sports, and quickly found a passion in covering motorsports. After spending one year in television, I accepted a position on the Racing Communications team with NASCAR in Daytona Beach. I travel to about 20 of 36 races around the country and have various at-track roles including content gathering, market outreach lead, or media center lead— you can find me on pit road, in the garage, or my favorite place, in Victory Lane. Back at the office, I work on initiatives centered around regular weekly media outreach efforts and content available for television affiliates around the country, among other responsibilities.

I look back at my time at Stetson's Communication and Media Studies department and smile. I would not be where I am today without the outstanding education and support of my professors. My experience in Stetson University's Communication and Media Studies department prepared me for my career through quality classroom education, leadership opportunities, and excellent resources. I am now able to approach my professional life with a well-rounded and deeper understanding in the field of communications. Each class was enriched with a plethora of value, and set me on the path to establishing myself in my dream career."

Samantha Zarek '17, Senior Coordinator, Racing Communications, NASCAR

Kai Eckenrode

"Since graduating from Stetson in 2013, I have worked in Washington, D.C. teaching civics and political empowerment in an experiential education setting with the Close Up Foundation, as a Restorative Justice Coordinator in the Denver Public Schools system to address the school-to-prison pipeline, and have traveled to India three times to further my personal and professional yoga practice at Ananda Vanam Art & Deep Ecology Ashram and Aranya Yoga Ashram. Whether engaging in multi-partisan political discussions with high school students, examining implicit bias and structural barriers within the education system, or encouraging strangers to breathe through discomfort to increase their flexibility and self-confidence, one common thread throughout these experiences has been my approach to challenging existing worldviews. My experience in the COMM department not only helped me critically analyze new information presented to me, but also how I reacted to it, and what that meant about how I had been socialized within a white capitalist patriarchy, or, America. Partnered with political science and philosophy classes, I found that my core COMM classes gave me a framework with which to examine the world around me. The importance of civil classroom discussion has never seemed so vital to me today, and I am grateful to have taken part in conversations in classes ranging from ‘Rhetoric of War Films' with Dr. McFarland, ‘Food, Nutrition & Media' with Dr. Schuwerk, and ‘Environmental Communication' with Dr. Watts. 5 years on, I still oftentimes reference not just the content of what I learned, but a methodology of how information is shared, and how knowledge is created." -Kai Eckenrode '13