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COM '19, Katie Simon

1.) Where do you currently work and could you describe what you do?

I am a Communication Science Masters student at Penn State with a focus on Interpersonal Communication. I currently work as a graduate assistant at Pennsylvania State University. I teach Public Speaking classes to undergraduates, focusing on informative, persuasive, and motivational speeches. Some of my responsibilities involve creating lectures, grading assignments, judging speeches, and helping students become more effective public speakers.

2.) What are your favorite memories of Canisius?

My favorite memories of Canisius are from my experience as a student athlete and as a COM major. I had the extraordinary opportunity to run on the Division I cross country/track team where I was not only able to compete in a sport that I love and travel all around the Northeast but I also made some of the greatest friends of my life. As a COM major, I had the privilege of learning under the guidance of outstanding professors like Dr. Melissa Wanzer and Dr. Barbara Irwin, who strive to not only teach you the material but have you apply it in situations that will help you in the future.

3.) What advice do you have for current students?

Get involved and put yourself out there! I was able to meet the most wonderful people throughout my time at Canisius who helped me in innumerable ways. Join new clubs, start new clubs, volunteer around the area, attend all the events, and on and on. The best part about Canisius is that it is a small school, which allows much deeper connections with everyone there and more opportunities for you to shine.

4.) Were you involved in any clubs or internships at Canisius?

With my last answer, you can probably infer that I was very, very involved at Canisius. I was a student-athlete, a resident assistant in the Delavan Townhouses, and a research assistant on a study about cancer survivorship. I was a part of the All-College Honors program, the RA Athletic Council, Psi Chi, or the National Honor Society in Psychology, Digamma, or the Canisius College Honor Society, and Alpha Sigma Nu, or the Honor Society of Jesuit Colleges. I was elected president of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honors Society, and Vice President of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society. Lastly, I had an internship at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as a internal communications intern.

5.) How do you think Canisius prepared you for the real world?

Canisius prepared me for the real world by granting me opportunities to either practice what I learned in the real world through internships or by doing group projects that mimicked real life. As I said before, I was an intern at Roswell Park where I worked in the Marketing Department to create posts, pages, and forms for the employee intranet and helped to plan and implement the Tree of Hope event. This was a really great experience that was made possible through the COM internship program at Canisius. The COM department also simulated real-life experiences in the classroom. Now I know that group projects seem like something to dread, but in my classes, it was fun and super helpful in preparing me for the after-graduation reality. In these group projects, I helped organize a health campaign for organ donation, managed a business’s social media page, and created a sample news broadcast for young adults for local news channel 2, WGRZ. All these experiences have made me confident to take what I learned in college and apply it to my job now and my future career.