Kelly Russell, 2013

Hometown: Northvale, NJ

“STAC gives you the tools you need to succeed." 

The only regret Kelly Russell (’13) has about attending STAC is that she was a student here for just one year. Kelly transferred at the start of her junior year because she was not getting “the real-world experience” at her previous school. When the prospective student tour arrived at STAC’s state-of-the-art television studio, Kelly decided “at that moment” she would be transferring to STAC.

As Kelly explains, she knew that she had found a school with a Communication Arts major that would “provide a 360˚ experience of television production that would help me gain skills and give me a leg up” when entering the job market. One of the most influential courses Kelly took was Prof. Prior’s “TV Production I” class, a hands-on course that takes place in a television studio so students learn all aspects of tv production, from soundboard to teleprompter. One short year later, Kelly graduated, equipped with a degree from STAC and a toolbox of skills from her Communication Arts professors, which led her to working the teleprompter at a local television studio.

Now, Kelly is the Social Media Manager for CNBC Primetime, a job she loves, and one she was readily qualified for because of STAC and all that a smaller school affords its students. “STAC provides a hands-on experience that bigger schools can’t,” Kelly explains. And the professors? “They focus on every student’s individual needs. There were so many days when I had one-on-one conversations with my professors, picking their brains, which helped me to make the most of my time at STAC. They are interested in you and in helping you.”

From the “real-world course selection,” as Kelly describes it, to “fostering teamwork,” all in an experiential learning environment that is “supportive and caring,” STAC is a school Kelly unhesitatingly recommends for anyone interested in attaining “interpersonal communication skills.”