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STJR Program Prepares Student for the Professional Life

Posted February 07, 2014

C.SumnersSTJR graduate Christina Sumners never had a journalism class before coming to Texas A&M for her master’s degree. She still remembers the classes that have helped her succeed in the workplace.

Christina, who majored in neuroscience at Pomona College, works as a communications specialist at Texas A&M’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.  Among other things, she writes and edits press releases and articles for the college’s magazine, CVM Today. “If it involves writing and it is coming from the college’s press office, I’m likely writing it,” Christina said with a laugh.

But being a communication specialist nowadays entails more than writing or editing. For example, Christina trains students for the college’s ambassador program and writes many of the college’s pamphlets for the public. Also, she finds people for Pet Talk, a short TV program on a local TV station where experts from the college brief the general public about animal well-being.

Christina’s experiences outside the classroom as a STJR student contributed to her preparation. She worked as an intern at Science Editor and as an intern for the award-winning science TV series NOVA.

Christina emphasized that the program also let her choose classes campus-wide that suited her strengths and interests. “I think the biggest strength of the program is just the diversity of the classes and how you can really shape it to whatever you want it to be,” Christina said.

Christina received her MS in science and technology journalism in 2011. As a guest speaker in STJR classes, she tells students about the life of a professional science communicator.

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