BY Mackenzie MacNeal (’18)
Digital Media major Jessica Bonacci keeps herself quite busy in the Communication Arts Department, but still took the time to tell us all about her experience with it since starting at Marywood.
Mackenzie: What activities are you involved with at Marywood?
Jessica: Everything! Okay, but seriously, I try to keep myself very involved in the Comm Arts Department. I am News Editor for The Wood Word, Program Director for 91.7 VMFM, Technical Director for the TV-Marywood news broadcast and a member of the package team for TV-Marywood. This semester, I also had the opportunity to be a producer on a few TV-Marywood packages, which was really exciting. Outside of the department, I’m a member of the campus a cappella group, the Nomadic Chromatics.
Mackenzie: What led you to pursue a degree in this field?
Jessica: In high school, I fell in love with this field. I took a broadcasting class in my junior year and had already been writing for the school newspaper. By my senior year, I was editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and was also doing a Public Relations internship through the school. I loved the connections that I was able to make by communicating with so many people. I also owe a lot to my teachers in high school for encouraging me to keep exploring the field.
Mackenzie: How has communication changed in the last decade?
Jessica: We rely so much on social media to share information, and it’s amazing what we can learn from that, but there is not as much personal interaction between people. In the Communication field, it is very important to focus on how we reach people through social media because it is such a large platform. Sometimes it can be challenging to think of what we can do to make stories and posts appealing on social media, but that challenge has really brought a new level of creativity to the table. There is a need to focus more on multimedia journalism.
Mackenzie: Why is it important to study Communication?
Jessica: Communication is really important to society. It has so many purposes. News sources provide us with information about the world around us, and it is so valuable to be aware of what’s going on. Radio and music, television, newspaper columns and other forms of entertainment are a break from everyday life. There are so many roles the content produced in this field can have. When we study Communication, we’re learning to produce that content and get our messages out to our audiences.
Mackenzie: What is your ideal career?
Jessica: I would love to work as a director or producer in a news organization. I would also love to have my own production company one day. The opportunities are endless, and right now, I am still deciding what’s right for me. I know anything I do in this field will not feel like a job, though, because I love all of it.
Mackenzie: How will Marywood help you obtain this job?
Jessica: The hands-on experience that I am able to have in this field because of the Communication Arts Department at Marywood has helped me prepare for what I want to do. I’ve learned so much already from being in the studio, writing and editing newspaper articles and working at the radio station, that I know I will be prepared to jump right in when certain opportunities present themselves.
Mackenzie: What has been the most influential class or extracurricular activity you have been involved with at Marywood?
Jessica: Honestly, I think I’ve been influenced by everything that I do at Marywood. In the Communication Arts Department, all of the different media outlets I am involved with challenge me to think outside of the box and find new and exciting ways to communicate with people. My classes have offered me an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective, and I find myself using what I learn in class outside of school.
Mackenzie: What is the best feature of the Communication Arts Department at Marywood?
Jessica: Our Television studio is amazing. I remember walking in there for the first time and just looking around in awe of the equipment. I still feel that way every time I’m sitting at the TriCaster getting ready to direct. Even more amazing, though, is our faculty. The Communication Arts faculty is so willing to share their experiences and their knowledge with students as well as work directly with students to help them reach their goals. They create this really collaborative environment that is so welcoming.
Mackenzie: Would you rather be starring in a production, directing a production, or promoting a production?
Jessica: Definitely directing a production! There’s something amazing in being able to piece together all of the different elements of a production to create something entirely new.
Mackenzie MacNeal is a junior Advertisement/Public Relations major. In her free time, she enjoys writing, tutoring, and participating in Marywood’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter.