Born into a family of teachers, Kimberly Ann Harrison always appreciated education. From the age of 10, she was sure she would follow in her parents’ footsteps and become a teacher. So it was not at all surprising that Kim decided to major in education when she enrolled at Mt. SAC in 1999 after graduating from Diamond Bar High School as an honor student and star athlete.
Although that was the career path Kimberly chose, she was also harboring a passion for storytelling, bolstered by a vivid imagination. Solely out of curiosity, she enrolled in Professor Tammy Trujillo’s “Intro to Broadcasting” course, which opened her mind to promising career opportunities that more closely aligned with her passion. Kimberly explored the field further and was soon convinced that this was her career calling. So she changed her major to broadcasting.
Under Professor Trujillo’s wing and mentorship, Kimberly cut her teeth as a news production assistant at Los Angeles radio station KFWB. Pursuing her passion for storytelling in the visual medium, she landed a prime opportunity to transition to television as an intern on the hit sitcom, Friends. Kimberly’s successes there resulted in a promotion to executive assistant. After Friends, she worked as an executive assistant on the popular spin-off comedy, Joey.
In 2005, Kimberly found herself on the path leading to the job of her dreams. A former colleague invited her to work on a then-new crime show, called Criminal Minds. After three seasons, Kimberly got the chance to write a freelance episode, which won great reviews. With the success of that episode, she was promoted to a full-time staff writer in 2010. Last year, her episode, “Hope,” received such high praise that it was submitted for an Emmy nomination for “Best Drama Writing.”
Kimberly, 33, credits her Mt. SAC professors—Dan Smith, Tammy Trujillo and Phil Maynard— for preparing her to succeed in a fiercely competitive industry.
“Without their time and guidance, I wouldn't be where I am today,” she says. “The opportunities and the hands-on experience that I received at Mt. SAC were priceless. It not only taught me so much, but gave me the confidence I needed, especially in a tough business like this.”
In 2001, Kimberly transferred from Mt. SAC to California State University, Northridge and then to UCLA, where she graduated last month from its Writers Program. She and her partner, Katherine, live in Burbank with their two sons, Julian (3) and Cameron (18 months). During down time, Kimberly mentors aspiring writers and helps raise funds for the Department of Children and Family Services as well as LGBT events. Her younger sister, Erika, is also a Mt. SAC alumna and works in the same industry.
For her accomplishments and the distinction she brings to the college, Mt. SAC proudly presents its “2013 Alumna of the Year Award” to Kimberly Ann Harrison.