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Alumni

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"Everything I learned, I learned here."

In the last decade, hundreds of students took part in the journalism program. Responsible for a number of roles and responsibilities, students gained the knowledge, skills and experience needed to be successful as journalists, publicists and mass communication professionals in today's media landscape.

Our program has successfully equipped students to transfer to top colleges and universities across the country and pursue careers is media, PR and related fields.  Former students look back on their time in journalism fondly, crediting our program with providing them the skills to be successful both educationally and professionally.  Below are just a few of the things journalism alumni had to say about their experience in our program:

"Everything I learned, I learned here."
Frank Cardenas
Media Professional
Humboldt State University
 
"To this day, when the conversation of formative years and inspiring individuals comes up I always include my time and professors at Mt. SAC. The Journalism program, and specifically the Mountaineer, where I was a writer and eventually an editor, gave me the kinds of reporting, writing, and deadline-night experiences that have been directly applicable in the real world. Toni is the kind of professor who devotes her life to the betterment of her students – on an educational and personal level – and that extra sense of care makes the Journalism program not just an academic experience, but a personal learning, growing, and developing one. There is so much I learned from Toni’s dedication to the craft, and I would easily rank her as one of my best professors in all my schooling. I did not simply attend Mt. SAC and take journalism classes, I had a rich experience cultivated by caring instructors, motivated peers, and a mutual passion for sharing important news through the award-winning newspaper."
Kiran Alvi
Assistant Producer for UpFront on Al Jazeera English
University of Southern California 
Columbia University
 
"Some of my best and most fun exposure to mass communication came from Toni's program. Thanks to her style, trust, guidance, and professionalism I fell in love with it."
Aldo Padilla
Experience Designer at R/GA New York
California State University, Fullerton
VCU Brandcenter
 
"Being part of the Journalism Program at Mt. SAC was one of the most inspiring and exciting experiences for me as an undergraduate student. During my time with the program, I improved my newswriting skills, developed an intuition for captivating story ideas and learned what it takes to manage a publication. The Journalism Program gave me the opportunity to collaborate with brilliant people who taught me about writing, design, photography and PR. I learned valuable lessons from their work and dedication: challenge the status quo, ask questions (and never leave without an answer!), be passionate about all you do and more importantly—fearlessly share your creativity with the world." 
Camilla Hernandez
California State University, Fullerton
University of La Verne
 
"I have nothing but fond memories of my time in the Mt. SAC Journalism program. Beyond the lifelong friendships it created, the newsroom became a place where students discussed world, local, and campus issues. These conversations lead to a greater understanding of our neighbors and the world around us. The program, just as the late UC President Clark Kerr said to describe the role of higher education, does not make ideas safe for students, but instead makes students safe for ideas." 
Gabriel Mendoza
California State University, Fullerton
 
 "The Mt. SAC journalism program affected me in many ways. First of all, without the knowledge of the Journalism Department's PR team then I would not have known about my career early on in my life. After joining the PR team I was intrigued to learn more about this newfound career. There, I took an Intro to PR Journalism course that Mt. SAC offered and truly enjoyed the hands on practical approach in promoting a brand/company. When I got accepted to USC, we had to create similar press kits within the program so I had that knowledge in my back pocket, which was incredibly advantageous. Additionally, I used the project that I created in Mt. SAC's PR class during interviews for internships and put the PR Team on my resume, which completely catapulted my chances of landing positions amongst other factors. It changed my life because I work in a profession I absolutely love because Mt. SAC's Journalism Department offered the resources and classes necessary to give someone like me a chance to find their true passion. I am forever grateful." 
Angelica Juarez
Account Executive at Click Communications
University of Southern California
 
"The journalism program at Mt. SAC has opened doors I never imagined were there for me. The experience, when you fully devote yourself to it, is an exhilarating roller coaster that twists and turns, but leaves you a much stronger and well-equipped individual." 
Carmichael Cruz
Digital Media Manager at CW6
University of California, San Diego
 
"The Mt. SAC journalism program paved the way for my educational and career endeavors. At the time, I was pursuing a career in journalism but was introduced to the world of PR, thanks to Toni. Being a staff writer and exploring my new found love for PR challenged me in so many positive ways. I learned to approach people when investigating crime on campus, I was able to learn how to multitask and meet deadlines, something so vital in the PR world, and I met a group of people that till this day continue to amaze me on how dedicated they are to helping one another. Toni is a huge significant factor in the success of the program because she believes in her students and her genuine approach to her students, impacts in ways not many teachers can do. She has a true gift and I wouldn't be where I'm at without her really knowing me and pointing me in the right direction. Now that I've left my PR career to pursue teaching, I hope to impact students the way she has. I hope to mirror her same accomplishments."
 Nicole Elias
University of California, San Diego
University of Southern California
 
"Being a part of Toni's team has given me the tools to think critically, be twenty steps ahead of everyone and not be afraid of things that may intimidate me because once I face the challenge, I know I possess the tools to even surprise myself. Plus, working in a male-dominated major has taught me how to calmly handle myself and make my ideas shine among the noise. Toni taught me all of that. I owe everything to her."
Lianna Sapien
Marketing & Research Coordinator at InterPress Commercial Realty
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
 
"Being a part of the Mt. SAC Journalism Program gave me the direction I needed in my life to pursue writing and photography. Working on the newspaper gave me structure and taught me the skills I continue use today in my career."
Peter Pham
Staff Producer at Foodbeast
California State University, Fullerton
 
"The Mt. SAC Journalism program helped me realize I loved writing, and that I wanted to pursue a career with a strong focus on stringing words together to form stories and impactful messages. As copy editor of the magazine and newspaper at Mt. SAC, I was able to truly hone my ability to use AP Style and read content as a whole – instead of just looking for grammatical errors. Although I didn’t pursue a career in journalism, my time in the program helped me step into public relations. From day one of journalism class to my PR internship to being an account executive at a high-tech PR agency today, I am grateful for how I grew at Mt. SAC with a strong foundation to build on." 
Justine Houston-Brown
Account Executive at Lages & Associates
California State Univsersity, Fullerton
 
"Under the guidance of Toni Albertson, I was able to not only learn the basics of what it takes to work in the field, but also experience with it is like to collaborate as a team in the newsroom. It set the framework of how I approach journalism and I still use several of the skills, I learned in that program."
 Justin Enriquez
The Daily Mail
California State University, Fullerton
 
"The journalism program gave me a solid foundation to fulfill my dream career, which is in the Public Relations field. In addition, Toni Albertson was an amazing mentor who gave me the support and courage I needed, we still keep in touch till this day to discuss my line of work and any obstacles I encounter."
-Mikaela Zhao
VIP Relations at Georgio Armani
University of Southern California
 
"My focus at Mt. SAC was news-editorial and not only did I have the opportunity to contribute to both The Mountaineer newspaper and Substance magazine, I also held editor positions for both publications including Editor-in-Chief of Substance. While pursuing a life in broadcast was my ultimate goal, working in print media definitely had its benefits. I learned how to give and take constructive criticism which in turn helped me develop my writing skills and news judgment. I also learned how to be an effective leader while working with others towards the production of award-winning publications. I owe a large part my career to the guidance of Toni Albertson and my peers at Mt. SAC. I was always wary of sharing my writing and myself with strangers and now I make a living broadcasting local, world and entertainment news six hours a day, five days a week, to the wonderful community that is Humboldt County."
 Sabina Gallier
Radio host at KSLG-FM 93.1/94.5
Humboldt State University 
 
"When I entered the program at Mt. SAC my focus was television reporting. The class I took opened my eyes to the different writing skills I needed not just for television, but for online writing. I was pushed to be a stronger writer and that still helps me today in my daily reporting." 
Andrew Reed
Multimedia reporter for Idaho Education News
California State University, Fullerton
 
"Not only did the journalism program further refine my writing ability, it enabled me to understand how a journalist thinks. Now being on the other side of the fence as a public relations professional, I am able to better tailor pitches and communicate with reporters."
Jordan Takeyama
Senior Public Relations Specialist at Experian
California State University, Fullerton
 
"Every day at work I get to report the news, hold the powers that be accountable for their actions and be a source of information to a community. Such an opportunity wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for all those tireless nights putting the Mountaineer together with extremely talented individuals."
Shawn Raymundo
Government Accountability Reporter for Pacific Daily News in Guam
Arizona State University
 
"Being part of the Mt. SAC journalism program, more than anything, made me feel belong; it connected me to the school community in a way no other class could. I made friends that last to this day."
 Yujin Chun
Duke University 
Cornell Law School
 
"The journalism program at Mt. SAC was an amazing experience! I was concurrently involved in Associated Students. Being involved in both helped me prioritize deadlines, making connections with politics and the media, and event planning. The journalism program isn’t only for careers in journalism or news writing: I joined with to one day be a press secretary. Now in my career in public policy, I use the transferrable skills such as interviewing, researching, remaining unbiased when presenting facts and most importantly interpersonal communication and being able to relate to diverse groups of people."
Alfredo Camacho
Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Project Coordinator at Day One
Loyola Marymount University