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5 ways strategic communication majors create change

Calvin’s strategic communications major will make you stand out in any field, and your degree can work with your other interests. These five grads are using their degrees to be the Calvin difference.


  •   Author: Tiffany Kajiwara
  •   Published: October 2, 2019
  •   Author: Tiffany Kajiwara
  •   Published: October 2, 2019

Our strategic communication majors can pursue multiple interests that they use to improve their corner of the world. See how these Calvin grads work with what they love.

Boost learning

Holly DeJong became assistant director of PBS’s Station Products & Innovation department. Holly's team provides resources for local stations and helps stations expand their online presence.

“I gravitated to PBS because they reflect lifelong learning and curious wonderment,” she explained. “I talked to Professor Carl Plantinga about how cool it would be to work at PBS. He connected me with a current employee and former student of his. She was my advocate, which speaks volumes about how caring the Calvin network is.”

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Fight for justice

Battling violence and corruption, Katie Ulrich is a research and communications fellow for the Association for a More Just Society. Based in Honduras, Katie does research and communication work for the organization’s directors.

Katie uses both her strategic communications and international development majors. In fact, Katie’s communication degree was her pathway into development.

“My communication skills are what I bring to the table,” she shared. “I am grateful that I get to utilize both of my majors practically.”

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Set an example

Tanesha Jordan serves as a group leader for TEAM 21, an after-school program in Michigan. Whether she’s helping with homework or playing, Tanesha is a mentor to her students.

At Calvin, she majored in strategic communication with a sociology minor. The combination helps her “understand people on an interpersonal level and understand their background with a new depth.”

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Enter new fields

Kyle Lim's interest in race relations started at Calvin. He continued his studies with a master’s in critical studies of race at the University of California, Berkeley. He started as a project manager at the Urban League of West Michigan, an organization empowering minorities. Now, he’s the director of policy and research.

Kyle had one of his earliest professional experiences at the Baxter Community Center, where he had an internship.

“I was living in the Baxter neighborhood at the time and had begun to structure my studies around questions of race,” he recalled. “I was more fully immersed in a predominantly black neighborhood and that gave context to my learning.”

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Work with the United Nations

Benedicta Arthur’s passion for justice started when she was a child. Watching her mother work in the Ghanaian government, she saw “the unequal playing field of disadvantaged women and children.”

Even though she discovered her passion early on, she didn’t always pursue this kind of career.

“I put this path on the back burner and did not think much of it until I rediscovered it in the Calvin class ‘Communication and Gender,’” Benedicta reflected.

Now, her passion’s taken her to the U.N.’s Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, where she’s a governance and membership intern. Living in Switzerland, she improves global hygiene and cleanliness.

Benedicta advises students to “follow up your ideas with action. There are many resources here at Calvin to help you navigate, but you have to take the first steps.”

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  •   Author: Tiffany Kajiwara
  •   Published: October 2, 2019

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