What it's like to study Communications at Centenary


Jennifer Pace ’09

News reporter, WRNJ Radio, Hackettstown, N.J

Centenary College Communication major »

“If it weren’t for Professor Matthew Mendres’s instruction,” says Jennifer Pace ’09, who earned a B.A. in Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television from Centenary, “I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing right now. All of his assignments are samples of real-life work. I can match various responsibilities at my job [as a news reporter at WRNJ Radio in Hackettstown] to courses he taught. Professor Mendres’s experience in production is invaluable, and his assignments reflect his extensive knowledge of the field.”

Jennifer arrived at Centenary knowing what she wanted to pursue. “I looked at the classes I’d be taking as a Communication major, and they involved exactly what I wanted to be doing,” she explains. “I was looking for just the kind of hands-on experience that Centenary offered — I wanted to be working in a studio and learning to produce. The work my professors assigned was carefully constructed and conducive to the most effective learning experience.”

At Centenary, Jennifer was able to balance her challenging, but rewarding course load with an internship in the research and development department at Nickelodeon, owned by MTV Networks. “In the spring of my senior year, I spent two days a week at their office in Manhattan,” she says. “I participated in test screenings and evaluated pitches for new programming. I gained a thorough understanding of the enormous effort that goes into producing a show. It was the best internship experience I could have asked for!”

Jennifer is enthusiastic about her work at WRNJ. “My job is very interactive — I’m always out meeting people and learning new things,” she comments. “I love being live on air; it’s exciting and it’s something that most people don’t get to do. There’s a lot of pressure to perform well, but the responsibility is a rewarding one.” If you’re interested in a career like Jennifer’s, she encourages you to “visit Centenary and meet with the faculty and staff. This is a nurturing community. People here truly want to see you succeed.”


Coree Reuter ’08

Digital Web Writer
Chronicle of the Horse

Centenary College Communication major »

Coree Reuter ’08, a native of La Center, Wa., traveled nearly 3000 miles to attend Centenary’s reputed Equine Studies program. “I was a horse-crazy kid,” she explains, “and I had all the determination in the world to become a successful professional rider. Later, however, I realized it wasn’t what I really wanted.” After two years of study and much consideration, Coree elected to double-major in Journalism. “The equine industry is a tough one, and I felt I was better-suited to a supporting role within it,” she says. “I chose the Journalism major because I've always loved to write. Being a journalist allows you to experience so much of the world through your work and to tell other people’s stories—and there are so many great ones.”

Coree, who graduated from Centenary with degrees in both Print Journalism and Equine Studies, currently works as a digital web writer for The Chronicle of the Horse, a weekly magazine based in Middleburg, Va. “I first started working at the company as a college intern and transitioned to the magazine staff,” she explains. “My current job involves writing news and feature stories, developing online content and building the Web site, and traveling across the country to cover events in the industry.” Digital journalism, she adds, is her strong suit within the field.

“My Centenary professors were incredible resources. They brought real-world experience to their classes,” says Coree. “They were experts in their fields and knew the ins and outs of the industries I studied.” She sometimes runs into former instructors at horse shows: “We greet each other with hugs and smiles. The professors here serve as mentors and continue to help students after they’ve graduated. They’ve never stopped encouraging me to go for it.”

Coree’s time at Centenary was “one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Four years will go by quickly, so don't miss the great opportunities that are on campus.” Her advice to Journalism majors: “Get involved with activities, pursue internships, and do as much writing as you can.”

Andrew Tirpack ’10

Communication Graduate

Centenary College Communication major »

Andrew Tirpack ’10, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication in 2010, isn’t sure where his career will take him, but he’s sure of this: his time at Centenary provided him with excellent opportunities to hone his writing skills. “Even at a young age, I always enjoyed reading and writing more than anything,” he explains, “but at Centenary, my passion came into fruition. As a senior, I became editor of The Quill [the official monthly newspaper of the College] and realized I wanted to spend my life writing.”

Andrew, who transferred from Sussex County Community College, chose Centenary based on the Communication program’s strong reputation. “In the two years I spent at Centenary, I learned so much about myself – in large part due to writing for The Quill under the guidance of Professor Deborah Lev,” he says. “My course load was manageable, which allowed me to dedicate time to the newspaper. I also spent much of my free time writing for recreation.”

Andrew encourages aspiring writers at Centenary to “keep practicing! Write down everything – even if you think it’s not good.” He also advises students to read “anything you can get your hands on. Reading makes your writing stronger. Hit the library with the same reverence that a boxer hits the gym!”

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