Two trips to San Francisco affirm junior’s commitment to education


When I started at Marietta College in the fall of 2010, I knew I wanted to use my time in school to pursue exciting new experiences and opportunities. Along the way, my interests found me exploring the streets of San Francisco — twice.

A native of Washington, Pa., I started my undergraduate career as an English major. A passionate writer, I wanted to tailor my studies to further develop my skills. During my freshman year, I learned of the chance to take a California literature course that included a spring break trip to northern California.

When I heard about the trip, I just knew I had to go. I had never really been anywhere exciting or noteworthy before, and this was exactly the kind of experience I was looking for when I came to college.

In the spring of 2011, accompanied by five other students and two professors, I made the journey across the country to take a literary tour of the Golden State. When visiting San Francisco, the group explored Lombard Street, Coit Tower and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Though I enjoyed being an English major, I began to feel my life was losing direction during my sophomore year. To test another field of interest, I chose to take introductory courses in advertising and public relations that spring. Quickly, I became entranced by the public relations course, and I realized how my skills as a writer and communicator fit within the public relations profession.

Soon after, I decided to change my major to Advertising and Public Relations and to join Marietta’s new chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Because of my strong interest in PRSSA, I pursued the presidency of the organization and was elected to the position in March 2012. I then began to make plans to attend the PRSSA National Conference in October 2012, and the conference happened to be in San Francisco.

I couldn’t believe my luck when I heard that PRSSA would be holding its 2012 conference in San Francisco, and it felt as if destiny were bringing me there once again.”

While in San Francisco this October, I had the chance to attend a wealth of professional workshops and to network with students from PRSSA chapters across the country. As the president of a young chapter, it was important for me to learn how to develop and strengthen Marietta College’s PRSSA. I also had time to revisit some of my favorite sites from the first San Franciscan adventure. Notably, I was able to walk to Lombard Street and catch the view from Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf.

My first trip to San Francisco was life changing, and my second trip was life affirming. More than anything else, the experiences embody just how much of my time at Marietta College has allowed me to grow and change as a person — I will always be grateful for this.