Student Stories

Breanna Blair ’19
ComArts major, Psychology minor

Breanna chose this combination because she likes people and is interested in the internal and external analysis of them. She has also taken several Economics classes because of her interest in business. During her time here at Allegheny she has been the Vice President of Lambda Pi Eta, the Communications National Honors Society and was the Office Assistant and House manager for a semester. She also was the Body Image 3D coordinator, Membership Development Chair and Vice President of Membership for Delta Delta Delta on campus.

Her senior composition was on “The Politics of Sizing: An Ideological Analysis of Marketized Body Positivity”. It focused on companies that had body positive campaigns or claimed to be a body positive organization, then she compared these campaigns to the sizing of clothes that they offered and debunked their claims if they did not match their claims.After she graduates, Bree wants to either work in the marketing or event planning businesses for a company that is body positive or a non-profit that supports an issue that.

Emily Evans ‘19
Communication Arts major, double minor in Journalism and Dance and Movement Studies

Emily chose this combination is because she grew up loving photography/videography, as well as dance, and she wanted to study something that she enjoyed and was passionate about – they were things she just couldn’t imagine her life without. In the Communication Arts department, Emily was the Secretary/Historian of the Lambda Pi Eta honor society and at her first few years here she was a part of the Allegheny Film and Television club.

The title of her comp is “Julia” and it was a semi-animated biographical documentary film about her mother and her life, showing that despite all the hardships she went through, she was still determined to give Emily the best life she could. Emily said, “Now that my education is coming to a close, it is her turn to be in the spotlight and tell her story.” It was screened at the end of the semester in the Vukovich.

Outside of the Communications department, Emily was a Bonnor Scholar and Global Citizen Scholar. She also was very active in the dance community on campus, serving as a choreographer and the Administrative Secretary for the Orchesis Dance Company, as well as the Treasurer for the Jazz Dance Ensemble (JaDE). She also served as a photographer/videographer for The Campus newspaper and has spent the past three years as a Ballroom TA.  After graduating, Emily will be working for the Glacier National Park Conservancy in Montana, for their sales team. She hopes  to eventually transition to their communications team to help further the work of environmental nonprofits. 

Alex Hasapis ’19
Political Science major, ComArts minor

Alex chose this combination because they both involve the idea of the ability to help people through communication. In the Communications department, Alex was the Treasurer of Lambda Pi Eta, he also participated in the Mediaville Listening Project and some community based media.

His comp investigates whether the racial demographics of a state legislature contributes to restrictive voter laws in the United States. Outside of the Communication Arts department, Alex has been involved with many things, including being the Brother of Hermes for Alpha Chi Omega and working in the Office of Admissions as a Gator Guide. He also studied abroad at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. Alex was the previous junior science and international editor of The Campus as well as serving on the Finance and Facilities Committee for the College Committees Council. After Alex is done with school he hopes to work in Public Policy and possible start in the United States Senate.

Maria Graziano ’19
ComArts and History double major

Maria’s reasoning for choosing this combination was because communication arts allows her to study current events happening today while history gives her the historical context on these issues. Together the interdisciplinary approach brings a nuanced perspective that you wouldn’t get otherwise. Inside the Communications department, Maria was a TA for Professor Emily Yochim’s 376 class and was a member of Lambda Pi Eta.

Her comp is titled, “A Flawed System: An Exploration of Welfare Rhetoric During the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, and its Relationship to Our Capitalist World”. It grapples with the racialization of welfare, specifically during the Reagan and Clinton administrations and the implications in today’s capitalist society.

Outside of the Communications department, Maria has been the 2018 Panhellenic President as well as the Marshal and Vice President of Organization for Kappa Kappa Gamma. She also was a speaking consultant in the Learning Commons. After graduation, Maria hopes to work in marketing or fundraising for a non-profit organization.

Rachael Ellis ’19
Theatre major, Psychology Minor

Rachael chose these combinations because “Theatre is the expression of human experiences and we must look into ourselves and our lived experiences to grow.” Also, these disciplines bridge the gap for equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the arts. In the Communications department, Rachael was the 2017 recipient of the Paul Henry and John V. Gilmore Prize. She has been the company props master since 2017 and the costume crafts-person since 2015. Rachael has also played an important role in the crew with productions such as, Urinetown, Romeo & Juliet, Luna Gale, Baby with the Bathwater and Love and Information.

Her comp is titled,”Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within Theatrical Management”. Rachael conducted hour-long interviews with five professional managers at various levels. She took an ethnographic approach to where the theatre industry in terms of accessibility.

Outside of the Communications department she also has been S.E.T’s production manager from 2017-2019 as well as being the House Manager from 2016-2017. She was the assistant stage manager for Orchesis’ 2016 production as well. Rachael has been apart of the Women’s Ensemble from 2015-2019 with Allegheny’s choirs. She has also had work experience with Pittsburgh Public Theater, Little Lake Theatre Company, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh New Works Festival, Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, and USITT. After graduation, Rachael wants to stay in the Pittsburgh area and work as a production or theatre manager.

Prizes & Awards

The Paul Henry and John V. Gilmore Prize

Established by Dr. John V. Gilmore, Class of 1930, in memory of his brother, Paul Henry Gilmore, to present an annual award to a student for outstanding contribution to Theatre Arts at Allegheny.
2019 Awarded to: Vevielee Estes ’21

The Philo-Franklin Prize

Established by the PhiloFranklin Literary Society, to award a student for outstanding achievement in the field of speech communication.
2019 Awarded to: Will Andres ’19

The Wakefield Oration Prize

Established through a bequest of James A. Wakefield in honor of Reverend Samuel Wakefield, D.D., is awarded annually to a student demonstrating outstanding achievement in the field of mass communications.
2019 Awarded to: Emily Evans ’19 and Jazmen Moore ’19

Communication Arts Dance Award

Awarded in recognition of excellence in studio dance composition.
2019 Awarded to: Emily Evans ’19

The Outstanding Junior Major Prize

For Communication Arts, is awarded for exceptional academic achievement, performance in the seminar, and contribution to the general life of the department.
2019 Awarded to: Breanna Garcia ’20 and Emily Hayhurst ’20

The Outstanding Junior Major Prize

For Theatre, is awarded for exceptional academic achievement, performance in the seminar, and contribution to the general life of the department.
2019 Awarded to: Diane Knox ’20

The Robert C. Wilson Prize in Drama

Awarded to a senior who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the field of dramatics and who intends to pursue graduate study in drama.
2019 Awarded to: Claire Wilson ’19