Dan Trucil, Communications Manager, American Geriatrics Society
“Not a dream, but a mighty reality.” That’s how W.E.B. DuBois described higher education, and I can’t think of a more fitting testament to my graduate experience studying Communication at Villanova University.
Among a close-knit community of peers and professors, I was challenged to think broadly, critically, and introspectively about how our discipline shapes everything—from individual identity to the policies and practices that literally form our society. I entered the program with an interest in mass media and entertainment, but I was able to expand my interests (and my skills) by working with faculty versed in health communication, public relations, media effects, journalism, and a number of other specialties at the forefront of Communication today.
Further still, I was challenged by that same community of peers and professors to take my education beyond the classroom. I travelled the country presenting research on diversity in the digital domain—research I helped shape as a graduate assistant with the University’s Waterhouse Family Institute. I served as a student consultant helping organizations in the Philadelphia area tackle serious issues, from diversity to fundraising and development. I interned for one of the world’s largest marketing consultancies, learning how to tackle health communications challenges that are now at the forefront of medicine in the United States.
I earned a full-time job before I even earned my degree—but, more importantly, I earned an education that is as much a privilege as it is a responsibility. Villanova instilled in me a firm belief that we can—and must—communicate fairly, compassionately, and with a keen sense of conviction for those who may still be struggling to find a voice of their own. In that spirit, I now work for a national medical society that champions the needs, health, and care of older adults—some of our country’s most disenfranchised individuals. It’s rewarding work—but it’s also a testament to what I learned (and what I learned to “do”) as a Villanova student. A Villanova education wasn’t just a dream—it was a mighty reality.