Calli PriceSeptember 7, 2021
Calli was born and raised in Kansas City, MO. After graduating from Park Hill High School, she furthered her education at Truman State University. Since graduating from Truman, she has worked in a few different roles for companies in the Kansas City Metro area. Calli is now a Project Manager at ELLKAY in Elmwood Park, NJ, close to where she now lives. In her free time, Calli is a fan of reading, creative writing, playing piano, running, and traveling with her boyfriend Hans and her pet dog, Lily.
What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?
I graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a B.S. in Justice Systems. I also minored in English.
What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?
Throughout my college career, I participated in student media, including The Index, News 36 (now KTRM Studios), and Detours. I was also a part of the Ad/PR Club, the National Communication Association Student Club (NCASC), the Central States Communication Association (CSCA), the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and the Communication Studies Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta.
Outside of the Communication Department, I was involved with several dance clubs, as well as the American Criminal Justice Association Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the Criminal Justice Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma. I also published two book reviews in Security Journal and International Journal of Cyber Criminology.
Did you go to grad school? If so, where? Was it immediately after you left Truman, or did you wait? Why?
I did not go to grad school. It was something I did consider, but I ultimately wanted to jump right into the workforce and gain experience outside of a school setting.
What was your first job after graduation?
My first job after graduating was at a newspaper. I worked for the Chillicothe (MO) Constitution-Tribune as a News Reporter. Because it was a smaller town, there were only 3 other news reporters on the team. Between the four of us, we each designed the layout for each daily newspaper, we took our own photos and videos, and we also managed our online content for the newspaper website and our social media pages. It was quite a bit of work, both individually and as a team, and I gained valuable experience from that job.
What work do you do/What are you doing now?
My career has changed a lot since starting my first job. I first worked as a news reporter, then moved to roles such as Client Relations Manager, Account Representative, and Client Relations Coordinator. My current role is as a Project Manager with ELLKAY, which is a healthcare connectivity company that builds interoperability between hospitals, health systems, laboratories, and other healthcare organizations.
How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?
My education from Truman has helped me tremendously throughout my career. I honed my skills in creative writing, journalistic writing, and professional communication. All of the professors I had the pleasure of working with were easily available for students and offered plenty of insight and advice to those who sought it.
Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?
The most difficult class I remember taking was a special topics course about political communication called COMM 458: Politics in the Media. It was a prerequisite for the chance to travel to the Iowa Caucuses in 2012 and report on the different presidential candidates’ campaign stops as well as the actual caucuses. The course material was extremely challenging and I was not very educated in politics at the time.
I wouldn’t say I disliked the class, but I definitely felt out of my comfort zone and was frustrated with my lack of understanding. I look back on that class and I am grateful for the challenge. It gave me an opportunity to see first-hand how campaign stops work during an election year, and it encouraged me to learn more about political communication in later years.
What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?
Naming my greatest accomplishment at Truman is really hard. I look back at my years at Truman and I am honestly thankful for everything I experienced there. If I had to pick one accomplishment, it would be graduating with honors. That is a cliché answer, I know – but I was the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college with two degrees and with honors. The value of my education and the hard work I did to achieve it is something I will always cherish.
Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?
Truman is a great place for students to study. The number of resources available to students is incredible. The library has so many great books and study rooms to cater to any need, from group projects to individual study. Barnett Hall (home of the Communication Department) also has great resources, with access to computers and other technology that help in the field of communication specifically.
The student-to-teacher ratio is also fantastic. I loved the fact that my teachers and professors were able to remember me by name, and that I was able to build a personal and professional relationships with them. I felt comfortable working with them, and they made sure to have plenty of office hours available to meet with any student wanting to discuss projects, class assignments, or other ideas. They were invested in my future and my successes just as much as I was.
What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?
Any communication student should sign up for extra-curricular opportunities in the department. There are opportunities for all concentrations – journalism, advertising, public relations, political/business communication, linguistics, etc. I would especially advise for students who have a specific concentration to try an extra-curricular that is outside of their focus. I knew that my main focus was on journalism, but joining the Advertising & Public Relations Club and taking a class about political communication helped to broaden my knowledge and interests.
What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?
My advice would be to reach out to companies that offer project management roles. Typically, project management roles are not entry-level, so asking about the specific steps/prerequisites for the role is ideal. Some companies may even offer summer internships, which is a great opportunity to take advantage of.
What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?
I truly miss Kirksville and the Truman campus. Kirksville is a small-knit community, and it was very easy to make friends in that environment. The campus offered a wide variety of free or low-cost activities to attend, including sporting events, movie showings, art festivals, dance shows, and other cultural/social events. The opportunities were endless, and that is something I wish I had appreciated more during my time at Truman.
What tag line would you create for the COMM department at Truman?
“Communication – Building the foundation for a successful future.”
If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?
I would probably teach an introductory course regarding the different ways in which a Communication degree can be useful, focusing on the ways it is utilized throughout different industries. I would call it “COMM 101: Communication on a Universal Level.” I think it is important for students to know that regardless of the focus, a Communication degree is valuable in many types of work settings. As a student, I was so focused on becoming a journalist that I didn’t think of how important my degree would become in other career fields.
What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?
The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected all areas of life, including the ways in which students can study and learn. While there has definitely been a negative impact, I encourage you to continue to understand the importance of furthering education, even if it may not look quite how you expect. The value of education does not decrease throughout the course of a life, and opportunities to learn should be welcomed whenever they come around.
If you would like to learn more of Calli’s story, you can follow her on LinkedIn.