Three students, each from a different part of the globe, had nothing in common until they wound up in PSU’s Department of Communication.

Now, they share a tie to Pittsburg, and professional success they attribute to the hands-on experiences they had here.

Ramina Wade, a Russian student who came here by way of South America, has gone from working on local radio and film projects in Pittsburg to landing a job with an international television network.

Dennis Lin

Dennis Lin

Dennis Lin of Taiwan went from taking photos on campus to taking photos of major sporting events.

And Marcelo Salazar went from learning broadcasting with PSU CAPS TV to producing news for a major network in his native country of Equador.

It was a red hat emblazoned with the PSU logo that sealed the deal for Wade, then living with her family in Paraguay, to pack up and move to the U.S. to attend college.

“We had heard about the program PSU had,” she said. “We went to a meeting to learn more, and then-President (Tom) Bryant was giving out hats.”

Wade said it was what she got to do while on campus that propelled her to a career that has included the Discovery Channel, TLC, Discovery Science, and now the FOX network group in Madrid, Spain, which includes FOX, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.

“To all current and future Gorillas I would like to say, ‘If you work hard, you can achieve anything you dream of.”

“As a student, I got to make advertisements for the radio, filmed different projects, and it was so thrilling for me that I couldn’t stop learning,” she said. “My masters project was my own film that was actually broadcast on TV.”

Wade earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication, with an emphasis in advertising, followed by her masters.

“Since graduating I never had a problem with finding a job,” Wade said. “PSU has given me an opportunity to learn different skills that are in demand in the market.”

“To all current and future Gorillas I would like to say, ‘If you work hard, you can achieve anything you dream of’.”

Salazar, meanwhile, has been dreaming of being the first person from Equador to win an Emmy. Now a national news producer, he returned to campus this fall to reconnect with his teacher, Troy Comeau.

“Everything I did in school was a great help. It was hands-on,” he said, “We had a real studio, real camera, and real editing. It wasn’t theoretical. We learned by doing.”

Those experiences included working as a production assistant at CAPS TV, and a noon and 5 p.m. producer for KOAM TV, while still a student.

He landed a job with a TV production company, then returned to Equador to begin a career with a major television network. He currently produces a show based on tourism to promote his native country.

Lin, too, made it a point to spend time on campus when he returned to the U.S. for a visit this fall.

He said the experience he gained as an international student prepared him for his current career as a photojournalist and helped him learn American culture.

Lin, who came to PSU as an exchange student from Taiwan, went on to land a job as a sports journalist for one of the biggest internet-based media outlets in Taiwan. A semester-long project for his photojournalism class was among the experiences that laid a foundation for his career today.

“I worked hard on telling the narrative story of the PSU Student Health Center,” said Lin. “I had to walk out of my comfort zone and break through the language barrier to finish it. It really meant a lot to me.”

No surprise to his instructors, then, when Lin requested a media pass to shoot photographs at a football game during his visit. “This is where it began,” he said.