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Variety Is the Spice of the Liberal Arts

Michael Hershey
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts

Kelly Blanco at Military Bowl

Junior Kelly Blanco, C’24, has had a variety of experiences, thanks to her education in communication. From service work in nonprofit organizations to capturing the sights and scenes of the Military Bowl, she is always ready for the next big thing.

blanco-military-bowl-2-in-text.jpgBlanco, a political science and communications double major, had the privilege of working for the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue (FORIA) in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2022. The goal of this organization is to support small businesses and host events that enrich the community. Working on the communications team as an outreach intern, every day she contacted businesses along Rhode Island Avenue to understand what assistance the businesses and the wider neighborhood needed.

In this role, Blanco had the chance to use many of the skills she picked up in the classroom. “I managed the social media platforms, made business cards, fliers…in my Media Writing Class with Dr. Kennedy, I wrote press releases and learned to design stories to keep my audience engaged.” By effectively advertising and communicating through cleverly designed promotional materials, Blanco shared her expertise with FORIA.

One of her first assignments was to comb the neighborhoods along Rhode Island Avenue and create a directory of all the businesses, retrieving contact information for them, and inquiring about what FORIA could do to support their companies. Kelly shared that she “enjoyed connecting with the many businesses, and we would support them as much as we could in visiting them on our lunch break.” Her kindness paid off: after she had complied the directory, she began writing a bi-weekly newsletter of events happening around the neighborhood for local businesses, and they were always excited to talk with her whenever she stopped by to ask about their news.

This past December, she went on to help with the Military Bowl in Annapolis between the University of Central Florida and Duke University. This opportunity was perfect for Blanco, who has also helped host Mount Media Day for the Athletic Department and previously wrote for The Mountain Echo. Sheldon Shealer, a communication lecturer, recommended Blanco for this role because of her enthusiasm for helping with the event. “Even though she was on break, she eagerly wanted to gain the experience of being part of a major college sports event,” Shealer stated. She captured images throughout the day, from the tailgating, the fans, the sidelines, and finally to Duke hoisting the trophy.

To find new, communications-related opportunities, Blanco noted that she “always asks my employer what I should try next whenever a job is ending.” She follows her passions and has succeeded in myriad roles.

Blanco’s drive, ambition and variety of communications experiences—all before her graduation—are proof that a Mount liberal arts degree is a valuable asset. To learn more about the communication program, please visit

Michael Hershey
Graduate Assistant, College of Liberal Arts