Audrey Allison

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’82 Speech Communications | Vice President, The Boeing Company | Arlington, VA
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Audrey Allison

Liberal Arts Major: Speech Communications

Liberal Arts Minor: English

Other Minor: Journalism

Hometown: West Lawn, PA

Current Location: Galesville, MD

What enrichment activities did you participate in as a student?

I studied in Manchester, UK through a mass media studies program for PSU students in 1982. I interned at WTVE-TV, Channel 51 in Reading, PA in conjunction with broadcasting courses. I also found related employment on campus at WPSX-TV, Channel 3, and at Instructional Television Services.

What was your first job after graduating from Penn State?

I went on to law school after Penn State. I initially did part-time work as an extern to the Office of General Counsel and Congressional Liaison to the United States Information Agency (now part of the State Department) and part-time work at a small communications law boutique in Washington, Brinig & Bernstein. My first real full-time employement was with the Federal Communications Commission, Mass Media Bureau, Audio Services Division in Washington, D.C. as an Attorney-Advisor — just what I was aiming for!

What was your favorite class?

It is a toss up. Perhaps the most impactful was was a course by Department Chair Richard Barton on Comparative Broadcast Systems. That course directly led me to my career today. I still have one of our texts from that class. I was also intrigued by an interdisciplinary course I had on Science, Technology and Society that was taught by a dean. Unfortunately, I no longer recall his name, but I still have the books and still think about what I learned in that course. Also of great influence to me and decisive to my career was a course I had on Journalism and the Law. The professor's advice directly led me to apply to Law School (and I still have one of the texts from that course).

How did your liberal arts education and skills prepare you for life after graduation?

I was exposed to ideas and issues that led directly to the wonderful career that I have today, which includes serving as adjunct faculty at a university. It also served to hone my communications, reasoning, and writing skills that are essential to my work. Finally, as a Liberal Arts major at such a large university I relished being able to sample so many disciplines — from cultural geography to biological anthropology to astronomy. This served to accelerate my natural curiosity and led to an appetite for continuous learning.

What networking advice would you share with current students?

Meeting with professors who sparked my interest led me to other opportunities for study which led me to my ultimate career. Speaking with people in the field and attending lectures and social events have also opened up new opportunities.

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