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Saint Leo 360 Podcast

Episode 32: Dr. Kenneth Embry on Saint Leo’s Bachelor of Communication

Posted by Greg Lindberg on March 30, 2021

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Download Episode 32 Transcript

Speaker 1:
Saint Leo 360. A 360 degree overview of the Saint Leo University community.

Montserrat Molina:
Hi everyone. My name is Montserrat Molina. I am a student here at Saint Leo University. I'm a senior now. I'm studying multimedia management, and I have been interning with the marketing and communications team at Saint Leo during the spring semester.

Montserrat Molina:
This is another episode of Saint Leo 360 Podcast. With me today is Professor Embry. Thank you for being here today.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Thanks, Montse.

Montserrat Molina:
Can you give us a little bit about or tell us a little bit about yourself and just a little bit of your background?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, sure. My name is Kenny Embry. I have a family. I'm married to my wife, Katie, and we have four children. We live in the Zephyrhills, Wesley Chapel area.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I have worked in academia, I'm guessing about 15 years now. I've been at Saint Leo for about seven of those years and it's been a real joy. I teach communication and it's been a fun ride, quite honestly.

Montserrat Molina:
So, you actually kind of touched on my first question, which was, what was your career before getting into teaching?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I did a lot of things. When I was an undergraduate, I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to be. I remember thinking, maybe something in business, but I wasn't exactly sure. Kind of a pipe dream for me, was going into television. Television looked exciting and interesting. So I thought, I don't know, maybe I should get onto the speech team.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I did that in high school, and then I did it again in college, and I enjoyed a level of success with that. I was actually pretty good at it.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
When it came to having to come up with a major, I thought, I'm just going to go with the major that goes along with the public speaking thing. So, I did.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
It was called communication. It was one of the best decisions I made, because I think one of the things that it did for me is it allowed me a lot of flexibility to do a lot of different things. So, it was nice.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I did that. As soon as I graduated from college, I worked for a small college down in Tampa and I was a student recruiter. Loved it, but it was a job where I was traveling a lot.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
My territory was everything west of the Mississippi. So, I got to see a lot of the United States, which was really cool. And then after about three years it was like, okay, the Holiday Inn in Boise looks a lot like the Holiday Inn in Tampa.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I mean, I just got to the point where the travel was fun, but it was also fairly isolating. So, I wanted to be able to sit down for a little while. So-

Montserrat Molina:
Awesome.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah, go ahead.

Montserrat Molina:
Sorry. Okay. So my next question, with that being said, how do you think your past experiences helped you as a communication professor?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, one of the jobs that I had before I became a professor was television. I worked in television for a little while. I think that gave me an insight into what was going on in media.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
One of the things that I noticed was our overall viewership was going down and this thing called the internet was kind of taking off. So, I started putting two and two together and realized a lot of their audience... we were losing a lot of our audience and it wasn't because we weren't putting on good programming. It was because people just got excited about the internet and I did too.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I mean, that's one of the things that I think that past experience really helped me kind of form what I was interested in. Not coincidentally, it happened to fit very nicely into communication.

Montserrat Molina:
Well, I'm really glad that this is where you ended up, because I know, personally, you've been one of the best professors I've ever had. So, I'm glad that this is where you ended up.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, thank you.

Montserrat Molina:
And with that being said, how did you actually come to teach here at Saint Leo?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I was working at a smaller college, called Florida College, down in Temple Terrace. I was at a conference and met some people who worked at Saint Leo. It just seemed like a really cool... They told me that they had an opening. It sounded like a really cool opportunity. So, I thought, why not just go ahead and put my hat in the ring there?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I was the chair of my department at Florida College, but I thought, yeah, I'll go ahead and try this thing at Saint Leo and I'm glad I did. It's paid off for me in many, many ways.

Montserrat Molina:
That's awesome. That's great. What is something you would tell your past self, knowing that you ended up being a professor here?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, I think one of the things that I would tell my past self is, don't worry so much about the destination. Just go ahead and enjoy the journey. Because the fact is, I didn't know what the... I knew what the next step always looked like because I was always planning for the next step, but I didn't know what two steps looked like. So, I'm glad I only focused on the next step.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I guess if I was talking to my younger self, I would say, "Yeah, just focus on the next step. That's all you really need to worry about."

Montserrat Molina:
Right. That's a very wise thing to say, especially for someone like me, being a senior and trying to figure out what it is that my next step is. So, I definitely agree with you.

Montserrat Molina:
It's good to have both short-term and long-term goals, but I think for someone, especially like me, it's good to focus on short term because that's really what we can control, in a way.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. That's right.

Montserrat Molina:
Awesome. So, what would you say to sell a student who's thinking about going into the bachelor of communication program?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Communication is a discipline that looks at relationships. The higher up you go into any field, I don't care if you're going into engineering or accounting or the most technical related field, the higher up you go within that organization, the more communication is important, because one of the things, you become the best car salesman in the world. All of a sudden, the place where you work is saying, "Okay, look. We need you to teach other people how to sell cars."

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, now that's not so much a car sales position, as a car manager position. Now you have to learn how to work with people. You have to convince people to do stuff. That's a communication problem. That's not a car sales problem anymore. So does that make sense?

Montserrat Molina:
Totally. Yeah. I mean, I think it's something also you see with experience, just being able to communicate with your classmates, being able to communicate with your professors. I think in every aspect of life, it comes to play and I think it's really important for you to have effective communication, not only communication, just actually effective communication.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. The other thing that I would say kind of dovetailing off that, Montse is, is that every organization is its own media organization now.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
One of the early cases that I looked at was a case where Tesla was first putting out the Model S and it was getting some really bad press. And the thing about it is, is the New York Times, at the time, really panned the Model S.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
But one of the things that Tesla did was, they went on their own website and talked about what the reporter did and talked about why the review was bad. Prior to the internet, they would not have had that opportunity.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Secondly, they were able to own the message. Every organization can and should own their own message. They should tell their own story, rather than waiting on the New York Times to do it for them. That's a communication function.

Montserrat Molina:
Right, right. Totally.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah.

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah. Totally agree with you. And then where is this program offered, the communication program?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Sure. Currently, it is offered on campus, but portions of it are going to be offered online. I know at the very least, Communication Studies, and I think the Digital Media, Influencer track is also going to be offered online as well.

Montserrat Molina:
That's exciting. I wish I was here for that. And what are the three tracks within this program?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yes, there are three tracks. The first track is called Communication Studies. Communication Studies basically looks at a traditional communication degree, which studies things like persuasion and interpersonal communication and communication theory and things like that. I love all of those.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
The second track is what we're calling Digital Communication. It really has that multimedia component. It's really the more technical side of communication, especially communication that we do online, via video or audio.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
And the third track is what we call Digital Media Influencer. And it's kind of a combination of both the Digital Communication track and the Communication Studies track. And what it does is, it helps you with both in front of the camera and behind the camera. So, that's the way that makes the most sense to me to describe them.

Montserrat Molina:
Awesome. Thank you. What are some of the strongest learning experiences a student can get from being in this major with what you just said?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Sure. Remember that I say that communication is primarily relational. So, I'd say the first learning experience is learning how to make, maintain and end relationships. That's important if you're going to sell something to somebody, but it's also important if you just want to get along with some people.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
The other two tracks really have more to do with channels. In other words, how are you going to create those relationships? What channels are you going to use? Primarily digital channels. So, I mean, that makes sense to me. So anyway, that's what I would say to that.

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah. That's definitely a strong learning experience.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Boy, I hope so.

Montserrat Molina:
I know that's something I learned very early on.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah.

Montserrat Molina:
I know this is a question you ask students a lot and I know you've asked me this about 17 times in my college career. The question is, what do you want to be when you grow up? How do you help a student to get a better understanding of what he or she wants to do when they grow up, since we have such a big pool of options and opportunities?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Right. That's the problem right there. The criticism of the communication field is that it covers so much territory. I've already told you, I've shown you my hand on this, which is, I think you need to know the next step, maybe the next couple of steps, but that's it.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Your first job is going to be exactly that. It's going to be your first job. And it's probably not going to be your last job, but you need to be working toward something.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
The fact is, your first job, it will not be more things than it is. So for example, you just got your first big job and that's exciting, but let me... You're going to be working in an industry that it looks like it works in technology?

Montserrat Molina:
Yes.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Okay. There you go. Let me tell you what you're not doing. You're not selling cars. You're not doing real estate. You're not doing public relations. It doesn't sound like you're doing marketing. Look, there is so much that you're not doing, that you don't need to worry about right now.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
You need to start focusing now. Focus in on what that first job experience is. And one of the things that I... It's the reason that I asked you guys a thousand times in classes, figure out what you want that next step to be. Just figure out the next step and start figuring out what parts of this you really want to hone in on and focus on.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Once you know what you don't have to focus on, boy, that relieves a lot of stress. Because now you don't have to worry so much about a thousand other things. Now you can focus and you need to.

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely. I know that something I feel like helped me a lot, is that question, that you asked me that I think the very first time I walked into your office.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yes.

Montserrat Molina:
I mean, now it's less, of course, because of the situation that we're in. But I know every single time I come in and I've talked to you, even if it's just about my classes, whatever the conversation might be, you always ask me that. You always say, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Montserrat Molina:
It's something that, you planted that seed so early on in my college career, that it was definitely always in my head. What is it that I want to do?

Montserrat Molina:
I think one of the things that really helped me was going with all my classes, that was at the top of my head. Is this something that I see myself doing? Is this something that I would want to go into? Do I enjoy this as a hobby, or is it something I can make a career out of?

Montserrat Molina:
Oh, I definitely think that, just because you did plant that seed so early on, it was something that really did help me throughout my college career.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, good. Good. You probably don't remember this in 101, but one of the things I have all of you do is, I have you take three or four self-assessments, the Myers-Briggs assessment, the Holland Self-Directed Search.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Really, you need to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, and then you need to know what the fields are. And then once you start figuring those things out, yeah, you can start making some plans.

Montserrat Molina:
Totally. I totally agree with you. I think one of my favorite classes I ever took with you was the podcasting class. I'm wondering, what are your plans for the future of this class, given that we were your guinea pigs? Because I know my class was the first time you were ever teaching that.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
That's exactly right.

Montserrat Molina:
What do you think you would do differently next time?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I think one of the things that I learned in this... Obviously, this is inside baseball for you and me. I think one of the things that I learned in that class was when I first formulated the class, I thought, I'm going to have to spend a lot of time on technology. What I learned very quickly was, it wasn't the technology that students had problems with.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I think one of the students said this, she would like a class or two on technology and then maybe another class on technology, like halfway through the semester. That makes sense to me.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I think one of the things that I will probably get my students to focus in on more is audience. In other words, who are you talking to? Because I think one of the things that I would like for you guys to start doing more of is looking at your downloads and looking at when you talk about this, what happens and when you talk about this, what happens? Does that have any kind of bearing on how many downloads you get?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
But the thing that I loved about that class, you guys were creating something that was real. It was not a classroom exercise.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
You told your story about moving from Honduras. I had another student tell her story about having autism. I had another student that talked about having epilepsy. I had another student who talked about his passion for a football team. How cool is that?

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah, amazing.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. Yeah. One of those students and I won't name her, was also able to be interviewed on Telemundo. I mean, how cool is that?

Montserrat Molina:
Right. That was me, by the way.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
That was.

Montserrat Molina:
No, yeah, I think, also going into that class, I feel like with every class that I take with you, I never know what to expect because you're always full of surprises. But I do think I really enjoyed... One of my favorite parts of this class is the freedom that you gave us to...

Montserrat Molina:
I just remember you walking in the first day and you said, "Do whatever you want with this podcast. Talk about whatever it is that you want, whatever you're passionate about." That's something that you really, I think, pushed on us was, this is probably the most important thing that about the whole podcast. You need to know exactly what it is that you want to talk about.

Montserrat Molina:
I remember I did have a few ideas, but I was brainstorming and I said, "Okay, maybe I'll go with this one. Maybe I'll go with that one."

Montserrat Molina:
I think at the end of the day, something that really stuck with me, is you said, what are you passionate about?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah.

Montserrat Molina:
I know that for me, that's what it was. It was my family's move from Honduras to the US. I knew I could talk a lot about that and potentially get people that could relate to it.

Montserrat Molina:
And how you said, the whole looking at how many downloads you have and focusing on your audience, I think in a way, I obsessed a little bit about that because I remember I would just go back and refresh and refresh and see how many downloads I got. It was just really exciting too, just to know that I actually did get a pretty good number of downloads.

Montserrat Molina:
So, it becomes also really fun. It doesn't feel so much like a class. It just feels like a hobby. I don't know. I had a lot of good times in that class.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, good. I'm glad you did. I had a blast in that class. One of the things that you and everybody else did in that class, you created a community for Hondurans who moved to the United States and Hondurans that were thinking about moving to the United States.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
There was somebody else that basically created a community around epilepsy. But the other thing is, and this was something that I thought was so very cool, you guys formed a community in the class and you guys were also each other's biggest supporters. I can't tell you how exciting that is to me because you guys are how...

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
You remember this. Basically after every episode, you guys got in groups and I had you all critique each other's episodes. That's cool because y'all can help each other.

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah. No, definitely. I think that was one of my favorite parts of the class too, because the critique part of it, we were doing it so genuinely and we were doing it because we were all going through the same thing. We all wanted to get our story out there. We all wanted to get those downloads and get that audience.

Montserrat Molina:
I remember having a conversation with one of my classmates, that literally the entire class, we were talking about like, "Okay, if you don't like what you're doing, and if you're not really getting a lot of traffic in your podcast, what is it that you can do?" Literally, the entire class, we talked about what it is, where did you go wrong? What can you do better? And it was just, we were so invested in it, that I think after that class period, I was just like, "That's awesome. We really do want to see each other succeed."

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
It was criticism to make people better and you guys made each other better. That was cool.

Montserrat Molina:
Right. I agree with you. I know you have your own podcast.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I do.

Montserrat Molina:
How do you think this has helped you when you're teaching the podcast class?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I tell you, I love my podcast. It's a faith-based podcast. I'm not Catholic, but I'm somebody who has a very strong religious faith. I think the thing that I love about my podcast is, I'm allowed to have the conversations I want with the people that I want, for as long as I want.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
There is a community that has started to form around it. Any one episode, I can usually count on getting between 150 and 250 downloads. That's kind of cool and it's fun. It's fun.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I've been doing it for eight months. I'm just now starting to be asked to be a guest on other people's podcasts. That's kind of cool.

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah. You're famous.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, no, I'm not, but I'll tell you what I am. I'm able to contribute to a community that means something to me. I can make a difference. I can make a difference in my walk-in closet, with a microphone and a computer, talking about the stuff that I think is important. That's cool. That's just cool.

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely. What do you think has been one of the biggest things you've learned?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
About podcasting?

Montserrat Molina:
Once having your podcast and everything, what's something that you've learned?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
There've been so many things that I've learned. One of the first things that I learned very quickly was I'm kind of an idiot on some things. There's so much that I don't know, both in the production of podcasts, but for example, one of the things...

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. The last episode that I just released on Friday, I talked to a guy who related the story of how he and his wife lost their first child. That's a really powerful thing. That's a really sobering thing. That's never happened to me and I hope it never does.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
But that made a difference to a lot of people, because I can't tell you, there were at least two people that reached back out to me and said, "This happened to us too. This was really hard, and this is the first time I've really heard it talked about."

Montserrat Molina:
Wow.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. Wow. I think that's really cool. I got to have that conversation and it made a difference to people. That's cool.

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah, definitely. Now on a lighter note, what do you think is a funniest mistake that you've made?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Oh my goodness. Montse, everybody starts out bad. I think if you're going to wait until you're actually good at this, you will wait forever.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
One of the things that I did at the very beginning was, I could not stand hearing myself breathe. In the first couple of episodes, I edited out every single breath. So, it sounded like one long run-on sentence.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I've got the episode up there. Anybody's welcome to listen to it. It's awful, in one way. It does the job and you know what? I'm so glad I made that mistake. I'm going to leave it up there. I'm never going to fix that because it will remind me we're all idiots at some point. So, that's fine.

Montserrat Molina:
It's funny that you say that because that's exactly what happened to me too, with my first episode. I mean, I remember when you started the class, you said, "Your first episode will be your worst." I said, "Eh, that's not going to happen to me." That's what happened. That's exactly what happened.

Montserrat Molina:
I took so long to edit it because I wanted to make it perfect.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Perfect, yeah.

Montserrat Molina:
Because I said, "Oh, I said like too many times," or, "I ummed too much." But definitely, I sounded like a robot, which is really funny.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah, that's fine. We all do that, Montse. We all do that.

Montserrat Molina:
I know. I know. I know. So now, on more of your teaching area, how would you describe your teaching style?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, I think-

Montserrat Molina:
We kind of already talked about this.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I understand. Quite honestly, Montse, you would probably be a better person to ask about what my teaching style is like.

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I would say this. I have always seen the classroom as a community and a relationship. I think one of the things that I know very well, by the time you guys walk out of my classroom for the day, you will have... In one class, you will have already forgotten half of it by the time you get to your next class.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
By the time we actually start getting into any tests, you will cram for some of the stuff and you won't remember most of it, but I'll tell you what you will remember, Montse. You'll remember this for the rest of your life. You'll remember how you felt.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
You'll remember what you felt like was important and it will not be any test, it will not be any quiz, it will not be any chapter. It will be how you felt.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I know this sounds sappy and I'm not meaning it to be sappy. Did somebody care for you? Did somebody help you? That's what you'll remember, and you'll remember that for the rest of your life.

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely. I can totally agree with everything you just said. I mean, I think I did touch on it a little bit when we were talking about the podcasting class. For every class, I mean, I just really love that you're very open to helping students.

Montserrat Molina:
I think, that's not only the beauty of having a class that doesn't have that many students in it, but also just the university in itself, just being able to have that connection with you and with my other professors. I think it's so key, key for success, just being able to build on that relationship.

Montserrat Molina:
I can text you and I know you'll answer, or I can just go to your office if you're there and have that conversation. So, I think that's something that is just... it's a blessing, to be honest. It's a blessing.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
It's a blessing for me too, Montse.

Montserrat Molina:
On that note, what do you think has been one of your proudest moments as a professor?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Anytime a student feels like they can come in and tell me good news. I think that's kind of an exciting thing for me. Because I think look, if I wanted to be quite frankly, a higher paid academic, I would be writing a bunch of articles nobody will read. I would be doing a lot of research that I probably did not have much interest in.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I do some research now. Not a lot, but I do some research about stuff that, not surprisingly, it started gravitating around podcasting.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
You remember Alban Brooke, who is the marketing... Well, I wrote a case study on Alban and that's a peer reviewed article. I plan to get it published, but that makes a difference. That makes a difference to my students. People will actually read it. People will actually use it. And that to me, is really exciting.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
But I mean, the thing about it is, I got into teaching because I like people. I didn't get into teaching because... I do like books, but that's not what drives me.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I mean, I like ideas. You know that. I like ideas a lot, but ideas only in so far as they help people. So I mean, that's what really drives me. That's what's exciting to me.

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely. How would you describe other professors who teach in this program?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I would say each one of them, number one, is a good friend and good at what they do. One of the other things that I would say is, we're all fairly complementary. Complementary in that my weaknesses are like Jen Toole's strengths or Keith Jones's strengths or something like that. We are, quite frankly, far stronger together than we are apart.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I don't think twice about bringing one of them into my classes. As a matter of fact, I've co-taught with Jen, I've co-taught with Keith. I've done a lot of things with a lot of other people in my department.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
The other thing that I completely appreciate, like Keith and I, Keith and I will bicker in a class. When we taught [inaudible 00:28:57] class, we bickered about a couple of points and we bickered about those points because we genuinely didn't agree with each other. It had nothing to do with, did we like each other or not?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
We like each other a lot. We just disagree. And I think the students were stronger for it because they had both a good pro and a good con for anything we talked about.

Montserrat Molina:
Right. Definitely. I mean, I took Social Media Influencers with you and Dr. Jones. That was really fun. I enjoyed having both of you.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
That was a hoot. That was a hoot. Okay.

Montserrat Molina:
Yeah, definitely. What do you think is some of the advice you would give a student thinking about into the communications field as a career?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. If you're looking at any other program, you need to ask them, how are they going to help you find a job? Because here's the problem that your parents are going to be really worried about. You're going to major in communication. What are you going to do with it? That's a reasonable concern.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I do think part of my job is letting people like you, Montse, not walk out of there without a pretty good idea what the next step looks like.

Montserrat Molina:
Right.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
You noticed. I asked you every single time, what do you want to be when you grow up? And I have done my dead level best to try to prepare you for that next step.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
We talk all about networking. We talked about networking a lot, didn't we?

Montserrat Molina:
Yep. Yep.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
We talk a lot about skills. We talk a lot about what you need to know and quite frankly, what you don't need to know.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I don't want you just to have a fun college experience. I do want you to have that. I want you to have something that prepares you for something else, because like it or not, college ends at some point and you need to be prepared for the next step.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
So, the advice that I would give anybody who was coming into my communication class or any communication field, the beauty of communication is it's very broad. And by the way, I think that's a strength, but you do need to start figuring out what direction you want to take it. That's important. So yeah, that's the advice that I would give.

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely. Something I want to bring up also, is yes, you definitely always made it a point to know that networking is absolutely key, for anything in life.

Montserrat Molina:
One of the things I enjoyed about being in this area is the industry council. I got to know a lot of people. I got to network a lot. And with it being virtual this last semester, I thought it would make a difference, but I actually liked it better than when it wasn't person.

Montserrat Molina:
It was kind of cool, because I presented something like a part of my portfolio and we got into breakout rooms and we were with experts and respectable people. I got that one-on-one time with them, and also have students there with me. So, I didn't feel like I was alone.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Right. Right. I would still say, I still prefer the face-to-face because my guess is... hear me out, I think you felt more comfortable because you didn't feel as self-conscious.

Montserrat Molina:
Oh, definitely.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I think what you need to do is get over the self-consciousness because I think you will make a better impression face-to-face.

Montserrat Molina:
I agree.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. I understand. I think probably most students felt the same way that you did. I would still push that toward to being a face-to-face when we can.

Montserrat Molina:
Right. Yeah. I mean, I think just in general, even a class on Zoom is more comfortable because you can turn off your camera if you want to. I try not to, but you can turn your camera off. You can take class in your pj's and nobody will know.

Montserrat Molina:
So, it's definitely more comfortable, but one of the reasons I also liked it being virtual, it was because I remember the first time I went to the industry council, not really knowing what to expect.

Montserrat Molina:
I didn't really bring my portfolio. So, I didn't really have anything for them to look at. And when it was virtual, I had everything on my computer. So, I think that was one of the reasons I really liked it, was because I had everything right there at my fingertips.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. I get that. I understand that.

Montserrat Molina:
I would just say, from my point of view as a current student, is just definitely take advantage of everything that's offered. Because I think a lot of the time we can sit back, we can relax. We can see our classmates getting involved and doing all that and saying, "Eh, that's not really for me." If you think it's not for you, it definitely is, because that's one of the best advantages, I think.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Yeah. The other thing is, right now there are a lot of services available to you for free, that once you graduate, they are not free anymore.

Montserrat Molina:
Exactly.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
So, go ahead and take advantage of those things that are... Career Services center, take advantage of that. Go out and find out what you can find. I mean, that's a valuable resource that, right now, is free. And as soon as you graduate, it becomes not free. So, I mean, do that. Make sense?

Montserrat Molina:
Definitely. Definitely agree with you. My last question is, what are some alumni success stories of those who have completed this program?

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Well, I know one of my students just got offered a job today and she's very excited about that. I've had some students that I'm very, very proud of. I often use them for guest speakers after they graduate. Did you hear that?

Montserrat Molina:
Yes.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I have a student who now works for... worked for home shopping network and is starting to produce her own television.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I know another student who currently works for iHeartRadio and she does graphic design for them. By the way, did not major in graphic design. But I mean, she did some really cool stuff.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I know another guy that is working social media platforms for a car dealership. And by the way, has won several awards for that.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
I know a couple of people that I've had within my tenure of teaching, who have gone on to get their PhDs and are also academics.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
So I mean, I know a lot of people who have done lot of really cool things. The thing that kind of makes them all... that unites them all, is they had a pretty decent job with... had a pretty decent idea what the next step looked like.

Montserrat Molina:
Right. I think that's the biggest thing to get from this podcast. Right? Just kind of know what the next step is for you. That's a really great takeaway and a great place to end this.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Okay.

Montserrat Molina:
I just wanted to say thank you so much, Dr. Embry, for coming on here and talking to me. I really appreciate your time and thank you so much.

Dr. Kenneth Embry:
Not any problem, Montse. I'm very happy.

Montserrat Molina:
Thank you. Have a good one.

Speaker 1:
To hear more episodes of the Saint Leo 360 Podcast, visit SaintLeo.edu/podcast. To learn more about Saint Leo's programs and services, call (877) 622-2009 or visit SaintLeo.edu.

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Saint Leo 360 podcast, our guest is Dr. Kenneth Embry, a faculty member in the undergraduate communication degree program in the Tapia College of Business at Saint Leo University. We also feature a guest host, Montserrat ‘Montse’ Molina, a senior multimedia management student who has had Embry for some courses in her degree program. Molina spoke with Embry about:

  • His career before getting into teaching,
  • How he got into teaching and his journey to Saint Leo University,
  • His advice for prospective students thinking about enrolling in Saint Leo University’s Bachelor of Communication degree program,
  • Where the communication program is offered, the three tracks, and the faculty with complementary backgrounds who teach in this program,
  • The unique podcasting course offered in this program,
  • His own personal podcast and what he has learned from hosting it,
  • Why he asks students, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and how he helps them answer this question,
  • His teaching style,
  • What makes him proud to be a college professor,
  • Advice he would give a student thinking about going into the Communications field as a career,
  • Alumni success stories of those who have completed this degree program

Links & Resources

Learn more about the Bachelor of Communication degree program offered at Saint Leo University.

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