Alumni Spotlight: Sylvia Stone

Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 4:15pm

Hometown: Henderson, IL

Current Location: Omaha, NE

Major while at CoJMC: Advertising and Public Relations

Where are you currently working? Please describe your role.

I am a news producer at KETV Newswatch 7. I am in charge of organizing the weekend morning newscasts with my editors, anchors, reporters and directors. I find the top local and national stories of the day and write scripts for the team. I also get to connect with people all around the Omaha metro to have myself, my anchors or my reporter do interviews on a number of timely topics.


Please provide a timeline of different jobs you've had throughout your career.

I graduated in 2019 and shortly after graduation I was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. It was a whirlwind of surgeries and treatments all while trying to survive in a pandemic. I used what I learned in college to connect with people to share my story and educate the public on early detection. I wrote blogs for websites and took over several social media accounts. I got connected to KETV during an interview and now the rest is history!


What job do you believe helped you grow the most in your career and why?

I think without the experience of learning how to share my story during my cancer treatment I would not be the news producer I am today. It's helped me craft thoughtful interview questions when writing scripts and also taught me how to connect with people in a different way.


What is one CoJMC class or experience that made an impact on you as a student?

Jacht helped me find my voice and my place in the college. It helped me combine my love of photography and video with strategy. Jacht allowed me to connect with students of different backgrounds and showed me how my role fit in with  many others in a bigger organization. 


Name a person who helped you be successful at Nebraska and how:

I can easily say Rick Alloway is my hero. Rick cares so deeply about his students and believes in each and every one of them. College was tough for me. I was away from home for the first time, I was from a town of 300 living in a city for the first time and it was all a culture shock. Rick's encouragement taught me to believe in myself and to keep working toward my goals and dreams. That lesson will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The best thing about being a Husker is…

The CoJMC family


Have you had any life changing experiences?

My husband and I had our first baby at the beginning of this year. Now we're hoping Stella wants to follow in our footsteps and see what's so magical about UNL the J school.


What would you say is the most important skill or quality to have "out in the real world"?

Adaptability. You have no idea what the world will hit you with. Maybe it's cancer, a layoff or even a global pandemic. Being able to take a step back and seize the opportunities that come, even if they aren't exactly what you thought you wanted to do, may surprise you.


Why should Nebraska students enroll in CoJMC courses?

Most of the coursework in CoJMC classes is useful in any industry. We learned about a lot of different industries and walks of life in the projects we did. That’s because skills in the mass media courses and careers are applicable in any industry. We learned useful writing skills, got practice making presentations and had lots of experience working with others on projects.


What advice do you have for current students, prospective students?

Take every opportunity you can. You can learn so much from all of the professors at the college and they want to help you succeed. Try a new club or activity, connect with a professor and meet as many people as you can. College goes so fast but those lessons and connections can last forever.

Sylvia Stone