Angela Thomas loves learning (and us) so much, she’s back for her third round as a student. After earning her bachelor’s in journalism, she came back for a master’s. Now she’s pursuing a graduate certificate in strategic communications – even while she answers the incredible demands generated by her professional and personal (mother of three) life..
Q: What drew you to the SMC?
A: I entered UALR as a wife and mother of three, without knowing what career path I wanted to pursue; I simply knew I’d need to be focused and make a firm, well-thought-out decision, quickly. That first semester, I took Mass Media and Society with Professor Sonny Rhodes. His love for journalism was infectious. I made the decision to pursue journalism after two weeks of classes. I love to talk to people and believe “everyone has a story.” It was a perfect fit.
Q: How did your experiences in the SMC affect your career path following graduation?
A: The advice and guidance I received from my instructors proved to be most valued. While at UALR SMC, I learned how to conduct research, ask intriguing questions and delve into various subjects and to simply appreciate the power of the written word as well as the role the press plays in society.
Q:What’s one of your favorite memories from your time at SMC?
A: The many hours in the office’s research room (aka my student office). From that experience I really go to know the faculty. Prior to becoming editor of the UALR Forum, I could be found there studying, asking questions, etc. I’m sure I was a nuisance; however, I wanted to take in as much as possible.
Q: If your peers described you in one word what would it be and why?
A:I had no idea; so I asked a few of my coworkers. Here are the answers:
“Feisty, because of your determination to do your own thing”; “Genuine”; “Perfectionist in your work/dress/looks”; and“Active — You seem to always be involved with something, whether it be with the alumni association, church, or just a family gathering.”
Q:What do you like the most/least about your current job?
A: My favorite thing about serving as editor of AY is getting to travel in our great state, the opportunity to meet so many people of diverse backgrounds and the privilege of telling their stories. The think I like least: the deadlines.
Q: Where do you go first for breaking news? Television, Twitter, Facebook, etc…
A:The newspaper … if I want to find out what others are thinking about the news: social media.
Q:When you’re looking to add new members to your team, what qualities are you looking for in the candidates?
A: The initial contact is usually through email; thus, I ask for a resume as well as clips and references. If candidates, don’t follow through — but refer me to a website(s) or send one and not the other — I make note of that. Many times, I’m on the go and may be checking email on the run. Having all the information in one email saves me time. Further, it shows they put forth effort and followed instructions. Secondly, I look for someone who “listens” well, follows through, asks good questions, and takes the time to do research and who is tenacious.
Q: If you could invite anyone in the world for dinner, who would it be and why?
A:I hate to sound cliché, but I’d cut to the chase and invite Jesus — He can answer all the questions I’d ask the Obama’s; the Apostle Paul; Eve (as in Adam and Eve); Harriett Tubman; and my grandmother Lucille Brown (who died when I was a toddler) — to a meal prepared by Emeril and Top Chef Carla Hall. Hey, it’s The Lord, and He should eat well.
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: “How to Be A Positive Leader” and “The Essential Wayne Dyer Collection,” which includes “The Power of Intention,” “Inspiration,” and “Excuses Be gone!”