Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Rachel Grant

Dr. Rachel Grant of Arlington, Texas earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from UA Little Rock in 2008 and a master’s in 2010. She later studied at the University of Missouri, where she received her Ph.D. in 2018.

Rachel currently works at Xavier University of Louisiana as an assistant professor in the Mass Communication department. She teaches classes about news writing, social media, and strategic communication and conducts research on media studies of race, gender, class and ability.

In August, Rachel will move into a new position in the journalism department at the University of Florida.

What’s the most important thing you took away from your studies at UA Little Rock?
“I think one of the most important things I learned was how to be a great communicator across different media platforms. The art of storytelling is important and very few people possess the ability to connect with people. I have been very fortunate to use this trait within my work and life. From working with non-profits, like the American Cancer Society, to working in the newsroom, I have sought to make people’s stories be heard and to give them the platform to elevate their issues and achievements. At UALR, I was lucky enough to be around people who opened opportunities for me to be more. My professors became my advocates for me to expand my horizons.”

What were your favorite Mass Comm classes?
“I really enjoyed my Feature Writing and Magazine Journalism classes because of the in-depth, complex stories we were able to write. Also, I really enjoyed the more theoretical and conceptual classes like Women in Journalism, Minorities in the Media and Media Critical Studies. They definitely influenced how I perceived media from a more critical view.”

Who was a faculty member who made a strong impact on you and your career path?
“As I mentioned before, the faculty had a large impact on my professional career. I can’t select just one person who had a strong impact. I got to work with the majority of the faculty my time there. Each one of them taught me something. I still remain in touch with the faculty.”

What advice would you give to current students?
“My advice to students is to take advantage of the opportunities in front of you, and don’t be afraid to take some risks. When I applied for a copywriter job at Dillard’s corporate office, I didn’t have advertising experience but I loved fashion and writing. People recognize the passion and the excitement to learn, and sometimes that is what gets you a job versus just skills/experience.”

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