Program of the Month Q&A: Communication Alum Ashley Hirtzel ’12

Communication program alumna Ashley (Hassett) Hirtzel

Communication program alumna Ashley (Hassett) Hirtzel ’12 works as the communications coordinator at Cantalician Center for Learning, a nonprofit organization that provides services for hundreds of children and adults with disabilities across Western New York. Prior to her current position, she served as the community relations and development coordinator for Deaf Access Services, Inc., and also spent time working as a reporter at WBFO and WBEN.

Here, the 2017 Buffalo Business First “30 Under 30” honoree explains what drew her to the communication program at Medaille, and how the experience led her down a rewarding career path.


What led to your decision to enroll in the communication program at Medaille College?

On an initial tour of the Medaille campus, the faculty showed me that its communication program allowed its students to get the best college education possible. They weren’t kidding. The College gave me real-life experience in media and communications, and proved that I made the right choice.


What was your favorite part of the communication program?

Medaille and the communication program faculty are well connected to local media professionals, and this created many opportunities for internships. In addition, the communication program offered insightful media events that gave students access to professionals in the field who could explain more about what we would be doing after college. We were also given hands-on experience with broadcast equipment, and were assigned projects that helped us learn how to do important work like public speaking, writing press releases and pitching stories to the media.


What is the best advice or guidance you received from a communication faculty member?

I owe a great debt of gratitude to Associate Professor Lou Pozantides ’86 for continuing to fight for me, so I would get the best internship opportunities possible. He did this with all of his students when I was at Medaille, and I’m sure he still does today. The internships were the best part of going to Medaille, and I still boast about its excellent internship program today.


How did your experience at Medaille contribute to your current career success?

Thanks to Medaille and the internship requirements in the communication program, I was able to get the hands-on experience that opened many doors for me. It allowed me to meet outstanding mentors who taught me so much. It even helped me get hired in my desired career field of media communications before graduation. I’m extremely grateful for my education from Medaille College.

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