Achieving goals, fulfilling dreams: three DSU grads share their accomplishments

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   Tiffany Whitehead

   – Graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s in English with an emphasis in professional and technical writing.

   – Works as a technical writer for RizePoint, a company focused on corporate compliance.

   – Who were your influences?

   “Cheri Crenshaw and Amijo Comeford and Brad Barry and Florence Bacabac and Steve Armstrong. All of them were really instrumental in shaping my writing style, that was really, really helpful.”

    – How did attending DSU help you in your field?

   “Because I went there and because I have the degree, it expanded my professional network exponentially. I have contacts throughout the technology industry. I now rub shoulders with professionals in the field who have worked for several decades and I just soak up every bit of information that they have. It has just opened up a world of networking opportunities for me.

   “Holding a bachelor’s degree opened doors to opportunities that were previously closed me. What I mean is that before receiving my degree, I could not even apply for jobs that interested me because the minimum educational requirement was a bachelor’s degree. Having a degree lets me choose if I want to apply for a position as opposed to automatically being excluded from even applying.

   “Earning the degree coupled with the career I’m in has given me a skill set that is transferable wherever I go. I own the knowledge that I’ve gained. That fact provides peace of mind and gives me confidence when I’m presenting myself as a candidate for any position.

   “It (getting a degree) tripled my earning power. My salary more than tripled since I got my degree, and that’s saying something. Now I have a liveable wage if something happened to my husband, which I hope it doesn’t, but if it did I have a liveable wage that I could support myself. That’s a big deal, especially for women.” 

   Dan Whalen

   – Graduated in 2007 with bachelor’s in communication with film emphasis (only year it was configured as such.) Also holds a master of fine arts degree in directing for motion picture and television from the University of the Arts in San Francisco

   – Currently works as a location manager for the BYUtv-produced science fiction series “Extinct.”

    – Who were your influences?

   “Glen Blakely, he’s been there a long time. He knows his stuff, he knows his art. He’s had some experience in film and television back in the 80s. His knowledge of art, he’s always encouraged me there…we’re still good friends today. Even Eric Pedersen on the visual technology side, he was such a cool professor, he was just super supportive, really just encouraged me. Those two for sure stick out in my mind.”

   – How did attending DSU help you in your field?

   “Going to Dixie and then moving on to grad school, it’s honing my interests and refining my skills and really finding what I like to do and something that I could do professionally along side that. My goal was to go to school so I can actually work in the film and television industry. What Dixie’s prepared me for is really to go out in the world and take what I learn and apply it. 

   “I got hired on by a company called “extinct”, which is the name of the TV show being produced for BYUtv. I’m the location manager on the project. I knew what they needed and helped secure the locations for it. I work with the director to establish the locations based on what’s written in the script. 

   I kind of see myself in the second half of my career, I’d love for an assistant professorship position to open up with this new film degree. I’m looking at it as a second career. Still trying to produce and direct my own stuff, but I’d love to be able to maybe do that as a sitting professor at Dixie.”