Kyla Kruse

99

Assistant Director of Public Relations

Communication

September 9, 2020 1:09 PM

Millikin major and minor:  

I earned my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication with concentrations in theory and public relations. I also have a minor in Spanish.  

Where do you currently work?  

I’m currently the assistant director, public relations at Lincoln Land Community College. I have previously served as communication director of the Energy Education Council, media communications specialist for University of Illinois ACES Office of International Programs, and communication and marketing educator for University of Illinois Extension.  

What activities were you involved in at Millikin? 

While at Millikin, I was a James S. Millikin Scholar, served on Student Senate and was involved as a tutor, student worker for communication and modern languages, freshman orientation leader, and member of the Phi Kappa Phi, women’s choir and InterVarsity. 

Did you have a memorable MU professor that impacted you? 

I was taught by many great professors at Millikin. Two that stand out are Dr. Richard Paholski, who reinforced the importance of concise and effective writing as well as the richness of the culture all around us, and Dr. Mary Rivers, who encouraged me to keep challenging myself and create opportunities to further explore the facets of communication I found the most intriguing.  

What are some of your accomplishments since graduating Millikin?   

Since graduating Millikin, I went on to earn a master’s degree in communication from University of Illinois Springfield. I’ve presented at national and international conferences and have been recognized with the Professional Communicator Award from AWC and the Individual Excellence in Extension award. Project work has garnered such awards as Telly, Marcom and AVA. I have have been a member of the Association for Communication Excellence, Association of Women in Communication, Illinois Society of Association Exexutives, Society for Human Resource Management and the National Council for Marketjng and Public Relations.  

What do you like most about your career field? 

Communication and public relations is an exciting field to go into. How we communicate changes based on technology and characteristics of target audiences. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy the challenges and continuous opportunities to grow and develop skills. Public relations also provides the opportunity to learn about a variety of aspects of an organization in order to be an effective storyteller and to build relationships in the community.  

How have your Millikin courses helped prepare you for your career?  

For those also going into communication, I encourage you to take initiative and be creative in coursework and student clubs. Seek out internship opportunities where you can practice the skills learned and build a portfolio.