Vitals: Public Relations, 2012
Born in Washington, D.C.,
grew up in Dallas
Dream job: communications for
performing arts venue
Favorite Class: Talia Stroud's
"Politics and Public Opinion"
Accolades: Under her direction,
Tower PR was recognized by
the university for its public service
Interviewed by Dave Junker, Senior Fellows Director
Kelsey McGonigle is public relations major pursuing a Business Foundations Certificate. She’s also the director of Texas Tower PR, a student-run public relations agency that works with Austin nonprofits. She will graduate in May.
So, you say that your parents were both writers and professional communicators. Now that you’re old enough to reflect on your past, do you see their influence on your own path?
Yes, absolutely. My dad works as a reporter for The Dallas Morning News and my mom was a freelance writer and editor who now works in communications at UT Dallas. She would mark up my writing as a kid. My whole family is very expressive and has a great sense of humor.
-- Kelsey McGonigle
Do you have a dream job?
Doing communication for a theatre or performing arts venue. I’ve been involved in theatre more or less since grade school, and I’ve been working at Texas Performing Arts as a student at UT. I would love to have a job that suited both my interest in PR and my interest in the arts.
As a kid, did you perform?
Oh, yeah! It let me get out all this extra energy. I don’t act now, but I think you can see the actress in me. I do better in classes when I get to talk things out and flesh ideas out in a way that’s true to myself. I like Senior Fellows for that reason.
If you were in control of Senior Fellows, what would you like to see more of?
Texas singer-songwriter Bruce Robison was great. More singers and songwriters. Adele, I think, should be at the top of the list (laughs). Having more guests who have a lot to do with the communications culture we live in but who don’t necessarily fit the traditional role of a “professional communicator.”
Although we can't bring in Adele, one of your favorite singers, I can ask you a couple quetions about her. What's your favorite Adele song?
I can appreciate how “Someone Like You” strikes a chord in everyone.
Do you think Adele has staying power? Is there something that makes her better or distinct from other female pop singers?
That voice is gold. I hope she is around for a while.
Do you have a favorite Senior Fellows class?
Talia Stroud’s class [Politics and Public Opinion, Spring 2011]. I remember when we talked about the “spiral of silence” and having my mind blown. It’s one of the benefits of taking classes out of your comfort zone. This environment allows you to take such classes without being overwhelmed.
Do you have a favorite reading from your Senior Fellows career?
“Let the Great World Spin” [Symposium 2010]. I just passed it along to my mom.
What will you remember five years from now about "Let the Great World Spin" or our discussions about it?
What I will hold on to from our discussions about “Let the Great World Spin” is that we all have our own unique perspectives about shared cultural events, and that it is well worth it to hear other people’s take on them.