I received a Bachelors (2009) and Masters (2011) from the UNT’s Department of Communication Studies. After graduating with my MA, I worked as an adjunct at community colleges around North Texas. Then, in 2012, I started working with Park West Gallery, where I have been employed as an art auctioneer since 2013.
When I think about the courses that I took and the knowledge I gained, I can say honestly, that I apply information from each course I took as I practice my current profession. I live and work on a cruise ship with people from over 60 different countries and Intercultural Communication is more important to me now than ever before. As an authority on art, I reference annotations from Dr. Lain’s course on Visual Rhetoric, Dr. Trudeau’s Performance Methods/Theory, and my business card even has a quote from Aristotle’s Poetics that I originally read in Dr. Treat’s course on Classical Rhetoric. However, the most important characteristics of my education that apply to my position are the skills related to public speaking. Communicating with audiences ranging from 50 to 200 people several times a week is an integral aspect of the job and, to be successful, I draw on all of the techniques that I learned and taught during my tenure in the communication studies department.
As every professional public speaker is well aware, you must overcome any obstacles and continue with the presentation, and my occupation is no exception. On one cruise, the ship was rented out by a group of over 2000 nudists. Most Communication Studies professionals are aware of the old adage that if a speakers are anxious when speaking in front of a crowd, that they should imagine them in the nude, which (theoretically) would alleviate their anxiety of speaking in public. Now, from personal experience, I can definitively state that this piece of advice should never be used again. It is most definitely not easier to speak in front of a group of naked people!
Since embarking on this experience, I have traveled to 5 continents, more than 50 countries, and over 100 different ports of call. I am seeing the world, meeting new people, and enjoying every minute of the experience. I can easily state, were it not for the knowledge I gained from my years as a communication scholar and teacher, I would not have embraced this life-changing opportunity.