Alumni Profiles: Sonia Diaz

Sonia

Sonia Díaz, BA 2006, joined Balsera Communications, an award-winning US Hispanic public relations and public affairs agency in Miami, Florida, in July 2011 as a Senior Account Executive. Most notably, Balsera Communications is recognized for its outstanding efforts during the Obama 2008 election, during which time, the agency spearheaded efforts to mobilize the Latino vote and brought the largest number of Latinos to the polls than any other election in the history of U.S politics. In her role, Sonia helps Balsera clients reach the U.S Hispanic community on issues that directly impact them through public relations and advocacy efforts.

Before coming to Balsera, Sonia was part of the travel and tourism team at Burson Marsteller Latin America where she helped lead public relations and branding efforts for the Costa Rica Tourism Board in the US and Canada. While on the Costa Rica team, Sonia led a digital campaign to raise awareness for shark finning around Cocos Island, which earned them an International Public Relations Award (IPRA) nomination. Additionally, Sonia managed and chose the content featured on “Save My Planet,” a groundbreaking ABC LiveWellHD show that focused on the conservation efforts being led by the tourism industry in Costa Rica. “Save My Planet” went on to receive several regional Emmy nominations, including one for “Outstanding Educational Content.”

In addition to U.S Hispanic and tourism campaigns, Sonia has done work in technology, consumer brands, corporate communications and B2B. Sonia graduated in 2006 with a BA in Modern Languages, as well as a Minor in Mass Communications. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

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Lure of travel and writing drew graduate to Thailand

by Jenna Box
Dane Phillips with monkeysDane Phillips spends most of the year 9,000 miles away from San Marcos but keeps the education and invaluable lessons he learned at Texas State University close to his heart.

For the last six years, Phillips has spent the majority of his time in Thailand working for an academic consulting firm where he assists MBA applicants in strategically planning their next educational steps.

Phillips graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and double minor in business and journalism. He was in the honors program and studied abroad in Belize as part of his anthropology work.

Phillips worked as a freelance writer from 2006-2010, and in 2011, he began working for the consulting firm. He works with higher education students planning which schools they will attend, developing career goals and highlighting their best achievements. He also edits applicant essays for grammar, spelling and punctuation.

A Strong Foundation

Initially, Phillips found a job posting online for a part-time editing gig, which paved the way to his current position. Although editing is “easy and second nature” for Phillips, that is not what he loves most about his job. “The element I enjoy most is learning about various industries, multi-generational family empires, and regional political and cultural issues,” Phillips said.

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SJMC students win National Broadcast Society Awards

Ten Texas State students attended the National Broadcasting Society (NBS) regional conference at UT-Arlington on November 2 & 3, 2012. Texas State student Lane Lewis won First Place awards for Sports Program and Sports Package, as well as Honorable Mentions for Sports Program Audio and Sports Package Audio. Amber Anderson won 3rd place for Drama Program while Chelsea Kelley won Honorable Mention for Feature Package. Jessi MacCall won Honorable Mention for Hard News. Congratulations to all of the winners!