Throughout the academic year the Staff Council randomly selects a staff member to celebrate in our Spotlight on Staff. Our recipient for the month of May is Michael McAlpin.
How long have you been at Saint Mary’s?
I started at Saint Mary's in November 2008. It's hard to believe that more than five years have gone by.
Tell us a little about your job.
I'm responsible for overseeing the College’s overall media relations program and serve as a spokesperson for Saint Mary's. Most of the time, I'm advocating for media coverage of the College, its academic programming, course offerings and the scholarship of the professors. And from time to time, I address situations relating to the College's reputation, which falls under the heading of crisis communications or issues management.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy getting news coverage for the college, in particular positioning our faculty as experts for the media. Prior to coming to Saint Mary's, I was a news and programming producer for WGBH in Boston and WTTW in Chicago. I still see myself as a storyteller and producer of sorts, only now I'm helping to tell the stories of SMC and trying to produce an institution and our faculty so more people know about the College. By the way, we've increased the presence of our faculty in the media as expert sources for journalists tremendously. I'm very proud of that and encourage more professors and campus leaders to sign up for media training workshops, which are offered twice a semester (Sorry, I couldn't resist a shameless plug for College Communications).
What do you enjoy most about the SMC Community?
I like the pace and the surroundings of the College. You have to admit, the campus is pretty easy on the eyes. Also, in my previous work, I was sort of an advocacy journalist, telling stories about marginalized communities or covering inequities in education; so, helping to tell the story of the mission of the College, with its concern for educational access, and social justice focus, resonates with me.
Outside of work, is there anything you'd like to share about your interests, hobbies, family, or volunteer work?
Right now I'm taking swimming lessons with the goal being snorkeling and later scuba diving. I never learned to swim when I was young, probably because I have medical condition called fear of drowning. But you have to conquer your fears. So, that's the goal and my wife and I are planning a trip to Key West this summer so I can try out my new swimming skills.