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Pictured is alumna Sarah Kastelic. Photo | Victoria A. Mikula

Meet Sarah Kastelic

Job title and employer: Communications Specialist, UPMC
Degrees earned
: M.A. in journalism and mass communication, Point Park University, 2015; B.A. in rhetoric and communication, University of Pittsburgh, 2011
Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Now living in: Pittsburgh, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Cultural events and shows, concerts, museums, antiquing, reading
LinkedIn: Sarah Kastelic

What are your key responsibilities at UPMC?

I am a communications specialist in the Patient Experience Department - a part of the UPMC corporate umbrella that falls under Marketing Communications and the Center for Quality, Safety and Innovation. My primary role is to manage and develop patient-facing informational materials and communications plans at UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Presbyterian, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, UPMC St. Margaret, UPMC Transplant Services, UPMC Imaging Services and the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. My work encompasses various communications functions and platforms, including print, web and social media.

What made Point Park's M.A. program stand out to you?

I knew that I wanted to be able to work full time and begin to build my career while working on my graduate degree. After extensively researching universities in the Pittsburgh area, I felt that Point Park's M.A. program was the most accessible to students who wanted to balance both school and work. Also, it was very important to me to find a program that offered practical classes that would supplement my professional career.

Describe the teaching style of the professors at Point Park.

Because classes typically run for three hours, most professors had a good balance between lecturing, group work and presentations. This style really fit my needs as a graduate student. I wanted to hear the professor lecture so that I could learn more about the topic of that class, but I also appreciated the opportunity to work as a team with my fellow classmates and to further develop my presentation skills with a team and individually.

What advice do you have for a student considering a graduate program at Point Park?

My advice is to take advantage of all of the extra opportunities that are available for graduate students at Point Park University, including guest lecturers, networking events and volunteer opportunities.

What are your career goals?

I would like to continue to hone the skills that I have learned from my current and previous work experience, and from my experiences at Point Park, to expand my role at UPMC. One day I would like to be involved in the international communications work that we do.

Final thoughts?

My Point Park University experience was invaluable to my professional career. I was able to take what I learned in class and apply it to my work almost immediately after starting the program. The professors were very accessible and worked with me around my busy work and school schedule. I thought that a great variety of interesting and relevant classes were offered, and the flexible evening and online classes really worked well with my schedule. Last but not least, I made great friendships that will last a lifetime!

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, sophomore photojournalism major


More About: success story, graduate programs, M.A. in media communication, alumni