Area High Schoolers Explore Communication Careers at CSM


Keynote Speaker Roz Plater, Panelists to Speak on Media in Global Age

Two-time Emmy Award nominee Roz Plater, a Calvert County native, will speak with area high school students on “Communicating in the Global Age” at the College of Southern Maryland’s second annual Communication Day on March 29 in La Plata. Plater spent a decade as a reporter and anchor in the San Francisco Bay area, more than seven years reporting in the Washington, D.C. market for Fox 5 News and now works for WJLA ABC-7. She is a graduate of American University and has her master’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Communication Day gives local high school students and CSM students the chance to explore the communication field to determine if the field lines up with their own interests through attending sample college classes, touring CSM’s broadcast studio and hearing from communication professionals during a panel discussion. Students will learn about CSM’s programs in communication, media studies and digital media production.

In addition to serving as an introduction to communication careers for high school students, Communication Day will provide a focus on issues in contemporary communication that CSM students will face in the workplace, their neighborhoods and communities, said event organizer CSM Professor Denise Gilmer-Knudson. “To that end, Communication Day will feature a variety of panels and activities designed to illustrate the need for effective intercultural communication and to increase intercultural knowledge and understanding. As they aspire to careers as professional communicators, students will be required to integrate knowledge, an open-minded attitude and ethics when reporting on divergent cultures.”

“One of the major challenges our students will encounter is communicating in an ever-increasing global environment. Whether students work in television news, public relations, journalism, education or arbitration, having knowledge and skills in intercultural communication will be key to their success,” said Gilmer-Knudson.

“This business is changing and I want to tell students about my journey and how they can prepare themselves with the skills they’ll need to be competitive,” Plater said of her keynote.  Plater had a career as an emergency room nurse when she was asked by a friend to name her dream job. “I said I wanted to be Oprah Winfrey,” Plater said. After a career exploration test pointed her to the communication and drama fields, Plater began taking steps to realize her true calling.


             In addition to Plater, students will have an opportunity to hear from other communication professionals during a panel discussion.

Sholnn Freeman is a second-year master’s student in Howard University’s mass communication and media studies program. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1999 and covered the global automobile industry for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. In the spring of 2008, he spent eight weeks in Baghdad as a war correspondent for The Washington Post.

CSM Professor Alan Lifton has more than 40 years of experience in the television and higher education. Highlights of his career include an Emmy nomination for a program he directed in Columbus, Ohio, called Animal FairHe has shot and produced stories for WJZ-TV, directed Baltimore Orioles games, produced and directed numerous NCAA football, basketball, volleyball and wrestling programs for Idaho Public TV, and produced more than a dozen documentaries for Idaho Public TV and for PBS. He was a professor of visual communication at the University of Idaho for 14 years and worked at a university in England where he designed and oversaw the conversion of two television studios and 75 editing suites to HD tapeless video.

Nicole Pitre earned her bachelor’s of science degree in speech language pathology and audiology from Southern University & Agricultural and Mechanical College in Baton Rouge, La. and a master’s degree in communication science disorders from Howard University. She has training in radio announcing and basic radio production from the Columbia School of Broadcasting. Pitre is recognized by the American SpeechLanguageHearing Association for

her commitment in continuing professional education. She has served as an expert witness in multiple speech language pathology cases.

Stefanie Carey graduated from CSM with associate degrees in history and art. In 2008, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maryland. She began her career as a constituent liaison for Congressman Steny Hoyer in 2009.

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