Catching Up With:Allison Souto Byrne
Communications Graduate, Class of 2007
When Allison got accepted to Molloy College as a Communications major, she was interested in public relations and it was the field she wanted to pursue. As Allison began her journey, the major was quite different back in the early 00’s. Before 2011, students would take a combination of both media and professional courses without selecting a specialization. Allison mentioned that she was more interested in public relations and the professional side, but she enjoyed learning both areas. “I think students should definitely take at least a few courses in each specialization. It is a way to pen up and learn about different things. Any knowledge or experience you have will benefit you”, said Allison. This ideal helped her realize her goal of achieving an education that allowed her a broad range of opportunities when she graduated.
With taking such a diverse range of courses, some of Allison’s favorite courses were the media classes. She also greatly enjoyed taking public speaking. Allison added, “My favorite memories were during my last two semesters with professors Dr. Cogan and Dr. Pribram. They were so helpful and made the experience very enjoyable.” During her tenure at Molloy, Dr. Pribram was her advisor and Professor for many of her communications courses. Allison could not thank Dr. Pribram enough for the education and advice she gave to her. “She really understood me and the student I was. She encouraged me to strive to succeed in all areas and allowed me to really grow as a student”, stated Allison.
One of the courses Allison took with Dr. Pribram was Communications Seminar where students write an original research paper on a topic related to the Communications field. The class is a full year (two semesters and the paper is required to be at least 25 pages). “Dr. Cogan and Dr. Pribram were helpful and made the whole process smooth the entire year. I did my paper on communication techniques for children with autism. It really helped me decide to go back to school for my Masters in Special Education”, said Allison.
Before discussing graduate school, Allison mentioned her internship here at Molloy College. When students are in their junior or senior year, they are required to intern for company or organization utilizing their skills learned in the classroom and bringing them to a professional environment. Allison interned for the Molloy College Public Relations office. “It was a great experience. It actually helped me land my first job post graduation where I was responsible for writing and editing some public relations pieces”, stated Allison. The skills she learned at her internship and the classes she took all helped her in a second educational journey. In particular, communications seminar helped Allison seek a new goal. “The senior thesis allowed me to explore another passion of mine when I decided to achieve a Masters in Special Education”, said Allison.
Allison decided to come back to Molloy College and attend their graduate school of Education. The degree and program was titled, Special Education and General Education. Allison added, “I made this choice because it was something I had always wanted to do. My degree in Communications allowed me to become a great student and have confidence in my work. I believe this was due to the great professors in the program and the small class size.” Allison graduated with her Masters degree in Special Education and General Education in 2012.
When Allison was asked what advice would she give to a freshman student taking their first communications course, she mentioned that students need to put their “all” into it. Allison added, “Even if a class seems boring, there is always a lesson to be learned or a skill to be mastered.” She also offered advice to students who just graduated. “I would tell them to use what you learned and the resources you have gained. Everyone at Molloy are really there to help you. Build relationships with the people you meet and keep in touch. The more connections and relationships you have, the more you will succeed”, said Allison.
Since graduating with her Master’s degree, Allison got married to her husband Michael and she has three children. In the future, she hopes to use both of her degrees to help children with special needs.