Oliva Bryant - Feb, 23 2021
Since I started my last post with a flashback, I thought I would make this a running theme for some consistency. When I was young, I really liked water, but I used to make my parents nervous when I would hop in the pool. I had a problem with not keeping my mouth closed when I played in the water because I was laughing and screaming with excitement. My parents always worried about me getting hurt or even drowning. They tried countless times to tell me to shut my mouth so I would not swallow water, but I didn’t listen because I was too busy having the time of my life.
So why I am telling you all this? Well, I was too busy in my own world to listen to what my parents had to say, and we were not able to communicate clearly with each other. I think we can all think of a time where we have had an experienced a situation like this. We can get too caught up in ourselves to close our mouth and open our ears to listen to others.
In the present, I still have moments where I have a tough time trying to communicate with others even though I study communications in the classroom. Can you think of a situation that could have been handled differently if you had communicated better? Why can it be difficult for us to communicate what we want to others? At least for me, these issues occur because I do not know what the response will be. What will the person say? What if they do not understand?
One of the easiest ways we can alleviate these questions is by maintaining clear, concise, and open communication channels. In the College Relations office, this is a practice we strive for since proper communication creates consistency and credibility with your audience. College Relations sends out hundreds of messages each year and uses various communication channels such as the CSC website, radio, TV, newspaper, printed material, and social media platforms to relay messages to the CSC community and public. My supervisor and Director of College Relations, Alex Helmbrecht handles various forms of communications at Chadron State. Alex received his associate degree from McCook Community College and undergraduate degree from CSC in 2005. He was Chadron State’s Sports Information Director from 2007-2014. Alex’s current responsibilities range from overseeing office activities, acting as a spokesperson and media liaison for Chadron State, and handling emergency and crisis communications. Alex is a sponsor of Blue Key and co-chairs the CSC Athletic Hall of Fame and Diversity Committee. He is also the guy who sends the emails saying we have a late start or no school (which I always greatly appreciate, thanks Alex.)
One of the things Alex is much better at than my younger self is listening to others. He actively listens to everyone’s ideas and promotes a work environment where all thoughts are valued. Alex believes in these same values outside of the office and works to attentively listen to faculty, staff, administration, and alumni. From the internship perspective, I appreciate his willingness to hear me out and make work activities applicable to my degree program and provide me with many opportunities for continual growth and learning.
Alex also puts in many hours each week and on the weekends to work on large projects such as the upcoming Higher Learning Commission Assurance Review for Chadron State’s accreditation. He is also called upon regularly by upper administration to consult in communication situations and tactfully relays difficult messages to the campus community.
I work with Alex and other College Relations’ employees to create and disperse messages that are all around. Some include items you may not be aware of, such as like a logo on a pen. Something that small still sends a form of communication to consumers. So, if you take anything away from this anecdote just know that communication is crucial in all aspects of life (including in the workplace) and that there are employees at Chadron State who specialize in communicating with the campus community. I invite you to stop by the College Relations office in Sparks Hall and talk to the employees (like Alex) if you want to learn more about the importance of communications.