This month the Florida College System Activities Association named St. Petersburg College student Fred Arnold their November 2015 Publications Division Student of the Month. Arnold, who works as the Social Media Manager for the college’s student newspaper Sandbox News, was nominated by SPC faculty member Cindy Kuropas.
“Fred has more than 300 volunteer hours with St. Petersburg College! This includes staff writing and social media management for the Sandbox Newspaper and market management, media management and copywriting for the Student Support Center, among other activities,” the FCSAA posted on Facebook.
Arnold received his associate of arts degree with an emphasis on Mass Communications earlier this year and now is working on his associate of science degree in Digital Arts. In his own words, he explains how he evolved from math wiz to a media master.
One day I thought to myself… wow, we live in an interconnected world, and that my friend was when my life changed.
I joined the military young. The name of the game was submarines, and the role I played was electronics technician in the navigation field. Basically, I fixed electrical navigation equipment and navigated. Medically discharged after two years, I returned with this idea of the world where information was a stone’s throw away, one that had a whole realm of possibilities tied to a bundle of cable. I remember finding comfort in that.
I realized something then – I wanted to understand the world. The hard part? How to do it. I tried following my younger self, the math wiz who finished Calculus 3 in his second semester of college, and I fell short. I had lost the magic math touch and grew a sense for the spoken language. Words are as much art as any after all.
Venturing into the world of Mass Media Communications influenced me to join the realm of media. Any type of media began to fascinate me. Looking at what can be created using the cables that often sit at your feet astounded me. The modern media of today can truly be seen as art, and I felt that I could use my analytical brain to create something truly amazing. And so, media brought me to Web Design.
Along the way, one thing kept me going strong. It was St. Petersburg College and their faculty and staff. Remember, I came back wanting to be involved with the information flow of the world. I wanted to be interconnected. This drive pushed me to start volunteering where I would meet people and experience the world through the stories of others. It is really enjoyable to spin a story for someone and to see their reaction: smiles, frowns, laughs, snores. There’s a thrill to knowing your work can deeply impact others. And so … I worked hard.
I volunteered for the Student Support Center writing newsletters, and I progressed to be their marketing manager where I helped promote them in various ways. I wrote for the Sandbox News and reported on everything I could. Soon, I was the Social Media Manager for all of their media needs. I was collaborating with provosts and faculty for the best stories! I was learning technologies at a ridiculous rate: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Movie Maker and Dreamweaver. I found that I could create art in the form of online websites from scratch. And it became very clear to me: I will work hard to be the best multimedia manager that I can be!