COLA Connections Newsletter: Winter 2017

Alumni Spotlight: Lisa Barber-- Communication & Media Technologies

Lisa Barber is a graduate of the Communication & Media Technologies Master's program.  As both a student and a staff member at RIT during her studies, Lisa's experience mirrors that of many staff members at RIT who pursue their education while working full-time. Currently, Lisa and her husband, Lucas, are exploring South East Asia as freelance travel bloggers, ultilizing Lisa's skills in online marketing to showcase the brands of their clients and partners as they relate to unique, affordable luxury travel.  You can follow their adventures on their blog at    

How has your RIT experience influenced your life personally and professionally?

As a member of the RIT community for five years, I was fortunate to reach my personal development goals as an employee, as well as the ability to form professional relationships across the university. The network of students, staff and stakeholders during my tenure as the assistant director in Housing Operations provided me the opportunity to become involved in collaborative projects, campus-wide mentorships and community affiliations on and off-campus within the Rochester community.


How has a liberal arts education set you apart from your colleagues and peers?

The depth and range of topics covered in the M.S. in Communications and Media Technologies provided the historical building blocks to identify communicate barriers, methods of dissemination and advances in new media which remain relevant across multiple disciplinaries. This in turn equipped me with the ability to sharpen my skills in written, verbal and visual content creation. These are crucial in the line of work I'm currently doing.


What experience most prepared you for life after RIT?

A culmination of a fast-paced environment under the quarter system, coupled with a full-time career and community obligations prepared me to balance my academics, career and personal commitments.  I'm a pro at time management!


Were you involvement outside the classroom?

As a member of the RIT community, both as a student and employee of the university, my involvement outside of the classroom often varied. My role as a student provided the opportunity to connect with fellow graduate students to build a global network of relationships with my international classmates. Upon completion of my program at the time, I worked in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, which allowed me to serve in various mentoring programs with NTID/RIT students and provided the opportunity to serve as the university’s first coach for the RIT Poetry Slam Team and as a club advisor for Mental Graffiti Poetry Club for non-competing poets.


What makes you most proud to be a Tiger?

I am most proud of being a Tiger because of RIT’s commitment to diversity, innovation and the global network of Tigers around the world through its campuses. The three pillars are reflective of the Tiger spirit that can be found in virtually every RIT alum.


What challenges and successes have you experienced up until this point in your career?

The completion of my master’s degree in communications supplemented my academic achievements in business, economics, marketing and fashion merchandising and management. My unique portfolio of professional endeavors, broad skill set and previous work experience in telecommunications provides me the flexibility to work across various industries. Alternatively, my extensive professional experience may not align with the traditional notion of a linear career path to success. Fortunately, the opportunities I have afforded are a result of a manager, a colleague, or a recruiter who values my unique background and trusts that my ideas are a product of my past and present professional experiences.  Having a well-rounded portfolio means I am able to bring a lot to the table in any situation. 


If you could go back to graduation day what advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back to graduation day, the advice that I would give myself is to not let the question of "What’s next?" overshadow my academic achievement.