Imani Spence, 16

Imani Spence, ’16, is a former UMBC English major who currently works as a radio producer for the Marc Steiner Show on WEAA 88.9FM. Read about her experience at UMBC and her post-graduation work below:

I didn’t want to become an English major. My mother was an English major, and I wanted to step out and forge my own path. I came into UMBC as a Media and Communication Studies (MCS) major and then felt very confused about my Depth of Field (another major or a minor to complement the MCS degree). Mostly because I wanted to work in journalism, I started to read about the Communication and Technology track in the English major. I fell in love with it.

I took the majority of my English classes focusing on audio production. I worked with Dr. Ceraso to learn about how sound evokes emotions and how to most effectively convey a message using multimedia. I took classes with Dr. Shipka that made me rethink what I knew about communication and language. I realized that I had such a limited idea of what an English major could do for me and I was so grateful to the UMBC English Department for giving me the opportunity to explore the opportunities in the field.

With my work within MCS, I was able to use interdisciplinary concepts and execute my ideas with the theories I learned in English. I took classes with Professor Rudacille that made my writing sharper and helped to flesh out my ideas from classes like Critical Sexuality Studies or African Americans in Pop Culture. I used both majors as a way for me to gain perspective and refine my writing and editing skills.

While I was at UMBC, I was the Technology Section editor for the Retriever, worked with WMBC, was also an RA, and worked as a Student Ambassador in the Office of Student Life. All of these jobs made me uniquely proud to be a UMBC alum. Since then, I have used my undergraduate training and all the work I did on campus to move forward in a career I love. Right now, I’m a radio producer for the Marc Steiner Show, a public radio talk show that airs out of WEAA 88.9FM. In this job, I do research, write scripts for the host, and sometimes conduct interviews myself.

The best part about my job is that I’m melding all my fields of study into one. I use my theory from MCS to inform the way I talk about topics and I use the skills from English to make sure that everything is concise and makes sense. In my free time, I’ve been collaborating with other UMBC students and alums with the Baltimore Sound Society, working to bring audio projects that aim to enlighten and inform.

This spotlight was originally published on December 2, 2016.