Elizabeth Miller | St. Lawrence University Performance and Communication Arts

Elizabeth Miller

Class year: 
PCA (Rhetoric/Communications)
Woodstock, VT

I decided I wanted to become a PCA major because I have always been fascinated and genuinely concerned with my influence on others and empathic, in a sense, towards the people around me. After taking Introduction to Communications, my interest was heightened once I discovered how much can be studied about how we all communicate in our infinite mediums. I appreciate the many methods of communication that we experience in our daily lives and I am someone who truly cares about how I am perceived when I interact with others. This semester I am taking Rhetoric and Public Speaking, as well as Research Methods of Communication. So far I am very much enjoying these more in depth courses concerning the rhetorical concentration of this major.

All through my educational career, getting up to speak in front of the class, even if it was about a topic I knew as well as the back of my hand, I still got a huge pit in my stomach and seemingly forgot how to breathe and speak simultaneously. When I came to St. Lawrence, one of the biggest components to my FYP was sharing our personal journals for the class. At first this was scary to me, speaking out loud to a group of twenty or so people whom I barely knew. Sharing my personal thoughts and opinions out loud was something I’d never done before. Throughout my semester I became more comfortable sharing my writing and I eventually enjoyed speaking up. Our final was a speech that culminated themes within our course in connection with a journey we have completed or were going through in our life. Although it was the longest speech I had ever given, it was one of my favorite projects I’ve ever done. I had been given the opportunity to share something important to me through my eyes to a group of people who knew nothing about it. I presented about a community enrichment center in my town for children and adults with special needs that I hold very close to my heart. Having the power and the privilege to share how important this organization is to me, and to attempt to show people how truly amazing these people are was a great as well as humbling feeling. I am passionate about sharing, educating and hopefully influencing peoples’ ideas and I believe that being a PCA major will give me the tools to develop and learn the skills necessary to share and communicate what I care about.

Although I’m not sure what I would specifically like to do with a degree in Performance and Communication Arts, I know that I want to effect how people view ideas, places and other people. Something that really peaks my interest, is the way in which communications departments of a school or university operate. I work in the St. Lawrence Communications office as a photo processor, and I am also a member of our university’s social media team that works closely with Meg Bernier who is the Assistant Director of Editorial Services & Social Media. Just the small glimpse I have into this department of our university gets me excited. The prospect of studying the art and logistics of what is the back bone of something so integral to places like a university and possibly making it a career or passion in my life is extremely appealing to me.

What also interests (but also frightens) me about completing a PCA major here at St. Lawrence is the secondary component, or in my case Theatre/Performance Arts. A part of me has always wanted to get into theater, but I’ve never had the nerve. I believe that experiencing this major will give me an opportunity to explore a part of myself within academia that I never have.

Since this fall, when I decided I wanted to be a PCA major I’ve been so excited to begin focusing my education on something that I truly enjoy and care to learn about. I hope that I will be a welcomed addition to the students who are members of this major, and I look forward to the prospect of working with the talented professors within this department and alongside the students who share the same passion as I.