Haley Bolton | St. Lawrence University Performance and Communication Arts

Haley Bolton

Class year: 
PCA (Rhetoric/Communications)
Washington DC

     I came to St. Lawrence unsure of what I wanted to pursue for a major and further on, a career. Through taking many different courses I first believed I wanted to pursue economics but found that it was to challenging, and through working over the summer in internship positions, I knew I was interested in working with people first and foremost. My first semester of my sophomore year, I had talked to many students who were pursuing a PCA major or minor and knew that I should take the intro to communications course to see how I would like it. I had to rearrange my whole schedule, but was able to get into Jessica Prody‚Äôs Intro to Communications class. Within the first two weeks, I knew I wanted to pursue a major in the Rhetoric and Communications side of PCA here at St. Lawrence. I had always enjoyed learning the dynamics of human communication, and what verbal and non-verbal cues and language could reveal about a person. This was the first time in my college career that I felt completely comfortable participating in a class, and felt that I understood the material without any help, it all seemed like common sense. I was genuinely interested in what I was learning for the first time in a long time. Jessica Prody is a fantastic professor and I was able to gain valuable knowledge through her interactive and lecture and discussion based teaching style. What I liked most about this subject was that it was learning about the fundamentals of something that each and every one of us is apart of, and what it all meant, this information feels important to me unlike many subjects.
     During this last fall I also took Beginning Acting with Jennifer Thomas with the helpful advice of my first year program advisor, Paul Doty. I was hesitant and extremely nervous about taking this class. It took me several weeks to feel comfortable with the teaching techniques and my own self-confidence of performing for others. What I found form this class was something completely unexpected, I gained assurance in myself and I became a more open person comfortable with public speaking. I developed drastically, not necessarily into a better actress but into a person that was confident with doing something completely out of my comfort zone. Although I am interested in pursuing the rhetoric and communications side of the major, this class was extremely valuable in understanding how to communicate effectively to an audience. I had to apply what I learned in my intro to communications class to the actions in my beginning acting class. I was able to see the different forms of human communication in reality and how others can perceive them. Overall, this past fall was a teaching experience that was applying what I had found important and valuable in the classroom to actions while in another class.
     I am currently taking Public Speaking with Jessica Prody and although I have quite a bit to work on as a speaker, I am learning valuable lessons of how rhetoric is used as persuasion. I believe that through taking this class I will also gain a better ability to have more confidence with public speaking and understand the fundamentals of persuading an audience through my personal communication.
     What I hope to take from this major is to understand the dynamics of language and human communication to use for marketing to people. To learn how to effectively persuade an audience or group of people into understanding the mission or product of whatever I hope to market for the future, using the valuable knowledge I will gain from choosing PCA as my major. I am also interested in adding on a Business in the liberal arts major to increase my knowledge about business fundamentals along with my understanding for human interaction and communication.