Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Marc Schoder
PORTALES—EasternNew Mexico University alumni Jennifer Best, Abby Dunn, Pedro Laumbachand Angel Montoya have found their way into jobs at KFDA-TV, the CBSAffiliate in Amarillo.
"Amarillois a great market to learn and improve," said Pedro Laumbach, whograduated from Eastern in May of 2004 with a bachelor's degree insports communication. Laumbach, whose official title is sportsphotojournalist, added that Amarillo is what is referred to as a feedermarket.
"This market allows youa start in your career to go as far as you can," said Laumbach. "Fornow, I am a photographer, but in the near future I would like to trysitting behind the sports desk and learning that aspect of news."
Laumbachsaid that Amarillo reminds him of Portales. "The people are genuinelykind and respectful toward each other," he said. "Amarillo gave me theoption to continue to learn more about television production," saidLaumbach, who started out working for a company in Austin, Texas.
Eventhough he is doing his first love of sports, the photojournalistadmitted one thing, "If you asked me if I was going to work in the newsbusiness my senior year, I would have told you no."
Laumbachnoted that working at KFDA also has one other advantage. "It seems thatthis station is getting taken over by Eastern New Mexico Universityalumni. It's great," he said.
Laumbach said that what he misses about Eastern is the education.
"Itis crazy what you actually learn during college. The communicationsprogram did an excellent job of preparing me for my first job," hesaid. "They prepared me enough to get a job and take that first step."
Laumbachadded that the professors in the communications department at Easternare great people and that he credits them for advancements he has madein his career. Laumbach said that ENMU has a lot to offer its students.
"It is a small community, soeverybody knows each other. You build a tight network, helping youlater in your future as well as professors taking the time to help youif you need extra assistance. They really do know you by your firstname," he said.
Angel Montoya, an ENMU communication graduate of spring 2004 and now a KDFA account executive, agrees with Laumbach.
"Academically,I miss that one-on-one interaction with the communication professors,"said Montoya. "They made the learning environment very interesting andfun." Montoya said that in her five years at Eastern the campus had avery friendly atmosphere.
"It was like Eastern became a second home to me," she said.
JenniferBest and Abby Dunn, who both graduated in May from Eastern with degreesin broadcast journalism, agree on missing one particular part ofEastern. "I miss all of the people I worked with at News 3 New Mexico,especially John Kirby, the news director," said Best. Dunn agrees withBest. "I have to mention John Kirby. I never had any classes with him,but I worked with him directly at the TV station, where he was newsdirector," said Dunn. "Words can't even begin to describe the greatrelationship he and I developed over the two years we worked together.He truly influenced me in every sense of the word."
Allof the Eastern Alumni agree on the fact that Eastern's small classsizes and caring professors are the reason to come to ENMU. "I knew Iwanted to go to a smaller school where I could develop personalrelationships with my professors and actually get something out of myclasses," said Dunn. "But, more importantly, for my major in broadcastjournalism, I knew I wanted to go somewhere where I could get hands-onexperience, and I got that at KENW."