Alumni Spotlight

Mark Valadez 

Why did you choose your major?

My passion for film and TV led me to NIU's Communication Department, specifically Media Studies. 

How did your major help prepare you for what you are doing now?

The classes I took gave me an understanding of how TV in particular worked as a business. I've seen that business model evolve and change quite a bit since then, but my media classes in NIU gave me a foundation to draw from. 

What do you feel is special about the NIU program?

When I was a student there, I found that the Department was uniquely equipped to give students hands-on experience with up-to-the-minute technology. Also, I encountered faculty who were especially passionate about the field, who passed that enthusiasm along to their students.

Why would you recommend your major program to other students?

I would say precisely that hands-on-experience would be the big draw, the opportunity to learn from doing. The Communication Department encouraged exploration and creativity. 

Is there anything you would like to tell prospective students?

Find what you're passionate about, find the program that will speak to that passion, then make the most of everything that program has to offer while you're in school. Those four years go by much quicker than you think. 

What is your current occupation?

Television Writer. I'm Executive Story Editor of the USA Network series "Queen of the South," produced by Fox 21, Universal Cable Productions (UCP), and Friendly Films.


B.A. Communication Studies, 1992

Television Writer