Esmeralda Montenegro-Owen '11
Hartnell College, located in Salinas, California, has hired former Univision 67 broadcaster Esmeralda Montenegro-Owen, as its director of communications. Since August, the Notre Dame de Namur (NDNU) alumna has been tasked with the community college's public, media and government relations duties. Prior to joining the college, Montenegro-Owen was the curator of marketing and community engagement for the National Steinbeck Center and adjunct professor of broadcast journalism at Gavilan College.
Montenegro-Owen says "a world of opportunities opened up" for her after graduating with a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in 2011 from NDNU.
"It was the best decision that I've ever made. As soon as I graduated I got the job at Gavilan College (in Gilroy) as an adjunct professor of journalism. Soon after that I got the job at the National Steinbeck Center. Everything just happened so quickly after I graduated from the university in 2011."
It was her husband, William Lewis Owen '11, who persuaded her to speak with Barbara Caulley, associate professor of human services at that time, about pursuing a master's degree. "She was very thorough with her questions about what I wanted to do and why. She then recommended that I should get into the MPA program, and so I did."
Montenegro-Owen valued the one-on-one attention she received from professors and the small class size. "You just had this relationship with each professor and there was a sense of care. You could tell they all wanted us to succeed."
For the past two years, the former reporter has been mentoring young students at Gavilan College twice a week. "I do love teaching and students are so eager to learn about the news business, but I remind them that the industry has changed — you need to be on top of it."
Montenegro-Owen continues to dabble in media. She is active with the local community television stations in Monterey County. She is also a board member for KUSP public radio, in the Community Advisory Council for KQED, Co-Chair of the community group Juntos Podemos, and Board Member of Unspoken Works in Gilroy.
Check out some more alumni profiles along with some of their featured work in the upcoming December issue of NDNU Today.
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