Communication & Media Studies

1971-1975 Alumni

More Alumni Updates


Tracy O'Connell

Tracy O'Connell

Graduated May 1974
Associate Professor
UW-River Falls
River Falls, Wisconsin

Personal News: I live east of River Falls on a hobby farm and enjoy reading, gardening, travel, volunteering, and spending time with the animals and out in nature.

What's your job like? At present I teach classes in the subjects I did for more than two decades—advertising, public relations, and writing for the mass media. I do this at my alma mater, which brings back memories as I walk across campus. I enjoy the beautiful surroundings and the contact with such bright people of all ages. I have flexibility and work from home some days, grading papers, answering student queries, and managing an online class and the other 'business' that comes with the job. A lot is done electronically—email, online grading, online forms. Through the university I was able to participate in two overseas adventures in the past three years—to China and to Scotland.

Reflections: College was a very happy time for me—raised in the city, I was glad to be in the country, and took advantage of the small campus and rural atmosphere to have a horse, get involved in the agriculture and rodeo events, and spend a lot of time outdoors. I made friends that I stay in contact with today. As a journalism major, I was involved with the Student Voice and went from being so shy in high school that I'd cut class rather than walk in late in front of everyone to someone who would track down and interview politicians, business leaders, and even a pop star, John Denver, when he performed on campus. I only worked a couple years in journalism before making the switch to 'the dark side'—public relations. But my training at UWRF provided the background I needed in both careers.

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