Headshot of Abbie Darst
Dear Berea Alumni and Friends,

More than 15 years ago, the C-SPAN CEO, Brian Lamb, spoke at a College convocation. His charisma and passion for the network he’d created more than 20 years prior was infectious. The night before the convocation, Lamb dined at the president’s home with Communications Department faculty. At that point, in the fall of 2002, the communications major was only a few months old, and the handful of department faculty members were asked to invite a student to dinner. I was fortunate to be one of only two students in attendance. I talked with Mr. Lamb about his career in journalism, his founding of C-SPAN and his desire to engage young people in the industry. He talked briefly about internship possibilities and encouraged me to apply. I left that night on cloud nine—a little overwhelmed, but ecstatic about the possibilities that lie ahead.

Even with such a large foot in the door, I still worked hard to earn an internship with C-SPAN. After months of written applications, over-the-phone interviews and lots of prayer, I received the coveted phone call offering me an internship in C-SPAN’s marketing department that summer. The internship was unpaid and Washington, D.C. is an expensive place to live. So the College’s career development office stepped in and provided me a stipend to work through the summer, giving me the ability to say yes to this amazing opportunity. The experience I had at C-SPAN opened the door for launching my career in journalism, public relations and marketing.

Today, Berea has grown its resources for helping students navigate their journeys from students to professionals. Their path to career readiness is lined with people from all areas of the College—from faculty members who are inspired to create new career opportunities for students in a challenging field, like Music Department chair, Dr. Javier Clavere, who has unveiled the department’s newest area of interest, to entire offices dedicated to helping students discern their distinct career path and empowering them to follow it. Learn how the resources and opportunities provided by the Office of Internships and Career Development give Berea students the confidence and skills to fulfill their career ambitions.

But the true measure of success is in the stories of Berea’s alumni who have taken what Berea offered and not only pursued their dreams, but changed their lives and the lives of those they’ve served. Discover how Kayla Kinker Suma ’11 went from a homeless high school student to a successful obstetrician.

Each page of this issue explores how Berea equips and challenges its students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to push the envelope, dream big, give of themselves and pursue a life and career of excellence that leaves this College and this world in better hands.

Abbie Tanyhill Darst ’03
Director of Publications and Media Relations


Abbie Darst '03 is an article writing, husband loving, kid raising, cheer coaching, God serving, busy woman. Whether it's been in sports, law enforcement or higher education, Abbie has dedicated her career to telling stories that speak of mission, passion and the best parts of human experience. She's been telling Berea's amazing stories since 2017.

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