The Dean of Students Office is proud to highlight our first alumni spotlight, Jenna Cusumano.
Cusumano received her Bachelor of Science in journalism and a minor in cinema studies from Illinois State University in 2014. Recently, she moved to Peoria to pursue a career as an event manager at the Peoria Civic Center.
From the start of her journey at Illinois State, Cusumano knew that she somehow wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry, so she became actively involved in the University Program Board (UPB) for three years. She started as a general board member and also served on UPB’s leadership development committee. However, it was when she moved to the entertainment committee chairperson role for her last two years that she made her favorite memories.
“My favorite part of leading the entertainment committee was being able to bring a spark of excitement throughout the campus with new events we created and the major concert we announced each year,” Cusumano said. “I was passionate about being able to help create fun programs for other students to enjoy as they navigated the new time in their lives.”
Cusumano wholeheartedly believes that her experiences with UPB helped prepare her for her current role as an event manager.
“It wasn’t until I joined the University Program Board that I was aware of all the opportunities within the entertainment business,” she said. “I learned the ins and outs of concerts, something that has always been my favorite pastime. Yet, I never thought about the jobs that could be available full time within the concert industry. The University Program Board showed me new possibilities and taught me things I wouldn’t have otherwise known about just from the classroom.”
For Cusumano, being involved in Student Affairs is an important part of the college experience and can make your time on campus feel like home. Specifically, the Dean of Students Office and UPB helped her build both relationships and experiences that she continues to carry with her beyond college.
“It wasn’t just the experience from UPB that helped me post-college,” Cusumano said. “It was also the relationships I built within the Dean of Students Office that lead me to the job at the Peoria Civic Center. Experiences and relationships are the key to finding success after college. UPB was able to help me foster both, which lead me to my dream job only three years out of college.”
Were you involved with the Dean of Students Office during your time at Illinois State? Then we want to hear from you!
Let us know what you’ve been doing since graduation by emailing DeanofStudents@IllinoisState.edu with the subject, Alumni Update. We look forward to hearing from you!