What Great Minds Can Do: Diane Russo
"The Graduate Communication program provided me with the tools and resources to confidently set goals and accomplish them."
Diane Russo, M.A. '16 never shies away from growth and opportunity. Russo, an alumna of the College of Communication and the Arts, started her journey to a master's degree in 2014. "I was always a timid person, but after reviewing the curriculum and objectives set for the Graduate Communication program, I felt confident I would benefit from this program and succeed in my role," Russo shared. As she progressed through the courses, Russo shed her timorous nature and applied the confidence she gained in the program to her day-to-day tasks.
"The communication program provided me with the tools and resources to confidently set goals and accomplish them," said Russo. "The curriculum, class discussions and assignments provided many opportunities to strengthen my communication and leadership skills." Learning from experts in the field, Russo shared appreciation for the hands-on learning experiences gained from professors. She also credits the memorable class environments professors created for students to thrive and the collaborative nature that created a tight-knit cohort.
Now serving as the assistant dean of the Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) division at the University, Russo applies skills gained from the Graduate Communication program and her various Human Resources positions. "As manager of training and organizational development, I developed and facilitated workshops," she said. "In addition to the skills gained in the graduate program, using these experiences helped in assisting the Dean of CEPS in building workshops and conferences in a broader scope on behalf of the University." Working in partnership with Dean Karen Passaro, they develop new non-credit offerings for corporate, institutional and individual clients as well as partnering with the University's Public Relations department marketing representative on marketing initiatives.
CEPS recently launched this year's Strategic Influencing workshop series. In partnership with Lee Miller, best-selling author and executive life coach, these hands-on and skill-building sessions provide insight for key strategies for influencing and communication. The workshop series also offers seminars specifically geared toward women in strategic influencing.
Russo shares appreciation for the opportunity for personal and professional growth. "Working and learning at the University has provided me with a fulfilling work-life balance which includes rewarding work, continuous education opportunities, ability to freely participate in faith-based activities and making lasting relationships along the way," she said.
Russo's family has also seen the opportunity for growth at the University. Her husband recently completed his Master's in Healthcare Administration, their eldest son completed his sophomore year in the Stillman School of Business, and the youngest received his acceptance to the University as an undergraduate student starting in Fall 2020.
"My continuous desire for learning led me to the Graduate Communication program which has given me valuable skills for any role," Russo said.
The College currently offers three graduate-level programs, including Museum Professions, Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated master's/B.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.
This profile was written by Asya Robinson, a Graduate Assistant for Graduate Studies within the College of Communication and the Arts and an M.A. in Communication student.
Seton Hall Career Highlights:
- Assistant Dean for Continuing Education and Professional Studies
- Manager for Training and Organizational Development
- Currently enrolled in the Ed.D. Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy program.