Class Year: 1992
Major(s): Mass Communications and Studio Art with a minor in Journalism
Occupation: President/Co-owner of YourPlanB.com, with DavidB’94
Hometown: Chicago, IL
What kind of activities were you involved with on campus?
S.L.O.B.S. (Students Looking Out for a Better Social Life) – we turned Pearsons into a giant haunted house, brought bands to campus etc.; created a student run soap opera, “Campbell’s Soap,” for B.A.T.; co-directed a music video show called “Hey Sailor! Dorks on Parade”; convinced the student government to fund my annual birthday party (aka Funeral Party); was a DJ on WBCR; station manager at B.A.T.; worked in Student Activities (work study); Round Table layout editor; created the “Art and Animation” minor; Honors Term; chaperoned a trip to Daytona Beach.
What off-campus opportunities did you enjoy?I grew up in nearby Delavan, so going to Hernadez’s restaurant on Sundays if I could find someone with a car. Other than that, I stayed on campus. Beloit (city) in the late 80’s/early 90’s wasn’t as friendly as it is now. I took the bus up to Madison to see bands and shop on State St. a lot.
What was your favorite class? Or was there a faculty member who you remember being a favorite?
Carl Balson, Ralph Knasinski, Richard Olson, Darrah Chavey, Bill Flanagan, Connie Schroeder, Phil Hickox, Ann Davies, Charles Westerberg, Parker Marden, Bill Behling, Roxie Alexander, Milt Feder, and John Wyatt...
Where was your favorite space on campus?
I spent a lot of time in DK’s (Pearsons) and at the TV station (Neese Theatre). The lounge in whatever dorm I lived in.
How do you think your Beloit education has influenced or affected what you are doing now?
Critical thinking and creative problem solving is the secret to good design! And I can credit Beloit for refining those skills. Ralph Knasinski sat me down in front of an Amiga computer, which began my love of art and technology. Working in Student Activities helped me learn how to work with and manage groups of people – which helps me as a collaborator with my clients and creative team. Oh, and Carl Balson teaching us to always “consider your audience!”
I wasn’t very interested in computers at the beginning of my Beloit experience. I was bored in a life drawing experience and Ralph Knasinski basically dared me to draw it on a computer. I fell in love with computers. Email became something on campus that year. To send an email and get an email, you had to go to a specific room so you could be sitting next to your friends and get an email. Ralph was a big supporter as to “what we could do with this art” and built a computer lab in a janitor's closet for the four or five of us who were interested in computers and art.
Using the video toaster in the TV station, and using the Amigas in the janitor’s closet, they helped me coordinate an honors term to found the computer art and animation minor that Dave was the first to graduate with. I spent a lot of time on the phone coordinating a lot of that.
More notes on how the company started: I headed to Chicago to work in video and film. I picked up a job helping work on CD-Roms and my boss said “there’s no way women can code websites.” Thinking to myself – I’ll show him – I went to the bookstore, bought some books on building a website, and made my first web page that weekend.
I worked on a web project as a freelancer for a Notre Dame Football CD-Rom. The project made the cover of Screen magazine and I promptly quit my full-time job and became a web designer. This was back in 1994. I worked for a couple of other companies who went out of business and decided to just start my own company (with partner DavidB’94) in January 1997. The fun part is that since video is becoming such an important part of online marketing, we get to do video work again – full circle!
What is something you would encourage all students to do before graduating from Beloit?
Work in catering. You can learn so much from interacting with people as a food server. From what are your limits, to customer service, to accountability to the team. Basically, work somewhere on campus. Don’t just take classes. Take a class that has nothing to do with your major to expand your vision and interests. Start a club!
What is something unexpected you’ve enjoyed by volunteering for Beloit as a social media ambassador?
Meeting other Alumni (virtually and in person at events) – young and old! Hearing their stories and seeing photos of their experience on campus.
Why are you proud to Be Beloit?
I describe myself as one of those forever students. You know, someone who wasn’t quite ready to leave campus after graduation. Thanks to an Honors Term and then my first post-graduate job (I was Science Center staff!), the college was finally able to nudge me to follow my dreams in Chicago! Only to have me boomerang right back with involvement in the Alumni Association, proving that I really couldn’t stay away.
And you know why?
Well, Beloit is everyday for me. Ask my friends! I don’t think I can go 24 hours without sharing Beloit College, either by sharing a treasured memory, a current event on campus, or introducing a hopeful new student.
Beloit College offers a beautiful, inclusive campus community, events that bring us together, my closest friends, and of course my partner in business and in life. I am thrilled knowing there is a Beloit College for all of us to remember—waaayyyy back when, right this minute, and into the future!