Q&A With Dolores Nolan

Dolores Nolan addressed the Communication Arts Department at its first Communications Week. Photo Credit: Dolores Nolan.

By Mandy Boyle
Advertising Sales Manager/Entertainment Editor

On Wednesday, April 21 at 3:00 PM in the Media Center, Marywood will get to welcome back one of its own as part of the Communication Arts Department’s panel discussion, The Changing Art of Communications: Bringing The Vision of the Future. Dolores Nolan, a Marywood alum and Vice President of Membership for the Radio Advertising Bureau, will act as the panel moderator as PR pros, technology experts, filmmakers, and keynote speaker Gary Arlen, President of Arlen Communications, come together for what promises to be a memorable event to showcase the Communication Arts Department.

Recently, I got the chance to speak to Nolan on her experiences in broadcasting, what we can expect from the panel, and her time at Marywood.

What has the experience been like working on the Communication Arts seminar, The Changing Art of Communications: Bringing The Vision of the Future?

It’s been very special and an honor for me to be involved with the launch of this first Communication Arts seminar.  (The seminar) evolved out of conversations over time between myself and Liz Connery of Marywood’s development department with respect to career challenges and how, no matter where you are along the career path, you must be vigilant about staying up on and the rapid changes in technology as those changes impact our jobs.

What do you feel was the biggest motivating factor behind your involvement?

It’s an exciting project for Marywood to do and I am excited about being involved in something academic and experience the Marywood community and campus again.  Also, it will be great to meet the students, who are “Digital Natives.” I know I will be learning lots from them.

What was your experience like at Marywood University?

Marywood was a very special experience.  Decades later, I am still talking and breathing Marywood.  There is something very special about the experience there that has resulted in enduring friendships.  Probably because the student body was smaller compared to many other schools and you never felt lost in a crowd.  You had personal relationships with your professors.

What made you choose Marywood?

Marywood always had a great reputation and it was always on my list.  It was far enough away from Hawley, PA, where I grew up, that I would need to dorm and have the experience of living away from home, yet not too far away that I could get home easily for a weekend.

How did Marywood prepare you for your current career?

The radio and television curriculum was relevant and you had the opportunity to work at the college radio station for practical experience.  The opportunity to intern at the Scranton Times radio stations in my last semester of college really launched me into the workplace.   I started my internship in January of my senior year at WEJL/WEZX.  Bill Longworth was the General Manager.  He advised me that there was a traffic job available across town at WGBI-AM/FM and that I should try to get an interview.  I got the job and started my first paid job in the industry on Saint Patrick’s Day, which was very special to me since I am a native of Ireland.

Did Marywood give you the skills needed to achieve your goals?

Absolutely.  I think college is what you make of it.  The curriculum is there and it is up to the student to delve into the course work and to seize opportunities like working on campus at the radio and television stations and to get involved with the community media.

What advice do you have for Marywood University students on their experiences here?

Enjoy it.  It goes so quickly.  Take advantage of everything the college environment has to offer. Get involved in your passion.

What made you want to go into broadcasting?

Growing up in the Pocono region of Northeastern Pennsylvania, I was lucky to be able to listen to New York City’s WABC-AM radio and local WARM-AM.  They both played music and had great personalities. Knowing what was going on in the area because of local radio and television.  It was show business, it was celebrity, and it was fun!

What was it like when you first started out in the industry?

It was the 70s. Women were breaking into the industry.  As a woman, I felt empowered.  For me, I found the industry welcoming and that I was always mentored by everyone I ever worked for.   I still have good relationships with many of the people I worked with.  Again, the internship was key.  It launched me into the industry.

What lessons did you learn early on?

Don’t be myopic.  Be curious and open to others and all opportunities.  Treat everyone in the workplace with respect, no matter what their title.  Realize that everyone you work with can be a mentor and that people like to advice and help when asked.  Always deliver on what you promise.  Remember that you are a brand.  Be memorable for something good and remarkable.

What lessons are you still learning today?

You must always keep learning and keep up with the changes by reading articles, books and taking courses in your field.  Participate in new media.  Volunteer and be involved with industry professional organizations to widen your network and to be exposed to free knowledge.  Give back.  You could be inspiring a future leader or trail blazer.

What are your hopes for the future in terms of your career?

What is on my mind right now is my desire to update and finish a labor-of-love, my website/podcast www.saintsofnewyork.com and see where that leads.   I’d love to see it evolve into a documentary series and book.

What advice do you have for Communication Arts students on starting their careers?

Be digital and marketing savvy.  Don’t just consider “on-air.”  Off air work can be very lucrative, such as sales, production, producing.  Communication knowledge and skills can be assets for jobs in many fields:  PR, advertising, journalism.  Consider entertainment/media law or intellectual property law.

If you could recommend a few books for any communications student to read, what would they be?

  1. SOCIALNOMICS – How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business by Erik Qualman
  2. The Long Tail, The Revised and Updated Edition:  Why The Future of Business is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson
  3. What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis
  4. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  5. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Beyond books, Marywood students with a Marywood e-mail address have FREE access to the resources of the Radio Advertising Bureau website, www.rab.com.

There you will find rich information and data on media, advertising and marketing.  All you need to do is log on with the master credentials to personalize your logon.   For the logon credentials, Marywood students can contact RAB Members Response at [email protected] or 800-232-3131 or contact me at [email protected], 800-998-2153.

Where can students and alumni find you on the net?

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/DigitalDoll

Facebook:  Dee Nolan

My Labor-of-Love:  www.saintsofnewyork.com

E-mail:  [email protected]