Joseph Christensen ’09, ’15 MA graduated from Montclair State University with a BA in Theatre Studies, spending his time onstage and backstage. His return to Montclair State for graduate studies followed his passion for communication and creating media. Ever the active student, as an undergraduate you could likely find him rehearsing for a production, a Montclair State Chorale concert or catching up on Honors Program assignments. Christensen’s graduate studies equally filled up with responsibilities as a Teaching Assistant and later a Graduate Assistant. Remembering the wisdom of Professor Heather Buchanan on life being “feast and famine,” Christensen noted that he got many lessons for all the time put in, “albeit still figuring out work/life balance,” he joked.
Christensen enjoyed his graduate program very much and the community he built as a graduate student. Comparing his undergraduate and graduate experiences, each developed a sense of community, but graduate studies provide a more formal organizational approach. “Graduate education is often a very different experience than what people may encounter in undergraduate studies (more reading, work, and outside responsibilities), but if everyone comes together as we were able to do, it can provide a very supportive community atmosphere.”
While remembering the many contributions of faculty and staff from the College of the Arts, School of Communication and Media, and others, Christensen wishes to thank everyone who shared their time on campus. “I find it hard to single out individuals as the strength of my programs were built on a community of collaboration, both in theater and communication. I have a deep admiration for each person who joined my journey, and if I am a better individual in my life and work, it is due to the village of faculty, staff, and students.”
Christensen is also a member of the Recent Alumni Network (RAN) Committee. “On the RAN Committee, I believe I am one of the early adopters. Joining the RAN Committee may have been inevitable as I’ve been described as ‘connected,’ which really makes sense because I seem to build bridges wherever I go in life,” says Christensen.
For Christensen, Montclair State University is more than a place you attend for four years. “The Montclair State community is a place to build connections and friendships over the years,” says Christensen. “That is why it is important for me to keep the community strong not only for current students but also for future generations.”
Currently, Christensen works with clients in STEM sectors, providing a variety of communication strategies and support. As for his future aspirations, he would like to work in larger scale brand management, corporate communications, and crisis response.
“The worst questions are the ones not asked when you really could learn more. Never stop learning and pushing yourself as you may find your next opportunity or interest in a place you never expected,” are just some of Christensen’s words of wisdom for current students.