Samantha Easterday is the epitome of a well-rounded media student. From executive producing some of the School of Communication and Media’s biggest events of the year, to being a standout student in class, Easterday is a prime example of what it looks like to take advantage of every opportunity. The recent Montclair State graduate majored in Television and Digital Media with a concentration in Television Production after transferring to MSU from Camden County College.
Easterday fell in love with TV at a young age after watching “Ellen” with her mom. “I wanted to be Ellen Degeneres when I was younger,” Easterday said with a laugh. “We had a camcorder and [my mom] would plug it into our TV so it would mirror and I could see myself as I was on TV. And I just thought that that was really cool.”
Although she once dreamed of being an on-camera personality, Easterday has since found her home behind the scenes. “I love the technology side of it and I like writing,” she said. “I think I see myself producing and creating content in the future.”
Easterday was able to gain hands-on experience behind the scenes when she was chosen to be the executive producer of the School of Communication and Media’s Election Night Live event in fall 2018. After the success of the event, Easterday was tapped as one of the executive producers of the school’s first-ever Focus Immigration project.
Focus Immigration was a collaborative, student-run transmedia project that highlighted the stories of immigrants in the United States. “I just really liked the Focus project because it brought together a lot of other people within the School of Communication and Media,” Easterday said. “It was more than just a grade to [the students]. Everyone was working on these projects in their classes and their projects were going to something.”
Although her time at Montclair State has come to an end, Easterday is currently preparing to embark on her biggest opportunity this far, as she begins work as a Broadcast Associate at MLB Network. Easterday was recommended by faculty for an on-campus interview with representatives from the network, and was offered a position a few short weeks later. Although entry-level employees at MLB are usually hired as loggers, the representatives were so impressed with Easterday’s range of experience that she was offered a higher-level position.
Although this position is a far stretch from her original ambitions of becoming the next Ellen Degeneres, Easterday exudes excitement and passion for her new role. “Sports production is not something I always thought [I’d be] interested in,” Easterday said. “But I do have a passion for TV production, so [anything] close to the industry is what I want to do. I’m really excited.”