Vines, a New Face in Journalism and Public Relations Department

Posted on 12/11/2018 9:10:19 AM

Khala VinesKhala Vines, a freshman international studies-political science and Asian studies major at IUP, is the Journalism and Public Relations Department’s newest student worker.

Vines is from Duncansville, Pennsylvania. While in high school, she participated in several student organizations, such as: secretary of Student Council; vice president of Key Club; cheerleading team; Spanish club; manager of the swim team; and Future Business Leaders of America. While in a competition for the best candidate in FBLA, she received an email from IUP’s associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dorothy Gracey. There was no cell reception at the competition, but as soon as she received cell service and looked at the email, she could not believe it at first.

“Once I got the email, I ran out of the bus, with no shoes on, straight to the guidance counselor’s office,” Vines said. “I needed to make sure what I was reading was real.”

The email from Gracey informed Vines she would receive a Board of Governors scholarship that provides tuition waivers for four years of study at IUP. Vines did not apply for the scholarship. Gracey was reviewing applications from potential freshmen and chose her because of her involvement in extracurricular activities throughout high school. Vines, being the first person in her family to finish high school, was definitely the first to get a full ride to college. She thought she was excited, but her family’s excitement was on a whole other level.

“The only reason I was able to come to college was because of the scholarship; otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it,” Vines explained. “I applied for nursing programs, but I decided I wanted to come to IUP for the international studies program instead, because it’s a great program.”

Vines was referred to the student worker position in the Journalism and Public Relations Department by political science secretary Nancy Mayr. She was offered the position at the end of her interview with department secretary Lee Vest.

“It’s going well. I’m getting along with everyone, and the professors are awesome,” Vines says, describing her time in her new position.

Vines plans to study abroad in Korea for a semester and would eventually like to teach in Korea or Japan someday. She plans to receive her certificate in Japanese in three and a half years. She also plans to get an internship in Washington for the summer.

After Vines earns her undergraduate degree, she plans to pursue a master’s in public policy. Her focus is on international relations, and her dream job is to work for the United Nations and to communicate between countries, specifically in Asia.

“I realized I want work with the policies of different countries,” she says. “Global awareness is important.”