Like many young college students, Jessica Safavimehr Hernandez had struggled to figure out what she wanted to do with her life after graduation.
Safavimehr Hernandez graduated from Lubbock High School in 2004 and transferred to South Plains College during the spring semester of 2005.
While attending SPC, Safavimehr Hernandez was a staff writer for the Plainsman Press for both her freshman and sophomore years.
“Before attending SPC, I was a little all over the place major wise,” she recalled. “I was undecided and had no clear direction in which I wanted to take my education. I had always had an interest in writing, and, more importantly, journalism. But I never realized my true feelings until my time at SPC.”
Safavimehr Hernandez came to SPC after attending the University of North Texas for a semester. She had to leave due to a family member falling ill. She wanted to continue her education, but needed to find a school that fit with her work and life schedule.
“SPC provided flexibility and affordability in my time of need,” Safavimehr Hernandez explained. “Looking back, I am so appreciative and grateful for my time at SPC, and I established relationships with instructors and fellow students that have continued through my current career.”
Safavimehr Hernandez recalled that she enjoyed the small atmosphere of the college because she was able to build relationships with the faculty and staff. She liked how approachable the professors were, and how easy it was to get in contact with them.
“SPC set me up for success,” said Safavimehr Hernandez, “and even though my last byline in the Plainsman Press was a bit touchy, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at SPC. College is such an impactful time in anyone’s life, and having the opportunity to take courses in a close setting and getting to know instructors on a first name basis was genuinely beneficial.”
She also shared some of her most fond memories while attending SPC, one of them being working late in the Newsroom on Paper Nights to create the upcoming issue of the Plainsman Press with her friends on the staff.
“Paper nights were one of the most educational experiences that I ever encountered at SPC,” said Safavimehr Hernandez. “Learning from the rest of the team and Charlie was wonderful. I enjoyed being a member of the staff because I was given a bit of free reign to write articles I was passionate about and to express myself through writing.”
Safavimehr Hernandez also spoke highly of Charles Ehrenfeld, associate professor of Journalism and Advisor for the Plainsman Press.
“Charlie made such an impression on me,” she said. “He was incredibly supportive, and his vast wealth of knowledge stuck with me through my journey at both SPC and Texas Tech.”
Safavimehr Hernandez transferred to Texas Tech University in the fall of 2007 to study Journalism and earned her minor in English in 2009.
While at TTU, she was a DJ for KTXT (88.1, Lubbock’s only alternative radio station) and was also a member of the Delta Zeta Alpha sorority.
“At Tech, I became heavily involved in the retail world,” Safavimehr Hernandez explained. “I quickly took a liking to the operations and loss prevention side, and before I knew it, I was off traveling the country assisting stores in need. I never stopped writing and consistently applied myself toward finding a career in journalism. I did some freelance work, but the real opportunity for me came when I landed a job as an assistant to film producer Dallas Sonnier.”
After she began working for Sonnier, Safavimehr Hernandez managed to work her way up and became his Vice President of Operations for Cinestate and the Associate Publisher for FANGORIA magazine. For Safavimehr, this job was a dream come true to have the opportunity to work in the horror genre.
“My advice to anyone currently attending or thinking about a move to SPC is to make the most of your time,” Safavimehr Hernandez said. “Take in the full experience! SPC has so much to offer, and in a smaller setting, so you are not lost in the crowd. Once you are at a four-year university, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd full of students or feel like a number in a class of 500. Attending SPC provides an intimate approach to education, which in my case is what I needed to jump start my education and career!”