On Friday, Oct. 27, the School of Communications, Media, and the Arts (SCMA) at Sacred Heart University (SHU) hosted their SCMA Alumni Awards presentation where they distribute awards to notable alumni from SCMA.
Alexandra Padalino, Sabrina Garone, Andrew Oshan, and Brian Fitzsimmons all received awards to acknowledge their successes since graduating.
Alumni Alexandra Padalino received the Alumni Excellence Award. She graduated SHU in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a concentration in Sports Media and a minor in Advertising Media/Public Relations.
“I made some of my best friends during my time at SHU, and I’m excited to see some of them at Homecoming this weekend,” said Padalino. “In terms of opportunities that I had at Sacred Heart, the school and the SCMA program really helped to put me in a position to be successful post-graduation.”
After graduation, Padalino started her career at ESPN as a production assistant where she contributed to studio shows such as SportsCenter and NFL Live. However, her career took a turn after realizing her passion for philanthropy which led her to become the Senior Manager of Global Communications of Special Olympics.
According to Padalino, SHU has contributed greatly to her successes and shaped her career into what it is today.
“SHU has impacted my future tremendously. The school offers so many opportunities, you just have to be willing to go the extra mile at times to take them,” said Padalino.
Padalino was shocked to receive this award and reflected on her time at SHU.
“The time that I spent in the communications department shaped my career as a whole and I couldn’t be happier to be back at SHU talking about how much of an impact my degree has had on my career,” said Padalino.
Alumni Andrew Oshan received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Oshan graduated in 2004 with a major in Media Studies and Communication.
“I made friends I’ll have for the rest of my life. Professor Miller first introduced me to the intern program at WWE which started me on my journey,” said Oshan. “I wouldn’t be where I am without SHU in many ways.”
According to Oshan, after graduating Sacred Heart, his journey involved “countless hours and overnight work,” but his commitment eventually led him to start his career at Mindshare/WPP as a media buyer.
Currently, Oshan holds the title of Executive Producer and Owner of Maul
Media, a small production company specializing in short-form content, including commercials, documentaries, and corporate projects.
“I never was much for school, undiagnosed ADD and Dyslexia didn’t really allow me to dive into learning as much as I’d like, but SHU pointed me in this direction,” said Oshan. “This type of work is the only thing I’ve ever been really good at, so being recognized is nice.”
Another Alumni Excellence Award is being given to Sabrina Garone. Garone graduated from SHU in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies with a concentration in Journalism and received her masters at SHU in 2020.
Currently, Garone is the host and producer of WSHU Public Radio’s daily podcast “After All Things.” She also produces the station’s climate podcast, “Higher Ground,” which received an Excellence in Science Communication award from the National Academy of Sciences in 2022.
“Sacred Heart has definitely changed my life. It’s funny to look back and think about all of the little decisions that lead up to where you are now,” said Garone. “It’s a tremendous blessing that I get to have this job and do things that I am super passionate about, while also continuing to be a part of the Sacred Heart community, which I am also super passionate about.”
Brian Fitzsimmons also accepted a Distinguished Alumni Award. He graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree from SHU in 2008. Fitzsimmons is currently the Assistant General Manager of Sports Brands at Barstool Sports.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards have served as a cornerstone program of the Alumni Association for nearly two decades. The Alumni Association honors graduates who demonstrate exemplary character, service, and achievement across a wide range of award categories.
Padalino offered her advice for students thinking about their future after SHU.
“Attend the networking events on the weekends, keep in touch with the people that you meet, apply for internship opportunities, and get as much experience as you can for your career at SHU,” Padalino said.