Meet Your Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brad Van Alstyne

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As countless Communication and Media Studies alumni will confirm, whether it is with his wit or wisdom, Dr. Brad Van Alstyne has a dynamic way of making things work.

A Friendly, Accessible Career Maker - from ABC to SNL

As assistant professor, coordinator of online learning and development, and department advisor, Dr. Van Alstyne wears many hats and is oftentimes the first person CMS majors meet. His friendly demeanor and personalized attention leave a great first – and lasting – impression.

“His personality was so exciting and all the opportunities he said I would have sounded almost too good to be true,” says Frankie Katafias ’15, whose broadcasting career with ABC-TV started after she was a student at Dominican. Today she is a weather anchor for KIRO-TV, the CBS Network affiliate in Seattle.

When developing a networking event to keep his students connected during the pandemic, Dr. Van Alstyne, Dominican’s FT Faculty Member of the Year in 2019, did not have to look far for inspiring and knowledgeable panelists. He simply called in his former students:

  • Mariah Chinchilla ’14, a former marketing producer for the TODAY Show, NBC Nightly News, The Tonight Show, and Saturday Night Live. Dr. Van Alstyne wrote Mariah’s letter of recommendation for her for Pratt Institute for City and Regional Planning in the School of Architecture. Mariah is now working as Senior Community Development Specialist for the City and County of San Francisco.
  • Amanda Aguilar ’13 came to Dominican from Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward because of the University’s close-knit community gave her just the right amount of space and support to pursue her dream of entering the media industry. In August of 2021 Amanda won a Southeast Emmy Award. A month later, she accepted a job as a reporter at ABC-30 Action News in Fresno.
  • Patrick Cayabyab ’13 is Project Manager at Project ECHO in San Francisco; Brian Sanchez ’13, who earned a Master’s degree in Sports Management at the University of San Francisco, is a Senior Account Executive at 160over90; and Emanuel “Manny” Cifuentes-Machado ’19, is now Career Advisor for Business & Entrepreneurship at Willamette University in Oregon.

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