Recent Communications graduate worked NBA Finals in Oracle Arena

Kara New ’18 is feeling like she is on top of the sports world right now.

The Communications major recently graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts degree wearing a 2016-17 World Championship ring she received from the Golden State Warriors with her cap and gown.  Then, on May 31, she was working in the control booth high above courtside at Oracle Arena for Game One of the NBA Finals.

In between, Kara simultaneously began summer work experiences with the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics and continued her part-time job at the reception desk at Conlan Center. She has leaned on the support and training she received from the Communication and Media Studies Department in the School of Liberal Arts and Education to pursue her dream.

It’s what Kara signed up for four years ago after graduating from St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Glendora.

“I knew it was a small Communications program, but it had the connections to the big Bay Area teams,” says Kara, whose cousin Dalton Tour suggested she attend Dominican. “I knew I didn’t want to be a number in a class. I wanted to be a name.  I wanted to get to know my professors and I wanted my professors to know my name. That’s what I got at Dominican.”

The support system for Kara began with a tap on the shoulder of classmate, Diane Farina ‘16, in a television production class taught by Scott Calhoun. Diane, then a junior, had transferred to Dominican from Santa Barbara City College and Kara wanted to tap into her wisdom and experience.

The two classmates soon after worked together for Penguin Radio where Kara also worked closely with communications professor and Penguin Radio station director Stuart Horne. He helped Kara improve and feel comfortable on air and gave her the responsibility and confidence to do play-by-play of Penguin basketball games and soccer matches on radio.

Then last year Kara received an internship with the Warriors, thanks to a referral from her friend Diane, who is now a technical director and instant replay operator for SAMMCO, a San Francisco-based media production company that provides technical support and personnel assistance at major sporting events.

“I got my name out there. Once you are in one internship in the Bay Area, they know your name,” Kara says.

This year Kara joined Diane at SAMMCO with the Warriors and the Giants as a Character Generator Operator. Kara is responsible for creating animated text and graphics on game days that appear on the giant video scoreboards in Oracle Arena and AT&T Park. She also started an internship with the A’s as a productions assistant who also works game-day utility positions operating an in-stadium camera and in-stadium instant replay.

But the highlight so far for Kara at Dominican was interning with the Warriors last year during their championship run. She worked most of the time on the floor on a production team with Dominican alum Alex Herrera ‘17. On the night the Warriors won the NBA championship last June, she was working in the control room, however managed during post-game to make her way down to the court “to touch some confetti or something.”

This spring, Kara received her World Championship ring from the Warriors, becoming the fourth Warriors intern from Dominican to receive an NBA title ring after Drake Albee ’15, Alex Herrera ’17, and her friend Diane Farina ‘16.

Kara and Diane will become the first students from Dominican to earn two. They suspect they will receive their 2017-18 NBA Championship rings from the Warriors in the spring of 2019. When that happens, Kara will add it to her color-coded datebook planner where she has been jotting down her many work assignments for the Warriors, Giants, and A’s. Her calendar for the month of May was practically full.

At Dominican, Kara turned the study of communications into an art form.

“I learned even a small connection could be a huge connection. I would talk to professors who might not even be in the Communications program, but I feel that they could help me in the future,” she says. “Having a conversation with anyone at Dominican can open up the doors for an opportunity.”


June 1, 2018