Joan Schuman (Advisor)

Joan SchumanJoan Schuman
My first assignment working in NYC as a science writer many years ago was to interview women aquanauts in the Caribbean. That’s how I met my husband Dan. And our first date when we got back to NY was to come up to New Paltz and dive under Lake Minnewaska. We soon both left NYC and moved to Woodstock because we loved this area so much. I did PR and advertising for the I Love New York campaign, several other clients on a freelance basis, and then built my own agency, based in Kingston, with about 25-plus employees. I bought a beautiful old brick building which we restored with tin ceilings, thick oak doors and skylights. My agency never focused on just one kind of industry client and I still don’t today. I not only found it boring, but limiting as well. I believe that a broad experience allowed me to bring an open mind to each client’s challenges. I have worked with clients in finance, real estate, health care, manufacturing, retail, education and fashion. About 15 years ago I was asked to teach a PR class to help a friend. With all my experience, I was still so nervous to get up in front of a class. So many eyes staring at me for more than an hour. I was so self conscious, but soon learned to not worry about that and enjoy the experience. Actually…I loved it! I find teaching fun. Really! I love communicating with young minds, I love the challenge (never knowing what questions I’ll be asked), I love exposing students to something new. A short while ago I was recognized by the college as a “difference maker.” I cherish that letter of recognition which means more to me than all the 50-plus advertising and PR awards I’ve won. My hope is that each of my students in the IIB program can find work that they too are passionate about.