Dana Vlaisavich has always been a communicator, and it shows. Dana is relaxed and easy to talk to, her writing style is natural and fluid, and in social media she is fluent in video, audio, and the written word. Words, however, are not the only way to speak, and for years before coming to Washington State University Dana communicated in a different form.
A passion for expression
“When I was younger my parents tried putting me in everything to see what I liked,” Dana says, laughing, “and apparently I didn’t want to do anything that was a normal sport. I didn’t like basketball or soccer or any of those things, but I did like dance and gymnastics.”
From about the age of 4 to the age of 10 Dana focussed on ballet, before switching studios and broadening her repertoire. She began to learn jazz, tap, hip-hop and contemporary, a mix of different styles and schools of dance, and as she did, she began competing. This was just before TV shows such as Dance Moms hit the air.
“After that, the world of competitive dancing got really big,” Dana says, “Big up in my area, anyway, with a lot of people doing it.”
When she joined her high school dance team they not only competed on state and National levels, but did football games and other public performances. After three years of that, however, Dana decided she had had enough of the spotlight, and the drama that came with it. As a result, Dana focussed on communicating in a very different way, and to a different audience.
A path to public relations
When she arrived at WSU, Dana turned her talents and energies in communicating towards building a career. At first, she thought she go into sales. She had always been good at talking to people. When she discovered communication, however, she found herself enthralled with Murrow.
“I was in COM 102, which is public speaking, so it was a bigger lecture with small labs where you’d give your speeches. That was really kind of my first taste of communications. It was the combination of interesting lectures and even more interesting one-on-one labs. I was like sitting there and it grabbed me.”
Within a few courses Dana found herself focussed on public relations, but also discovered a love of videography, film and the film industry. She began taking more Journalism courses.
“I don’t see myself as an in front of the camera kind of person,” she says as she considers her future, “but I could see myself behind it, or maybe working in PR within the film industry.”
Marketing at Murrow
With that in mind, Dana decided to hone her skills in public relations with her role as the marketing intern for the Murrow College.
“Doing this internship is the biggest blessing,” she says, her smile broadening as she becomes more animated, “When I saw it, I was like: Oh my gosh, this looks great! Now I’m working with professionals, building something that actually matters. I just keep realizing every day how much communication and public relations is part of everything.”
In May 2023, Dana will graduate, and is contemplating what comes next. It could be working for a public relations firm, hopefully in the film industry, but she is also considering going on to graduate school, quite possibly on the East Coast. No matter what she does, however, Dana will be leaving a legacy of her own at Murrow College.