SUU to Everywhere

Kierra Dotson ('13)

Kierra Dotson ('13)

Originally published on December 21, 2018.

Growing up, Kierra Dotson was sure of two things, she wanted to work in the news and she wanted to attend Southern Utah University.

“SUU was a natural decision for me. Growing up in Cedar City I had always imagined myself as a student on campus and was thrilled when I was offered a scholarship,” Kierra said.

Kierra remembers coming home from school as a young girl and turning on the news instead of cartoons. When it came time to go to SUU she got involved in the communication department and found that SUU reignited her passion for the news industry. She kept herself busy pursuing projects with SUTV and the PR department and earned a double major in broadcasting and PR.

“I really valued the hands on experience I received at SUU. Instead of hearing a lecture or watching a video about how the news business works, I was able to actually get my hands on a camera, write and produce news, and explore different areas within the field,” Kierra said.

Mentors and professors like Jon Smith, professor of communication, played an important role in Kierra’s SUU success. “Jon was the biggest influence when it came to my career. He taught me how the news business works, how to hold a camera, how to produce a news show, what makes a good story, and so much more,” she said.

“My professors and fellow classmates helped me see my potential and believed in me. Without their support I would have never succeeded. In fact, it was because of my connections at SUU that I was even considered for the job at ABC4.”

Kierra is currently the Digital News Manager at ABC4 where it is her responsibility to disseminate news on their website and social media. She spends her time writing news, monitoring trending stories and working with crews to prioritize digital and social platforms. She also works with ABC4’s podcasts.

Kierra credits SUU with giving her the tools and confidence to pursue her career.  “At SUU your education is more than textbooks and lectures, you get firsthand experience that you will use in the real world.”