Maria Gutierrez ’16
A native of Cali, Colombia, Maria Gutierrez ’16 majored in international affairs at Rollins’ Hamilton Holt School after transferring from Valencia College. Managing a staff of 12 and overseeing more than 80 live shows and 120 DJs, Gutierrez served as the promotions director and station manager for Rollins’ radio station, WPRK 91.5 FM, which first aired in 1952 and continues to deliver the best in basement radio. She now works as an assistant producer at NPR in Washington, D.C.
Finding a Voice
“My time at WPRK was crucial to my career development. I was a radio DJ for about three years. In that basement, I learned how to operate a board while also curating a live show. All of this helped me develop my own voice as a creative person in audio production and journalism and taught me the management, recruiting, and event-planning skills that came with being the promotions director and station manager.”
Defining a Direction
“My experience at WPRK helped me get an internship with the Department of State in Uruguay, which was amazing. It was during my time abroad that I realized how much I missed what WPRK offered me on the regular—an opportunity to be creative. That’s when I decided to make a shift toward audio work. Spending three years at WPRK definitely helped me land an opportunity at NPR because preemptively getting broadcasting and audio production experience proved that I was passionate about radio.”
“My favorite memory of working on campus was being able to hang out, countless times, in the basement with my colleagues. I appreciate how programs like WPRK help all students at Rollins be part of campus life.”
Alexandria Vazquez ’10
Theatre arts major Alexandria Vasquez ’10 concentrated her studies on design and technology and worked in the costume shop at Rollins’ Annie Russell Theatre—Florida’s longest continually operating theater—to gain hands-on experience in her chosen field. Post-Rollins, Vazquez got her MFA in costume design and technology at West Virginia University and worked in theaters across the country before settling into her current role as the costume shop manager at the Orlando Repertory Theatre.
A Strong Foundation
“Some of my best memories were in the Annie Russell and Fred Stone theatres. My experiences at Rollins were relevant and helped prepare me for my master’s in fine arts and an eventual career. So many hardworking professors and staff shaped me as an artist and taught me the tools to take my craft further.”
Freedom to Explore
“During my time as a theatre major, I was able to gather the beginnings of a portfolio and take my work and skills to other jobs in the summer months. Rollins gave me a great opportunity to receive individualized, hands-on attention in my field while becoming a well-rounded student. Throughout my undergrad years, I also gained confidence and a keen eye for design and details.”
“I had numerous mentors in all of my theatre professors at Rollins, but I had a special place helping our costume shop manager, Seth Schrager, as his work-study student. I could often be found organizing stock, helping take notes in fittings, or helping build shows between classes and coursework. These days, I spend my time creating magic through my leadership as costume shop manager at the Orlando Repertory Theatre, and I’m also a freelance costume designer.”