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Spotlights

Otterbein communication students bring diverse backgrounds to classroom

Otterbein communication students bring diverse backgrounds to classroom


By Heather Sandvik ’19

For some Otterbein Department of Communication students, their expertise goes beyond just their major. Such is the case for junior public relations majors Lauren Heberling and Adeline Almendinger, both of whom bring a set of diverse interests to their classes.

Heberling, of Lewis Center, Ohio, has been dancing since the age of 3. A dance minor, she enjoys being able to take advantage of Otterbein’s strong dance and theatre programs even if it means showing up to her communication classes a little sweaty.

“No program was quite as ideal as Otterbein’s,” said Heberling. “I get to wake up every morning, dance, do what I love, then go on with the rest of my day.”

She recently has been cast in Otterbein’s annual dance concert after two days of tough auditions.

Before Otterbein, Heberling competed for Infusion Dance Studio in Worthington, Ohio, where she was introduced to a more competitive environment. Through this, she had unique opportunities like working with nationally recognized choreographers.

Combining her passion for performance and dance with her public relations major, Heberling recently completed an internship with the Columbus Children’s Theatre. Her knowledge of dance and theatre helped her navigate the unique professional environment to market and publicize the Theatre’s programs.

Almendinger, of Johnstown, Ohio, grew up on a beef farm and, until recently, participated in the annual Hartford Fair in Croton, Ohio, as an exhibiter.

After obtaining a steer, a male cow that has been castrated and primarily raised for beef production, Almendinger works several months to ease the fear the animal naturally experiences. This involves feeding, washing and eventually walking the steer every night.

“It’s a lot of work,” said Almendinger. “They’re animals that aren’t usually known to be pets so you have to work hard at it.”

Each August, after about 10 months of preparation, Almendinger attends the fair with the prepared steer. Weighing in at about 1300 pounds, the steer are judged on their looks: a straight back-line, square butt and leanness are ideal. They’re sold auction-style and can fetch anywhere from $400 to $13,000.

For both Heberling and Almendinger, their experiences have impacted the future that they see for themselves after college. Heberling would like to perform public relations functions for a theatre or dance organization.

As for Almendinger, she wants to branch out from the farm life post-college. She’s learning a lot during her one-year communications internship with OhioHealth and is particularly enjoying her time away from the farm.


Learn more about Otterbein's public relations program.