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Portrait of Kim Grannan standing in front of a fireplace in the Alumni Center.

Kim Grannan: Mastodon Memories

This summer series explores the campus experiences of current PFW faculty and staff who are also alumni.

By Blake Sebring

June 15, 2023


Chief of Staff to the Chancellor and Community Relations Officer

Grannan came to campus in the fall of 1998 and graduated with a degree in media and public communication in 2001. She earned a master’s degree in public affairs in 2005. 

Where are you from and why did you choose to go to school here?

KG: I am born and raised in Fort Wayne, graduating from Northrop High School in 1997. I came to the university as a transfer sophomore because I just didn’t acclimate well at Ball State. I love Fort Wayne, missed my family, and wanted to come home.

What car were you driving at the time?

KG: A turquoise 1997 Pontiac Sunfire. First car I purchased in my own name! 

Why did you pick your major?

KG: When I was in high school, I studied journalism. I was a writer and page editor (I never really got into graphic design), but I loved being a project manager. And my senior year I was the editor-in-chief of the yearbook. I loved putting together the pieces. At Ball State I was a PR major, but when I came here the closest major was media and public communication, but they did offer a public relations minor. I was always a good writer, but I didn’t want to be a news reporter, so I explored how I could use my writing skills and my people skills, but not necessarily report. After a year, I changed my minor to public affairs and it was one of my greatest decisions.

How did attending school here change your life?

KG: College gave me an opportunity to explore. I really enjoyed my undergraduate program, particularly my minor in public affairs, so much that I started the Master of Public Affairs program immediately after finishing my bachelor’s degree. When I started that program, I was working at the American Red Cross as a communications specialist. I was working there on Sept. 11, 2001. Talk about learning media and public communications by fire. I don’t think anything could have replicated that experience. I really got to apply both my undergraduate and graduate studies to what I was doing professionally. Mostly though, I don’t know if I would have applied for a job here if I hadn’t gone to school here. 

What kind of music were you listening to and who was your favorite band or artist?

KG: This is a hard question because I have always liked so many genres—and I like music in general! I did tap, jazz, and ballet when I was growing up, so I like anything that has a beat you can dance to, especially R&B and hip-hop. I also really liked Def Leppard and Aerosmith, the hairbands, and 80s/90s rock, and some adult contemporary. My mom was a huge Barry Manilow fan. So best to say that I like a lot of different things. If I could dance to it and sing to it, I liked it.

Did you have a favorite professor?

KG: Jim Owen from public affairs left such an impression on me. His intro to public affairs class is the reason I changed my undergrad minor and then pursued my master’s in the field. I loved him. He was so kind and so smart and he had a teaching style that I really appreciated. His military background also spoke to me. My second favorite was John Parrish-Sprowl, a communications professor who taught the principles of persuasion class. I learned a lot from him about listening to understand, not just to respond. 

How has PFW changed for the better?

KG: Even through some of the more difficult years, I think the heart of this institution is truly focused on what’s best for our students. We come to work every day for our students, and that has not changed. No matter how one feels about decisions that have been made, we come here because students are relying on us. And wherever their future takes them, they are going to make an impact. I believe we have produced some pretty incredible people who are making ripples in our world and will continue to for decades to come. The value of our graduates has done nothing but improve.