The Communication and Media Studies Department’s newest permanent faculty member didn’t start out with an eye toward a career in higher education, but her media background and passion for what she does makes her a great addition to the team.
Assistant Professor Gina Baleria was hired this fall to teach new media and digital design courses. The one-time broadcast journalist says she is committed to helping students learn new skills and realize their dreams.
“I love working with college-aged students to help them connect their passions and interests to real-life career pathways and opportunities. Students in a university environment are learning what they want to do and what's out there. I love connecting them to potential opportunities and helping them grow their foundations,” she said.
Baleria worked for many years as an award-winning producer, writer and reporter in San Francisco radio. Her positions included web producer at KCBS and social media director at KGO. But despite a successful career as a news professional, her professional life took an unexpected turn.
“In 2010, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to teach a class at San Francisco State - beginning radio production,” Baleria said. “I completely fell in love with teaching, and so began the process of changing my career trajectory.”
That led to many years teaching media courses as a full-time lecturer on the SFSU campus, before being hired at SSU. Baleria says she’s excited to begin the newest chapter in her career as an educator.
“My overarching experience so far in COMS and at SSU has been of kindness, nurturing, and support,” she said. “I look forward to helping contribute to that climate and to working with the students, staff, faculty, and administration to help ensure students are getting what they need to succeed.”