Students talking in front of posters

Kenya Gipson

Circular image of Kenya Gipson

Kenya Gipson

Middletown, NY

Academic School

Communication & the Arts, Professional Programs



Where do you live and what do you do for work?

I live in Middletown, New York, and I'm a Brand Integration Manager for iHeartMedia in New York City; I also host my own podcast on iHeartRadio. 

Describe your educational background.

I started attending school at a small college in Albany while pregnant with my son. Working full-time and being a young parent became very challenging emotionally and financially, and my grades began to suffer. Feeling overwhelmed and defeated, I decided to leave school. Several years later, I decided to give college another try and enrolled at a local community college. It was there that I learned about the Organizational Leadership and Communication (OLC) undergraduate program at Marist and decided to take the credits I had acquired and transfer. 

You have overcome a number of challenges in your life – what gave you the drive and fortitude to move past them and find success?

For me, it all comes down to faith – both faith in God and faith in myself. I’ve learned through life’s many trials and tribulations that perception is a very powerful tool. How you perceive a challenge or circumstance determines the overall outcome. As the Book of Proverbs says, “."  I never let the circumstances around me determine my destiny, and I’ve always viewed adversity as an opportunity to grow, learn, and become better. 

At what point did you decide to go for your master’s degree and what made you choose Marist’s IMC? 

The year I completed my undergraduate degree, the IMC graduate program at Marist was launched. The timing was impeccable, as I was working in the media industry and looking to expand my expertise in marketing. It made perfect sense at the time to keep up the momentum and take my education and career to the next level. Both of my degrees from Marist have paid for themselves and then some with the doors of opportunity that have opened up for me because of them. 

What was your impression of the IMC program?

The IMC faculty was super supportive from day one.IMC Director Subir Sengupta and his encouragement played a vital role in helping me get to the finish line and complete the program. Student Financial Services was very accommodating in providing the best financing options so that I was not burdened financially as a working parent, which made it possible to complete the program in a timely manner. The professors were great, and the online community and connections made it much easier to manage coursework and receive the resources I needed to be successful.  

What does attaining a master’s degree mean to you in terms of personal accomplishment and enhancing your career prospects?

A master’s degree to me is more than a piece of paper. It’s the accomplishment of a goal that once seemed so out of reach. In addition, it has allowed me to thrive in my industry as a respected expert in my field, giving me the opportunity to work with major brands on a national scale while allowing me to super-serve those brands by delivering creative concepts and solutions that enhance image and awareness. 

What are your career plans going forward?

Going forward, I plan to remain in the media industry and continue to grow my own personal brand. Enhancing my brand with the tools I’ve learned from IMC will create the opportunity for me to launch my own radio, television, and YouTube show while leveraging the brand relationships I’ve built along the way to monetize these platforms. 

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that prospective IMC students would find interesting?

The IMC program allows you to innovate and think strategically, which is exactly what brands and multi-platform media companies are looking for. If you want to grow personally and professionally, the IMC program is a great compliment, and it will definitely allow you to stand out in a very competitive media market.