Looking for a way out of the news business — and a way to stay in Colorado Springs — Stephanie Wurtz left TV reporting behind and transitioned to education communications. The 31-year-old, Kansas City-area native started her new job last month as internal communications director (a new position) at Colorado College after spending more than four years in public school PR. When she isn’t helping the college sustain its reputation as the region’s oldest and most prestigious private school, Wurtz enjoys running and spending time with her fiancé. Wurtz told the Business Journal about her new position and the community she cares about.
Can you tell me a bit about your background?
For the past four-and-a-half years or so I was working in public education with Falcon School District 49, so I was the public information officer there and really had the opportunity to grow the communications program in that district. … Prior to that I was in news media, a TV reporter for Channel 13, the ABC affiliate here, for about three years. When I first came to Colorado, I was the bureau chief in Pueblo, but my first job was in Topeka, Kan., as a news reporter at the state capitol.
How did you come to live in Colorado?
In news media, you kind of hop from market to market. I was looking to get outside of the Midwest and I am a very active person, so I was looking for a very active culture. I researched places that are good for running, snowboarding and other outdoor activities. Colorado made that list and I started applying for jobs here. One of the reasons I got out of news media is that you have to keep moving, and I really felt that connection here — getting involved with volunteering in the community and that active running culture.
Was Colorado Springs a good place to start a career as a young professional?
It took a little while in my career to feel comfortable enough to reach out and find other opportunities, but they certainly have been made available to me once I started looking. I’m really involved with the Pikes Peak Road Runners: A passion of mine is running and making that accessible to anyone and everyone and how that can enrich their lives, so I got involved with that. … There are always opportunities to get involved. I think we’re always looking for more of those, but I think that the direction is finding out what the passion is, rather than just trying to be involved to be involved. I think this was a good place to have those opportunities.
Can you tell me about your role at CC?
This is a new position, so there wasn’t anyone before me managing internal communications at all. It’s hard coming in and trying to create something from nothing, but I think that it is an interesting challenge for me. I think the focus of this position will be to bring together all of the varying perspectives of Colorado College, try to facilitate opportunities for cross-departmental projects and collaboration, and really just enhance the culture. I think that’s exciting. People love being here at Colorado College, but there is not a unified communication thread that is keeping everyone connected. … Right now I am out almost all day talking with different faculty and staff members and students … I am gathering information and taking an inventory of the resources that are currently available to them. n CSBJ