Apple News, Snapchat, Facebook, NPR, NBC, E! Entertainment, MTV, Telemundo—these are among the many digital and broadcast platforms Assistant Professor Erica Soto has served as a bilingual multimedia journalist and producer.
The accomplished storyteller, who creates content in English and Spanish, is currently a freelance producer for the award-winning nonprofit, StoryCorps, which produces weekly audio stories for NPR’s Morning Edition.
Professor Soto brings her knowledge and over 15 years of field experience to students at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Since she joined the faculty in 2021, she has taught several courses, including Broadcast Journalism, TV Journalism, Theory & Criticism of Media and the Performing Arts, Advanced Journalism, Media Law & Ethics, Writing for Broadcast Media, Event-Based Video, and Video Magazine Production.
Teaching such a wide range of courses has been valuable, she says because it’s enabled her to stay on top of the latest technology in her field and also to craft a well-rounded learning experience for her students.
“I believe using cutting-edge multimedia helps keep students engaged,” she says. “By using new digital technology, cameras, smartphones, social media apps, and more students get to use both traditional tools and emerging media practices to tell compelling stories across a variety of broadcast platforms.”
Experiential learning is key to students’ success in entering the media industry, she adds. “If students know how to write scripts, operate cameras, and understand how to create and produce a show from start to finish, they will have a leg up.”
Professor Soto earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder and a master’s degree in social journalism from CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism — where she was a member of the inaugural class.
Deeply committed to diversity in the classroom and the newsroom, Professor Soto encourages the consciousness of different demographics and perspectives and appreciates STAC’s focus on community and diversity.
“I teach students the importance of covering these topics as well,” she says. “Ultimately, this current generation holds the future of journalism in their hands and I want them to know how important their roles will be in shaping the future of news and media.”
Professor Soto won the Imagen Award for the docuseries “Puerto Rican Voices,” and her television credits include Creative Arts Emmys (E!), Kids Choice Awards (Nickelodeon), and Model Latina (NuvoTV), among many others. She is a member of the Freelancers Union and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
The most rewarding part of her career is helping students find success in the media industry. “I get to help them find their voices as they become future storytellers, content creators, and media experts,” she says. “I always love seeing who they become after college and what they take with them from my classroom. Their stories inspire me.”