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Academy Grad Produces Popular Fresno Lifestyle Show

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Kristina Rosa working at NBC affiliate station KSEE24 in Fresno, CA. Courtesy of Kristina Rosa.

After graduating from high school, Kristina Rosa originally planned to follow in the footsteps of her idol, celebrity psychiatrist Dr. Drew Pinsky. She was studying psychology in her hometown of Riverside when a conversation with one of her teachers made her wonder if it was the right field for her.  “My teacher pointed out that I really liked interviewing people,” said Rosa. “I realized she was right.”

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Kristina Rosa. Courtesy of Kristina Rosa.

At the time, her brother was studying graphic design at Academy of Art University. Although he eventually switched schools to get a degree in history, he raved about the hands-on training he received at the Academy.  

“I thought it sounded incredible,” said Rosa. “That was in the spring of 2008 and the Academy had just launched its multimedia communications program. I called and made an appointment to learn more. That was the start of a life-changing journey.”

She enrolled in the Academy and moved to San Francisco that fall. At first, her goal was to work toward a career where she’d be in front of the camera interviewing people. But she soon found she liked the action behind the scenes even more.

“I took a class where you got to do a newscast,” she explained. “That’s when I discovered my love for producing and creating content. It’s like putting together a puzzle and trying to figure out where all the different pieces go.”

Rosa said being mentored by teachers like Dianne Fukami and Jan Yanehiro, director of the Academy’s School of Multimedia Communications, was key to helping her develop her producing skills.

Yanehiro was equally impressed with Rosa. “Every now and then, you meet a student and you just know they’re going to make it in whatever field they go into,” she said. “Kristina Rosa was that student. She was determined, passionate and hard working. She absorbed everything we taught her and took it to the next level.”

Rosa’s can-do attitude and talent earned her the title of valedictorian for the multimedia communications class of 2012.  After graduating, she began her career as an associate producer for CBS Interactive in San Francisco. When her fiancé (now husband) moved to Fresno for a job, she followed and soon landed her current position at KSEE24, an NBC affiliate.

Rosa is a producer for the station’s afternoon lifestyle show, Central Valley Today, which she compares to the Today Show segment hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. Her responsibilities include booking six guests a day for five hour-long themed shows per week. She also “does a ton of research” and schedules the flow of guests and segments for each show.

Her efforts have helped boost Central Valley Today’s ratings by more than 60 percent. Impressed with her abilities, Rosa’s boss asked her to produce the station’s big Super Bowl morning show earlier this year. As part of the broadcast, Rosa included a Puppy Bowl to help find homes for dogs living at the local SPCA. She designed a set where the puppies played football and even brought in some kittens to referee their antics.

“It was a cute mess of dogs and cats going after the ball, chasing toys and making some touchdowns,” said Rosa. “At the end of the day, I got a call from the director of the SPCA telling me that all the puppies were adopted, along with five of the kittens.”

Rosa encourages current Academy students to seek advice from their teachers and mentors and to take risks.  “Don’t ever feel that your ideas aren’t good,” she said. “This is the time to try them and make mistakes. Doing it now will help prepare you for the work world.”