Samantha Wood, an adjunct instructor in Klein College's Department of Advertising and Public Relations, inspires everyone around her. Whether it be at her iTalk conferences or in the classroom, she empowers people to cultivate their own stories.
Wood, who is a partner and director of advertising and marketing at iTalk, described the iTalk conferences as an "innovative platform, merging motivational leadership content with theatrical stage drama and pop culture."
She said typical conferences tend to involve speakers giving long presentations and speeches. At iTalk, speakers present short, nine-minute monologues that encourage audience members to engage with the presentation more deeply than they might during longer conference-style presentations.
At iTalk Philadelphia on April 12, ticket holders got the chance to network with experts from a number of industries before listening to the motivational monologue style presentations.
"We want you to walk away inspired, but have a good time," Wood said.
Speakers at the first event included former CEO of Johnson Publishing Desiree Rogers, former CBS3 Anchor Meisha Johnson, among many others.
Temple University was represented by Hassan Syed and Tyra Jones-Blain, members from the Department of Dance. They performed for the audience.
Jones-Blain spoke positively about her experience working with Wood.
"Samantha was kind, warm, and professional in how she reached out to me," Jones-Blain said. "She was timely and considerate when responding to my concerns. Her tone through email was very welcoming, and she was lovely to communicate with."
Over 200 people attended iTalk Philadelphia. The next iTalk event will be in Los Angeles with other locations to be announced.
Back at Klein College, Wood teaches art direction classes in the advertising department. Some of her classes, such as Introduction to Digital Design Tools for Advertising, involve the use of Adobe products like Illustrator and Photoshop. Her students rave about her classes not only because of her teaching style but also because she acts as a mentor to them.
Anthony Cruz, who majors in media studies and production, raved about her mentorship in class.
"She would individually interact with students in the class and answer any question with the most patience and clarity when asked. Whenever I had questions, even if she mentioned it before, she would take me step by step in answering the questions I had," he said.
Cruz feels more comfortable and confident in applying for internships because of Wood's help.
"I feel that her help has given me the experience that I need moving forward," he said.
Wood was born in Philadelphia but graduated with a bachelor's degree in graphic design from Shippensburg University in 2013 and a master's degree in media design from Full Sail University in 2014. She's used her skills to contribute to iTalk as well as her work as a designer for Frontline Education and for her own graphic design business, Inzpire.
Teneshia Washington, one of her students, benefits from Wood's career experience.
"She provides real life examples to assist in understanding the real world usefulness of the course," Washington said.
iTalk is just another avenue to inspire for Wood, with her legacy being created through her work with students like Cruz and Washington.