Brenda Lange '95 of Lange Communications credits her success to her curiosity and perseverance. She started attending Temple University after getting married, having three children and working in media because she wanted to receive her undergraduate education in communication to improve her skill set. Her determination to make freelance content creation work for her epitomizes the attitude found in Klein College of Media and Communication alumni and students today.
Lange started her college career at Ocean County College in New Jersey, where she earned her associate of applied science degree in journalism in 1990. Between working in part-time positions in community media, completing freelance projects and taking care of her children, she was still eager to learn more about communication. So when she decided to come to Temple to pursue her bachelor's degree in communication, she was prepared as ever to rededicate herself to schoolwork while keeping up with her other commitments.
Her decision to attend Temple ensured that she powered through to complete the communication program's requirements. She most appreciates the university's expansion of her worldview and the way it fostered an atmosphere of learning and discovery. As an older student, she believes she was able to truly appreciate the knowledge she was offered and had already established a work ethic that did not allow her to slack. She even took on an internship with KYW Newsradio and graduated as a summa cum laude, top-ranked student in her class.
"I guess I was really grateful that I had found a way back to my education and I loved being on campus," Lange says. "I loved being around all the energy — and I was only 33 — but most everybody around me was at least ten years younger than I was."
Her takeaways from Temple made her want to explore more areas of communication in her professional life. She provided freelance public relations, strategic communication and writing and editing services to clients while raising her children and taking on other communication positions. In 2011 she found a sweet spot in higher education, where she worked full-time for Villanova University, Moravian College and Chestnut Hill College, though she never stopped freelancing. After several years of working for institutions and feeling confident enough in her work to advocate for it on her own, Lange decided to step out and create freelance content full-time last year.
Andrew Westveer, who is now the senior copywriter for the office of marketing and communications at Saint Joseph's University, was a colleague of Lange's when the two worked at Chestnut Hill. After collaborating with Lange for coverage about event space at Chestnut Hill and coming together to build a website, Westveer developed a friendship with her that has allowed him to appreciate her transition to full-time freelance work.
"She's had opportunities to apply to full-time jobs and go back into the workforce," Westveer syas. "But she has the courage and the moxie to just go for it and carve her own life and create her own life. It's miraculous, and it's a scary thing to do, but I watch her and she's determined."
Lange has made impressive progress as a full-time freelancer in a short period, and credits her previous work experience, professional organization memberships and personal network, although she acknowledges that "it takes time to build things back up." Her clients include universities, nonprofit organizations, individuals and large businesses, and she has even traveled around the country to complete projects.
"I like to work with organizations that align with my values: environmental, social justice, women and children's issues. I'm strongly about all those topics. And so when I find a potential client in those niches, I pursue them," Lange says.
The same determination that Lange exhibited when she decided to come to Temple has served her business well, and her relationship with the university is still meaningful decades after receiving her degree. Her youngest daughter also graduated from Temple with her master's in social work last May, and Lange is seeing how that experience has made a positive impact on her life, too. The university has become a part of her life professionally and personally, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
"Temple's right up there at the top of the list of my pride and accomplishments in my life and things that I credit with shaping who I am as a person."
Visit Lange's website at brendalange.com.