As ambitious and diligent individuals, it is not unusual to come across students at Temple University who juggle multiple commitments. But Hannah Seewald, a sophomore communication and social influence major, is especially experienced in balancing schoolwork, professional obligations and extracurricular activities. Not only is she involved in several Temple University Television (TUTV) productions, but she also occupies organizational leadership roles and pursues opportunities outside of Temple.
Seewald has always been adept at exploring her options. Growing up with a Chinese and multiethnic European background and parents who practiced two different religions contributed to her general curiosity about the world. A combined love of science and communication led her to want to examine issues of public health. In high school, she interned with Voice of America's UpFront Africa and took part in a competitive summer journalism workshop at Northwestern University.
At Temple, Seewald decided to minor in Spanish and public health, but found a major and a home at Klein College of Media and Communication. Here, she has formed close relationships with peers, staff and faculty. Inspired by her multilingual mother, she appreciates and participates in Spanish-language media. She has been a producer, reporter and graphics coordinator for TUTV's Lo Último, and will be directing TUTV's first Spanish-language talk show La Charla. She also formerly produced, directed and anchored for TUTV's Temple Update Ahora and will continue working with Temple Update this semester. She has even taken on a community engagement role as the public relations chair for Temple's chapter of the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children, and casting her net into a sea of opportunities has given her plenty in return, she says.
"As somebody who didn't always see myself in other people because I was mixed and looking at myself as an 'other' to an extent and feeling othered in life, I am somebody who is truly an advocate — and this comes from CSI to an extent — ….for that diverse media representation, accurate media representation," she says. "And as somebody who's a leader in these diverse student organizations and productions, I'm working my hardest to try to continue to foster that as I continue on into this semester."
Ed Dress, content producer of TUTV, works with Seewald on the station's productions. He believes that she is the "epitome of what a Temple student should be."
"[Seewald is] delightful to work with, she's full of energy and ideas," Dress says, adding that she is "careful and somehow figures out a way to do all of these things and do them well."
Outside of media-related activities at Temple, Seewald has made sure to connect with media professionals. She was introduced to Heather Cohen, executive vice president of The Weiss Agency, while volunteering for an event held by the Alliance for Women in Media. This summer, Seewald was brought into The Weiss Agency as an intern, working with the agency's clients to help package and publicize their broadcasting work. Cohen is enthusiastic about Seewald's giftedness in all things media production and communication and insists that Seewald can do anything she puts her mind to achieve.
"From day one she just did everything right and taught me things, and I'm just really grateful that she's a part of The Weiss Agency team," Cohen says. "I hope she sticks around for a very long time."
Seewald was also appointed president of Temple's chapter of IGNITE, an organization that champions women in politics. Kaya Jones, CLA '20, KLN '20, who serves as the Philadelphia fellow of IGNITE, says that Seewald expressed a desire to get involved after covering one of the organization's events for student media. Since then, Seewald has been incredibly invested in the organization's success.
"[Seewald is] just a very driven and motivated young woman by her own goals," Jones says. "So whatever she is interested in doing she really attacks that and I love that in a person."
Seewald believes that her openness to new and meaningful experiences not only informs her academic and career decisions, but it also helps her make a much-needed impact. She advises incoming Temple students to intentionally dedicate time to the activities and opportunities they care about.
"Your path isn't linear," Seewald says. "I'm somebody who's trying to eat up every single type of the field that I can right now. Because yeah, I'm doing a lot, but I don't know exactly where I see myself. But I think it's okay to embrace that."