A note about Ty Stafford from Associate Professor Richard Crosby—
Ty was a speech major who graduated with a reputation as someone with true potential. He was the type of student who saw each course and each interaction as an opportunity to learn and connect with people and ideas. Speaking of my own experience with him in the classroom, I recall Ty being able to make links between the requirements of the course and his own interests outside of school. For example, he was deeply interested in the phenomenon of Youtube “stars” — people who manage to achieve celebrity status just by virtue of their Youtube activity. Ty was interested in this phenomenon long before most people were even aware it existed. He proposed an analysis of the communication methods and styles of Youtube stars. Another thing that makes Ty unusual is his ability to make each person he’s talking to feel as though he has all the time in the world for them. As someone who certainly does not have this particular skill, I can tell you how enviable it is. Despite how many interests Ty is pursuing at a given time, he manages to make the person in front of him feel as though they are his primary interest. He maintained excellent relationships with the entire speech faculty as well as his fellow students. It was no wonder he won our Demosthenes Award for excellent communication skills.
After Ty graduated, he stayed in touch with us, mainly through our adviser, Connie Ringlee, with whom he still has a good relationship. He quickly secured an excellent position with RedBull, where he focused on the company’s Youtube presence. From there, as we have now discovered, he eventually found his current position at Omelet, one of the premier marketing firms in L.A. So while we are elated with his success, we are not surprised by it. He has certainly made the program and the department proud.