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Alumni Profile: Kimberly LaRussa, '11

Alumni Profile: Kimberly LaRussa, '11

Posted: January 17, 2018

Kimberly LaRussa, ’11, knows the value of starting at the bottom and working your way up.“The best advice I could give a young person is, ‘Everything is a stepping stone that ultimately opens the door to something bigger’,” said LaRussa, who has a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Buffalo State.“Don’t be afraid to take a position that you might think is beneath you—you will still gain new skills and forge contacts to help you grow.” 

LaRussa, who is a community content producer for the Buffalo News, has worked in communications and media since she was an undergraduate.

While in college, LaRussa had several internships at local news stations and worked at BSCTV, the student-run television station on campus. LaRussa said exposure to real newsrooms gave her the skills to launch her career in communications after graduation.

“I learned to always dress and act the part: If you treat school like it’s your real job, you’ll be more prepared when you start in the professional world full time,” she said. 

LaRussa has always had a “love for storytelling” and she said Buffalo State taught her how to turn that passion into a career. LaRussa said her instructors, many of whom were full-time news professionals, helped her network and find opportunities.

“My favorite professors were usually part-time instructors and full-time local broadcast and media professionals,” she said. “If you worked hard, they were always willing to write you recommendations, or help you secure that next internship opportunity.”  

LaRussa began a position as a news assistant at YNN Buffalo (now Spectrum News) directly after graduation. She also worked as a reporter/editor for two local newspapers, and as a communications director for the New York State Assembly before joining the Buffalo News last year.

In her current role, LaRussa produces social media content and writes stories for Buffalo Magazine and the Western New York PennySaver and News. 

Next to telling stories, LaRussa said her favorite thing to do is help others. She started her own blog and public-relations consulting firm, Sweet Buffalo, as a way to highlight more positive stories about Western New York.

“People are always sharing interesting people and ideas with me, and I wanted to find a new way to spread those stories, which is why I founded Sweet Buffalo,” she said. 

LaRussa—who is originally from Port Lucie, Florida—has made Buffalo her home for the past 10 years, and said her experiences as a journalist exposed her to all the city has to offer.

“I want to write more stories about this great place, and to help highlight more of Western New York,” she said. “Today I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.” 

LaRussa adds many of her strong connections in Western New York were formed with the supportive, student-centered instructors at Buffalo State.

“My best memories of college are with the professors and classmates that I still keep in touch with today, and I can still contact for career advice, job leads, and more,” she said. “It’s a great feeling to know there are people who truly care about your success.” 

Learn more about LaRussa and her #BuffStateStory by reading her Bengal Tale.

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Contact Information

Jerod T. Dahlgren
Communications Director
(716) 878-4201
dahlgrjt@buffalostate.edu

Laurie A. Kaiser
Assistant Director, Communications
(716) 878-3520
kaiserla@buffalostate.edu

Michael T. Canfield
Communications Specialist
(716) 878-3517
canfiemt@buffalostate.edu

Mark Norris
Editor, News and Events
(716) 878-4859
norrisma1@buffalostate.edu

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