Class of 2017: Meet Christa Schonthaler (Communication)

By Heather Cass
Publications Manager, Office of Strategic Communications,  Penn State Behrend

Penn State Behrend’s class of 2017 is ready to make its mark on the world!  We’re proud of our students and the things they’ve accomplished and learned while here at Behrend. Over the next couple months, we’ll be introducing you to a few of our remarkable seniors who have overcome challenges, pioneered new technology, participated in important research projects, and left an impression at Penn State Behrend.

Today, we’d like you to meet Christa Schonthaler:

christa schonthaler (2)

Major: Communication

Hometown: Erie

On choosing to major in Communication: I originally came in as a Nursing major, but quickly realized it wasn’t for me. At that point, I had to seriously consider my interests as well as my strengths and weaknesses. I’m very passionate about music and want to work in the music industry. I’m also very comfortable talking with people and realized that Communication fit my personality, my desires, and my future career plans. I love my major.

Happy at Happi 92.7: I’m currently an intern at Happi 92.7, an Erie “Top 40” radio station, where I do a little bit of everything, but am mainly focused on promotions and social media. I’ve learned a lot and had a great time at Happi.

Proudest accomplishment at Behrend: I’m proud of being on the Dean’s List for the past six semesters. It’s not easy to do that while balancing classes, work, and extracurricular activities.

(The only) girl in a band: I’m a singer in an eight-member band called The Romantic Era. I’m the only woman in the group, so it’s like I have seven big brothers. We sing all-original pop-EDM music and have performed all over Erie and beyond. We did shows at Stadium Red in Manhattan, and Fenway Park in Boston, and we have a show coming up in Beverly Hills, California! I’ve been in the band for four years and it’s my life right now.

christa schonthaler - the romantic era1

Beyond the band: Outside of the band, in my free time, I love to play my guitar and ukulele, read mystery novels, and do yoga. I also have three sisters and a family that means the world to me.

Inspirational sister in song: There are a few female artists who inspire me. Ariana Grande is number one because she’s an incredible vocalist and she is also a huge advocate for female empowerment and equal rights for all. I also look up to Hayley Williams from Paramore, Jessie J. and Demi Lovato because they are all strong women in the music industry.

Scholarships: I received the Anonymous Friend Trustee Scholarship in my first year and the Michael Jude Woods and Tracy Kimes Woods Family Trustee Scholarship last year.

Advice for current students: Don’t stress! College is a huge adjustment and you’ll figure it out eventually. Once you master time management and study skills, everything gets much easier.

After her graduation in May, Christa hopes to find a position at a radio station in promotions/social media.

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