CSUN Alums Fostering the Success of the Next Generation

April 28, 2021

By: Jarrod Eamon Fasching

Jordyn Palos (third from right) and Persona PR team at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Alumni of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication work in a variety of creative fields across Southern California and the rest of the nation. For many alumni—in fields of journalism, art, music, television, and beyond—the road to success leads them to create their own businesses. To establish, develop, and grow a company that will stand out, alumni seek to bring in talented, motivated, and curious individuals, which in turn leads them back to CSUN.

One such industry leader is Peter Rotter (Music, ’86), who received his degree in clarinet performance and also studied composing for film and television. Initially working as a music contractor and producer after his studies at CSUN, Peter founded Peter Rotter Music Services, which grew and evolved into Encompass Music Partners, which he also founded. Throughout this time Peter contracted and/or performed as a music coordinator for over 800 films and television shows. 


Peter Rotter (photo courtesy of Peter Rotter)

While at CSUN one of the things that stood out to him about his fellow students was that “when people have more to gain or lose solely on their own efforts, they work harder and they have deeper passions.” The kind of drive and independent-mindedness that CSUN instills in its students is among many assets that have made our alumni some of Peter’s most trusted employees. His longtime contract administrator, Julie Burkert, received her BM in flute performance from CSUN in 1986. One of his most recent hires, Hillary Hernandez, received her master’s degree in music industry administration in 2017 and now works as Encompass Music Partner’s music coordinator. 


Hillary Hernandez (photo courtesy of Hillary Hernandez)

Peter knows that CSUN grads “have the characteristics and traits to be an asset to any organization—maturity, confidence, professionalism, wisdom, good judgement, organization—all the things you look for in meeting your business needs.” For Hillary, this opportunity was a perfect fit as well. “It’s been an amazing experience and is a great place to learn from Peter and feel supported in my work,” she shared. “It’s a great fit for a place, and I’m glad to see it all come full circle.”

Another alumna who takes pride in her CSUN foundation and wants to support current students in their career pursuits is Jordyn Palos (CTVA, ‘06). After graduation Jordyn started her own public relations and talent publicity firm, Persona PR. As her company has grown Jordyn has brought in a variety of CSUN students to intern and build their industry skills and knowledge.

Seeking to give students the most robust experiences, Jordyn treats her interns as employees and has them participate in all aspects of the job, including meetings with clients. She knows she can trust CSUN students to take on this level of involvement and to work independently within a small team. “All of them are so smart, articulate, driven, and passionate, and I’m so proud they chose to work for my company, and proud that I could give back to CSUN in this way,” she shared. They have proven themselves in seamlessly integrating into the Persona PR staff and really dedicate their time and energy. 

Beyond being the boss of the company, Jordyn mentors each of her interns, helping them find direction in their careers, guiding them toward valuable experiences in various aspects of the industry, advising on decisions like pursuing grad school, and potentially placing them at jobs through her many connections. Her intense interest in their success focuses her energy on making sure each student is learning and makes her thoughtful about her role as teacher and boss. She feels that “because of the high-quality programs at CSUN you know you’re hiring someone who has been fully trained by the best of the best,” and she’s thrilled to play a part in helping students achieve their goals.

When our alumni look to bring in young professionals to add value to their companies, whether as employees or interns, they know the qualities a CSUN grad can bring. We’re proud that these industry leaders recognize the impact of a CSUN education and are building pipelines for their fellow Matadors to grow and thrive across a variety of fields and industries.