Jim Sacco '97

July 24, 2013

Major
Politcal Science and History

Residence
Waynesboro, Virginia

Why did you choose SJC?
I thought it was great that I could start my major in my freshman year. I didn't want to be bogged down with English, Math, and Science courses before I could get started on my major. Also, I thought the Core classes were excellent and fun to be in. They made me think, allowed me to doubt, and really encouraged discussion and free thought.

As a student, what were you involved in?
I co-hosted some talk shows on the campus's radio station, which helped me out when I started hosting a once-a-week spot on the ESPN radio station in Staunton, Virginia, talking about high school sports. I was a Features Editor for Stuff (SJC's student-produced newspaper, currently known as The Observer) during my freshman year, and for the years that followed I wrote a humor column. Writing always came very naturally to me. When I was a boy, I used to write fiction books and make the covers for them (my mom probably still has them).

What are you doing now?
I am the News and Design Editor and Humor Columnist for the Waynesboro News Virginian in Virginia. I'm also a Sports Writer, and I've received 10 awards from the Virginia Press Association awards since 1997, including two first-place awards for sports-column writing. For 2003, I placed second for sport-column writing, third for event/"games" stories, and received an Honorable Mention for the sports-writing portfolio I submitted. I've also been writing fiction. In April 2003, I finished a book that revolves around the Civil War and a drafted Union soldier from Delaware who wrestles with the emotional conflict of having to kill other human beings. I'm currently shopping for a publisher for that one; in the meantime, I've begun work on a second book. It's an adventure story about two cats and two dogs who journey together to find "the glyph," which can ensure a long life of one of the pets' owners.

How did SJC prepare you for the "real world"?
History Professor Bill White pushed me like I'd never been pushed before. His deadlines were strictly enforced - you received a "0" if your paper was one minute late - and even though I grumbled about it, I might not have been able to meet my newspaper deadlines at my job if I hadn't had him. In my industry, if my pages aren't done by midnight, I don't get a "0" - I get fired. Professors Sister Pat Robinson and Peter Watkins encouraged me to be myself and to put my own brand on my work. When I wrote a paper, they told me to make sure people knew it was from Jim Sacco.

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    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

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    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

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    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Mentorship

    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.

     

  • Leadership

    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.