Scarlet & Brown Stories

Dzifa Yador ’11

July 12, 2021 St. Lawrence University Season 1 Episode 2
Dzifa Yador ’11
Scarlet & Brown Stories
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Scarlet & Brown Stories
Dzifa Yador ’11
Jul 12, 2021 Season 1 Episode 2
St. Lawrence University

Dzifa Yador ’11 shares the story of her journey from St. Lawrence University to Spotify Podcasts, and in her story we see part of St. Lawrence’s own journey of growth. Plus, she gave us a few podcast tips along the way.

Show Notes Transcript

Dzifa Yador ’11 shares the story of her journey from St. Lawrence University to Spotify Podcasts, and in her story we see part of St. Lawrence’s own journey of growth. Plus, she gave us a few podcast tips along the way.

Amelia:  Welcome everyone to another episode of the Scarlet & Brown Stories. This is Amelia Jantzi, assistant director of Laurentian Engagement here with my cohost Beth Dixon.

Beth:  Hi, how are you doing Amelia?

Amelia:  I'm doing great. How are you?

Beth:  I'm doing well. I'm in the middle of moving down for my new position at St. Lawrence University as the executive director of New York City internships and Laurentian engagement Associate. So if you hear some boats in the background, I decided to take in a little bit of fun on the lake before I head down to the city for the semester.

Amelia:  Oh, that's awesome. So excited for this new role for you, Beth. And it's funny that you mentioned you're moving down to New York City because it reminds me of this St. Lawrence trivia fact that someone told me the other day, St. Lawrence used to have a law school in New York City.

Beth:  What when was this?

Amelia:  Yes. So in 1903, the Brooklyn Law School of St. Lawrence University was established and at its peak, it enrolled just over 3,300 students. And it was the largest law school in the country. But in 1943 St. Lawrence University and Brooklyn Law School became two separate entities, which is why we no longer have one there.

Beth:  But we did have one. That's amazing.

Amelia:  We did have one, but before we get too far down the trivia hole, we have a new interview coming up, right?

Beth:  Yes, we do. I'm very, very excited about our next interview. We are going to be talking with Dzifa Yador who's class of 2011. She was a year younger than me, and we had quite a few classes together. And so I've been able to kind of keep in touch with her and see what an exciting career she's been able to build for herself. And I can't wait to hear more about not only her St Lawrence experience, but also a little bit about what she's been doing after St. Lawrence.

Amelia:  Fantastic. Well, let's not waste any more time and jump right in.

Beth:  Sounds good to me.

Beth:  We are so excited today to chat with one of my, I want to say old classmates, but we're not that old. We're from the classes of 2010 and 2011. So, well, we have a couple of years underneath our belt, we are still young alumni at heart. I'm very excited to chat with Dzifa Yador, who comes from the great class of 2011. She was a performance and communication arts major with me. We took a few classes and she's really been able to take her SLU experience and just blossom in various different areas of the entertainment industry. And I'm very excited to welcome Dzifa Yador, to the podcast. How are you doing today, Dzifa?

Dzifa:  I am so great. I am beaming over here. It's so great going down memory lane with you, and I'm so excited to be here.

Beth:  Now are you beaming also because you're in Los Angeles and there's a lot of sunshine out there.

Dzifa:  Yes, that is also why I have given up my, I don't even know how to call it, but I've given up my stripes of New York and feeling like I actually had to put myself through the rigor of snow and the train and I gifted myself a life in Los Angeles.

Beth:  That's a great gift.

Amelia:  It's sunny in Potsdam too. So I'm feeling like we're almost as cool as LA-

Beth:  Or as hot as LA.

Amelia:  No, it's never going to be that.

Beth:  Yeah. That's great. That's great. Dzifa did you ever have an opportunity to be at St. Lawrence in the summer?

Dzifa:  I did. I actually came to visit in the summer, so I don't know who knows this, but I actually went early decision. And it was because I knew that I had to go to school within the New York state, obviously because of in state fee. So it was like, "Oh, where's the furthest place in New York, but still New York, St. Lawrence." So I was like sold. But obviously I was like, okay, I probably should see it first. So I went up, I took a bus with a friend and, did the whole transfer, the whole nine to Watertown and popped in of course there was no one there because it was summer, right. And so I was just like, all right, it'll get better, right? Like , yeah. So yes, I have been in the summer and then I also spent a summer just there as an RA and just spend the time, CA rather, that's what we call it right?

Beth:  Yes, CA the Community Assistants. You know, I completely forgot that you were a Community Assistant.

Dzifa:  Yes. Yes. I actually have never had a roommate. So I lucked up and was in Lee my freshman year. And then I became a CA for the rest of the way. And so I was in, I stayed in Lee again, and then I went to Sykes for the rest of my time.

Beth:  So Dzifa obviously, you've been up to a lot of different things since you've graduated from St. Lawrence. But before we get into those, I wanted to hear a little bit about what were, maybe some of your more meaningful experiences at St. Lawrence as a student were granted, we're now talking. And I hate to say this a decade ago. Was being a CA one of your favorite experiences, or was that something that maybe made you want to pull out some hair or something like that?

Dzifa:  Right. Well, before I answer that, I want to note your old comment earlier. Because I'm like, we're not old, we're OG's.

Beth:  That's right, we're OG's.

Dzifa:  But yeah. Being a CA was absolutely one of the highlights of, one of many highlights of being at St. Lawrence. One, I'm a people person and so it just allowed me to meet all of the people at St. Lawrence, just understanding how different I was by background diversity, different from a number of different accounts, from a lot of the student body, but also understanding the responsibility I had as a CA. And then as I essentially found myself as leader, I started taking on more leadership roles. I really do believe that I earned the trust of the student body and my peers in that role.

Dzifa:  I'd say, in addition to that was being a part of the Black Student Union I'm on the e-board and being president at a point, being able to lead that and understand what that responsibility was considering, what I knew my own experience was on the campus. And then also being able to do the fun stuff and throw those parties in the Winston room with all of the college and bring everyone together and just for a second, at least for me feel like I was back in New York and kind of reminded me of a different environment, but yeah, those are some of the highlights of my time there.

Beth:  I love hearing that. And especially the, so they don't even do Club Win or anything like that in the Winston room. I'm like, you don't know what it was like to have one of those parties in the Winston room.

Dzifa:  Literally, no idea. It's so much space, it's so underused I can go on.

Beth:  So I also wanted to know, you mentioned that obviously you were very involved with different leadership positions at St. Lawrence and one of which was on the Black Student Unions, was I'm sorry, was it the Exec council?

Dzifa:  Yeah. So we call it the e-board.

Beth:  The e-board. That's right. Yeah. Excellent. What were some of the things that when you were a student, the Black Student Union did for St. Lawrence's campus or even beyond because we're talking about a pretty homogenous rural area of New York. Were there things that you did for community outreach as well?

Dzifa:  Yeah. So I'd say like how I engage with BSU was like meeting some of the senior folks at St. Lawrence, obviously upperclassmen and them understanding and kind of taking me in as, you don't have to do this journey alone. And in going to BSU, I recognize kind of what BSU was. And it was more of a safe space. It was something that we needed to be able to feel like we could talk about what our experiences were, talk about, what maybe we wanted to see from student body that we weren't from senior leadership, all of that. So I would say it was more of an organization that poured in to the organization rather than maybe taking the external facing route to it. And yes, we did some community services and some other things, but I think it was more, admittedly in my time, more in service of making sure we were protective of the people there.

Dzifa:  I remember at a time, it was pretty early. I wanted to transfer from St. Lawrence. So I went to Dean Tolovers office and I was just like, I am having a really, really hard time. I'm probably going to have to transfer. And he's just like, I don't want to see that, you're not the only person to have gone through this and that's why I'm here. And I was probably in his office for three hours. And he really literally talked me off the ledge of not transferring. And I think from there, I really understood what it meant to kind of pay it forward by way of sharing your experience, but extending that community support to people who look like me on the campus.

Dzifa:  Because it wasn't always easy. Of course we speak about the highs, but I think it's important to talk about kind of the other side to the experience, which isn't easy and it's even outside of St. Lawrence because Canton, New York does not look like a lot of places either and you'd almost have to be there to even understand what it meant to live in Canton, New York. There was a lot there, but BSU was absolutely one of the kind of activities that I poured myself into that kept me grounded and safe at St. Lawrence.

Beth:  I'm really happy to hear that, that you were able to find your group that was able to provide you a feeling of security, protection, a safe space, people that you could turn to and know that they understood you and understood what your experience was. If I may, I have a really, one of my just moments of white privilege that actually that I'll go back to. And I think about often was when you and I were sitting in class one day, you and I sat next to each other in History of Popular Entertainment at the end of the table.

Dzifa:  That class was so good.

Beth:  I love that class. Zach Dorsey. He was a great professor. He was a visiting professor.

Beth:  But you and I sat there and I remember we were talking about something with race and regarding various different forms of popular entertainment. And I just remember you saying something like, every single time, just to give you guys an idea of what it's like to be me to be a person like me, a person of color on this campus. Every time we have a discussion of race in our classes, everybody's head turns and looks at me and expects me to say something. Everybody expects that I'm going to be the spokesperson for all black people. And that was such a moment of clarity for me that I was sitting there as a senior thinking, I had just absolutely grown and helped in all these different ways. And I'm like, you know what? I absolutely have done that. And I can't imagine what it would be like to be one of the few faces that looked like mine in a room. And then everybody turns and looks at me and expects me to just represent my race or my ethnicity or whatever the case might be in the class. So that has stuck with me for years.

Beth:  And that's something that I think I'm very thankful that I had people who had very different perspectives of the world and had very different lived experiences around me and people like you, who felt comfortable saying that because without some something like BSU, you might not have felt as comfortable speaking to that in class. And so I just wanted an opportunity to share that with you. I think that that was something that was really important, impactful for me.

Dzifa:  I just want to say thank you for that because that level of transparency and honesty for me is what will kind of keep me alive to be able to speak up because it's not always easy and especially in corporate and tech and all of that, your message is shut up and drive and it takes guts and boldness to be able to speak up also in face of the work and the face of business objectives as well. But I really appreciate that. And yeah, like I said, it's kind of my north star to continue to just speak up.

Beth:  That's what we care about most right, Amelia?

Amelia:  Absolutely. Well, I'm super curious because you talked about the impact that the Black Student Union had on your experience at St. Lawrence. And I'm curious are you still connected with the other students who were there with you and how has the support that you had as a student, has that been a part of you speaking out in roles that you've taken on in the corporate world?

Dzifa:  All of that, yes. One, I'm still in touch with so many people from the BSU, one of which is dating my own boyfriend's brother and putting it on record that she's going to be my sister-in-law soon.

Beth:  Oh yeah absolutely, wedding bells.

Amelia:  We love that.

Dzifa:  All the things, but yeah, so many other people, I was actually just on a panel for Brittany Parm who was also on the Black Student Union, who is a leader now and was then, and it was just fantastic, but yeah, so many other folks. And I think that that was what really kind of groomed me to be this leader for my community. And it's not the same as saying that I am holding the staff for it, but it's to say that once I go through these doors, I hope that it can be easier for the next person because I'm able to speak up. And because I'm able to represent myself 100%. because I had to grow into that, even after St Lawrence, my first job, I was not bringing my 100% self to work.

Dzifa:  I was just like, that's not even possible. So, it's kind of cool to say, but, you're not supposed to do that and don't let anybody tell you that. And, that's really what I thought and I was just, again, head down, do the work and, don't worry about it. And then I realized how damaging it became to my own self esteem. But then I had to look up and realize that my head was down the whole time. And I was just like, why, I deserve to be here. I am representative of myself and everybody around me and the people who come after me. And so I have a deeper responsibility besides just doing the job that pays me.

Dzifa:  And I think that that was just a turning point for me in having come out of St. Lawrence, right. Because I took on that role in St. Lawrence, but it felt more out of survival rather than like, okay, you need a job, right. But also if that didn't work out, I can go to another place and maybe it'd be a little better there. So I didn't actually have to have that responsibility, but it was an awakening for me and all of that. But again, it's a 25/8 job and it doesn't stop.

Beth:  Speaking of your first role, how did you get your first job? I mean, you would have graduated in the very, probably end of the economic recession. So I imagine it, wasn't just as easy as maybe a few years prior, it could have been to get a job. Did you utilize St. Lawrence resources or connections? How did you go about getting your first job?

Dzifa:  Absolutely. I would say that I, and I was thinking about it as we were talking about BSU and I'd be re missed if I didn't talk about all of the allies that I've found at St. Lawrence as well, Beth, you being one of them, but also the folks at the career center. And I think that those, that was really a community of women really, that I was surrounded by, but people who believed in me saw my leadership and just really wanted to be able to help me in the face of what they saw me going through and just this, what can we do for you?

Dzifa:  Because I was marching in there like, is there a producer internship here? And they're like, what? And so, [laughter] okay, well how do I get it done? Just help me. And I think we both challenged each other because I recognize how ambitious I was in what I wanted for myself and that early on, but also how ambitious it felt for leadership at St. Lawrence to kind of wrap their head around.

Dzifa: Because I think I was surrounded by a lot of government majors and maybe professors and, how would you describe it, I don't know, I'm not even trying to stereotype these roles, but maybe the things that would be in a textbook as to what a job you could get is. And so to kind of paint that picture for St. Lawrence that's to say, I want to be in entertainment, help me get there was really important for me to lean on the career services team.

Dzifa:  So yeah, they guided me through putting a grant together, which allowed me some money to be able to go back to New York, to travel from the Bronx where I was living to Times Square, 42nd street to go to Viacom building 1515 Broadway, Monday through Friday to have the summer internship because it wasn't paid.

Dzifa:  So I didn't have money for lunch. I'm a college student, right. And so the Metro cards, the whole nine. And so that was really what gave me the opportunity to take the internship. Because if not for that, I wouldn't have been able to do that. I would have had to just get a job to work and not a job that could afford me some visibility into what my career path could be. And so I'm forever grateful to the career services team for guiding me through all of that. And it was immediate and that internship with MTV on it, promos that I was just like, absolutely, this is it. And it wasn't just sold, as I said earlier with St. Lawrence. But like I felt my heart connect with the job in that regard. And I've been in it ever since.

Beth:  I think that's so fascinating. And as somebody who is now transitioning into a new role at St. Lawrence where I'm moving to New York City in July to work as the executive director of New York City internships, and, I'm even more like, Ooh, I have to pick Dzifa's brain a little bit more because as we get into this. I think one of the things that I've definitely seen a huge improvement on is not only how many programs that we have in terms of funding and pathways to getting an internship. But we do have this New York City semester program, now, that students can go in the fall and the spring and have a full-time internship. And all I can think of in my head is, oh man, if Dzifa had had this opportunity, but then I'm like, Dzifa paved that way for herself anyway. And then was your first job after St. Lawrence at Viacom then?

Dzifa:  Yes. And that literally is what catapulted the whole career journey. But outside of that, I don't know how else you actually get in the door. And that's what I tell folks all the time. You have to try out these internships and try out these industries because it's really hard even just coming in at entry level because still people want to know what you've done unpaid before the pay thing. And so really take advantage of all of the resources that all of the colleges afford in that regard.

Amelia:  I'm so curious, Dzifa we all know that entertainment is not the easiest gig to break into and clearly you faced some challenges and really met them. What drove your passion for breaking into that industry, especially at such an uncertain economic time.

Dzifa:  A couple of things. One, I have an older brother who is both my brother and my mentor. I've never had a formal mentor, but I've been afforded an older brother who has worked in entertainment so good.

Dzifa:  Love you Della. But went through entertainment, marketing, I mean all of the kind of entertainment houses, and I've learned so much from him and it was him and his own boldness. That was just like, what do you want to do? Think about it. Nevermind kind of what everybody else is telling you to do or what you see other people around you kind of close your eyes and envision yourself somewhere. And I tell this story all the time, but I remember I was sitting just watching television and it kind of just dawned on me and how the commercials made, it was just kind of, it was something intricate that I was just like, wow.

Dzifa:  So I was like, yeah, I'm curious to know how that works. And I think that, that was where I went down the rabbit hole of like, okay, well what are the jobs out there? And I think that's what sparked my interest. And that is what I continue to tell people who are interested in this field is, you have to go down that rabbit hole because there's so many definitions to what the entertainment industry is.

Dzifa:  I don't work in music. I work in content, I don't work in television. I'm an audio, not video. There's so many different definitions. I'm not a talent Booker, all of these things are still even housed under entertainment. And so it's really about finding what excites you the most and then doing the research to see who else is doing that job out there, that it fits you. And what are some of the things that inspire you and kind of wake you up inside. So much so that it's a job, but hopefully it doesn't feel like it. And I was really fortunate enough to land on that and I'm humbled and never forget, and also recognize that that doesn't happen for everyone.

Beth:  That's really great to hear, because I think a lot of students and one of the things that I've noticed, even just in working with the students that will be going on the New York City semester for next semester, which is officially a go, which we're very excited about in this post COVID world.

Beth:  One of the things that they're thinking about is, I have to kind of remind them that this is an internship, this isn't the job that you're going to have for the rest of your life. What are the things that you're going to learn in this job that can help you break into whichever areas, offices, corporations, fields that you want to go into, but just remembering that in addition to the hard skills that you're learning, your soft skills are just equally as important. How to be a professional in any given office space I think is really what will set them apart in many ways. The work that we're doing right now and cover letters or of resumes, I'm sorry, for their internships is very helpful.

Dzifa:  Yeah. Even down to email etiquette, I mean, that is huge. That's grammar for people, but email etiquette is, I cringe sometimes.

Beth:  Reply all to everything, right. That's what it, no-

Dzifa:  You all should see my face right now.

Beth:  So Dzifa, one of the things that you mentioned and that we haven't really had an opportunity to talk about is that you currently work at Spotify and you are working with podcasts, right?

Dzifa:  I am. And it's a very, very exciting time. One, not only for myself to be at Spotify, but just an exciting time for Spotify, just being an industry leader in this audio space. And yeah, it's also not how I started at Spotify either. And I think that that's part of the ambitious and kind of bullish nature that I approached my own life and my own journey. And I think that's all how we should enable ourselves to think about our own lives. And that's kind of the definition of taking the bull by its horns and living the life that you want to live. But I went into Spotify as a project manager assisting with, well more than assisting, but literally spearheading the original video for the Rap Caviar playlist. So we did that for some time. Spotify eventually moved away from video and turns to audio.

Dzifa:  And so we obviously adopted some of the shows. I launched Michelle Obama podcasts, the Harry Potter at Home reads, Son of a Hitman, Winds of Change, I managed Joe Button before that was a bit of a nightmare. And those were all really exciting for me, but I just had that awakening again. And I think these are things that kind of continue to spark in me. I am now not ignoring God. And knowing that this is probably just my calling, so just receive it every time. But I just had this moment that I was like, we're moving so aggressively into audio, but it's also easy to ignore kind of all of the different voices in audio considering what the history of audio is and radio, right. And so kind of where are those voices and how are we going to seek them out and who will be responsible for that?

Dzifa:  And so I reached out to my manager and who I'm forever indebted to not only for hiring me, but also just believing in me. And I was just like, I really want to stand up leading what black content looks like at Spotify in the audio space. And she believed in me and said, you can absolutely do that. I can see you as a creative. You lend your sensibilities to everything that you do. You're a leader. You come from the strategic kind of mindset and business grounded sensibility. And so do it.

Dzifa:  And in three months I was in this new role that I'm currently in as a supervising creative producer, able to lead that within the frequency brand, which is one of our newer ones, which is dedicated to celebrating total black expression through music, podcasts, talent, all of the things in addition to working with some really, really great partners.

Dzifa:  And so it really does feel like a dream job in that. I am able to kind of take on the responsibility that again, I believe that God has bestowed on me, but also something that I don't take lightly and stepping up to the plate for the job. And it's making sure that these global companies or any company that I work for, anyone that I'm working with even at an individual level understands the importance of the tiers of diversity. And we're not just talking about color here. And so that's kind of how I approach all things. Yeah. Like I said, it's really exciting to be at Spotify. Being in Los Angeles, something that I'd never thought would happen. You know, I was ready to live and die by New York and like, yeah, here I am.

Amelia:  Well, it's interesting you talking about your dream job and you just ooze passion this, you're so excited to talk about this. And I really curious what you would tell, going back to your student self, wanting to transfer, what would you tell her now?

Beth:  Great question.

Dzifa:  So good. The first thing that comes to mind is this too shall pass. And I have felt that kind of sense of needing to give up because it was just too uncomfortable. Even past that moment of wanting to transfer from St. Lawrence. And it was needing to recognize that this too shall pass, and that, this is just a phase in all of it, exactly what they say around just weathering the storm. I would say that because I think that that is what continues to keep me going. Like I said, it's not easy. Going up against corporate giants and not just doing the work but, forcing their hand on the number of conversations. It's not easy work, but it's necessary and there will be hard times, but they'll pass.

Beth:  And if you had any suggestions, not only for your past self, but for current students or future students attending St. Lawrence, whether it be about their experience at St Lawrence or what they do afterwards, what would that advice be for them?

Dzifa:  I'd say maybe two things. One, get as comfortable with being uncomfortable as you can being, because the only constant is change in everything that we do. The best spot to be as uncomfortable. And I think that that is where you'll find your best self in all of the nuance and really get lost in that detail. My second piece of advice would be challenge anything that doesn't feel right. We have instinct, we have gut and we have a voice and we are all capable of enabling ourselves to use our voice and to speak up and not just look to the person who may be the oppressed to do it on behalf of them, but just everyone kind of using their own voice to speak up at any time and challenge the system.

Beth:  That's great. That's amazing.

Beth:  If you had one thing that could have helped you in your SLU experience that you wish, whether it's a program, a center, something physical or something that is just provides comfort, whatever it could be that you didn't have that you wish current or future students could have at St. Lawrence, what do you think that it would be?

Dzifa:  You asked me this question, or rather you brief me on this question and it's been sitting with me for a while and I was just like, I don't know that it's a physical thing. But I have always felt that I wish the kind of staff and faculty leadership were to be more ingrained with the student body in a way they understood, kind of the nuance and the difficulties and kind of the conversations that were happening on the ground. I'd always felt that we relied a bit too heavily on Thelmo to be literally the judge and the jury of everything. And I appreciate kind of the student runness of it, but sort of certain degree, you kind of need somebody to be the tie breaker of this, right. And to see above it and have that bird's-eye view and to protect kind of the morale and energy on the ground.

Dzifa:  And so to a certain extent with still protecting the autonomy and kind of safety and privacy of students, I wonder what could be done to really allow the faculty to reach down a bit more and maybe offer up some more opportunities to hear from them. And again, that was during my time. And my understanding is that things have far kind of exceeded my own expectations of where St Lawrence would be. And so I am just always excited to hear all of that, but if I think about my own time and where I was, I think I could have benefited from that.

Amelia:  What are those things that you've seen St Lawrence do since you've graduated that you're really excited about?

Dzifa:  So, I actually, I've been fortunate enough to be at succumb and talk at various kind of panels, or even just to lend my own piece of advice, to conversations and things that are happening on campus. And of course I hadn't graduated at the time, but it doesn't sound like those conversations were ever happening or that it wasn't faculty and staff initiating those conversations to be able to hear from alumni to understand what is it that we didn't get, right. What can we do better? We want more students and we want you guys to still feel connected to the school and be engaged. How can we help? And so I think in those engagements and hearing from so many other people so often, and just, I feel their passion and I feel their unyielding support to the communities that are maybe underserved on campus. And they're trying to figure out how best to serve them. And I feel the work. And I think that that is what I feel inspired by. And I'm just in awe because I know it's not easy.

Beth:  It isn't, and it shouldn't be. And I think that that's the best part is, you said that we need to all be kind of comfortable with being uncomfortable or helping that for students, but it goes all the way around. If you're at a higher education institution, especially one that puts a lot of effort into learning about different perspectives of the world and teaching people to be lifelong learners, then we absolutely need to know that this isn't easy and we would love to make it easy. And there are ways to do that, but it's ever changing. And so I think that I'm happy to hear that you feel like that is improved. And I think that that is absolutely a goal of the university to continue. And it's not like we went, okay, we did it. Wipe our hands of it and that's it. This is something that's ever changing and evolving. And it's good to hear that, 10 years out that you're feeling like there's been vast improvements where from your time as a student.

Dzifa:  Absolutely. Yeah. And even just the positive sentiment around the alumni community as well, even the folks that I told you, I still keep in contact with, I think about what our conversations were about St. Lawrence and that's almost fresh out and kind of where we are now. And the sentiment has 100% improved. And I know it's a Testament to the work that St Lawrence continues to do, even after we've left.

Beth:  I can't think of a better place to end this conversation than with that sentiment. So before we go, though, I do want to, again, thank you for your time, Dzifa. I know that again, you are a very busy, passionate, hardworking individual. And so we really appreciate the time that you've taken to speak with us today. If you were willing to be found on social media, whether it be your LinkedIn or Instagram or anything like that, where could people find you?

Dzifa:  Yes. Feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn Dzifa Yador is my name. Should I spell it out? I should probably spell it out.

Beth:  Go ahead and spell it out. We'll also have it listed in such so people can see it in print, but-

Dzifa:  Okay. I'll save you guys then see it in print, but it's, Dzifa pronounced "G-Fa".

Beth:  Wonderful, wonderful, excellent. And any last minute tips that you have for us as we launch our podcast here, I think that's the hard hitting question that Amelia and I want to know.

Dzifa:  One, I'll reiterate by say, you guys are doing a fantastic job. I had the most fun, truly. And I mean, Amelia, as you've noted the passion and the smile is coming out and the energy that you guys are giving me. And so this is a really great time. So thank you guys.

Dzifa:  I would say one, don't ever forget to have fun, right? Because you want your guests to have fun with you, and this should all be fun at the end of the day.

Dzifa:  And then two never lose sight of your audience and why you're doing this and the intention of it. And I think it's easy and it could be set for anything that we do to kind of get lost in your own opinion or your own intent, but understanding who your audience is and why you're doing this and not losing sight of that. And I'd say that to anyone who was hosting a show, I think is important, as an important north star.

Beth:  Well, thank you. Well, keep that in mind for sure. And I think that, this is only our second podcast, but I don't want to speak for Amelia, but I will say that I've already had a blast and I can't wait each month to talk with the next Laurentian on our list. So-

Amelia:  Absolutely.

Dzifa:  I'll be listening.

Beth:  Excellent. Thank you so much, Dzifa. You're such an inspiration for us clearly, and I'm sure that everyone out there listening will have had a great time just being able to sit in on this fantastic conversation.

Dzifa:  Thank you guys. This is great.

Beth:  Well, there you have it. What a great interview with Dzifa Yador. Amelia, what were some of your favorite takeaways from the interview?

Amelia:  Oh my goodness. How do I choose just one? I was absolutely blown away by Dzifa. I tell you she was such an inspiration for me, and I'm sure to so many people listening of how she moved forward in as a student and in her career, and just has so much vibrancy and love for life. And I think that that definitely inspired me.

Amelia:  But I was also really struck by how Dzifa both loved St. Lawrence while still recognizing where she would wish some things about her student experience different and because she loves St. Lawrence so much, she wants more for future students that doesn't take away her ability to love St. Lawrence.

Beth:  I think that that is a really important point. I think that obviously when you care about an institution, it's not only about recognizing all the wonderful things about of it, but also the areas that could be improved or things that maybe impacted you in different ways. Not always in the most positive ways and hoping that for future students. I think that that's something that all Laurentian's share and I loved how she was able to share her experience and be very candid about her experience, both at St. Lawrence and what she's experienced afterwards.

Amelia:  Absolutely. Yes. I couldn't have said it better. So it was a fantastic conversation and I'm excited to see what she does next. I mean, she's going to rock the world.

Beth:  No, she really is. I mean, she is fantastic. I am so happy that we had an opportunity to showcase her voice and her story. Another wonderful Scarlet & Brown Story podcasts. I like to say that as if we've done 50 of them, we have done two, but we've just had two really great interviews. I feel very energized about this.

Amelia:  Oh yes. And we have a great one coming up, so make sure that you listen to our next episode in August, we'll be talking to Sonja Jensen class of 2019 and she's a firecracker. It'll be great.

Beth:  She's awesome. Yes. Yes. And as I recall, she used to work in the office with us over in Laurentian Engagement and Annual Giving. So it'd be great to catch up with her and hear all about what life has been like post St. Lawrence over the past couple of years.

Amelia:  For sure. So with that, we'll see you next month. Everyone.

Beth:  Scarlet & Brown Stories is edited and produced by Amanda Brewer, Megan Fry Dozier, Dennis Morreale, Beth Dixon, and Amelia Jantzi.

Amelia:  Our music was written by Christopher Watts. Inspired by Eugene Wright, class of 1949.

Beth:  Subscribe to Scarlet & Brown Stories on Apple podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

Amelia:  If you have a story you'd like to submit to us, you can email us at