Loyola Magazine

Managing director for GreyComm Studios guides mentee in finding her passion and charting her career in communications

April Hartman, ’23, leans on the lessons she learned from H. Jay Dunmore early in her career
Jay Dunmore and April Hartman working with a studio light
April Hartman, ’23, blossomed in the interactive environment of the GreyComm television studio, with the support of H. Jay Dunmore, affiliate professor of communication and the managing director for GreyComm. Photo Credit: Scott Loraditch

As a Loyola student, April Hartman, ’23, wore many hats: Editor in chief of the Greyhound student newspaper. Co-president of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Evergreen student leader. Director of Campus Outreach for the Student Government Association. Member of the club softball team.

But the role that gave the Pennsville, New Jersey, native the confidence and desire to get involved at Loyola was serving as vice president of production for GreyComm Studios, the University’s student-run TV station.

“GreyComm was the first thing I really felt like was mine, the first community that I could really call home,” she says.

Much of that feeling comes from her relationship with H. Jay Dunmore, affiliate professor of communication and the managing director for GreyComm, whom Hartman describes as a mentor. When she first met Dunmore, she recalls, he quickly noted her interest in journalism and the skills she had picked up helping her father with his videography business. He invited her to come by the studio.

Dunmore, who was hired at Loyola in 2007 for the role of studio manager, describes GreyComm as three things: a television studio, a production facility, and an unconventional classroom.

“I see it as a place where students can decide what it is they love to do,” he explains. “After connecting with April and seeing the skills she already had, we began to tailor the experience and discover even more gifts.”

Hartman describes herself as a quiet person, but one who’s full of ideas. “Jay could really see that,” she says. “As a first-year student, I was able to use the equipment and contribute ideas for shows. We were encouraged to be hands-on right away.”

Dunmore’s encouragement, she adds, gave her the confidence to get more involved on campus. He even wrote her letter of recommendation to become an Evergreen student leader.

“Writing that recommendation was really an exciting moment—because with Evergreens, you’re talking to and engaging with so many people,” Dunmore points out. “That was the moment I recognized she was seeking out the magis, seeing what ‘the more’ is for her.”

Helping students discover their full potential is one of Dunmore’s favorite things about his job—and he feels a deep responsibility to be someone students can come to for guidance.

“I hope every student has at least one person on campus who can help them have those big conversations and help them connect the dots,” he says. “I always say, I believe you can do it if you believe you can do it. If you do, anything is possible—so let’s step into it. Let’s see how much we can accomplish in these four years.”

The best mentorship connections don’t stop at graduation, Dunmore adds. “I can answer these questions on the professional side, but also on the practical side—I’m a father of six—or things related to spirituality. To the best of my ability, I help them discover and deploy their talents to wherever their paths take them.”

For Hartman—who majored in communication with specializations in advertising/public relations and digital media, along with a minor in writing—that path led to a role as an editorial production assistant for the National Board of Medical Examiners.

She finds herself leaning on the lessons she learned from Dunmore regularly.

“Jay would plan lessons around what his students wanted to learn,” she says. “He never said, ‘Oh, I don’t think that’ll work.’ He said, ‘OK, how can we make this happen?’”

In Dunmore’s view, Hartman is “destined for greatness.”

“Seeing her step into all these different opportunities and excelling... that kind of a passion is a recipe for great success.”