Two SCC graduates are leading the local industry of radio and graphic design | SCC


Two SCC graduates are leading the local industry of radio and graphic design

Published on Mar 18, 2024

Meet Kate Smith and Faith Speaks, two Somerset Community College (SCC) graduates who are at the forefront of the local radio and graphic design industry in Lake Cumberland. These two women have made significant contributions to their community and have created many graphic designs that are well-known in the local area. Kate also hosts three popular radio shows that have gained a significant following.

Kate Smith behind a microphone and monitorsKate, a 1999 Noblesville High School graduate and mother of three, was always inspired by traditional art and found graphic design appealing.

"I had been doing graphic design on my own for a few years and knew that if I wanted to make a career out of it, I needed to go to school," Kate recalled. "As a mom of three, I was looking for an online option, and SCC had everything I needed."

Kate graduated from the SCC Visual Communication Program in 2015.

FaithFaith, a 2017 Pulaski County High School graduate, found her path to visual communications at SCC after a few semesters of pursuing a psychology degree.

"I have always loved the arts, and I wanted to turn that into a degree and work in a career field that allowed me to stay connected to that in some way," Faith said. "I switched to SCC's Visual Communication Program and graduated in 2020."

Kate worked various freelancing jobs as a designer until she briefly served as SCC's Web Specialist.

In 2018, Kate accepted the job that would blaze her way into radio as a graphic designer and social media manager at Forcht Broadcasting. However, Kate continued exploring her career options and switched to New Horizon Graphics in 2020.

Faith entered Kate's prior role at the station after working part-time as a bank teller. Faith still gladly designs for the station's 26 radio stations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.

"Radio found me," Faith said.

Faith had local influences that inspired her career at PC High School. Her art teacher, Mark Rooks, introduced her to the world of graphic design. Later, a familiar name inspired her later in her career.

"Kate Smith, a fellow Visual Communication program alum, has impacted much of my work at Forcht Broadcasting," Faith shared. "Her previous work has taught me a lot about design hierarchy and creative storytelling methods."

Smith's career had not seen the end of radio. In 2022, she returned to radio as Operations Manager of Somerset 106 and WTLO, where Kate and Faith became coworkers.

Both women credit SCC's Visual Communications Program for equipping them with the necessary tools to thrive.

"After SCC, I have been pleasantly surprised how learning basic website coding has enhanced my career," Kate noted. "In today's digital world, understanding website mechanics and distinguishing between back-end coding and front-end design has greatly improved my overall skills as a designer."

Speaks praised SCC's Visual Communication Program for giving her the fundamentals of design.

"Knowing what makes visual communications effective and how to implement those principles are essential to what I do," Faith said.

SCC allowed Fath to work part-time while residing at home, enabling her to complete her education without accumulating any student debt.

Faith shares the excitement of seeing her designs come to life.

"One of my proudest moments recently in my career was seeing a logo I have created brought to life as a sign on a storefront, Faith said. "Seeing something I stared at on a screen for so long become a tangible piece of artwork and knowing that it is the identifying image of a business is rewarding."

Smith shared what is most fulfilling about her career after SCC.

"Unwaveringly, the project that has brought me the most fulfillment is contributing to the organization that showed me immense kindness and support during a tumultuous period in my family's lives," Kate shared.

Kate volunteers for the Adanta Sexual Assault Resource Center, creating their logo, billboards, flyers, brochures, and t-shirts.

"The individuals there have become like family to me, and I am committed to continuously offering my support through free design work and promotion for as long as I live," Smith graciously shared. "Their generosity towards me and my daughters is beyond measure."

Both women had encouraging words for those seeking a career in visual communications.

"Life can be overwhelming, but don't quit," Kate advised. "Even if you can only take one class per semester, you are still getting somewhere and will eventually reach your goal."

Faith encourages women to take the plunge and pursue the next step in their career path.

“Media consumption is at an all-time high, with digital advertising leading the way," noted Faith. "This calls for effective design and brand identity.”

SCC has the tools to help you get to your career in graphic design. Learn more about SCC's Visual Communication online program.