In this Chapman50 Alumni Spotlight, we get to know Rebecca Hall, B.A. communications ’96. As the founder of
, an integrated marketing firm, Rebecca leads a team of energetic and talented professionals that specializes in branding, media relations and integrated marketing campaigns. Despite her busy schedule as president and CEO of Idea Hall, she remains an active member of the Chapman University community, serving on the Board of Governors, participating in Women of Chapman and of course, making an impact as a member of
What inspired you to become a member of Chapman50?
I joined Chapman50 as an opportunity to get to know some of the like minded professionals in our alumni association and give back to the university.
What impact do you hope to make as a member of Chapman50?
I hope to contribute toward the vision and continued growth of Chapman University. I am proud that Chapman has become the institution it is today. There is a quality community within Chapman and if we all contribute our talents, our network, and continue to give back we will be able to achieve Chapman’s ultimate vision.
Tell me about your career- what do you do on a day to day basis?
Ten years ago I started Idea Hall, a full service PR, branding and marketing agency. I have built the agency with an energetic team of talented professionals that take pride in the results we deliver. We specialize in media relations and integrated marketing campaigns; with national and regional programs, for commercial real estate, banking/finance, nonprofit and consumer clients.
Every day brings something new and exciting. I spend the majority of my time on business development, client relationships and strategic thinking for my clients.
What insight would you give to current students and alumni who are searching for employment?
Most importantly, I would say hone your critical thinking skills so that you can be valuable and adaptive to any situation. All experience is good experience. Get an internship – get into an agency and get involved with as much as you can.
Also, make sure to learn how to communicate with other generations – your clients are probably not of your generation. It is important to not only learn about communication styles but also about hierarchal boundaries and social graces. People who come in with that understanding have a higher advantage and your employer will feel comfortable taking you with them to meetings.
What advice do you have for current students who want to make the most out of their time at Chapman?
Get involved! Get involved in all the clubs and groups that you love, and take not only the classes in your major, but ones that sound fun. Take that art class and study abroad. Those experiences will always help you in your future when you least expect it, and they might help you find your passion.
From your time at Chapman, which faculty member(s) made the greatest impact on you and why?
I had so many professors at Chapman that have left a lifelong impression on me.
- Janell Shearer – She was and is my mentor, specifically in PR and story creation. We have a special relationship that has been constant all these years. Janell is somebody I can always talk to in the industry and someone I can go to with any questions or share ideas with.
- Lynn Pearson Doti – I learned a tremendous amount from her. She was tough, but was kind and patient all at the same time. Later I realized how micro- and macro-economics were some of the most important lessons in my career. Thank you Lynn!
- Dr. Ben Bohren – He was the pastor at my church in Orange, and is the one that originally encouraged me to go to Chapman. He is still a friend and mentor in my life. He was also the director of Church Relations during my time at Chapman and was like another father to me and he helped me figure out how I could attend Chapman through scholarships.
- Bill Womack – He was out of this world amazing. I took every possible class I could from him. He studied under Abraham Maslow and he was probably one of the best speech and communications teachers. He gave the opening convocation speech my freshmen year, and he compared our journey as students to the Wizard of OZ talking about all the different characters and how they would make our experience at Chapman was it was. Professor Womack passed away a few years after I graduated, but his spirit and teaching live on through me and so many of his other students.
- Jim Doti – He truly inspired me to believe that if I can dream it, I can achieve it. I always, from a very young age, knew Jim Doti was a builder and had a vision and was doing exciting things. And I know I want to be a part of it.
What is your favorite Chapman memory?
I always feel like I am home when I am on campus, and it has always been about the people at Chapman. The people behind Chapman University truly have a unified vision – when I go to a board meeting – (board of governors, board of trustees, alumni etc.) – everybody is just trying to constantly make it better for the students. Everyone is working toward a little bit at a time, making it better. Everyone there gets that, the students, faculty, staff, alumni etc. Everyone wants it to be the best it can be and help make that possible.
I love the competitive spirit at Chapman. I love the “we can always do better” spirit that produces great students and continues to bring alumni back.
Lastly, I love how Chapman gets people in the community involved. Because they see that they can make a real impact – and that everyone around them is supporting “being the best” and they want to be a part of that as well.
What was your favorite spot on campus as a student?
When I was at Chapman, the cafeteria was still in Argyros. There was a patio that ran around the corner and that was where everyone would hang out. You would always see people you knew on the patio. Sometimes it would be one person, sometimes it would be a huge group of people and you would all go do something together and get off campus. It was the social hangout.
How has your Chapman degree helped you in your professional and personal life?
Being affiliated with Chapman has opened more doors than I can count. It has reflected positively on my personal brand as well.
How were you involved on campus during your time as a Chapman student?
When I was a student, I was a member of Alpha Phi and Disciples on Campus (DOC). I made lifetime friendships with many of the people in these organizations. I have amazing memories from our time together and I still keep in touch with many of them.
Aside from Chapman50, how else have you been involved with Chapman since graduating?
I have been a member of many groups at Chapman since graduation. I was an alumni board member as well as president of the Alumni Association. I was a member of the Board of Trustees and am currently a Board of Governors member, Chapman50 member and Women of Chapman.
I also started an Idea Hall endowed scholarship, am a donor and a guest lecturer.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Chapman Family?
Like everything in life, you get out what you put in. Come get involved!
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Founded in late 2012, Chapman50 is an exclusive group designed to connect influential alumni leaders in a university-wide network unlike any other. Comprising fifty founding members under the age of 50, Chapman50 enacts the mission of Chapman University by encouraging alumni leadership and professional development in all fifty states and across the globe.
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