Being Open to the Experience: How a Journalism Degree Prepared An Alumna For Anything

Lauren B. Worley, '01, kickstarted her professional journey in public service and currently spearheads communications for Tampax at Procter & Gamble, the global leader in consumer goods.

Originally from Peebles, Ohio, Worley pursued a journalism major on the advice of a former high school teacher who recognized her potential to work in radio. When she chose Kent State University, she earned a scholarship and admittance to the Honors College.

“Those moments I can actually look back on, and they seemed like such a relatively minor decision at the time, but they’ve absolutely domino affected everything that’s happened,” said Worley.

At Kent State, Worley spent a lot of time working for Kent State Student Media, where, in combination with her classes, she discovered a passion for politics and developed practical skills.

“It’s all really relevant to those few things that are important, like being transparent, sharing information with people when they need it and holding yourself to rigorous standards, all of which comes back to everything I learned at Kent State’s journalism school,” she said.

Now, as Communications Director for Tampax, Worley’s responsibilities include staying current with the media to ensure the brand’s communications are the best they can be, listening to consumers’ wants, working with influencers and spending a lot of time writing and being creative, from internal content to external content.  

Alumna Lauren Worley shaking hands with President Joe Biden

Before her role at P&G, Worley held a wide variety of positions, starting with her involvement in Kent State’s Washington Program in National Issues (WPNI). Thanks to a connection she made during the program, she worked for the Democratic National Convention right out of college.

Then, she was a press secretary and senior advisor at NASA, where during her tenure, she had the privilege of introducing the surviving Apollo 11 astronauts, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, to former President Barack Obama.

Following NASA, she worked as the Artist and Talent Director at the musician Bono’s nonprofit organization, ONE Campaign. Then, she took a sabbatical and lived on Navajo land, which ultimately prompted her return to Cincinnati.

Alumna Lauren Worley working at NASA

“I met a woman on the Navajo reservation who asked me where my tribe was, and I was like, ‘I don’t have a tribe,’ and she meant, where are my people,” said Worley, “I said, well, I guess my people are in Ohio, and then she said, ‘When you find your people, you’ll find your purpose.’”

Upon returning to Ohio, she worked for Cincinnati Public Schools until becoming a Global Newsroom Leader at P&G in 2020, ultimately assuming her current position in 2023.

An underlying theme in Worley's career — and personal life — is an unwavering commitment to serving others. She gives back to today’s Kent State students through her involvement with the Mandy Jenkins Memorial Scholarship.  

Worley met Kent State alumna Jenkins, a pioneer in digital journalism, when they were both journalism students. Their careers often intertwined; they even accidentally lived across the street from one another during their time in Washington, D.C.

“I can say without a doubt that when I was a student with Mandy, she was a standout immediately,” said Worley, “You just meet some people, and you know they’re going to do really well, from their demeanor to their personality.”

Jenkins died after four years of cancer treatments in February 2023. Her loved ones, including husband Ben Fischer, ’04 — also a friend of Worley’s — began the Mandy Jenkins Memorial Scholarship. It supports a Kent State student in a student media newsroom leadership role.

Worley immediately got involved, and with others, organized a fundraiser for the scholarship.

“I hope that the scholarship helps ensure that the people who are leaders in our newsrooms come from the real fabric of Ohio and from the U.S. — because they have different points of view and different life experiences, which brings something fresh and new to news coverage,” said Worley.

Worley’s career has been immensely impacted by her years at Kent State and the people she’s met.  

“I think the most important thing, through all of this, is being open to the experience and having yourself ready for anything,” said Worley. “Having a journalism degree from Kent State is what opened that up for me. When I came out, I was able to write just about anything.” 

POSTED: Thursday, May 2, 2024 12:06 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2024 12:53 PM
Eve Krejci, '24