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Alumni Spotlight: Carol DeFiore '91

March 2017

carol defiorePlease welcome to the Alumni Spotlight Carol DeFiore! Carol had the opportunity to work with both Michael Kennedy and Dr. Cory Johnson during her time here at St. Ambrose, and she could not be more grateful for the experiences she gained.

As a product of this department she interned as a stage manager at the Goodman Theatre and used her skills to open her own business. What did she find so special about St. Ambrose? It's time to find out!

Graduation Year: 1991
Majors: Psychology and Theatre

What did you do post-graduation and what are you doing currently?
Right out of college I went to an internship at Goodman Theatre and interned as a Stage Manager. Currently, I own and operate my own funeral home in Huntley, Illinois. I am a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

What was your favorite memory from your college years at St. Ambrose?
It is hard to list one favorite memory because I only have great memories of St. Ambrose. But one that still makes me laugh is when I was given a non-speaking role as a maid to come on stage and help with a costume change. I had never really had any desire at all to be on stage, so the joke was "Carol, don't upstage the actor." Of course, I totally goofed and walked out on stage during the completely wrong scene. Needless to say, they never let me on stage ever again. I did however, stage manage most of the shows produced during my four years. Another favorite memory is the day that Mike Kennedy and I interviewed Cory Johnson for the job opening as a theatre professor at St. Ambrose, and thankfully, the rest is history.

What inspires you today?
I am always inspired by people who are willing to work hard to achieve their dreams. I am living proof that dreams do come true, and I love seeing others accomplish what they have always wanted to do.

What was your biggest post-St. Ambrose surprise?
No real post SAU surprises. I felt that I left St. Ambrose very prepared and confident for the real world, and I greatly appreciate the opportunities I received from St. Ambrose.

Any advice for current students?
My advice to current students is: Soak in as much as you can at St. Ambrose. It is a place where professors truly give you their best every day, and most importantly, truly believe in their students.

What is a show you have acted/designed in that you are most proud of?
I got to stage manage Christmas Carol with Cory and it was awesome. There were lots of challenges for us as a department, and together we came up with an amazing finished product. I was most proud to work with Mike Kennedy on his one man show Edmund Kean. The amount of dedication and hard work that went into that production is something I am still very proud of, even to this day.

What do you miss most about the department?
For me, the St. Ambrose theatre department was a huge part of entire college career; and although I miss it, I have taken so much of what I learned with me. I am fortunate to call Cory and Mike my closest friends, they both believed in me then and still believe in me today, which I am blessed and grateful for always.

Thank you for your support for the St. Ambrose Theatre Department and for sharing your story, Carol! St. Ambrose will always be your home, and we are so happy to have such fantastic alumni representing us in the world.

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