By Catherine DeMuro
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – An adviser who considers himself more of a “coach, mentor and instructor” is one who undeniably takes pride in his work and believes in the abilities of his students.
Samuel W. Pressley “(has) the honor of serving as adviser and production coordinator” of Camden County College’s student newspaper “The Campus Press,” where he guides students involved with writing, editing, reporting and photographing news pertaining to CCC.
Born in 1948 on a farm in an area of Kingstree, S.C., Pressley was nicknamed “Sonny.” He spent his childhood living in both South Carolina and Philadelphia. Pressley’s southern upbringing is evident in his kind-hearted demeanor, humble tone and the hospitable smile that never leaves his face.
Pressley’s motivation is the students he works with every day. “The staffs’ dedication to their task is a great reminder of my mission,” he said.
Pressley has always had a passion for the communications field and began his professional career as a reporter and editor for the “Evening and Sunday Bulletin” newspaper, which folded in 1982.
Outside of CCC, Pressley works as a brand marketing and strategic communications consultant. He previously served as an award-winning communications director for various companies and institutions that include The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Lincoln University, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Pennsylvania and Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest provider of home mortgage loans.
At Lincoln University, he created a public relations campaign that “enhanced the university’s pubic profile, set student recruitment records and raised over $200 million in a capital campaign.” The public relations work of Pressley and his team was recognized by the Council for the Advancement of Secondary Education (CASE).
While working with the “Bulletin” as a higher education reporter, one of Pressley’s “most satisfying” roles was writing a series of newspaper articles on the high cost of a college education. These articles were published in 1981 and evidently led to the reform of student aid in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A then-legislator of the state cited Pressley’s series for “inspiring student aid reform because middle class students were being squeezed out of a college education.”
Pressley’s wise advice for students interested in entering the communications field is to be “purpose-driven” by creating a plan for education and work. He also advises learning “as much as you can about everything without thinking that you are a know-it-all.” Most importantly, he said, “be prepared for setbacks and failure and to keep rising. Know that if you love what you do and help others, that you will never work a day in your life!”