By Amanda Joerndt
Mollie Hartup knew from a young age that she belonged in the news industry.
From news producer to Youngstown State University Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, communications coordinator and editor-in-chief of the YSU Magazine, Hartup has always enjoyed making connections and building relationships with people.
A news industry infatuation began when Hartup was a student at Boardman High School and helped start the television production, “Boardman Schools Television Network.”
Hartup said the experience opened her eyes to what the future could hold for her.
“It was a really incredible experience, so from a young age I always had an inkling of what I wanted to do,” she said. “It was not about being on TV, but it was really about telling people stories. It planted the seed for what I wanted to do later on in my career.”
Hartup attended Youngstown State University as a telecommunications major, taking advantage of every opportunity to get involved in her field.
She started as a news intern at 21 WFMJ-TV, gaining experience through her college years and opening the door to her first job of about 10 years.
“I produced the noon newscast for about a year and then I started producing the morning show,” she said. “I wasn’t done with school yet, but news isn’t one of those industries where you just graduate and then you get promoted so the opportunity was there.”
Hartup switched from news producer to running the assignment desk for the last five years of her news career.
In July 2010, she was offered a position as the YSU Alumni Relations director and worked with different alumni chapters across the country and planned ceremonial events on campus.
Hartup said the position allowed her to meet new people who had a passion for YSU.
“As I looked back on it, really everything I’ve done has been connected to storytelling just in a different type of format,” she said. “It was building relationships and getting to know people I think are the things I’m really passionate about. I got to know alumni all over the place.”
Hartup said Youngstown holds a special place in her heart and helped her achieve her goals.
“Sometimes I’ll wonder if I’m heading in multiple directions, but everything has supported each other in the things that I’ve done and there have been common threads,” she said. “I’ve always loved the culture here and was always a proud penguin and a cheerleader for this area.”
Hartup taught part time in the geography department and now teaches a seminar class for the Honors College.
“[The seminar class is] geared towards creating a final project that you would plan, an event that would benefit others,” she said. “We partnered with United Way, and the students created an event to help the elementary students here in Youngstown City Schools.”
Hartup said she enjoys connecting with her students and helping them succeed.
“General advice I give [to students] is do an internship and get involved because with my personal experience an internship was the door open to my career,” she said. “You never know what you might like and dislike so join a club and get involved in your major.”
Hartup said she learns daily from her students and listens to what they have to say in the classroom.
“I think it’s knowing when to listen and getting students to feel empowered to share their opinions,” she said. “Someone might have a better idea than you, and that’s fantastic because you want to grow from other people. You don’t want to be right, you want to be better.”
Lexi Rager, a senior mathematics and psychology major, worked with Hartup through the Honors College.
Rager said she always enjoyed seeing Hartup each morning with a smile on her face.
“On any given day, no matter how many things have not gone her way, she finds a way to put a positive spin on things,” Rager said. “Mollie truly is a constant ray of sunshine.”
Rager said Hartup helped her reach her full potential as a student at YSU.
“Mollie encouraged me to make myself as marketable as possible both inside and outside the classroom,” she said. “She has been a catalyst in my involvement in student organizations and honor societies on campus.”
She said Hartup has taught her many valuable lessons through her time at YSU.
“Watching her showed me that there is no excuse for not following your dreams,” she said. “Mollie has a perfect work-life balance which is a constant reminder that if you work hard enough in every facet of life, you really can have it all.”