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Sounds Like “Global Success”
Jordan Senkbeil ’18 ended up at LVC via football after being recruited as a running back by retired Head Coach Jim Monos, the program’s all-time winningest coach. Originally an electronic engineering major, Senkbeil switched to music recording technology (MRT, now audio & music production) after completing his audition during his first football training camp.
In addition to two years of football, Senkbeil was a member of the first class to oversee the newly formed VALE Music Label, participated in the Audio Engineering Society (AES), and was a DJ in the Underground student club. He was equally active in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities, serving as a member of the Pallas Society and mentor in the Multicultural Mentor Program (MMP).
Senkbeil cited numerous faculty, staff, and coaches when asked who inspired him as an undergraduate and graduate.
“Professor [Jeff] Snyder [director of music business, professor of music] always encouraged me to think bigger and try harder regarding class projects and career aspirations,” said Senkbeil. “Professor [Barry] Hill [director and professor of audio & music production] taught me the ropes to audio since I knew little when I enrolled in his class in my first year.
“Musically, Dr. Michael Wojdylak ’97 [retired adjunct professor of music] was my voice instructor,” added Senkbeil. “We had many interesting conversations about life, and he encouraged me to pursue a career as a professional singer, though my heart was set on another path. Administratively, Todd Snovel ’06 [former assistant dean of engagement and inclusion], Venus Ricks [former director of multicultural affairs], and Jen Evans [director of student engagement] played a big role in my success. Todd was always a ball of energy and force of encouragement. Venus was a campus mother to our multicultural students and encouraged me to get involved in the Pallas Society and MMP. Jen was always there to hear my concerns and help me navigate the challenges of college. Finally, on the athletic side, Coach Monos and Coach Mark Costello [former offensive coordinator] taught me how to be tougher and face adversity on the field and in the classroom. They inspired me to be physically and mentally tough. I could write a book about the many LVC people who changed how I view the world.”
This extensive support helped Senkbeil persevere and graduate five years later than intended. His determination and knowledge helped him land a position in the electronics shop at Clair Global (Clair) on the Rock Lititz Campus. The opportunity at Clair, a professional sound reinforcement and live touring production support company with offices on four continents, opened the world to Senkbeil.
“I have seen more in the audio industry than I could ever ask for and been able to work on projects for some of the biggest, if not the biggest, artists in the world. I’ve been promoted three times, including to electronics shop manager after basically living at work after the industry roared back much quicker than anticipated after the pandemic. I lavished the opportunities and now oversee five departments of the Clair Touring Faction.”
Senkbeil, knowing the value of an LVC education, has hired several fellow alumni and works with about a dozen others.
“Since being promoted, I hired Kyle Alibrando ’17, Paul Berry ’19, and Jesse Kauffman ’20. I actively recruit through Professor Snyder’s LVC Music Ninja’s Facebook group. I’ve also worked with several other alumni, including Scott Holman ’14, Clair’s amp department supervisor. We were classmates who went through similar experiences with VALE and AES.”
Senkbeil is glad he chose MRT, and Clair, over a career as an electrical engineer.
“Clair is an amazing company. When I started, I met someone who had been with the company for 50 years, which impressed me since that’s not the case for most companies today. Learning that employees stay that long made me realize that I had ‘struck gold.’ It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that the projects we build end up traveling the world to entertain thousands, if not millions, of people. It’s an incredible delight to know we impact so many people by adding enjoyment to their lives.”
Casey Kelly ’20, road staff for Clair Global, is one of the other dozen or so alumni colleagues noted by Senkbeil. She also was heavily involved at LVC, including with VALE and the AES. She made the first Clair connection through VALE after Senkbeil was a guest presenter.
Kelly also participated in The Pride of The Valley Marching Band and Wig and Buckle and represented her class at a conference with Craig Underwood, adjunct instructor in AMP.
“Dr. [Chris] Heffner [co-chair and associate professor of music, director of The Pride of The Valley Marching Band] and Serena Heffner [adjunct instructor for music (voice)], inspired and challenged me,” said Kelly. “She advocated for me to get out of my comfort zone and push myself in vocal performance. Dr. Heffner enabled me to grow my leadership skills by becoming the color guard section leader for Pride of the Valley. I use these skills when I lead stagehands on tour and go to new places with unique challenges.”
Kelly gained hands-on live event experience through undergraduate summer internships in Delaware. She also learned how concerts came together and developed the hard-working mindset needed in the business. Unfortunately, graduating in the heart of the pandemic, she couldn’t find full-time employment but gained additional knowledge working part-time on existing systems and mixing broadcast audio for her church.
“I was visiting LVC classmates during the pandemic,” said Kelly. “They encouraged me to apply to Clair. I knew two Valley alumni already at Clair, Peter Behr ’19 and Jesse Kauffman. They recommended me, so I was able to get an interview.
“Like Peter, I applied to the RIT (Road Staff in Training) program.”
Unfortunately, that class was full. So, Kelly sent her résumé to the console department, where she was hired. Six months later, she was accepted into the Road Staff in Training Program.
“Since completing RIT training, I have been on the road as a touring engineer. I’ve worked events like the New Orleans Heritage Jazz and Music Festival, CMA Fest, and Zac Brown Band tour. I am frequently asked about people who apply to Clair from LVC. If there’s one piece of advice for students in the AMP program, ‘your reputation matters.’”