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Caitlin Vasko earns pair of bachelor’s degrees, Top Ten Scholar Award

Three years, two degrees, one Top Ten Scholar Award. As if that isn’t an impressive enough resume, Caitlin Vasko plans to begin law school in August 2023.

Vasko graduated with Boise State University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science as a double major in May.

“I knew I wanted to do another degree at Boise State,” she said. “Communications, in general, is an important part of all of this. I finished the political science degree in three years and the communications degree in two years.”

Vasko was named a Top Ten Scholar by Boise State’s Alumni Association and Boise State Honors College, one of the highest accolades for an undergraduate student. She is currently a part-time academic advisor for the Boise State Honors College.

“The people there are amazing,” she said. “I worked for them part-time while I was going to school. They had an open academic advising position this summer, which worked out well. I love working with students and families.”

The online format was a big reason why Vasko was able to add a second bachelor’s degree to her busy school workload.

“I worked full-time while pursuing my political science degree, so adding in-person classes was going to be a problem,” she said. “Doing the communications degree online allowed me to work full-time, pursue my other degree and get this degree.

“It was awesome. You have a schedule, so most of the classes are Monday-Wednesday-Friday due dates. Being able to schedule that out and know exactly what I needed to do was great. The online format is very flexible.”

On the Rise

Graduate Caitlin Vasko in a blue robe with an orange sash walks by a large circular statue
Photo provided by Caitlin Vasko

Vasko is from Phoenix, where her mother, Carolyn, ran for state senate, paving the way for her to focus on law as a career goal. She will be attending the College of William & Mary’s Law School.

“My mom had to get 200 signatures and 200 five-dollar donations to get on the ballot,” she said. “I went with her to canvas the parks. It definitely got me interested in government. I was interested in how political science all ties together with law.”

While still looking at colleges as a senior in high school, Vasko knew that she had found a home away from home while touring Boise State University’s campus.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “Our tour guide stopped at Friendship Bridge. I remember standing there and seeing the mountains and the river and completely forgetting that downtown was right there. I remember thinking, ‘this is the place for me.'”

During her time at Boise State, Vasko earned the DB Fitzpatrick Honors College Scholarship, the Dr. Willard M. Overgaard Political Science Scholarship and the Drs. Reynolds Honors College Scholarship. She was also a Truman Scholar finalist.

Her favorite course in the integrated strategic communications curriculum was Interviewing, but Introduction to Public Relations was especially useful.

“We did Zoom calls with classmates, interviewed each other and interviewed someone in our field in the interviewing class,” she said.

“In the PR class, we learned everything from how to write a professional email to how to create a media kit. Aspects of all of those things go into applying to law school, with interviews and phone calls. It was very applicable.”

Although Vasko has her sights set on a career in law, she believes that having a communications degree will give her an extra advantage over the competition.

“Being able to communicate, in general, is important,” she said. “No matter what your goals are, being able to spread the importance of policies, or working with the Title IX office and being able to spread awareness about reporting a sexual assault to rules and regulations on campus, this degree is going to be very helpful.”

Ready to Soar

The ability to tailor the integrated strategic communications degree to suit what she is most interested in was a big plus for Vasko.

“You can personalize the degree with your electives,” she said. “I took a course on conflict and collaboration and one on interviewing. There are a lot of them out there. So, focus on that and personalize it to your interests to make it good for you. Also, stay on top of your homework, and have fun with it.”

Vasko has yet to settle on a specific area of law, but she is passionate about education policy and public education. She served at the Idaho Education Association as a political organizer while a student at Boise State.

“Communications are so versatile,” she said. “Even if I wanted to pursue something else with political science and a communications degree, it would be so useful.

“My political science degree, after I get my JD [Juris Doctorate], will be the stepping stone that got me there, but my communications degree will continue to be something that’s relevant in life.”

With the makings of a successful career already in place, Vasko is happy that she laid her higher education foundation in blue and orange.

“I got good value from both bachelor’s degree programs,” she said. “It’s been a great overall experience for me at Boise State. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Learn More About Integrated Strategic Communications

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