Drury Spotlight: Juan Franco '14

Majors: International Political Studies and Multimedia Production & Journalism
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Current Occupation: Producer, Springfield News-Leader

Attending school nearly 2,500 miles from his home in Caracas, Venezuela wasn't an easy decision for Juan Franco, a 2014 Drury graduate. In fact, as he flew into the Springfield airport upon his arrival, he initially questioned his decision. But then as he stepped off the plane and was greeted by Drury representatives, he knew it was the right choice.

“Drury instantly hooked me," Juan recalls. "It was a place where I could be happy.” 

Juan flourished at Drury for a number of reasons, and he credits his involvement in extracurricular activities to his success post-graduation. Juan was editor of Drury’s campus newspaper, The Mirror, and he remembers the long nights spent in the office working to beat deadlines, learning valuable skills and meeting many people in the process. He made many important connections that led to a job offer at the Springfield News-Leader, where he works as a producer for print and web products.

Getting Involved

Aside from major-related clubs like The Mirror, Juan was active in many groups, including a fraternity, which he says “provided me with that backbone to succeed in my life.” Being a part of Greek life is something many Drury students chose do, with 30% of the campus in a fraternity or sorority.

Juan urges students to “Get involved in as many things as you can. Whether you think you’re not going to be interested in the Fly Fishing Club or the College Republicans, don’t worry about that, join absolutely everything, because you will find your passion.” With more than 100 clubs, Drury has something for everyone.

Small Classes, Big Difference

Small class sizes is something Juan appreciates from his time at Drury. He recalls walking into the classrooms and having professors know you by name, which allows for great bonds to develop. “That interaction of the teacher being personally invested in your future and your academic development as a student is unique and you can’t put a price tag on it.” With an average class size of 17, small classes make a big difference at Drury.

Juan found his home-away-from home with the Drury community, and you can too. “No matter where you come from, no matter what language you speak, you always have a place at Drury and people there will make you feel welcome.”