J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication
James T. Tiedge Memorial Award
Jenna M. Santoianni, Comm ’06
Los Angeles, Calif.
A Marquette student or graduate looking to break into the film and television business in Los Angeles would do well to connect with Jenna. The television executive for Sonar Entertainment is all too happy to offer support, resume tips and even her couch as a crash pad.
Mentoring fellow Golden Eagles is one way that Jenna, an executive vice president, lives the Marquette mission. She calls her choice of Marquette “one of the best decisions I ever made,” and while her education prepared her well to excel in her chosen career, “Marquette taught me that success isn’t just about the financial outcomes; it’s about becoming a better person and contributing to the world in a meaningful way.”
Jenna says it’s sometimes hard to call her job producing television shows such as The Son, Mr. Mercedes, Das Boot and Taboo “work” because she finds it so fun and fulfilling. “I get to tell stories for a living and work with ridiculously creative and talented artists,” she says. Previously, Jenna was senior vice president, TV and film, for Whalerock Industries and also a vice president of television for BermanBraun.
In her undergraduate days, Jenna applied her strong work ethic in preparing Thursday night newscasts at Johnston Hall in the College of Communication’s Instructional Media Center. “There may have been no one watching,” she says, “but everyone would work like the whole world was watching.”
Now, much of the world is watching Jenna’s shows, but the busy executive is still making time for involvement as a Marquette University Alumni Association Mentor and continues to be a friendly face in the “city of stars” for her Marquette brethren.
Fun fact: Jenna would like to have dinner with comedic queen Lucille Ball.