Charlea Schueler’s vision for the future is bright and colorful, while her time as a Redbird is painted red and white! Schueler is not the average ISU student, with an ear for music, an eye for color , and a mind for communication, Schueler is incorporating all of her talents into her studies at ISU. Balancing a double major in public relations and music liberal arts is no easy feat, but this Bloomington-Normal native is doing it with style.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a sophomore, double majoring in music liberal arts and public relations. I am actually a triplet, and my sister goes to Illinois State University as well. My brother attends Washington University in St. Louis. I have lived my entire life in Bloomington-Normal, so I am a proud townie. Sometimes, I even help other college students discover where new and better restaurants are.
Although you grew up in this area and attended U-High, one of Illinois State University’s laboratory schools, what helped you decide to attend ISU?
I had visited a great deal of other schools, and every one offered to give me roughly the same amount in scholarship. I then turned to what those schools, including ISU, could offer me besides money. I looked to ISU’s music program, which was really strong and a huge pull. I really liked the violin professor, Dr. Gentry, and the orchestra director, Dr. Block, whom I had performed under in the Central Illinois Youth Symphony. I loved them both and thought they were awesome instructors. Those two music professors, along with Dr. Fredstrom, the Honors Program director at the time, pushed me to come to ISU, and they have helped to make my experience here truly amazing.
How do you plan to use both of your majors – public relations and music liberal arts – together?
I never wanted to give up music, so that is why I am a music major. I wanted to become a better musician for myself. The public relations field is where I would like to find a career in. I would love to work somewhere that has a music program, like the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts, and work in the public relations or development department. Ideally, I will find a job in which I can utilize the skills I will learn in the public relations program while always being surrounded by music.
Not only are you an accomplished violinist, but you also see music and words in color. How would you explain this to those who do not see the world the way you do?
I have synesthesia, which means that I can see words, numbers, and some music in colors. Each letter of the alphabet is a unique color to me, and groups of letters – words – make up different colors. Numbers also have colors and backgrounds of color. Music is a little different in that chords become colors. However, if there are lyrics with the music, I cannot see any colors specifically because the colors from the words and music wash each other out. Names have colors, and if I know someone, their personality has color. My name, Charlea, is a kind of a purplish pink, and my middle name, Elizabeth, is a light baby blue. My last name, Schueler, is a silvery green, which is hard to describe because that color only exists in my mind. Everything has a color, and I have to see it that way in order to understand it all.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Ideally, I see myself in a city like Bloomington-Normal. I would be happy staying here for the rest of my life if I found a career that suited my morals, values and passions – music and communication.
Questions composed by Ashlyn Gramm
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.