Cabrini alumna returns to her old classroom to speak

By Anthony Pietrewicz
May 13, 2021

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Cabrini graduate and current sales manager for Pandora Tonya Murphy knows the current state of the audio business, and where it may be going. Being a member of the BIPOC community, she has used gifts, talents, and grit to raise the voices of those like her. Since she graduated, she has been working in sales management positions that allow her to use her platform to work for a difference. 

Music Note Bokeh“Music Note Bokeh” by all that improbable blue is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


Murphy graduated from Cabrini University in 1989, 32 years ago. She studied both English and communication, and used those degrees to land her where she is today. Murphy prides herself in being an active and supportive member of the BIPOC community. She realizes the importance of being a woman of color and works for equality in the industry she loves being a part of.

“Tonya was a very genuine person,” junior digital communication major George Cortez said about the speaker. “She had a lot of knowledge of how radio and streaming services collided in the past decade.” Murphy demonstrated her understanding of the music market and shared it with those who attended her speech.

Murphy is not afraid to tackle issues head-on. She knows that as a woman of color in a position of power, she must be a leader. She has taken on the role of being anti-racist, while encouraging others around her to do the same. At Pandora, Murphy works to amplify and empower the voices of women and people of color. 

“We started an initiative called ‘It Starts With Me,’” Murphy explained. This initiative is how she utilizes her position to actively call for and seek out change. She wants equality to exist not only in the workplace, but throughout the entire country.

Tonya Murphy speaking over Zoom, Photo by Anthony Pietrewicz

Murphy’s speech was also about pushing college students to involve themselves in the world of digital communication. “She gave the students at the event an incentive to apply for jobs,” Cortez said. Murphy recommended students to use a number of employment sites, including sites like Jobvite and Indeed

She finished her speech by answering several questions. Many questions came from students that are now in the shoes that she was once in. Murphy was co-news editor for Cabrini’s newspaper, The Loquitur. Junior communication major Anna Schmader is going to be taking on that same title next year. “I loved hearing all about her insights and struggles through her career path. Everything was inspiring and reassuring that even if I don’t know what’s happening, I will figure it out.” Schmader called the speech both “engaging and informative.”

When asked about her tenacity, she gave a very personal response. “I do believe in grit, but I don’t always always self rely. I rely on God.” Murphy believes that Jesus has been very good to her and she credits him as to why she has been so successful. “You asked me and that’s my answer.” She knows that God has helped her achieve the many things she has done in her life.

Murphy ended her time speaking to the  students with words of advice. She encouraged the students to learn and develop their talents, check their attitudes, know their passions and know who they truly are.

Murphy’s speech was held on Zoom on April 22, 2021. She can not wait to be invited back to campus to do similar speeches in person in the upcoming years.

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Anthony Pietrewicz

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