John Monsul ’53 has been the host of the successful local Virginia television program "Communicating Today" since 1989. He describes it as a variety-type show in which he gets to meet and interview wonderful people with interesting stories.
“I love to talk about my show because I have so much fun doing it!” John said.
In what he calls one of the biggest thrills of his 19-year television career, he interviewed Dr. Constantine Papadakis who was just beginning his term as Drexel’s president.
“It was 1996 and I knew he’d be in the Washington, D.C. area so I contacted Drexel,” John said. “He took time off to come to the studio and be a guest on our show.”
John explained that even then he could sense Taki’s positive energy and enthusiasm.
“During his time as president, he did such wonderful things for Drexel,” John said.
With more than 550 episodes of "Communicating Today" under his belt, John’s goal is to reach show number 600 before he retires.
“We have copies of all the shows, so when I’m retired I can just sit back and watch the tapes and enjoy what I’ve done through the years,” he said.
For someone with such a passion for what he does, it is interesting to discover just how John found himself as the host of "Communicating Today".
As a student at Drexel, John studied business and went on to work in sales and marketing for several large companies including IBM, Xerox and Boeing.
“I took that business degree and put it to good use for 40 years,” he said.
One day he met Ed Nicholas, a fellow member of the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. Ed was the president of the local television station, Channel 10. He offered to take John on a tour of the studio one morning and then surprised him with a very interesting proposition.
“He asked me if I would like to host my own television program,” John said.
Admitting that the only thing he knew about television was that he watched it from time to time, John decided to give it a try and he accepted Ed’s invitation. He submitted the proposal for a television show called "Communicating Today" which would showcase how people and organizations communicate with one another.
“We’ve featured Habitat for Humanity, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, cutting-edge heart surgeons, seeing eye dogs, Dr. Papadakis and more recently, Dr. George Tsetsekos, dean of the LeBow College of Business,” John said. “I get to meet such wonderful people. We've even had Elvis Presley and Albert Einstein impersonators on our show a few years ago!”
In the beginning, John relied on his years of experience in sales and marketing to calm his nerves in front of the camera.
“Working for some big, powerful companies in the past, I had to get up in front of people and sell things. I would go to meetings and demonstrations and get in front of potential customers and large groups. This was easier because it was just me and a camera.”
However, John did admit that his first show ‘wasn’t all that great’.
“I was such an amateur!” he laughed.
Despite his lack of formal training, John’s show was a hit, and "Communicating Today" continues to highlight interesting people from all walks of life, including those in entertainment and politics, as well as business men and women.
“Through the years I’ve maintained the desire to put on the best T.V. show possible by providing interesting guests, worthwhile information and timely topics,” he said.
While John enjoys his role as host of a television program, he still works in sales and marketing part-time for a company near his home which designs Web sites and navigation software.
In addition to featuring Dr. Papadakis and Dr. Tsetsekos on his show, John also volunteers as an Alumni Ambassador and is a member of Drexel’s Great Court Society.
For more information on "Communicating Today", visit the show’s Web site at www.communicatingtoday.com.