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Alex Stallings (BA 2001, BSEd 2001)

Most everyone who has grown up in the age of television remembers their favorite childhood TV show. For Alex Stallings, appointment viewing as a kid always included Reading Rainbow, the half-hour public television program hosted by actor LeVar Burton that introduced scores of young viewers to illustrated readings of children’s literature. Her early exposure to educational media would ultimately shape her academic and professional journey, which included degrees in English and education from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, as well as a master’s degree in communications with an emphasis in media literacy from Webster University. Of her time at UMSL, Alex describes it as a fully immersive experience.

Alex Stallings

“I lived, worked, laughed and learned on campus,” Alex said. “My formative time is a rich tapestry of memories, from the shuttle rides between campuses and the student events I coordinated in the Meadow’s Clubhouse to the mentoring conversations with Nancy Gleason and Terry Jones’ lectures about the landscape of the St. Louis region..”

Since college, she has focused her professional mission on enriching the public service media space. As the senior director of early learning at Nine PBS, she engages expert community advisors and stakeholders as co-creators of the award-winning program Drawn In. Alex also manages the Early Learning and Drawn In Advisory Boards along with guiding additional community partnerships to inform on-the-ground educational experiences.

From 2017 to 2020, she led Nine PBS’ Ready to Learn initiative, cultivating under-represented audiences while advocating for children at the local and national level. She directs early childhood engagement activities and communication with educators and families, while engaging in coalition building with regional initiatives such as East Side Aligned and Community Impact Network. She also serves on the board of Turn the Page STL, a local affiliate of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, to expand everyday literacy experiences for early readers. Her professional work has been recognized by organizations including the St. Louis Coalition for Human Rights and Washington University.