Nina Welch retiring after 11 years at Saddleback


Welch was a publicist for the Arizona International Film Festival before she came to Saddleback College. (Joseph Butkus/Lariat)

Welch was a publicist for the Arizona International Film Festival before she came to Saddleback College. (Joseph Butkus/Lariat)

Nina Welch, head of Saddleback College’s Fine Arts information office, has been the public information officer since 2006. She is in charge of promoting all of the arts at Saddleback which totals to 40 different shows per semester. This ranges from jazz and ensemble performances, solo musical performances, three theater shows, speeches and art galleries. All of these can be found in the catalogue she created here.

Welch grew up in Riverside, California and went to Ramona High. After graduating, she pursued a path in media and attended the University of Phoenix in 1993 majoring in Media Arts and minoring in English.  

In Arizona, she did a practicum for the school helping to create press releases for film festivals in the area.  Welch graduated from the college in 2001 and found her way as a publicist for the Arizona International Film Festival.

“I had to create the job myself,” said Welch, recalling her time in Arizona, “It was very deadline-oriented and I really became a better writer throughout my time there.” 

Her advice on a job in media is to keep learning how to improve how you write and to be consistent in getting the deadline right. Welch admits to the job having its ups and downs. She enjoys the faculty and being able to promote the students. 

“It really doesn’t feel like a job knowing you are helping them out like that,” Welch said. “There are times when people will complain about certain things people said in a speech or show but I try to make it clear that some things are for adults only and this is inevitably a college campus that will sometimes push the boundaries a bit.”

Welch also explained the significant amount of patience the job entails.

“I call it having to  stalk the person to get the information I need from them,” Welch said, emailing a professor about an upcoming show, “You have to wait for a satisfying response in order to incorporate it into the website in enough time.” 

Her first year here, Welch had an internship with a student who took a Non-Bargaining Unit position. The student created the Fine Arts newsletter which Welch still puts out monthly. The newsletter features sections dedicated to upcoming musicals, instrumental and dance performances, ceramics, cinema/television/radio events, and profiles on new faculty members of Saddleback College. It can be read here

Welch will be leaving in June and has left some everlasting contributions to Saddleback College. She plans to continue writing poetry and getting some of her works published. Traveling is another part of her agenda and in September she will be participating in the Camino de Santiago walk in Spain consisting of 14 miles per day for a week. She is also going to apply for residencies in Wyoming and Italy and spend some time with her grandchildren ranging from 7 to 27 years old. 

“I have had a great experience working here and have made some great friends through it all,” Welch said. “I highly recommend this job to anyone interested in the media field and those who have a knack for writing.”