By Carrie Havranek
With a focus on inspiring others, Kate Neligan ’01 launched Synergy TV a year ago. The free, video on-demand network and website offers high-quality “entertainment and ‘edutainment’ that is inspiring, uplifting, and conscious in nature,” she says.
“I want to make consciousness cool,” says Neligan, who founded the network’s parent company—Mindful Media Entertainment, a conscious media studio with the purpose of being “the leading source of mindful movies and transformational television that elevates the collective consciousness of the planet.”
Neligan began her career at iN Demand Networks (with then-CEO Steve Brenner ’70) before moving to Los Angeles to work as marketing manager for the digital content lab at American Film Institute and then as vice president for on-demand and digital marketing at LionsGate. She created merchandising and marketing plans with iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Comcast, Time Warner, DIRECTV, and many others. In 2011, she received the Advocate Leader LEA Award from Women in Cable Telecommunications in recognition of her mentorship and work on six charity campaigns.
While pursuing her master’s in spiritual psychology at University of Santa Monica, Neligan remembered her undergraduate studies, particularly the texts of anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. “My hidden mission is to bring these principles of personal development and growth to mainstream culture,” she says.
Neligan has followed inner guidance in the past. For instance, when she arrived at Lafayette, she planned to major in biology and become a veterinarian.
But Neligan and biology didn’t get along well. So what did she do? She trusted her intuition, circled every course in the academic catalog that appealed to her, and selected her major accordingly—psychology, with a minor in anthropology and sociology and enough credits for a second minor in women’s studies.
Today, her undergraduate studies guide her decision-making. Courses in psychology help her understand what motivates people to make certain consumer choices. “My Lafayette education provides the foundation for the passions that continue to fuel my business and creative work,” she says.
Neligan tells her story of leaving the corporate cushion to forge a new, solo path as a contributor to Women Will Save the World (Absolute Love Publishing, 2012). “As I was writing it, I realized it was something I would have read in one of my women’s studies classes,” she says. “Things have come full circle.”
Looking back, she cites studying abroad in London as pivotal, living in a setting where she interacted with people from different cultures and taking religion courses. “What’s so great about Lafayette is that it’s a classic liberal arts education—with every course, you learn about the world. It totally rounds you out,” she says.