Linda Boulton, a M.A. in Strategic Communication student and Center for Graduate Studies graduate assistant, was recently featured as a Comm Grad Spotlight by the National Communication Association (NCA). Boulton, who attended the 2016 NCA Convention in Philadelphia, was recognized for building online resources for graduate students and planning, executing, and evaluating email-marketing campaigns.
Boluton’s interest in communication began while studying online and corporate communication as an undergraduate at Saint Xavier University. She was intrigued by how communication was an interdisciplinary field that incorporated practical skills grounded in theory and research. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she developed a desire to continue her education and selected Seton Hall University’s M.A. in Strategic Communication program.
“The hands-on approach of the M.A. in Strategic Communication program and the Center for Graduate Studies caught my interest,” explained Boulton. “When I finished my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to become a communication consultant. I knew attending Seton Hall University would help me develop the necessary skills and foster my love for research.”
Boulton credits her coursework with providing her the opportunity to cultivate her practical and research skills in communication. She explained that was able to apply methods learned in her Nonprofit Communication course with Dr. Kristen Koehler into her role as an ambassador for the All Stars Project of Chicago. With faculty guidance, she was also inspired to shift the direction of her research for her upcoming Master’s Project.
“After working with Dr. Danielle Catona, whose research is grounded in health contexts, along with my volunteer experience as a crisis counselor, I became interested in researching communication surrounding mental health illnesses,” shared Boulton. “I would like to discover the type of messages individuals respond to best when dealing with a mental health crisis.”
Boulton supplements her graduate school experience by serving as a graduate assistant within the College’s Center for Graduate Studies. As a graduate assistant, she formulates research questions about Center specific research projects and creates and implements communication plans for prospective students. In addition, she recently developed an online workshop for incoming students to learn more about graduate student life, understand academic integrity standards, and become familiar with graduate-level writing. She also enjoys completing freelance work while in graduate school because it enables her to build transferable skills and network with professionals in different industries.
Boulton was one of more than 16 Center for Graduate Studies students to attend or present at an academic conference during the 2016-17 academic year. She attended the NCA Convention during her first semester as a graduate student in Fall 2016. The conference allowed her to network and become in tune with her academic goals. Her discussion with other scholars at the conference and graduate experience at Seton Hall University led her to be recognized by NCA.
“The NCA Convention brings together researchers, scholars, and practitioners from all over the world. I enjoyed hearing about research directly from the scholars conducting the studies and having the opportunity to ask questions,” stated Boulton.
In addition to NCA, the Center for Graduate Studies has affiliations with the American Alliance of Museums, Central States Communication Association, Eastern States Communication Association, Institute of Museum Ethics, and Western States Communication Association.
The Center currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Strategic Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. A Ph.D. program is currently under development.