The Communication and Arts Graduate Student Association (CAGSA) welcomed Spring 2018 incoming students to the College of Communication and the Arts’ graduate programs in Museum Professions, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication at a luncheon held after Graduate Student Orientation on January 13.
The luncheon provided incoming students with the opportunity to meet current peers and learn more about the CAGSA. Erin Benz, a Museum Professions student and CAGSA Social Co-Steward who helped plan the event, said she hopes the luncheon provided incoming students with a glimpse of the CAGSA's commitment to student-centered programming. Such programming is intended to help students as they pursue their graduate studies, she said.
“Networking is always a good opportunity,” said Benz. “Although it can be challenging to be a new student, it is nice to connect with peers who can relate to the same things as you.”
The incoming students in attendance certainly seemed eager to interact with their graduate peers. While eating lunch, they discussed everything from their backgrounds to their favorite television shows. Many also took the opportunity to ask about their respective programs and what they should expect from various courses.
Sua Mendez, an incoming dual-degree Museum Professions student, said she was grateful to the CAGSA for offering the opportunity to meet her peers, especially in such an intimate setting with natural conversation. After getting to know some of the current students she shared she now feels more comfortable entering the program. She also said she is interested in participating in future CAGSA initiatives.
“I think it is important to get involved,” said Mendez. “I am excited that the CAGSA provides opportunities like this.”
There will be plenty of opportunities to get involved through the CAGSA in Spring 2018, according to Benz. She said the association plans to implement a range of programming and initiatives including a mentoring program for dual-degree students and an end-of-year barbeque. Additionally, she shared that members of the Stewardship Committee will serve on an interactive discussion at the University’s Graduate Open House on February 24. She said they would like to offer study sessions and programming geared toward each graduate program, as well.
Those ideas also resonated with Amanda Hill, who is a returning Strategic Communication student. Hill commented she hopes the CAGSA will do more events like the luncheon for the networking opportunities it provides. She shared that it certainly helped prepare her for her classes.
“I was already excited to get back into the program and complete my degree,” said Hill. “But I am really excited after today. Meeting other students in the program and the actual professors has piqued my interest.”
Formed in Fall 2017, the CAGSA works to facilitate a fellowship of students who share solidarity in the common endeavor of earning a graduate degree in the communication- and arts-related disciplines. To that end, the CAGSA serves all Communication and Arts graduate students with three essential foci: social, academic, and networking.
The College 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.