Dani Dangolla and Nikki Malupa, two graduate assistants and international students, reflect on why they chose Seton Hall and all they have gained in their first semester. Dangolla and Malupa are graduate assistants for Graduate Studies within the College of Communication and the Arts, and at the midpoint of their second semesters, Dangolla and Malupa pause and reflect on why they chose Seton Hall and how their graduate assistantships are helping them pursue their passions.
For Dangolla, a student in the M.A., Strategic Communication/M.A., Diplomacy and International Relations dual degree program, Seton Hall was the obvious choice for her graduate degree. Originally from Kandy, Sri Lanka, Dangolla studied Public Relations, Advertising Communications and International Relations before pursuing her graduate degree. Gaining experience in the communication field, she worked as the Director of Development and Marketing at Habitat for Humanity of Berks County in Pennsylvania where she worked to increase visibility of the organization, raised funds for future projects and managed media relations.
With the goal of working in multinational corporation environments, Dangolla chose the College of Communication and the Arts because she was confident that the dual degree program for Strategic Communication and Diplomacy and International Relations would provide additional experience in the competitive international arena.
As a graduate assistant, Dangolla is tasked with a variety of activities, including news story writing, social media posting, event planning support and more. Dangolla shared that her projects are helping her advance her academic and professional career skills, while also expanding her portfolio. “As a graduate assistant, I assist in promoting and supporting the College, while refining my academic and professional growth,” Dangolla said. “It is exciting to continue my education, and working with my Seton Hall peers and colleagues helps me grow both as a student and a professional.”
Similar to Dangolla, Nikki Malupa, a student in the M.A. in Public Relations program, joined the team of graduate assistants for the College in August. Malupa is from Metro Manila, Philippines. Before arriving at Seton Hall, she studied Communication with an emphasis in Media Production. While in school, she served as the External Vice President & Co-Producer for her college’s official media organization, where she handled external relations, PR and marketing and implemented several successful events and communication strategies. Additionally, she interned for Shell Philippines, in their Corporate Social Responsibility sector.
Malupa became interested in Seton Hall’s Public Relations program after competing in the Public Relations Society of the Philippines’ annual grand prix, a competition that evaluates select PR campaigns geared toward societal issues from all over the nation. Malupa’s team’s campaign was nominated as one of 2016’s top seven national finalists. Succeeding in this competition made Malupa realize her dream of working with nonprofits in creating effective communication plans to give their missions a clear voice.
As a graduate assistant, Malupa assists in the planning, organization, and operation of College and Graduate Studies events. She works closely with College administrators to prepare evaluation reports to assess and promote student success and exploration of international affiliations and mission-related initiatives, among other projects. “The time I spent working for a school media organization prepared me for what I do now as a graduate assistant,” Malupa shared. “I have met many new mentors and peers during my first semester, and I am excited to see how the College of Communication and the Arts will continue to help me grow as a young public relations professional.”
Dangolla and Malupa join a team of dedicated graduate assistants, including Hannah Gaston, Olivia Lason ’17, and Sean Quinn ’14. As a team of five, the College’s graduate assistants complete administrative work, promote and enhance the College through news stories, social media posts, blogsite management, and more.
Each academic year, the College and University offer a limited number of assistantships for graduate students. These competitive positions vary in nature, but generally include a tuition scholarship and a monthly stipend.
The College currently offers three Master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, 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.