On Thursday August 26, 2021, the College of Communication and the Arts held a virtual orientation, welcoming incoming graduate students pursuing candidacy in the College's MA in Museum Professions and MA in Communication programs.
The orientation, held through Microsoft Teams, commenced by faculty introductions, an overview of community and campus life at Seton Hall. Founding Dean, Deirdre Yates, M.F.A., Assistant Dean, Ryan Hudes, Ph.D., CASE Director, Brittany Scoles, M.A., Communication Program Director Renee Robinson, Ph.D., and Museum Professions Program Director Gregory Stevens, M.A.T were all in attendance to provide a warm welcome to the new graduate students as they begin their new journey.The orientation opened with a virtual-friendly ice breaker activity, encouraging students to share how they were feeling as they set to enter graduate school. The chat-box was met with responses of excitement, and both the administrators and faculty reflected on their own time as graduate students, describing their studies as a period of intellectual complexity and discovery.
For most graduate students, the University is a new academic institution and to assist in gaining a better understanding of the many resources available to them, Dr. Ryan Hudes delivered a Policy's and Resources presentation. The presentation described the University's use of learning and technology platforms like Blackboard, PirateNet, and Compass in addition to sharing many other resources that will assist students during their time in pursuit of their graduate degree. Students were also introduced to CAGSA, the Communication and Arts Graduate Student Association, a student led association organized to enhance the CommArts community, giving students the opportunity to navigate socializing, academics, and networking within their own cohort. Department Chair and Communication Program Director Renee Robinson, Ph.D., also gave a presentation, highlighting the importance of agency over the course of one's graduate school experience. Dr. Robinson shared that, "Exceptional communication skills are expected for all students—the ability to pursue research independently and in a refined fashion is a key element of graduate studies within each program."
As presentations concluded, students were directed to join virtual breakout rooms with students and faculty in their individual program. In each breakout room, students engaged with their faculty, sharing information about themselves and what led them to pursue a graduate degree at Seton Hall. Madeline Whitacre, a new student in the MA in Museum Professions program, moved to New Jersey from New Mexico to attend Seton Hall. She shared, "I became interested in the Museum Professions program because the faculty and classes seemed to be very in touch with modern issues in museums. I was excited about the opportunity to spend a few years exploring the East Coast. Seton Hall is in a great location to get access to major museums." Faculty members provided support for their students and answered additional questions before the orientation concluded.
The College currently offers graduate-level programs in Museum Professions and Communication, including the opportunity to pursue a unique area of study, including options in Public Relations, Digital Communication/Communication Technologies, and Communication in Organizations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated master's/B.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered. For more information about Graduate Studies within the College of Communication and the Arts, please contact Dr. Ryan Hudes.