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Students Assume Leadership Roles as Stewards for the Communication and Arts Graduate Student Association  

Nine College of Communication and the Arts graduate students will serve as stewards for the Communication and Arts Graduate Student Association (CAGSA) for the 2017-18 academic year. Formed in Fall 2017, the CAGSA works to facilitate a fellowship of students who share the common endeavor of earning a graduate degree in the communication- and arts-related disciplines. Steward positions are leadership roles that carry forth CAGSA initiatives with three essential foci: social, academic, and networking. The Stewardship Committee includes social, academic, networking, program-level, and graduate assistant stewards. Membership in the CAGSA is open to all graduate students in the existing Strategic Communication, Public Relations, and Museum Professions programs within the College.

Meet the CAGSA’s 2017-18 Stewardship Committee:

Social Co-Stewards

Erin BenzErin Benz, of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, is a student in the M.A. Museum Professions program. Prior to her graduate studies, Benz received her B.A. in American Studies at Washington College, where she held leadership positions as president of the History Society and vice president of Phi Alpha Theta. Benz has completed internships at a variety of museums including the National Constitution Center, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. She is excited to continue her education at the University and aims to obtain a career in the museum field as a registrar or curator.

Nicholas LambingNicholas Lambing, of St. Louis, Missouri, is a student in the M.A. Museum Professions program. Lambing earned his B.A. in History from Westminster College and his M.A. in American History from Murray State University. His interest in history comes from his father who introduced him to historic battlefields and sites across the country. Lambing’s decision to continue his education in the museum industry was finalized during an experience in Italy as a team member of an archeological dig. Upon graduation, Lambing plans to work in the collections department of a museum, with the ultimate goal of becoming a curator and a museum director.

Academic Steward

Ebony SimpsonEbony Simpson, of Newark, New Jersey, is a student in the M.A. Strategic Communication program. Simpson earned her B.A in English from Kean University. Her current research focuses on communication challenges in the multigenerational workplace. Simpson currently works as a grant writer and development specialist at Newark’s Integrity House. She has maintained a career in the nonprofit sector for over a decade, serving in various capacities ranging from an executive director of an urban art gallery to management of corporate sponsorships for a performing arts center. Simpson attributes her accomplishments and the drive to further her education to her close knit family. Her goal is to become a communication professor teaching future great minds.

Networking Co-Stewards

Laurel MurrayLaurel Murray ’17, of Princeton, New Jersey, is a student in the M.A. Strategic Communication program. Murray graduated this past spring, earning a B.A in Broadcasting and Visual Media from the University. Throughout her time at the University, she has landed prestigious internships at the Dr. Oz show, Thuzio Executive Club, and Nickelodeon. In the future, she hopes to begin a career in the sport industry working as a well-rounded marketing professional.

Rita DamironRita Damiron, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is a student in the M.A. Strategic Communication program. Damiron earned her B.A. in Communication with a minor in economics from Manhattan College. Before becoming a Pirate, Damiron was a producer for Cheddar Inc., an online business and tech network that broadcasts live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and Flatiron building. Damiron is currently a graduate assistant for the University’s Alumni Relations department.

Strategic Communication Steward

Ashley WilsonAshley Wilson ’17, of Maplewood, New Jersey, is a student in the M.A. Strategic Communication program. Wilson began her graduate studies after earning her B.A. in Art, Design, and Interactive Multimedia from the University. She previously interned with the New York Observer as a photographer and her work has been published nationally. She is currently a graduate assistant for the Office of Public Relations and Marketing. Looking ahead, she hopes to continue her research focusing on communication and the creative process and desires to inspire others through her emotion provoking artwork.

Public Relations Steward

Erica NaumannErica Naumann ’17, of Middletown, Connecticut, is a student in the M.A. Public Relations program. One of three Pirate athletes in her family, Naumann earned her B.A in Communication Studies as a four-year member of the women’s Division I swim team. Previously, she has completed three internships in agency, corporate and non-profit settings. She is currently a graduate assistant for the Center for Catholic Studies. Upon graduation, she plans to enter the workforce as a well-versed professional ready to impact the communication and public relations industries in a positive way.

Museum Professions Steward

Claudia PrezaClaudia Preza, of El Paso, Texas, is a student in the M.A. Museum Professions program focusing in Exhibition Development. Preza earned her B.A in Art History with a minor in museum studies and liberal arts honors from the University of Texas at El Paso. During her time at Seton Hall, Preza has served as a guest curator at the University’s Walsh Gallery and has completed an internship at the Morris Museum. Ultimately, Preza curatorial vision is to showcase artworks in a way that enables audiences to relate exhibitions to personal experiences and highlight overlooked concepts.

Graduate Assistant Steward

Olivia LasonOlivia Lason ’17, of Newark, New Jersey, is a student in the M.A. Public Relations program. Lason began her graduate studies after earning her B.A. in Public Relations from the University. She previously interned with Pfizer raising awareness for corporate responsibility practices in the healthcare sphere. She is currently a graduate assistant for the College of Communication and the Arts. Looking ahead, she hopes to help organizations become open-minded within their industries and make a positive impact on the world.

The CAGSA’s inaugural event was a launch luncheon held after Graduate Student Orientation on August 26 and its first interest meeting was held on September 7. The association’s first Stewardship Committee meeting took place on October 12, where 2017-18 programing and initiatives were discussed.

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.

For more information about Graduate Studies and the graduate student association within the College of Communication and the Arts, please contact Dr. Ryan Hudes.

Categories: Arts and Culture , Campus Life

For more information, please contact:

  • Ryan Hudes, Ph.D.
  • (973) 275-4832
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