The College of Communication and the Arts' Center for Graduate Studies recently selected three new graduate assistants beginning Fall 2017. Olivia Lason '17 and Sean Quinn '14, students in the M.A. in Public Relations program and Hannah Gaston, a student in the M.A in Museum Professions program, secured their positions due to their impressive academic and professional backgrounds.
Lason, of Newark, recently graduated manga cum laude with a B.A. in Public Relations from the University. Her research interests include digital media and the evolution of visual communication. Lason recently completed an internship this past summer at Pfizer, a leading pharmaceutical company in New York. At Pfizer, she was able to implement previous academic coursework into a professional setting, supporting the corporate social responsibility team and the internal communication team with various responsibilities such as drafting articles and social media content, and creating catalog systems for internal documents. Lason hopes to gain further confidence in understanding corporate communication and company culture. Her ultimate goal is to help an organization make a positive impact on the world.
"As a graduate assistant, I want to grow both academically and professionally," shared Lason. "I know I will encounter various types of people who will provide me with a mixture of mentorship advice. I plan to approach this position with an open mind, learn from my new colleagues, and grow as a student and a person."
Lason will be tasked with College website management, news story writing, social media outreach, event planning and support, and more. "My internship experience this summer allowed me to interact with people from many different backgrounds," said Lason. "I was able to see my work implemented in action and received feedback, which helped me mature. That maturity has brought me to where I am today, and I am excited to incorporate my new experience into my graduate assistant position."
Quinn, of Cranford, New Jersey, served as a newspaper reporter for three years at the West Orange Chronicle and News-Record of Maplewood and South Orange. During his tenure, he won several New Jersey Press Association Awards. Prior to that, he earned his B.A. in Journalism from the University, where he served as the Pirate Life editor of The Setonian and assistant news manager for WSOU-FM. He also completed numerous internships during his undergraduate studies. With his sights now set on a career in the public relations field, he is eager to gain as much knowledge as possible in his classes, through his current internship at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, and as a graduate assistant.
"It is truly an honor to be a graduate assistant for the College of Communication and the Arts," said Quinn. "I really appreciate the opportunity to 'learn by doing' in support of the College and Center while at the same time benefiting from the instruction of the University’s world-class professors. A position like this will play an essential role in helping me achieve my dream of finding success in the public relations world."
As a graduate assistant, Quinn will be responsible for communicating with prospective students from a graduate student perspective as well as developing prospective student communication plans. Additionally, he will provide event support and write news stories for the College.
Similar to Lason and Quinn, Gaston is another stand-out student who plans to integrate her professional background into her role as a graduate assistant. Gaston, of Bluff Point, New York, recently graduated with a B.A. in History with minors in Anthropology and Sociology from Elmira College under their valedictorian scholarship. Throughout her undergraduate career, she completed multiple internships in the museum industry, gathering valuable experience and skills at places such as the Chemung County Historical Society, the Dundee Area Historical Society, and the Fenimore Art Museum Research Library. She also worked at The Farmer's Museum as an interpreter and museum educator. Along with her professional background, she enjoys conducting research on the topic of women’s roles and influence in societal revolutions. Upon attaining her master's degree, she hopes to work as a museum educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
"I am excited to begin this next chapter of my life and dig into the profession and application of museum work," Gaston explained. "My various internships were incredibly helpful in understanding how a museum operates and my previous degree in history has prepared me for the writing tasks I will receive in my graduate assistant position. I plan on using this position to expand on my research, writing, and communication skills, and I look forward to building lasting relationships with both faculty and students."
Gaston learned about the M.A. in Museum Professions program at Seton Hall from one of her internship supervisors, who is a graduate of the program. In her role, she will lead the Institute for Museum Ethics' Student Advisory Committee, highlight students, faculty, and alumni in feature stories, serve as a graduate student liaison, and more.
Each academic year, the College of Communication and the Arts offers a limited number of graduate assistantships. Assistantships draw on a variety of different skills and require a presence on campus. Lason, Quinn, and Gaston will join current Center graduate assistants, Darwin Oasis '14, and Kelsey Foy '16 in continuing the joint efforts in supporting and enhancing the College and Center.