Dr. Ruth Tsuria's Master's Project Advisees
More than 25 students within the College of Communication and the Arts’ Public Relations and Strategic Communication programs presented their Master’s Project research to peers and faculty at the conclusion of the academic year. The presentations signified the completion of their year-long academic research projects on topics including communication technologies, public relations strategies, and crisis communication.
In Master’s Project, students demonstrate their ability to apply learned research and writing skills. Students identify and frame a problem statement, consider theoretical frameworks, develop research questions, synthesize current literature, select a research method, collect data, and perform analysis to answer their research questions. After completing the written project, students present their findings to the Graduate Studies faculty and discuss opportunities for future research.
Meryam Khodja, a Public Relations student who works in the fashion industry, explored why millennial consumers are not spending as much on high-end luxury brands. Through her research she learned how to productively evaluate the topic and strategies for challenging herself.
“I learned what my capabilities are as an individual, and it’s brought discipline to my life,” Khodja said. “The process also taught me to never stop learning, asking questions, or growing as a person.”
Gabriel Fiore, a fellow Public Relations student, echoed Khodja’s sentiments. Fiore noted the experience made him a better writer, critical thinker, and researcher. As a result, he developed an interest in research and is now seriously considering a career in higher education.
For his Master’s Project, Fiore examined emotions conveyed in tweets about the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and if they provoked responses from other Twitter users. He credited his faculty adviser, Dr. Kristen Koehler, for providing guidance while also supporting his inquisitive approach to the project. He enjoyed the experience, but acknowledged it was rigorous, yet very satisfying.
Father Boniface Anusiem, an international student, is no stranger to the challenges and rigor of pursuing a graduate degree. Father Anusiem already has a master’s degree-in addition to a Ph.D.-and is now in the M.A. in Strategic Communication program. He said his latest project, “Followership Perception of Effective Leadership Communication” was equally fulfilling in comparison to his previous academic work.
“Studying at Seton Hall was a gainful experience,” Anusiem said. “I must acknowledge the strength of the faculty who mentored me. Their commitment and interest made it more rewarding.”
Amanda Di Donato, who is also pursuing an M.A. in Strategic Communication, enjoyed discovering the reasons for the lack of female athletic directors at universities within the Power Five conferences. One finding, she said, was that women who work in athletic departments tend to hold positions in supportive areas like compliance, academic support, athletic training, and human resources. She said women are not commonly found in areas like fundraising, development, and finance, which are where many male athletic directors originate.
Now that her project is complete, Di Donato advises that students preparing for Master’s Project should not take time for granted and should stay organized. Additionally, she said one should never be afraid to be inquisitive.
“There is no question that is wrong,” Di Donato said. “Every question is worth asking and exploring.”
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.