Dr. Danielle Catona's Master's Project Advisees
More than 20 graduating students from Center for Graduate Studies’ Strategic Communication and Public Relations 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 yearlong academic research projects on topics including social media, crisis communication, traditional media, consumer behavior, and more.
Students typically conduct research for their Master’s Project over two semesters. Beginning with Communication Research, students explore the design and application of practical research techniques in communication. With faculty guidance, students start to organize and develop the basis of their projects.
“I reviewed about 10 research articles a day that pertained to my topic and research questions,” noted Kun Zhou of the Strategic Communication program. “My adviser, Dr. Renee Robinson, helped me navigate and organize my information. The most useful piece of advice she gave me was ‘handle it, don’t let it handle you.’ In the end, this process helped me better communicate my thoughts to others, and strategically think about issues on different levels.”
In Master’s Project, student demonstrate their ability to apply learned research and writing skills. Students select a research method supported by literature, conduct original research, and analyze data to answer their research questions. After completing the written thesis, students present their findings and discuss opportunities for future research.
Janell Crispyn of the Public Relations program shared, “It was really invigorating to discuss ideas with faculty and students who appreciated my enthusiasm for the subject matter. I enjoyed putting effort into this project and I was eager to share my conclusions. The feedback I received was enlightening and made me feel like I could go even further with my research.”
Presentation design also factors into the purpose of Master’s Project. Students utilize their creativity to persuade the audience that their topic and problem is relevant and holds importance in today’s ever-changing society. Each student took the liberty of creating a unique presentation that captured the intrigue of their peers, and shared their data in an understandable manner.
“Knowing your research inside and out helps build up the confidence to stand before your peers and advisers and present what you have been working on,” explained Krystine Gamoso of the Strategic Communication program.“My presentation weaved together storytelling and data. This created a conversational interaction with the audience by asking them to reflect on their experiences related to my topic, making my presentation even more relevant and relatable.”
Master’s Project is the culminating academic experience for a master’s student in the Center for Graduate Studies. Students graduate from the Center with critical research skills associated with communication and leadership in ways that are grounded in theory and applicable to settings in a highly interactive world. Gamoso concluded, “Before this year, I did not know I was capable of this level of research and writing. I now know I am capable of anything.”