I wanted to take this time to introduce myself to the Media and Communication Studies community. My name is Donald Snyder and I am a visiting lecturer with the program this year. I wanted to piggyback off of Jason’s post where he quite humorously makes the point that blogs are created by people who mistakenly think that they have something important to say. This is especially funny because over the last several years teaching for the American Studies Department at UMBC I have made it my personal mission to force students into the blogging phenomenon. I have done this primarily by replacing traditional papers with a semester-long blogging assignment. Overall, even with those initially resistant to the idea, the project has been an overwhelming success. What students claim to enjoy the most out of the process is that blogs enable a level of peer sharing and review that most traditional assignments lack. The blogs give students the ability to communicate their ideas not only to the other students in their class but to anyone who might be passing along. For my courses, blogs have helped to transform the classroom into a community, and it is my hope that the MCS blog can have a similar result. Please let me and Jason know if you any suggestions for how to best use this space to that extent.
As for my own background, I am currently in the dissertation stage with the American Studies Department at The University of Maryland College Park. My academic interests surround the ways that new media technologies are being utilized for communication, community building, consumption, and the creation of identities. Specifically, my dissertation focuses on the Massively Multi Player Online Role Playing Game The Sims Online.
I am very excited to be part of Media and Communication Studies at UMBC. Jason and the rest of the curriculum committee have developed a dynamic and engaging program that will provide you with a special and valuable undergraduate experience. In addition to teaching for MCS, I will be actively involved in the Internship program and advising. So if I don’t get to see you in class, make sure to stop by and introduce yourself. I look forward to working with all of you.