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First Class Graduates from Unique Media and Communication Studies Program

As communication becomes increasingly digital, interactive and pervasive, knowledge of new media technology is essential. The first graduates of the Media and Communication Studies program have received a strong foundation not only in new media, but in critical media literacy and intercultural communication.

“Our program is unique in that it doesn’t just prepare students for a job in media and communication fields,” said Jason Loviglio, director of Media and Communication Studies and associate professor of American studies. “The program is grounded in the liberal arts tradition, with a strong emphasis on written and oral communication skills. Students learn to critically decode the media, communicate across lines of cultural differences and be comfortable with using new media technologies.”

Media and Communication Studies students have taken advantage of opportunities to gain experience both on and off campus. David Etzel is the co-winner of UMBC’s first-ever ProveIt competition, which provides up to $50,000 to the student(s) who come up with the best idea to improve campus life. Etzel’s project, Green Space, will be a public outdoor space next to the Fine Arts Building where members of the UMBC community can gather, rest and study. Etzel also was a marketing intern in the Office of Student Life, and is planning a career in internet communication or television broadcasting.

Last summer, Scott Gajewski was an editorial intern at Smart CEO, where he gained experience in both administrative and editorial work for a humanities-focused business magazine. Gajewski also works at Absolute Quality in Hunt Valley, Maryland, where he tests games for cell phones. He hopes to continue his career in the video gaming industry.

Jazzmon Morgan worked in the Office of Residential Life at UMBC and completed a marketing and sales internship with University Directories. She plans a career in public relations and wants to attend graduate school.

Kacie Smith interned with the Maryland Film Festival and is applying to master’s programs in film studies. She received an Undergraduate Research Award to study  representations of women in Swiss media, and presented her work at Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day. Her study was published in the 2008 UMBC Review: Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works. Smith also is applying for a Fulbright Scholarship to continue her studies abroad.

Smith said, “The Media and Communications Studies program has not only introduced me to theoretical concepts of media, but has provided me with the opportunity to learn applied skills as well. I also was placed in an internship with the Maryland Film Festival, which was an extremely fulfilling experience because I got to witness almost every stage of festival planning.”