Alumni Perspectives

Rachel Kinnard, MA, Summer 2016

During my time in the Media Studies program, I was able to explore my many research interests in an intellectually stimulating environment surrounded by supportive faculty and students. The program strengthened my writing and research skills, and built a strong foundation that has served me well in my doctoral studies. I am thankful for the time I spent in the Media Studies program, as it has shaped me into the scholar I am today.

Geraud Blanks, MA, Summer 2016

When I dropped out of school in 2001, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever complete my college degree.  Returning to school after a decade was daunting, yet through the JAMS program I met professors that mentored and encouraged me to pursue graduate school.  The guidance I received from the Media Studies faculty at UWM is largely responsible for my academic success.

Simone Smith, MA, Spring 2015

My experience in the graduate JAMS program turned me into a thinker and lifelong learner. I learned what it truly meant to think critically through the coursework, and put it into practice through the thesis process. I now work in nonprofit communications where I think critically about the work I produce everyday.

Nicholas Stratton, MA, Fall 2014

The Media Studies program at UWM was a wonderful experience–It armed me with the critical tools necessary to analyze and interpret the contemporary media landscape, and provided me an environment in which to grow as a person and as a scholar. The excellent faculty and intimate size of the department offers aspiring students a unique opportunity to gain expertise in one of our world’s most important disciplines from some of the discipline’s most esteemed scholars. As a Ph.D. student at Indiana University, I’m thankful for the relationships I established and the education I received at UWM.

Anna Donatelle, MA, Fall 2014

I feel very lucky to have gone through the Media Studies program at UW-Milwaukee. The program honestly shaped the course of my adult life in countless ways. The small classes gave me a chance to really connect with and befriend my entire cohort. The faculty’s diverse research areas offer something for everyone, which gave me the flexibility to pursue my own research interests. The faculty guided us through our research with intention and encouragement. They are thoughtful, patient, and are always available to meet with students, which was a big help for me. While my professional life has since shifted away from academia, I still think about my research and use the skills I learned in the JAMS department to navigate my personal life and as I think about my own media consumption.

Aras Coskuntuncel, MA, Fall 2014

I am so happy I was able to study in UWM’s Media Studies program. My experience both as a student and teaching assistant was invaluable, and I owe much to the guidance I received from my professors and the scholarly environment they created in the wonderful city of Milwaukee.

Stephen Kohlmann, MA, Fall 2014

My time as a Media Studies grad student in JAMS provided me with some of the biggest highlights of both my academic and personal life. The support from the faculty was world class and I have maintained close friendships and working relationships with many of the graduates in my cohort. I feel very lucky to have worked with such brilliant and talented scholars, and I am confident that the uniquely positive experiences I had in the Media Studies program will be an excellent guide to further success in my future scholarly endeavors.

Casey Carmody, MA, Summer 2013

I feel comfortable saying that my experiences with the Media Studies program and JAMS department are some of the best I have ever had. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet, learn from, and work with the department’s diverse group of faculty. The fairly small size of the program also fostered many close friendships with my fellow students. These factors undoubtedly contributed to my advancement as a student and scholar.

Minchul Kim, MA, Summer 2013

Two years at the JAMS department was an important turning point and stepping stone for me to continue my academic career. Working with inspiring faculty members, who guided and supported me for the last 2 years, was a great opportunity for me to acquire academic knowledge that help me continue my academic journey.

Tatevik Sargsyan, MA, Spring 2012

The extraordinary capacity of JAMS professors to listen to and assist students and the feeling of belonging to the community of TAs made my two years at UWM a meaningful journey. While the coursework and teaching assistantship greatly improved my interpersonal, writing and research skills, it was foremost the positive ambience that made me motivated to do good work.

Stacy Blasiola, MA, Summer 2011

While at UWM, I gained teaching experience, I published a journal article, and I presented a paper at the ICA conference. Also, the coursework at UWM laid a strong foundation for the type of material I am encountering as a PhD student. I value the education I received at UWM and I am thankful for how well it has prepared me for doctoral studies.

Yoonmo Sang, MA, Summer 2011

More than anything else, the professors were very responsive and willing to help students. Luckily, I received wonderful guidance from a number of professors through my graduate work in Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Their guidance was crucial in enabling me to prepare for my PhD studies. The program size is relatively small, so I could build good relationships with my awesome cohort, as well.

John Vanderhoef, MA, Summer 2010

My time in the M.A. in Media Studies program at UW-Milwaukee established a solid bedrock of knowledge, theories, friendships, and support that I will use for the rest of my life, both in the academy and otherwise.

Eric Lohman, MA, Summer 2010

For me, the most useful aspect of the program was writing the thesis, which is difficult, but for good reason. It teaches you how to stay disciplined and work consistently toward an end goal. It provides an opportunity to acquire real expertise in a research area and produce a body of work that is original and provocative. And working with a member of the faculty teaches you how to work collaboratively and use criticism constructively to generate quality research.

Patrick Fitzgerald, MA, Spring 2010

The professors are accessible and always willing to provide critical feedback, and the seminars I took were stimulating and formative in relation to developing a thesis topic. The supervision I received from my advisor while developing and writing my thesis was invaluable, as was the feedback from my committee. In all, my time at UWM was a period of intellectual and personal growth.

Youngchi Chang, MA, Spring 2009

One of the good choices I have made in life so far was entering into the master’s program at UWM. The professors at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication helped me find my scholarly identity. The institution also has great resources for research and teaching. The cooperative relationship between students and professors and among students was the most attractive feature for me.

Martha Boehm, MA, Spring 2009

At times when I thought all the reading, writing and research was too much for me, I turned to my professors for help and kept my focus on the end product(s): finish my thesis and earn my MA degree so that I am one step closer to teaching college journalism down the road. The great thing about grad school was I was able to pick a research project/thesis topic that appealed to me. I learned how to be more critical, rather than just summarize other scholars’ work. My thesis on the changing role of local television journalists helped accentuate the fact I wanted to work in the field as a reporter/videographer right after grad school.

James Carviou, MA, Summer 2009

UWM’s graduate faculty give beneficial feedback and guide students in the right direction towards their future goals. As a PhD student and a teaching assistant, I find myself continually benefitting from the priceless experiences I had at UWM as a graduate student.

Angela McManaman, MA, Spring 2008

You’ll never watch a commercial or think about gender or observe a presidential campaign in the same way after a semester in Johnston Hall.

Tim Macafee, MA, Summer 2008

My experiences during my time in the Media Studies program solidified my desire to pursue a doctoral degree. Not only was I able to work closely with faculty to engage in purposeful research projects, but I was able to develop my own research interests through the course variety in the program.

Anthony Marinetti, MA, Summer 2008

The Media Studies program at UWM was a valuable and exciting experience due in large part to the outstanding graduate faculty. The program enhanced my research skills, improved my writing, and allowed me to pursue my unique interests in new media. Moreover, my experience as a Teaching Assistant gave me the interpersonal and organizational skills I now use daily as a member of the academic staff at Cardinal Stritch.

Paul Wangsvick, MA, Summer 2007

I especially appreciated the seminars where students collectively shaped class discussions. Having an opportunity to share competing ideas and perspectives was invaluable insofar as theories discussed were often challenged by a plurality of interpretations and experiences that made virtually each class a new learning experience.

Melody Hoffmann, MA, Summer 2007

I found the working relationships with professors to be especially useful for my continued advancement and passion for higher education. Professors in the JMC department are very committed to graduate students and I always felt supported and encouraged by everyone in the department. I made lasting connections with a few professors who continue to impact my life in academia. Due to the small size of the department, I feel that the professors had ample time to devote to graduate students. The relaxed and personal atmosphere that professors maintained inside and outside of classrooms made me feel like an intricate part of the department.