Alumni Perspectives

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.

Jessica Birthisel, MA, 2006

My experience as a teaching assistant was the most useful aspect of the MA program. I’ve always heard that you can’t truly know something until you try to teach it, and that was certainly the case for me. My experience as a TA gave me the two-fold benefit of exposing me to the art of teaching while also adding to my own understanding of journalistic history and practices. While allowing me to keep one foot in this professional journalistic door, the program also exposed me to theoretical components of mass communication and the fundamentals of academic research design through my course work and thesis project. In this way, the diversity of the faculty was extremely valuable. Each professor could offer an incredible wealth of knowledge in a specific area of mass communication. Beyond just exposing me to course materials, the UWM faculty became mentors. Now that I’m pursuing my PhD at Indiana University, I think back to my time at UWM often. Additionally, I draw on my resources from those years, in the form of course packs, books, notes and continued correspondence with the professors that most inspired me during my time in Milwaukee. This MA program made me more of a well-rounded person which, in turn, makes me a stronger journalist, teacher, researcher and doctoral student.

Krista Bensheimer, MA, 2006

I found the UWM professors to be the best part of the M.A. program. The classes were enjoyable because the professors brought in real life examples and experience. Being a TA was also a very useful experience because it gave me experience in the classroom setting and made me confident about my desire to teach. The dedication of my advisor propelled me to stay focused and complete the task at hand. My committee challenged and pushed my thinking, helping me to develop my thesis into a practical and applicable research study. I reached my goals at UWM as a direct result of the professors.

Nicholas Grider, MA, 2006

I found the program useful not only as a way to sharpen my skills as a critical thinker and as a writer but also for the perspective that my studies have afforded me on the place and nature of media in a media-saturated world.

Jennifer Janscha, MA, 2006

The overview of the different JMC research areas. Interaction and discussion with my classmates was also extremely helpful because I was able to process and apply ideas about which we had been learning to new situations or in new ways in a cooperative environment. As an extension of this, I appreciated the relaxed and inviting environment that all of the JMC faculty and staff created. I always felt welcomed and respected when I contacted people, no matter how busy they were. Finally, tough grading in JMC 701 and the high standards of my advisor really helped me to respect what we were learning and value my own work.

Mehvish Razvi, MA, 2006

The thesis was the best part of the program. It was a compiled version of all that I had studied in the two years.

Xiaoxia Cao, MA, 2005

The program is small, so students have opportunities to express their thoughts and learn from each other in class. More importantly, professors in the program are excellent at helping students outside of the classroom. They are very accessible and willing to help students pursue their goals.

Colin Hutt, MA, Fall 2005

I rely on the knowledge gained through the program all the time, but the people — both faculty and classmates — I met have been even more valuable. Many have been great friends and resources through the years.

Xiaoxia Cao, MA, Spring 2005

The professors here not only taught me research skills that I use every day but also opened my mind to communication research. They encouraged me to pursue my own research interests and were always willing to help me outside of the classroom. They were the key to my academic success.

Tess Gallun, MA, 2005

The two things that were most beneficial in the MA program were the teaching assistant opportunity and the fact that I completed my thesis and graduated. I could not have afforded to attend graduate school without the financial assistance from the TA position. Though being a TA was a lot of hard work, leading lab discussions gave me the confidence to teach and inspire large groups of students, which has proven to be extremely beneficial for my current teaching career. Completing my thesis was one of the most personally satisfying experiences I have ever had, and it has inspired my drive to see things through to the end.

Sarah Stonbely, MA, 2004

The two aspects of the UW-Milwaukee JMC MA program that I found most useful were the teaching assistantship and the seminar classes. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and the learning that came not only from the subject matter but also from the “life experiences” of dealing with students as a teacher, especially in a diverse school like UWM. The seminar classes were great because they gave me and my peers a chance to get to know the first-rate UW-Milwaukee professors on a personal level and to bounce ideas off them and each other in an intimate classroom setting.

Jessica McBride, MA, 2004

The focus on research and the statistics training.

March L. Jacques, MA, 2004

The courses that were most useful provided both instruction and hands-on experience in how to plan and carry out research projects.