Reflections on Learning Outcomes

Theoretical Literacy: Planning for Strategic Communication: A Workbook for Applying Social Theory to Professional Practice by Dr. John McArthur along with Eisenberg, Goodall, and Trethewey’s book, Organizational Communication: Balancing Creativity and Constraint have [both] been essential towards my successful completion of this program. Understanding and applying theory is vital when studying communication. By studying different theories, I [now] have a new perspective of the world in which we live in today. Irving Goffman’s impression management theory [my favorite] taught me how to view the meaning(s) behind messages [i.e. frontstage vs. backstage]. In COM 613, Dr. McArthur’s book taught me how to strategically apply Goffman’s impression management theory. Checkout my strategic plan.

Research Literacy: Originally I was overwhelmed about the research process because I when I was in undergrad we physically went to the library to conduct research. Today, I believe it is a requirement for students to have computers, but in undergrad students without computers would spend hours in the computer lab in order to finish his or her project. I have learned that selecting topics that are appealing make the research process easier. My organizational communication textual analysis was one of the first in-depth research projects I conducted at Queens. I enjoyed it because my topic was about women and inequality in the workplace. The 2016 documentary Equal Means Equal was not available to the public at the time, so I went to the website and inquired about a copy. Several days later I received an e-mail with a link to Vimeo and a password in order access film. My project can be viewed here.

Digital and Media Literacy: This was my favorite area of the program. In undergrad I received television and radio experience. My preference is radio since I was an intern at Radio One and hosted the gospel radio show at WSHA 88.9FM at Shaw University. I would spend hours working on blogs, vlogs, and podcasts because I really enjoy being creative. My favorite vlog presentation is Public Discourse Ethics for COM 616. Also, I enjoyed creating my podcast for COM 655 about mental illness and online social support. Enjoy!

Writing Literacy: Initially, I was intimidated about writing because the last academic paper I wrote was in 2006. A decade later, I was faced with the challenge of writing again. A lot has changed since undergrad, which made me weary about writing. Queen’s University of Charlotte taught me that writing is like riding a bike. The [bike] ride was rocky in the beginning, but I am grateful that I did not give up. This program enhanced my writing skills. One of my favorite papers is a case study called The Personality of the United States  and I enjoyed writing Miss. Monet’s Top 10 Best Practices for Communicating Organizational Identity and Brand.

Ethical Consideration: During the program students were encouraged to use caution when conducting research. We were given access to the Everett Library [online] along with tips on checking the validity of different websites. For instance, using sites that end with .edu, .org, and .gov were better resources than sites ending with .com. Face it, anyone can create a website. It is important to site your sources, which reminds me of my blog post [Week 4] in COM 616 about Public Discourse: Plagiarism. The post discussed Melania Trump’s plagiarized speech from [former] First Lady Michelle Obama.

Global Awareness: We are all connected and part of a global community. Technology has allowed us to discover our global connections. In COM 624, I was able to write a paper called Discovering My Roots. About a year ago I became curious about my ethnicity, so I joined and ordered a DNA test. Not only was I able to discover my ethnicity, but I am connected to over 400 cousins online. Curious about my results? Click here to read my paper.

Integration of Theory and Content Learning: I struggled in COM 680 to select a topic. I had a lot of great ideas and I was even excited about my classmate’s topics. Eventually, I decided on a topic for my proposal. Using Karl Weick’s Sensemaking Theory, my inquiry project will examine the Trump administration’s communication through Twitter to better understand how they view free speech and the implications of this perspective. The title of my project is When Politics and Social Media Collide. My proposal can be viewed here.