I centered my coursework at Chapman University around a comprehensive understanding of messaging. As a strategic and corporate communication major, I learned about communication theory and gained an in-depth understanding of application. Each class in my major felt like it applied to my minor courses and I couldn’t help noticing how much communication dominates our world. I chose my minors to augment and enhance my degree by learning about visual communication, advanced writing techniques, and gaining an understanding of interdisciplinary studies. In my interdisciplinary classes, I chose topics focusing on biology, cultural ethics, and media to best prepare for a career in communication that helps people.
I have created a coursework profile that sets me up to be a well-rounded communication specialist with a nuanced understanding of science and health communication and an ability to speak the language of design. My experience at Chapman has equipped me to be an adaptable communicator who actively seeks out problems in order design solutions. The hypothetical scenarios I have worked through in class have already informed projects I work on today. I firmly believe my coursework at Chapman helped make me the person I am today.
My favorite concept throughout all of my SCC coursework has been message design. From Intro to Strategic and Corporate Communication to my Senior Seminar, I am a more successful and persuasive communicator due to my coursework on message crafting. All messages utilize persuasion techniques because they include intent.
I would like to design public health campaigns. By taking theory-driven messaging like the Elaboration Likelihood Model into account, I would design my visual messages based on where they would be placed. For example, if I were to create an ad for a subway car interior, I would use peripheral messaging cues for travelers only going one stop as well as include more in-depth information for central route processing done by longer riders. I would include a celebrity or someone credible with a call to action as well as body copy with information valuable to a viewer who finds the message relevant to them.
Modern organizations are multicultural organizations, which leads me to combine what I’ve learned in both my organizational and intercultural communication classes to be an effective member of today’s workforce. Using my knowledge of high/low context cultures and social richness theory, I can effectively choose the most appropriate method of technological communication at work.
Advanced Health Communication and Crisis Communication gave me an additional career interest of being a crisis manager for natural disasters. Health communication instilled in me a powerful respect for accurate and available health and safety information. Crisis communication taught me how to get health and safety information to people efficiently and effectively. As a result of climate change, large natural disasters will become increasingly common. I would use what I’ve learned in these courses to design pre-disaster safety information that uses fear appeals but avoids the boomerang effect by providing safe solutions and perceptions of efficacy by those in vulnerable zones. Crisis communication taught us that the best response is quick and accurate so I would ensure I model our emergency organizations principles to be efficient and fact-checked.
Integrated M.S. in Health and Strategic Communication
Growing up I was the girl who always knew what she wanted to do; when I was five I wanted to be a ballerina, when I turned ten I wanted to become a zoologist, and when I got sick I knew I wanted to help people. My career goal will ultimately be to help people navigate their health in a way that is manageable and accessible to them. I am excited to try and reach this goal through many different mediums including improving patient provider communication, proactive health legislation, and crafting effective public health campaigns. Chapman’s 4+1 degree is the ideal fit for my future research and career.
I get to study evidence-based, theory-driven communication with professors who inspire me. Chapman is as passionate as I am about using science and empirical study to develop potentially life-saving channels of communication. Chapman’s SCC professors are who pushed me to become the student I am today and I’m so excited to have already begun to develop papers for conferences.
Interdisciplinary & Image Text Interface Minors
My minors are both technically hybrid programs. My first is an honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor where we participate in at least one very small roundtable discussion course a semester. Because each course is interdisciplinary in nature, I was able to look at things like biomedical advancement through the lens of classicism and philosophy or Disney through the lens of America’s history dealing with gender, race, and religion. These courses gave me the skills I use today to argue for what I believe in a factual, reason-driven manner. My additional minor is Image Text Interface designed by some of the world’s leading Digital Humanities researchers. The idea is to be able to take a majority of class for the graphic design minor while supplementing them with writing courses to ensure the best pairing of written and visual communication possible.
As someone passionate about message design, it felt necessary for me to have a more comprehensive understanding of writing and visual communication. My Image Text Interface minor has improved my writing skills and knowledge of publishing ethics through courses like Writing Nonfiction. One of my career goals has always been to make scientific information more digestible to those who aren’t familiar with it. My Interdisciplinary courses, Controversial Topics in Biology as well as Biology in Media, introduced me to the tragedy that is today’s scientific literacy. I would love to read scientific academic papers and then write a shorter, jargon-free creative nonfiction piece about it with hyperlinked sources to encourage viewers to check sources while reading new information.