On Thursday, August 22, Graduate Studies within the College of Communication and the Arts welcomed students to its master's programs in Museum Professions, Public Relations, and Communication at its annual Graduate Student Orientation. The incoming graduate students are a diverse group from various professional backgrounds who have come together to start their graduate studies at the University.
To begin the day's activities, breakfast was offered for all attendees and their guests, as founding Dean Deirdre Yates and Dr. Ryan Hudes, Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies and Administration, shared opening remarks. The Office of the Dean acknowledged the new students for their previous successes and congratulated them for having the Colleges' highest academic profile to date.
Students then participated in a welcome activity where they shared their expectations of graduate school at Seton Hall; largely a journey and one of growth. After the introduction activity, students participated in an interactive multimedia presentation about University policies and resources led by Brittany Scoles, Associate Director of Engagement and Experience. The orientation continued with faculty-led program breakout sessions, where students discussed their individual program, discipline, and best practices. At the conclusion of the formal orientation programming, new graduate students were joined by faculty, alumni and current students at a luncheon hosted by the Communication and the Arts Graduate Student Association in the new graduate student lounge located in the Arts Center on campus.
"The Graduate Orientation is an exciting time for new students as it provides the foundation for beginning a successful endeavor to earning an advanced degree," Hudes said. "The day's activities are designed to present, highlight, and discuss both University- and College-level support systems available to all students and how graduate students specifically can better use these resources to be connected with the University both inside and outside the classroom. Additionally, the opportunity to further connect with administrators, faculty, alumni, and current students make the event ideal for networking."
Brett Canaval, a M.A. in Public Relations student, enjoyed the chance to learn more about the graduate student experience during the breakout session. "Dr. Renee Robinson and Dr. Ruth Tsuria facilitated an open conversation, and took time to answer our questions and discuss expectations." Canaval said. "Both a current student and graduate of the program were present, and I was able to receive insights from multiple perspectives. This program will be rigorous and challenging but receiving a better understanding of the expectations alleviates some of the uncertainty and provides a blueprint for success."
Jonathan Craan, a M.A. in Communication student, felt that the orientation introduced him to the College's Graduate Studies community. "Everyone truly made us feel welcomed." Craan said. "The faculty and administration want to see everyone reach their fullest potential."
While Devon Mancini, a M.A. in Museum Professions student and newly appointed graduate assistant within Graduate Studies, was moved by the sentiments of each professor, especially Professor Gregory Stevens who led the Museum Professions breakout session.
"Professor Stevens explained to us that people who pursue a career in Museum Professions are truly working for their passion," Mancini said. "this is something that I have always believed and truly resonated with as I pursue my dream career."
Prasaadi Dangolla, a M.A. in Strategic Communication/M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations dual-degree student and graduate assistant who helped facilitate the event, recalled her own experience at the College's Fall 2018 Graduate Student Orientation.
"It's exciting to see this year's bright incoming students," Dangolla said. "I remember how thrilled I was to begin the program after our orientation last year, the activities that day truly prepared me for what to expect as I stepped into my graduate studies journey."
The College currently offers three graduate-level programs, including Museum Professions, Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated master's/B.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.
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