Ellen Paul '21
I graduated from Seton Hall in December 2021 with a degree in communication and English, and since then, have been able to use my degree and gain more experience, both from an academic point and a professional view.
As a project for my senior thesis, "Catholics and Latter-day Saints: A History and a Coming Together," I facilitated a conversation between Catholics and Latter-day Saints for Seton Hall's Institute for Communication and Religion within the College of Communication and the Arts. This event gave me a lot of experience, from research skills to networking and event planning. A reporter from Church News, which is a branch of Deseret News, a digital news organization based in Salt Lake City, heard about the event and wrote a story on it. This eventually led to them to offering me an internship!
My responsibilities involved running the social media accounts for Church News. In this position, I learned and advanced my skills on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using AP Style in captions, creating posts to create greater interactions with readers, and moderating comments and instant messages. It also gave me experience working with and in a professional news organization, and being exposed to the inner workings of a news organization. I learned that professional organizations take an incredible amount of collaboration and communication within the organization, from the chief editor down to the intern.
As a project for her senior thesis, “Catholics and Latter-day Saints: A History and a Coming Together,” Ellen Paul facilitated a conversation between Catholics and Latter-day Saints for Seton Hall’s Institute for Communication and Religion within the College of Communication and the Arts.
Another experience I gained since graduating is attending the Western States Communication Association Convention in Portland, Oregon, to present my Senior Thesis during the Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference. During this event, I shared research from my senior thesis as well as learned about what students at other universities were studying. Some of the friends I made were researching diverse areas of study such as the effects of military culture on military wives with demanding jobs, how Instagram "likes" can affect our mental health, and feminist versus anti-feminist messaging in "Gilmore Girls."
A highlight of the panel was learning about graduate school and the options available to me. I had never really explored the option of graduate studies before as I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do within the communications field at the graduate level. The conference gave me the option to speak with both graduate students and professors at schools such as University of Utah (which is 15 minutes away from where I live now), Gonzaga University in Washington, and Chapman University in southern California.
Finally, the conference gave me an opportunity to represent Seton Hall in a professional setting. Because the event was targeted toward professors and students in western states (but open to anyone), many of the attendees were unfamiliar with Seton Hall, or were surprised that a student who attended a university all the way in New Jersey had made her way to a conference in Portland. I loved being able to share the research I had been able to do at Seton Hall — I was even able to connect with a WSOU fan!
Categories: Arts and Culture