About Dr. Magdelana Red, Ph.D.: Magdelana Red brings an academically diverse perspective to the Communication Management program. Dr. Red earned her BA in Politics from the University of San Francisco, her MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and her PhD in Communication from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she specialized in media studies and earned a graduate certificate in women and gender studies. She couples this diverse academic training with years of experience working in public education, non-profit program development, and higher education administration.
As Assistant Teaching Professor, Dr. Red brings her training and work experience to the classroom in interpersonal and organizational communication courses, mass communication theory courses, and extensive course design and curriculum development activities. Dr. Red’s courses balance professional application and theoretical foundations, while remaining rooted in inclusive teaching pedagogy and adult learning best practices.
[MastersinCommunications.com] Could you please provide an overview of the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Communication Management program, and how it is structured? What topics are covered in the core curriculum, and what are the key learning outcomes students can expect from this program?
[Dr. Magdelana Red] A University of Denver education through University College provides career-focused content delivered entirely online or evenings on campus after work. University College, the college of professional and continuing studies, has been offering programming for adults since 1938 — that’s 80 years of education for busy adults! As the University of Denver’s largest graduate-degree granting unit, we offer 12 graduate degree programs, a bachelor’s completion program, and professional development opportunities. Communication Management is the third largest program with more than 200 active students in our degree and graduate certificate programs. Our programs are geared toward working professionals, and we rely on our faculty — who are industry leaders — and our professional advisory boards to ensure our courses are career-focused, continuously evolving, and responsive to industry and student needs.
Our MA in Communication Management requires 12 courses, including three core courses that develop critical thinking, business fundamentals, research, measurement, and storytelling capacities that are crucial for professional communicators who pursue any of our six concentration areas:
- Marketing Communication
- Public Relations
- Learning and Development
- Organizational Development
- Strategic Communication
- Dispute Resolution
To build on their knowledge in a specific area, students take elective courses that range from Social Media Strategy to Intercultural Communication. The degree culminates in the Portfolio Capstone, an individualized experience that deepens learning through focused reflection and intentional synthesis of coursework to solve a professional challenge.
By building critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making capacities through real-world application of course materials, all students emerge from the program having enhanced and cultivated their interpersonal, organizational, and managerial communication abilities. Our students learn to develop sound strategies, choose appropriate tactics, implement communication plans, and evaluate success in their area of specialization.
[MastersinCommunications.com] The University of Denver’s MA in Communication Management offers both campus-based and online coursework, as well as classes that are held in the evening. Could we have more details on the different format options that students can choose from?
[Dr. Magdelana Red] For more than 20 years, University College has offered fully online programming, which includes our MA in Communication Management offered entirely online, evenings on campus, or a combination of both. As one of the first colleges in the nation to employ a team of instructional designers and faculty support staff to ensure high academic quality, University College offers courses that are dynamic and engaging, whether online or on campus. With an average class size of 12 and a maximum of 22, students will receive a personalized education though asynchronous online instruction or on campus classes that meet one night a week for ten weeks. Leveraging Canvas as our learning management system (LMS), University College courses are interactive using discussion boards, video content, instant chat, and integrated apps. Students can meet with instructors by appointment online via Skype or Zoom, by phone, or in person if studying locally in Denver.
[MastersinCommunications.com] For their final graduation requirement, students of the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Communication Management program must complete a capstone project, a capstone seminar requirement, or a capstone portfolio. Could you please elaborate on each of these options? What are the elements for each, and what steps must students take to complete this requirement?
[Dr. Magdelana Red] Students in the MA in Communication Management program typically take the Portfolio Capstone course, a faculty-facilitated, student-led experience of no more than 10 students per course. During their first quarter in the program, students begin collecting assignments from all of their classes in the University of Denver’s Portfolio tool. This experience, using e-Portfolio best practices in an interactive “collect, select, reflect” process, prompts students to examine their coursework, their learning, and their personal and professional development over their entire academic journey. The pinnacle of the Portfolio Capstone course is the individualized selection of a professional challenge, which students solve using what they’ve learned throughout their program of study. Final projects encourage multi-media use and require a final presentation to the class.
Students who wish to undertake primary research may work with their academic advisor and a faculty supervisor in a multi-quarter, individual project. Much like a traditional thesis option, in the Capstone Project, students develop a research hypothesis, prepare a literature review, conduct research, and present their work in a traditional, highly structured research paper. With the Capstone Project, the options are limitless, but require significant drive and planning on the part of the student-researcher. Topics are as diverse as our student population and have included determining the best marketing mix for a student’s own start-up company and investigating the importance of transition plans to successful organizational development implementation.
[MastersinCommunications.com] What role does faculty mentorship play in the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Communication Management program, and how can students make the most of these mentorship opportunities and support systems? Additionally, what career development resources and academic services are available to students of this program?
[Dr. Magdelana Red] Thanks to our small class sizes and engaged faculty members, students and faculty often develop strong and lasting relationships that extend to professional relationships outside the classroom. Additionally, University College offers a series of career building webinars and on-campus workshops that focus on “best fit” career opportunities, networking and branding. From building your portfolio to parlaying your DU degree into a worthwhile career, these workshops are designed specifically for University College students and alumni. Whether online or on campus, access to DU Career Services is available during the program and free for up to six months after graduation.
[MastersinCommunications.com] What advice do you have for prospective students in terms of submitting a competitive application for the Master of Arts in Communication Management program?
[Dr. Magdelana Red] It sounds simple, but I love to see applications that show how students see themselves contributing to and benefitting from the MA in Communication Management. A strong grasp of how they’ll fit into the program (or, how they’ll get the most out of it!) demonstrates that they’ve done their homework, see the unique value proposition that we provide, and are committed to making a contribution to our community.
[MastersinCommunications.com] What makes the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Communication Management unique, and a particularly strong graduate degree option for students?
[Dr. Magdelana Red] This applied program is ideal for current communication professionals who need to build more specialized skills or career changers who want to pursue communication roles. In addition to the broad spectrum of concentration areas to choose from — marketing communication to learning and development — what makes this program unique is the hands-on, real-world learning that takes place. What you learn in class can be applied at work the very next day. Students will have access to practitioner faculty and peers who can lend practical insight to communication challenges. Being part of a top 100 university gives students access to world-class resources and connections that last a lifetime.
To learn more about the MA in Communication Management program, visit the University of Denver’s website.
Thank you, Dr. Red, for your excellent insight into the University of Denver’s Master of Arts in Communication Management!