This page features a collection of interviews we conducted with graduates of Illinois State University’s (ISU) Master’s Degree in Communication program. To give prospective students a closer look at this program, we asked five ISU alumni a range of questions related to their experience completing the degree. Below you will find detailed accounts from Olivia Hook Frey, Jeff Kuznekoff, Caleb Malik, Stevie Munz, and Mary Worley, offering insights into the program’s concepts and structure, as well as the process involved with completing its capstone thesis requirement.
Available through the School of Communication, ISU’s Master’s Degree in Communication gives students the opportunity to concentration their studies in one of six different interest areas: Organizational Communication, Instructional Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Public Relations, Mass Communication, or Rhetoric. For more about the program, check out the interviews below.
Interview with Caleb Malik - 2015 Graduate
"It’s two fantastic years. I was able to teach students, I was learning new information and I was surrounded by a lot of smart people. Not only that, but that environment bred friendships with likeminded people who shared my academic interests — we’d talk about communication theory for fun!"
Interview with Jeff Kuznekoff, Ph.D. - 2005 Graduate
"One of the most helpful things I gained from ISU was the connection with faculty and graduate students. Out of the three colleges/universities I have attended (BA, MS, Ph.D.), ISU is probably the one that I keep in touch with the most. I see multiple faculty and alumni at conferences and I’ve been back to campus to visit multiple times since I graduated. In addition, my experience writing my thesis was one of the primary reasons why I was hired at my first job after graduating from ISU. Most importantly, the teaching experience and training I received at ISU still informs my teaching practices now."
Interview with Mary Worley, Ph.D. - 2013 Graduate
"My most valuable experience from ISU was learning how to integrate my teaching, research, and coursework. During my time at ISU, I was able to learn more about social media and other trending communication technologies while implementing new ideas into the classroom."
Interview with Olivia Hook Frey - 2015 Graduate
"The skills I use most often in my current career are those I learned in my organizational communication and training courses. Those are the courses that were most interesting to me because of the theories that applied to the business world. Outside of those organizational communication theories, the relationship building and maintenance skills I learned through the professional relationships I made with the ISU graduate faculty were invaluable."
Interview with Stevie Munz, Ph.D. - 2012 Graduate
"Once I arrived on Illinois State’s campus and toured the School of Communication (SoC), I knew the program and faculty were the right fit for me. There were opportunities to develop professional skills for industry work, research and present at academic conferences, and pursue pedagogical training. Further, I chose ISU because the faculty were published scholars and the program had a national reputation for training teachers."