This page features a collection of interviews from graduates of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Master of Arts in Communication program. To help prospective students learn more about the program and what it has to offer, we asked five alumni for insights on why they chose UIUC, their experience completing their master’s, how it has impacted their careers, and more. Below you will find in-depth interviews with Donovan Bisbee, Katie Bruner, Daniel DeVinney, David Tokarz, and Samuel Wilson, who all graduated from UIUC between 2013 and 2018.
UIUC’s MA in Communication program offers students the opportunity to customize their studies based on particular areas of interest by choosing from a wide range of electives, in areas such as Social Science, Speech Communication, Rhetoric, and Public Discourse. To learn more about this unique program, and read advice from actual graduates, check out the interviews below.
Interview with Daniel DeVinney - 2018 Graduate
Daniel DeVinney earned his master’s degree through the Master of Arts in Communication program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D., with research interests in Rhetoric and Public Discourse.
"Illinois is a program that prepares you well for either the professional sphere or the academic world. No matter what your career goals, you will receive a phenomenal education in their master’s program."
Interview with David Tokarz - 2013 Graduate
David Tokarz graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Master of Arts in Communication program in 2013. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at UIUC while working as a Teaching Assistant.
"Illinois offered me the opportunity to work with world-class faculty in my area of specialization, and instead of writing a thesis, the faculty emphasized research papers that could later go on to become publications. I was initially wary at the absence of a thesis option, but the Department of Communication’s emphasis on independent research from the seminar outward meant that I left my MA with a handful of projects that could go on to become conference papers or journal publications."
Interview with Donovan Bisbee - 2014 Graduate
Donovan Bisbee is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his master’s degree through the MA in Communication program at UIUC, where he concentrated in Rhetoric and Public Discourse.
"Illinois offered me a broad set of compelling classes from dynamic teachers, the chance to teach undergraduates from day one, and the opportunity to earn a degree before committing to earning a PhD. That made it an easy decision."
Interview with Katie Bruner - 2015 Graduate
Katie Bruner earned her master’s in 2015 through the Master of Arts in Communication program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at UIUC with a focus on Speech Communication and Rhetoric.
"I ended up choosing Illinois because it is a generous and supportive program, both structurally and culturally. The program is designed to support students in their own professional goals, rather than having all graduate experiences be the same. The faculty and students are invested in each other’s work and treat each other with great respect."
Interview with Samuel Wilson - 2017 Graduate
Samuel Wilson completed his master’s degree in 2017 through the Master of Arts in Communication program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at UIUC, with a research focus on socially-situated information processing and persuasion.
"I chose UIUC for several reasons. To begin with, the UIUC Communication program offers a full tuition waiver and stipend in the form of teaching assistantships (with the potential for research assistantships). This would mean that I would not have to pay for my schooling and I would also receive money to live on. Second, and importantly, the UIUC Communication program is one of the top programs in the country. The department has many huge names in the field and its graduates are in university positions around the country... Last, the UIUC Communication department is peerless in its positive culture—although I’m biased. Despite being a top-tier school, graduate students and faculty are collegiate, friendly, and supportive. This was a huge draw."