Student Success Stories

Graduates of our Master of Arts program have had great success in their professional endeavors. Some have gone on to doctoral programs, often with a fellowship, at universities in the U.S. such as University of Massachusetts at Amherst, University of Connecticut, Bowling Green University and Rutgers University, and internationally at Cambridge University and the University of Glasgow. Some teach communication courses at both Central and Eastern Connecticut State Universities, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Babson College, Manchester Community College, and the University of Georgia.

Our graduate alumni have fulfilling careers in a variety of communication and media jobs in journalism, television, advertising, public relations, marketing, website design, corporate communications and human resources. They have jobs at companies including ESPN, the Hartford Courant, United Technologies, Pearson Custom Solutions, Kortenhaus Communications, CBS Television Distribution and Strategic Asset Management, to name a few.

Here are profiles of some of our successful graduates and how our graduate program helped them achieve their professional goals.

Premila Manvi (M.A.’09)
Lori Bindig (B.A.’02, B.F.A.’04, M.A.’05)
Tina Carnelli (B.A.’03, M.A.’08)
Josephine Green Sanchez (B.A.’04, M.A.’07)
Andrew Smiley (M.A.’06)
David Pendrys (M.A.’08)

Premila Manvi (M.A.’09)

Premila ManviAs an international student, my expectations of an education at the University of Hartford were very traditional. However, my experience at the School of Communication has been positively much more than that. The School environment was conducive for my intellectual growth, creativity, and innovation. The flexible and multidimensional program allowed me to pick classes, inside and outside the school, based on my interests. The intellectually stimulating and engaging pedagogical approaches motivated me to improve my research/data analysis skills, enhanced my knowledge of various theoretical aspects of international communication, new media technologies and television production, among others.

The support, encouragement and inspiration that I received from the faculty also motivated me in producing student films, to submit and present papers at various international conferences, take leadership roles in student governing bodies, and most importantly to complete my master’s thesis. Even today, when I look up to the faculty for advice and guidance they are always willing to assist. That is why I believe this program is holistic as it gave me an opportunity to excel both in research and production aspects of the media with an international outlook.

The experiences and knowledge that I received through these corridors have been greatly instrumental in my present career which requires me to balance both research projects and work with the media industry in the Asia-Pacific region. I am able to work in close engagement with international broadcasting organisations, associations, and unions on international production projects, development projects, copyright and IP issues and other relevant matters of the industry. I truly enjoy working in this field and I hope to progress further in my career and achieve bigger goals.

Top

Lori Bindig (B.A.’02, B.F.A.’04, M.A.’05)

Lori BindigAfter completing my two undergraduate degrees (American Studies and Musical Theatre), I remained at the University for my Master's in Communication. As a graduate student, and one of the Teaching Interns, I was given many opportunities to grow both academically and personally. Not only did the faculty in the School of Communication help me reach my potential in terms of academic achievement, they also instilled in me a desire to give back to my students, the university, and the wider community. I am confident that my success in academia can be attributed to the individualized attention I received in the Master’s program at Hartford. Serving as a Teaching Intern helped me grow as a teacher, and presenting my work at conventions of professional associations like the Eastern Communication Association and National Communication Association aided my development as a scholar.

As a result of the solid educational background I received at the University of Hartford I was awarded a University Fellowship to pursue a doctorate in Communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Since graduating, my Master’s thesis, Dawson's Creek: A Critical Understanding, was published by Lexington Books and I was the first A&S Master’s recipient of the prestigious Regents Honor Award. 

As I continue my career as an Assistant Professor in Communication at Sacred Heart University, I hope to emulate the outstanding qualities of the professors in the School of Communication. as a college professor. Without a doubt, the University of Hartford’s graduate program in Communication provided me with the valuable tools necessary to succeed in academia, contribute to society, and achieve even the loftiest of goals.
Top

Tina Carnelli (B.A.’03, M.A.’08)

Tina CarnelliWith a 3-year-old daughter and having just been laid off, I started college in 1991 at a local community college. I quickly found another full time job, but I knew that without an education my future wasn't very promising. With encouragement from my family, I continued to attend school part time at night, typically taking just one class a semester. It was slow going, but I graduated from Manchester Community College with an Associate's degree in Media in 1997. I transferred those credits to the University of Hartford and received my B.A. in Communication six years later.

Although I was tired from working full-time and attending school, two professors convinced me that I had enough tenacity left to earn my Master's degree, and so I enrolled in the graduate program in Communication and received my degree in January 2008.

Since receiving my B.A., I've seen my career at United Technologies steadily advance. My salary has increased, making my life less stressful, but the best part is that I'm finally doing something I truly enjoy. I've gone from punching a time clock as an hourly aerospace parts inspector to traveling the world as a jet engine marketing manager to becoming a communications specialist.

Just as the B.A. opened new doors for me, receiving my Master's has resulted in even more opportunities beyond benefits at my full-time job. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to teach part time at a local community college, which has been a wonderful experience. It’s exciting that I'm now in a position to help people who are just starting their educational journey; exactly as I was so many years ago. I'm hopeful that I can offer them the same kind of hope and encouragement that so many wonderful, caring professors have extended to me.
Top

Josephine Green Sanchez (B.A.’04, M.A.’07)

Josephine Green SanchezAs a two-time graduate of the University of Hartford, with both degrees in Communication, I say with confidence that my commitment to learning and interest in teaching are direct testaments to my positive experiences within the School of Communication Graduate Program. The teaching style of professors, who show extraordinary enthusiasm in student progress, is what catapulted me into this field in which I love to teach. My academic advisor and all my professors were truly interested in and committed to my achievements, not just in their classrooms, but subsequently in the professional world.

The graduate program encouraged me to realize the social significance of media studies, with particular regard to how popular culture influences society. My interest in media literacy and mass communication prompted my research into historic images of women in print advertisements as I completed courses in Media Criticism, Popular Culture, and Communication Theory. While pursuing my degree, I was a panelist speaker at the Eastern Communication Association annual conference in Boston and completed a series of Teaching Workshops sponsored by the University of Hartford’s Distinguished Teaching Humanist. In addition to graduating with a 3.97 GPA, it was an extreme honor for me to receive the Regents Honor Award for graduate students in May of 2007.

The Accelerated Master's Degree program conveniently allowed me to pursue my B.A. and M.A. simultaneously while working full-time. Although I was not a “traditional” student, this program kept me involved and connected to the University community and opportunities therein. My education and training at the University of Hartford has also afforded me the opportunity to return to my other Alma Mater (Manchester Community College) as a part-time Instructor in Communication. In this position, I hope to educate and inspire students just as my professors at the University of Hartford have done for me.

As a graduate of the School of Communication, I am indebted to the University of Hartford for opening many doors to me and for inspiring me to continue my education and career in academia. I would recommend this program to any student serious about their success in this field.
Top

Andrew Smiley (M.A.’06)

Andrew Smiley My current and most recent jobs fit squarely in the field of communication. At present I am Coordinating Director at the Golf Channel in Orlando, Florida. This new position is a senior level management position that I began in August 2011. In my previous job as an Associate Director II at ESPN, I directed shows and news updates on ESPNews as well as the TV simulcast of Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN2. On larger projects such as SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, and Monday Night Countdown that travels with Monday Night Football, I worked as an assistant director. In this role, I sometimes directed interview segments, time segments for shows, coordinated live shots via satellite, and assisted the director of the show in executing graphics, video and music for the shows. While at ESPN I worked on the 2005 NCAA Final Four, and on the Super Bowl for several yearsfor SportsCenter and Sunday NFL Countdown. My work has been recognized, having won a 2004 Sports Emmy Award as the Associate Director for SportsCenter, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Studio Show - Daily.

The graduate program in the School of Communication at the University of Hartford enriched my professional career. While it didn't directly aide my production and technical skills, the diversity of the faculty and students really broadened my worldview, especially in regards to how ESPN and its parent company, Disney, reaches audiences and viewers around the world. By being able to plan an individualized course of study focusing on Mass Communication, I was able to take control of my studies, which greatly enhanced the experience. Personally, the faculty members really embraced my role as a nontraditional student, and served as both personal and professional mentors. They forced me to look at my profession critically, challenging media stereotypes and the status quo in terms of the standard means of production. The courses were intellectually challenging and stimulating, yet course scheduling was flexible enough to work with my ever-changing work schedule, which was vitally important to me being able to finish the degree in a timely manner.
Top

David Pendrys (M.A.’08)

Andrew Smiley As Communications Coordinator at CT Association of Realtors, a position I obtained upon earning my M.A. degree in communication at the University of Hartford in 2008, I work with a team of specialists reporting to the Vice President of Communications and Technology. We distribute information out to the 18,000 members, and reach out to media outlets and external organizations as well. I also participate in issues advocacy to reach out to both the public and lawmakers regarding legislation that affects private property rights.

The Association has both a mission to support its members and also numerous public policy initiatives to support home ownership and homeowners’ rights. The University of Hartford gave me a broad based background in integrated marketing communication, multimedia, and analytical thinking which prepared me for the position well. This education, which included an internship with Cashman & Katz Communications, led me to the multifaceted role I am in today.
Top

Return to Graduate Program homepage
Top