School of Journalism and Media Studies
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2020 Graduates

On behalf of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, we'd like to introduce you to this year's graduates. Select from the major below to jump to the graduates from that major.

Mass Communication


Kelly Anne Doran

Kelly Anne Doran

Mass Communication

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kellyannedoran/

One of Kelly’s favorite JMS experiences was presenting at the International Public Relations Research Conference in Florida in her first year of the program—a truly exciting experience that taught her a lot about presenting research in a conference setting. Kelly also enjoyed Dr. Davis’ Google Analytics course for helping her develop concrete, marketable skills, while also being fun and engaging. She would like to thank Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss for helping her shape the direction of her thesis research, and helping her navigate post-graduation plans and employment options.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“The faculty is extremely helpful and supportive—don’t be afraid to reach out to them early and often!”

Nadia Goretti

Nadia Goretti

Mass Communication

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nadia-goretti-13123013b

Nadia’s favorite JMS experience was spending time with her cohort during the first year of their program, and celebrating their accomplishments together. She enjoyed being a teacher’s assistant for JMS 210 because it allowed her to form deeper relationships with and work alongside the faculty. Nadia enjoyed Dr. Kaye Sweetser’s teaching style in JMS 600B, and all the resulting discussion with her classmates. Dr. Nate Rodriguez influenced her the most during her time at SDSU by encouraging her to pursue the topics that she’s passionate about, saying without him, her thesis wouldn’t have been possible. After earning her master’s degree, Nadia will work on her application for a PhD program.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“I would recommend that they utilize all of the resources that SDSU has to offer. They should definitely form relationships with the faculty as soon as possible, and reach out to their cohort!”

Robert Simpson

Robert Simpson

Mass Communication

One of Robert’s favorite things about his JMS experience was being able to take small classes with the same cohort through each semester, allowing them to face challenges together and help each other learn and grow. Robert affirms it was a group who really wanted everyone to succeed and he will miss the times they spent together. Robert also appreciated the challenge of the thesis process. From having to identify topics, to applying theories, to working under the guidance of a committee, it’s an experience he will never forget. His favorite class in the program was JMS 620 because he got to work with his cohort on a group project that spanned two semesters and explore results that applied to his career. After earning his master’s degree, Robert will transfer to Boston and continue working for the Coast Guard.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“Enjoy the entire experience. Challenge yourself without the distractions of daily military life, and be passionate about your research. At the end of it all, this is for you first, and the military second.”

Public Affairs Officers (PAO)


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Benn Barr

PAO

Benn’s favorite course in the JMS master’s program was JMS 515 Media Entrepreneurship because it gave him inspiration for future efforts of practical instruction, and he was able to learn from accomplished guest speakers. He would like to thank Dr. Kaye Sweetser for showing him how to effectively apply public relations practice and theory to his work in the military. Two of Benn’s favorite JMS memories were attending the International Public Relations Research Conference, and meeting and learning from other public affairs practitioners. After earning his master’s degree, Benn will return to work as a Communication Strategy and Operations Officer for the United States Marine Corps.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“Be open to learning from everyone, professors and peers alike. Everyone has something to offer from their background and experience.”

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Andrew DeGarmo

PAO

Andrew’s favorite course in the JMS program was Digital Media and Public Policy because the topics were incredibly relevant to today’s environment, and it illuminated topics typically overlooked. After earning his master’s degree, Andrew will be returning to the Navy to put what he’s learned to good use.

Nick Mannweiler

Nick Mannweiler

PAO

https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/nicholas-mannweiler-4b09122b

One of Nick’s favorite JMS experience was getting to see the incredible presentations by his fellow Aztecs at the International Public Relations Research Conference. Seeing SDSU students stand out above the crowd was a humbling and awesome experience for him. Nick also enjoyed discussing current industry trends and learning alongside the many smart and talented people in his program, an experience he will never forget. His favorite course was JMS 515 Media and Entrepreneurship with Dr. Amy Schmitz Weiss because it took him out of his comfort zone, requiring a different point of view to analyze business concepts, marketing and traditional journalism and PR. Nick would like to thank Dr. Kaye Sweetser for guiding and challenging everyone throughout the program since day one. After earning his master’s degree, Nick will be doing communication planning for the United States Marine Corps, responsible for the entire Pacific Ocean region.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“Take classes that people warn you will require a lot of work. Right. Push yourself and learn everything you can from your professors and peers. The networking you set up now may make a huge difference in landing a job after you graduate. You build your personal and professional reputation every single day in the classroom.”

Joshua James Pena

Joshua James Pena

PAO

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-pena-1975a855/

One of Joshua’s favorite JMS experiences was presenting at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) in Orlando and winning the Big Jack Award. His favorite class was JMS 620 because it provided his research team the opportunity to compete at the IPRRC. He really enjoyed learning from the guest speakers, staff and faculty, with a special thank you to Dr. Kaye Sweetser. After earning his master’s degree, Joshua will continue to serve as a Public Relations Manager in the United States Marine Corps.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“Take advantage of office hours with the faculty! They are brilliant and you’ll want to tap into that.”

Additional PAO Graduates

PAO Outstanding Graduate Chloe Morgan
Courtney Callaghan
Sherrie Flippin
Diann Rosenfeld

Learning, Design, and Technology


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Brad McCombs

Learning, Design, and Technology

https://www.linkedin.com/in/brad-mccombs-998922123/

Brad’s favorite LDT experience was getting to travel to Australia with professor Wang and present a research project. He also enjoyed getting to work with clients for a project in Chicago broadcasting constructivist theory. Brad put a lot of hard work into absorbing the information in every class because he believes what put into an experience is what you will get out of it. He would like to thank Dr. Wang, Dr. Dodge and Dr. Frazee for teaching him a variety of skills that he will be able to apply to his work post-graduation. After earning his master’s degree, Brad will continue to work full-time at a community college.

Advice for Incoming Students:

“Listen and act. Work hard and apply the concepts—this is active learning.”

Additional Learning, Design, and Technology Graduates

Outstanding LDT Graduate Peter von dem Hagen
Alfred Daniel Marquez