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School of Communication

Meet our M.A. and M.A./M.B.A. Alumni

Graduates offer insight on master's degree programs

In the profiles featured below, alumni from the School of Communication graduate programs discuss why they chose Point Park University, talk about how earning a graduate degree at Point Park is helping them to reach their career goals and offer advice to students considering a graduate degree.

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Mae Kerr. Mae Kerr

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2013
Marketing Coordinator - Social Media, American Eagle Outfitters

"I chose Point Park for its urban setting, interesting course offerings in the M.A. program and the flexible class schedule. I loved that so many of my professors were actively working in the field. Their real-world experience is invaluable."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A./M.B.A. alumnus Mark Hirschfeld. Mark Hirschfeld

M.A./M.B.A., 2013
Digital Marketing Specialist, Maronda Homes

"Having the practical business experience and traditional M.B.A. core curriculum taught alongside the new age practices that are pulsing through mass communication and marketing continue to give me an edge in my career. Marketers today are being asked to have a broader range of skills and insights than in the past, and as the marketing landscape continues to evolve my M.A./M.B.A. gives me that competitive advantage."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Ashley (Orr) Pasay. Ashley (Orr) Pasay

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2008
Senior Digital Marketing Strategist, Highmark, Inc.

"In today’s competitive work environment, it is critical to have an advanced degree. Point Park offered a reputable and flexible way to earn my M.A. and help me grow personally and professionally."

"The curriculum is rooted in the fundamentals, but does not ignore the changing landscape. As a student you are taught the core principles required by a communications professional, but also exposed to new channels and the best practices in those areas."

Pictured are School of Communication M.A. alumni Cristin Goss and Michael DiGuglielmo. Loose Cannon Creative

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2012
Co-founders, Loose Cannon Creative

"Point Park's Downtown Pittsburgh location thrust us into the professional world. We landed several great internships and had access to so many opportunities."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumnus Larry Miller. Larry Miller

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2009
Anchor/Reporter, KOBI TV

"I chose to pursue my Master of Arts degree at Point Park because the program has a strong reputation for developing a solid journalist. I also chose Point Park because the program allowed me to work and continue my education at the same time."

"Make yourself known to the entire campus community and talk with your professors. When you need story ideas, have concerns, or need help, those contacts will come in handy."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Carla Leininger. Carla Leininger

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2008
Web Marketing Project Manager, Eaton Corporation

"If you have been working for a while, you may be in a better position to identify your natural passions and strengths. Then research your career to find out the market conditions for your profession."

"Consider career paths because where you begin is not where you are going to finish. Many times you can still pursue your passions but in a different way. In my case, once I started taking classes, I decided I didn’t want journalism because I really wanted to advocate for what I believed in. Public relations made more sense."

Pictured is M.A. and M.B.A. alumna Shannon Farr. Shannon Farr

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2008; M.B.A., 2012
Senior Communications Specialist, Westinghouse Electric Company

"As an aspiring journalism graduate student, I knew that Point Park University would serve as a platform for me to hone my writing skills and that I would be mentored by professionals who work in the local newsrooms. As an M.B.A. candidate, I chose Point Park to learn the basics of business management and to get a refined understanding of how a successful business should operate."

"From news writing classes to video editing, and eventually from accounting to economics, all of my experiences at Point Park were beneficial."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Patty Swisher. Patty Swisher

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2009
Director of Marketing and Communications, IKM, Inc.

"Point Park is close to my current office in One PPG Place, so the location was perfect. It was affordable and Point Park has a good reputation for journalism. The program allowed me to juggle a full-time job, raising two young children and attending night classes."

"Attending graduate school after having been in the workforce for a number of years helped me to appreciate the value of my experiences, something I think many students miss who attend right after completing their undergraduate degrees."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Amber Farr. Amber Farr

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2011
Manager of Resources and Troop Pathways, Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania

"My degree has given me the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage the 160 volunteers within my territory. This includes, but is not limited to: public relations, strategic planning, time management, community outreach, public speaking and marketing."

"I chose Point Park because of the small class sizes and professors who teach with real-world experience."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Jacqueline Collavo. Jacqueline Collavo

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2011
Director, Nursing Operations and Magnet Recognition Program, The Western Pennsylvania Hospital

"I chose to attend Point Park because of the academic reputation of the M.A. degree program for journalism and mass communication. The program allowed me to pursue optimal learning in a small individualized, and scholarly-focused classroom setting."

"I feel the classes I completed were academically rigorous and provided "real-world" and critical thinking skills that any employer would value. In addition, Point Park's convenient Downtown setting provided me timely and easy access to class each week while working full-time in nursing administration."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Kaitlyn Kline. Kaitlyn Kline

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2012
Social Media Coordinator, Smith Brothers Agency

"I was most excited to learn from and connect with faculty who had up-to-date knowledge and experience in the mass communication work force today. Also, the location of Point Park University seemed like a prime spot for experiencing the communications world with its close proximity to other universities and businesses."

"My advice to students is to tailor your course schedule to your interests and seek out internships, even if they aren't for course credit. I was an intern at Smith Brothers and I got hired full time. Plus, the hands-on experience is definitely worth it."

Pictured is M.A. and B.A. alumna Lindsey Demetris. Lindsey Demetris

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2012; B.A. in theatre arts, 2005
Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Sandler Training

"I chose to attend Point Park for my bachelor's and master's degrees because of the fabulous reputation of both programs. Point Park was the easy choice for my M.A. in terms of cost, convenience and flexibility of night classes."

"Point Park's M.A. program is so unique because it recognizes that the landscape of media is ever-changing and the program evolves with the changes."

Pictured is School of Communication M.A. alumna Stephanie Sikora. Stephanie Sikora

M.A. in journalism and mass communication, 2011
Communications Assistant, Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl

"I truly enjoy education and love to learn about things I'm interested in. I chose to pursue communications as a career because I believe it can lead to career opportunities that allow me to positively affect people's lives."

"I feel that in order to stay relevant, it's important to pursue as much exposure to your field as you can, and getting my M.A. was the next step in that process for me. Also, I'd like to stay in education and consider teaching, and would like to get my Ph.D., so a M.A. was my next step."