Student and Recent Graduate Views

Note: Additional insights from our students can be found under the link Career Perspectives.


Shonna Kydd

I am a first year graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Arts degree in Communication.  I grew up in Jenkintown, PA and graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Psychology.  I have always been fascinated by media production, and the elements that go into creating a broadcast, including research, writing, directing, and editing. I aspire to one day work in television production for major broadcasting network. My academic interests include race, identity, and representation, and children and television studies. Prior to beginning the graduate program at Villanova, I worked as a Research Coordinator managing media research projects at the Annenberg School for Communication and Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. During my six years at Penn I managed a number of projects, including the research activities for a city-wide media campaign initiative to reduce obesity in Philadelphia (Get Healthy Philly), and the Annenberg Sex and Media Study. In addition to my background in research, I have years of experience in television and radio broadcasting, having worked at NBC-10 Philadelphia, and ClearChannel Communications (WUSL/WDAS FM). My passion for media and the desire to develop my critical thinking and writing skills has led me to further my education here at Villanova. From my very first encounter with Villanova faculty, I knew that I was entering a program full of warmth, support, and encouragement. I was also recently offered a Graduate Assistantship for Research, Diversity Programming, and Communication to begin in the Fall working with Dr. Brighid Dwyer. I am delighted to have this amazing opportunity to learn from some of the most distinguished scholars in the field of communication, and I look forward to an enriching academic experience while here at Villanova.

Dan Trucil, Communications Manager, American Geriatrics Society

“Not a dream, but a mighty reality.” That’s how W.E.B. DuBois described higher education, and I can’t think of a more fitting testament to my graduate experience studying Communication at Villanova University.

Among a close-knit community of peers and professors, I was challenged to think broadly, critically, and introspectively about how our discipline shapes everything—from individual identity to the policies and practices that literally form our society. I entered the program with an interest in mass media and entertainment, but I was able to expand my interests (and my skills) by working with faculty versed in health communication, public relations, media effects, journalism, and a number of other specialties at the forefront of Communication today.

Further still, I was challenged by that same community of peers and professors to take my education beyond the classroom. I travelled the country presenting research on diversity in the digital domain—research I helped shape as a graduate assistant with the University’s Waterhouse Family Institute. I served as a student consultant helping organizations in the Philadelphia area tackle serious issues, from diversity to fundraising and development. I interned for one of the world’s largest marketing consultancies, learning how to tackle health communications challenges that are now at the forefront of medicine in the United States.

I earned a full-time job before I even earned my degree—but, more importantly, I earned an education that is as much a privilege as it is a responsibility. Villanova instilled in me a firm belief that we can—and must—communicate fairly, compassionately, and with a keen sense of conviction for those who may still be struggling to find a voice of their own. In that spirit, I now work for a national medical society that champions the needs, health, and care of older adults—some of our country’s most disenfranchised individuals. It’s rewarding work—but it’s also a testament to what I learned (and what I learned to “do”) as a Villanova student. A Villanova education wasn’t just a dream—it was a mighty reality.