First Full-Time Dual-Degree Master’s Student Tackles Challenging Courses, Reporting Abroad

KelseyHusnickby Sarah Matthews

Not many Kent State students study abroad more than four times, instruct hundreds of students as a teaching assistant and pursue two master’s degrees as a full-time student.

For graduate student Kelsey Husnick, this is her reality, as she is the first full-time student to participate in the dual-degree program; she is pursuing her master’s in business administration and her master’s in communication with a focus in global communication.

“I’m basically the guinea pig for this program,” Husnick said.

The few students who are pursuing the dual degree are part time, pursuing their professional careers during the day. Husnick, however, is a full-time student who intends to finish the 55-credit-hour-minimum program in two years.

“I’m taking 16 credit hours, and full time for grad school is nine, so the dual degree program is taking double the amount of classes in order to get the two degrees,” she said.

Husnick, who received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State, said the goal of her dual degree program is to one day pursue a career in covering businesses in journalism. During an internship at Business Inside Magazine in Cleveland, Husnick said she was first exposed to business writing and enjoyed the challenge of it.

“It was very fun to me to have to take a boring subject and put an interesting twist on it and make it relatable for people,” she said.

Husnick believes her MBA will give her a leg up when applying for jobs and will improve the quality of her writing.

“It’ll help me be more thorough and be more competent in my reporting because business is full of jargon,” she said.

Husnick, who recently returned from her fourth study abroad trip with Kent State, said her time studying abroad has been the most beneficial in furthering her education. Specifically, Husnick has enjoyed the International Storytelling course, which she has participated in three times, traveling to and reporting in Brazil, Estonia and Cyprus.

“Gary Hanson and Mitch McKenney have been really great, because they’re the ones who run the storytelling course and they’ve welcomed me back with open arms every time,” she said.

During job or internship interviews, the first thing Husnick said she is asked about is her time abroad.

“That’s really awesome because not many people can say that they’ve been able to report in a foreign country,” Husnick said. “That right there always sets me apart, and it’s such a great conversation starter for any interview.”

During her most recent trip, Husnick reported on the aftermath of the financial crisis in Cyprus, which officially ended in October of 2015. To read her story, visit the International Storytelling website.

“I was kind of checking on how the country was actually recovering after that financial crisis and seeing how the everyday citizens were feeling the blow of this crisis still to this day,” she said.

Husnick hopes to find a job after graduation where she can combine her passion for journalism and traveling.

“The dream is to be a foreign correspondent for some magazine like The Atlantic or The New Yorker, but more practical would be to write for something like Crain’s Cleveland Business or on the business news desk of some paper,” Husnick said.

PR Student Reflects on Earning Honorable Mention in 2016 Bateman Case Study Competition

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by Gabrielle Woodard

Deciding to participate in the Bateman Case Study Competition was one of the best choices I made during my college career. Bateman gave my team the opportunity to not only create a PR plan (like we have in other classes) but also the ability to implement the plan. It was an amazing opportunity to learn about the issues student veterans face and try to educate others about how to assist student veterans during the veterans’ transition from combat to campus.

I can’t thank Tim Roberts, our Bateman advisor, enough for all of his guidance. He responded quickly to our after-hours emails the night before something was due, and he was always honest with us about whether we were heading in the right direction. I now truly understand why Professor Roberts drilled us on using research to drive our plan; in our casebook, we were able to discuss how our tactics were a direct result of our research.  

I really enjoyed being able to work with veterans because they sacrificed so much for our country, and they deserve recognition. It was really rewarding to be able to educate our other audiences about the transition veterans make from the military to college.

One of the goals we were given by Student Veterans of America was to fix the perception of “the broken veteran” – meaning veterans return home “broken” after their service. This was quite the challenge because we had to conduct research to find out why people had 12733625_959291634163338_7277424628612930639_nthat perception. We found people didn’t believe they thought of veterans as broken, but they thought more veterans suffer from PTSD than actually do; only one-third of veterans suffer from PTSD. Many of the veterans we spoke to said the same thing: “We just want to be treated like everyone else.”

Our Bateman client reminded us every day how much PR can influence and change people’s lives. There is more to PR than developing a social media plan or a hashtag; there has to be a more in-depth plan behind the whole campaign.

The fact that we were able to earn an honorable mention is such an honor. We competed against some of the most brilliant public relations students in some of the most competitive PR programs in the country. It made my team feel as though we truly made a difference, and we are proud that we could represent PR Kent to the best of our abilities.

Communication Studies Major Balances Schoolwork with Singing and Acting Career

Photo by Gina DeSimone

by Gabrielle Woodard


Senior Communication Studies major Claudia Hoyser is using skills learned in the classroom to further her aspirations in the entertainment industry.

“My major in communication studies at Kent has really helped me pursue my dream career,” Hoyser said. “The communication courses have proved to be key elements in building the foundation of my own brand as [an] artist.”

Hoyser completed her practicum at GFI Studios, a recording studio in upstate New York. During this time, she met a movie director who was casting for the Sony Provident film “Wildflower.” After an impromptu audition, Hoyser was cast as the role of Hannah in the film. In addition to playing Hannah, Hoyser sang four songs on the soundtrack.

Hosyer also sang “You Are My Sunshine” for a Golisano Children’s Hospital commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

Throughout her time at Kent State, Claudia managed to balance being a full time student with three minors and being an active member of Delta Gamma Fraternity, all while working on her performance career.

“The faculty was always willing to help me when I needed it, which made me feel more at ease knowing I could turn to them,” Hoyser said.

After she graduates in May, Hoyser said she is finishing up her album and is hitting the road.

“I am beaming with excitement and feel more than ready to start the journey thanks to my amazing four years at Kent State,” Hoyser said.

VCD Ambassador Expresses Love for Major, Passion for Creativity

EmilyThomas_headshot_bwby Morgan Barba

Emily Thomas, a visual communication design major, is a unique mix of ambitious, creative and professional.

A Delta, Ohio, native and star student in a tough major, Thomas became a CCI Ambassador in the fall of 2014. As her own way of “paying it forward,” she said, “I believe it’s important to help connect incoming VCD students to the program and help ease the transition from high school to college.”

She became an ambassador so she could hone her leadership abilities in an effort to encourage prospective students to join a major she loves dearly.

“It is both challenging and exhilarating,” Thomas said. “Design and illustration appealed to me because of the opportunity to combine my love of creativity with helping people.”

Thomas said she was born into a loud, fun family that encouraged her to be creative from the start. As a self-proclaimed creative problem solver, Thomas spent a lot of time crafting, building, designing and playing as a child. With an upbringing like this, it’s no surprise she went on to study in a creative field.

She said a major portion of her inspiration comes from her role model: her mother. “She’s a strong leader, great communicator and has an awesome sense of humor,” Thomas said. “She inspires me to put others first and has taught me to believe anything is possible.”

Thomas has been studying visual communication design at Kent for two years, and she is developing her own style of design. She enjoys focusing on anything humorous and playful and hopes to use that specific style to one day design and illustrate children’s books. Thomas says she appreciates the honesty and whimsicality of children’s books.

*The CCI Ambassador program is open to all CCI students interested in serving the college in this way. Students can apply through May 2 at

Communication Studies Senior Leaves Her Mark at Kent, Across the World

by Maggie Wachtel

Greece1Communication studies major Amanda Bevington is taking the world – and Kent State – by storm.

A senior concentrating in interpersonal communication from Solon, Ohio, Bevington recently visited Greece as part of a gender and sexuality course through the College of Arts and Sciences. While there, Bevington met with LGBTQ activists and members of the Starfish Foundation, a nonprofit offering aid to refugees in Molyvos, Greece.

“It was great to meet activists and to learn more about the Starfish Foundation and the refugee crisis from their point of view,” Bevington said.

Bevington has been incredibly involved in extracurricular activities at Kent State throughout her college career. She has been a Flash Guide Orientation Leader, a Resident Assistant, President of the Kent State Student Ambassadors, Senator in Undergraduate Student Government and a member of Chi-Omega.

Bevington’s involvement earned her the titles of Kent State University Homecoming Queen last fall and Student Leader of the Year at Kent State’s CSI Awards. The Student Leader of the Year award recognizes students who have contributed significantly to the leadership of the organizations they are involved in.

“I have learned to believe in myself in my time at Kent State while also finding my purpose and my passion,” Bevington said.

Bevington’s travels are far from over. This summer, she plans to travel to Nicaragua and Ecuador with Kent State’s Office of Experimental Education and Civic Engagement. She will work with nonprofits from both countries to help their citizens become better leaders within their community.Greece7

“This is the first ever international global service learning trip. I have been waiting for a trip like this [my] entire time at Kent State, so I am super excited,” Bevington said.

After coming home from her travels, Bevington will return to Kent State to earn her master’s in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel. She always knew she wanted to pursue a graduate degree; it was just a matter of where she would get it. It was the strength of Kent State’s program that helped her make her decision. Oh, and she also thinks Kent State is the best place in the world.

“I came into college with no self-confidence,” Bevington said. “I am leaving knowing I can accomplish anything with my determination and persistence.”

International Student Finds Home at CCI as Student Ambassador

Subiby Sarah Matthews

Subinuer Aierken, an international student from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, said she encountered many challenges on her journey to becoming a student at Kent State.

International students face numerous challenges, including overcoming language barriers and adjusting to cultural differences. Aierken, who is of Uyghur ethnicity, said in order to keep up with her classmates, she has to study more often and read the newspaper regularly to understand current events.

The sophomore applied communication major said something that helped her adapt to her new environment was becoming a student ambassador for the College of Communication and Information (CCI).

“I was so happy because I finally get to do something,” Aikeren said. “Sometimes as an international student it’s really hard to find an on-campus job in offices. I knew this was a really good opportunity for me to practice my English and to build up my skills.”

Aierken said her duties as a CCI student ambassador include speaking at Golden Flash Days to recruit new students, assisting with on-campus events and consulting the Dean of the college. At recruitment events, the student ambassadors speak to prospective students about CCI and answer any questions they or their parents may have.

“We just get to tell our experiences to them to make them feel welcome and to [help them] make their decisions,” she said.

While she still faces challenges as an international student regularly, Aierken said the CCI student ambassador program has taught her many valuable skills.

“I’ve learned how to communicate with people more effectively and how to work in a group with people,” she said. “I was very shy when I first came to the U.S. I couldn’t speak in front of people, so after being apart of the CCI ambassador program for one year I feel like I have that confidence now to speak my opinion.”

Aierken said she would recommend other CCI students become involved in the program if possible.

Aierken said, “Not only do you meet other students within the college, but you also get to contribute to the CCI program.”

*Prior to April 2016, students had to be nominated to participate. Now, the ambassador program is open to all CCI students interested in serving the college in this way. Students can apply through May 2 at

BY students FOR students in the College of Communication and Information at Kent State


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