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

My YouToo 2016 Recap: Hana Barkowitz

IMG_0171I had never been to the YouToo Social Media Conference before, and I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited. Here was my chance to meet expert public relations and communications practitioners, so I had to look sharp. As it turns out, looking like you know what you’re doing is harder than it looks.

I arrived in the 6th outfit I tried on that morning. After settling into my seat, I felt the energy buzzing in the room. I noticed that when you put a bunch of PR-minded people into one room, the energy is through the roof. It was a good feeling.

The portion of the conference that stuck out the most to me was the “Keybank: Delivering a #KeyInsider Experience Via Social.” It was the first breakout. What stood out to me the most about this particular presentation was just how interested I became in a bank’s marketing strategy. I never thought a bank would peak my interest, but it did. I enjoyed how they used strategic partnerships and generated engagement through exclusive giveaways with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I don’t understand sports, but I understand public relations and communication, so it gave me a newfound appreciation for working with athletic organizations to create buzz.

My second favorite part of the conference was Scott Monty’s keynote speech. His charisma attracted everyone’s attention, and there wasn’t a boring second of his speech. He had some great tips for communication and social media, drawing on his IMG_0118past experience at Ford, and he talked about how effective public relations and customer service are a joint deal; you can’t have one without the other.

Overall, my experience at YouToo was positive and memorable. I’m able to implement what I learned into my everyday life and into my PR state of mind. Since the conference, I’ve been bragging to my friends about how I met communication celebrities and how I’m so excited for the 10th YouToo. It’s bound to be amazing.

Seven Things You’ll Love/Hate About Living In The Nation’s Capital

by Elline Concepcion

NOTE: Elline is a senior advertising major taking part in Kent State’s WPNI program. She is living in Washington, D.C., for a semester and is a communications intern at the Association of American Railroads.

The Metro. At first you’re like, “Woah, this is going to be so cool! I’m like a real working professional riding to the city!”


And then you’re like, “Ugh, if this metro stops one more time before getting to my platform, I’m going to have a 2007 Britney Spears moment.”

Receptions. Free food and drinks are all any broke college student truly wants when they are living in one of the most expensive cities in the country.


But don’t forget the (sometimes) forced awkward conversations, clammy handshakes and attempts to balance your food and drink while doing these. Yaaay!

Roomates. You’ll have built-in friends to explore the city with and share your deepest thoughts during late-night rants.


Sometimes you just need some space and privacy after long days at your unpaid internship.

The Political Bubble. You’ll hear all the political news first and always be in the know. And what better place to be when there is a presidential election?


Sometimes you just want to have a ‘normal’ conversation that won’t break out into debate.

Fashion. It’s business casual all the time, and you’ll walk around the city feeling like you can accomplish anything. Plus, you never know who you’ll be meeting, so it’s best to always dress to impress.


D.C. is the ultimate land of professional attire and neutrals, so you’re constantly wearing variations of the same outfit.

Impressive Work Places. You’ll befriend people that work at Quantico, the CIA, the Pentagon and the White House. How cool is that on your resume?


On the other hand, you’ll never really understand what it is that they do, and they’ll never really be able to explain it to you.


Monuments. Being surrounded by so much history and getting to see the monuments every day is truly breathtaking.


Sometimes you’re so busy in your day-to-day, you forget to take advantage of the sights.

Gifs courtesy of

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


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