As brand managers, digital marketers, reporters, community organizers, designers and Peace Corps volunteers, graduates of the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) are using their careers to make a positive impact in local and global communities.
To find out how, over 50 public communication students taking CDAE 224, the Public Communication Capstone class, last spring paired up with CDAE alumni to create “PCOM Works,” a video series profiling alumni in various public communication careers.
The project aimed to help current and future students understand and draw inspiration from potential career paths. The Capstone service-learning model also helped to facilitate connections between graduating seniors and the alumni who came before them.
"Students ask me all the time, 'Why should I take a communications course?' 'How will my degree help me change the world?'" said associate professor Sarah Heiss, who teaches the Public Communication Capstone. "This project begins to answer these questions and helps students see the endless possibilities for how their career may unfold after UVM."
As an account manager for Pepsico, Melanie Levine ’17 is working to improve the nation’s health by developing a healthier alternative to soda. Becky Mae Hayes ’14 currently lives in Nicaragua as an environmental educator for the U.S. Peace Corps. Music whiz John Moses ’13, works as a music publishing coordinator at Format Entertainment in Los Angeles where he licenses music for film and TV shows that can help inspire social change.
“Life is easier when you feel as though you are a part of a community and I want our seniors to know that they are still connected to the CDAE community after graduation. Current students and alumni alike can draw on these relationships for professional advice and support,” said Heiss. “I’m also excited that new students can explore PCOM careers and access our alumni community more quickly now with these videos.”