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Communication Studies MA |



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Strategic Communication

The focus of the Strategic Communication concentration is the critical thinking and analysis necessary to develop and implement communication strategies that advance an organization’s goals and mission. The curriculum will enhance your ability to identify and develop the best communication strategy in a given situation while also instilling creative and original approaches to solving communication problems. The curriculum will also better inform you about theories that are the basis for effective public relations and organizational communication.

Graduate students finishing the Strategic Communication concentration often go on to work in various areas (public relations, advertising, etc.) for large communication agencies or smaller niche communication organizations. Students may also find work as political lobbyists, research analysts, social media coordinators, crisis or risk communicators, creating health campaigns, or as organizational consultants. Students may also go on to enjoy careers teaching community college or in organizations as leadership or training and development consultants.

The Strategic Communication concentration also provides the necessary theoretical and methodological foundation for students to continue their education and research in doctoral programs across the country.

Recent Research

For the Strategic Communication concentration, the following research capstone projects have recently been completed by EIU students:


Branding a Cohesive Identity: The Case of Northern Illinois Alliance
Student: Ashely Gocken
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.

Whose Beer Is It, Anyway?: An Examination of the Constraints of Organizational Legitimacy with the Craft Beer Industry
Student: Audra Clodfelter
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.

Breaking the Chains of Trafficking: An Educational Program
Student: Amanda Feder
Advisor: Teresa Marie Linda Scholz, Ph.D.

Barriers to Communicating Sexual Orientation Identity at Work
Student: Marissa Guenzi
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.

Stepping out from the Crowd: (Re)branding Jamaica's Tourism Product through Sports and Culture
Student: Patrice Thelca White
Advisor: Brian Sowa, Ph.D.



Few smooth moves: Phi Rho Eta Fraternity Inc. national branding campaign
Student: Shea Brunson
Advisor: Brian Sowa, Ph.D.

“Single girl summer” enterprise: Building a successful brand using social media as a branding tool
Student: Rashida Lyles-Cowan
Advisor: Brian Sowa, Ph.D.

Inmate code: The stories lived and the stories told of men behind bars
Student: Pauline Matthey
Advisor: Elizabeth Gill, Ph.D.

Organizational identity as a promotional tool: The case of the Panther Paw
Student: Samantha Neal
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.

Strategic communication campaign to build effective relationships
Student: Lauren Kluge Padillo
Advisor: Melanie Mills, Ph.D.

Corporate social responsibility and team identification in professional sports
Student: Lisa Schleef
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.


International image repair: Integrating culture into image repair discourse
Student: Nicole Mangiaracina
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.

Dynamic crisis modifiers: BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill
Student: Catherine Bocke
Advisor: Matthew Gill, Ph.D.