Meet Myojung Chung, USF’s Newest Professor Helping Develop Health Communication for the Master of Arts in Professional Communication

Meet Myojung Chung, USF’s Newest Professor Helping Develop Health Communication for the Master of Arts in Professional Communication

By: Nikita Weber

Professor Myojung Chung teaches courses in strategic communication and is helping to develop the health communication concentration in the master of arts in professional communication program at USF.

Professor Myojung Chung began this fall semester teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses at USF. She teaches courses in strategic communication and is helping to develop the health communication concentration in the master of arts in professional communication (MAPC) program. She has over nine years of experience in both the communication and journalism fields, which she credits to shaping how she designs and teaches her courses. I had the chance to sit down with Professor Chung to discuss her background and how her personal experiences influence her teaching style today.


Q:        How did you become interested in communications and what is your academic background?

A:        Well, my background is very interdisciplinary, I originally didn’t even study communications until my master’s degree. I studied anthropology as an undergraduate at the Seoul National University, then I received my master’s degree in East Asian studies at Harvard University, and then I got doctorate in communication studies from Syracuse University. While I seemed to be all over the place in my studies, I got into communications because everything that I had studied was truly all about communication and how different cultures and people communicated, as seen in both anthropology and East Asian studies. It was fascinating working as a journalist, but I felt I needed more academic knowledge in addition to the field experience. So, I decided to go back to school and earn my doctorate in communication studies.


Q:        What work did you do before becoming a professor?

A:        Straight out of college I worked for about six months as a program coordinator for UNESCO in Korea. Back then, I planned to go to graduate school for my master’s degree so I knew I only could work for about six months in between. I came back to work at the UN headquarters another couple of months after my masters, then I worked as a PR practitioner before moving to journalism. So not only academically am I everywhere, but career wise, as well.


Q:        Do you find yourself applying any of the things you learned in your past work experiences when you teach?

A:        I think all of my past experiences come together and connect to one another, so I always bring in my personal experiences when I teach. When I talk about communication within differing cultures, I bring in my own experience from working with different people and cultures at the UN headquarters. I often bring examples from my journalism experience in the newsroom and my experience with public relations when discussing the relationship or gap between the two, as they are not as opposite as people think. All those experiences are useful in terms of teaching, and I try to incorporate my real-life experiences when discussing topics in class.


Q:        You are currently helping to develop the health communication concentration in the MAPC program at USF, could you explain what MAPC is?

A:        MAPC stands for the master of arts in professional communication program, and it has only been available at USF for two years now. MAPC is a master’s program for students who have typically worked several years in the professional workforce and who want to go back to graduate school to learn more about communications. The program is comprised of three concentrations, which include strategic communication, technical communication and the newly added health communication.


Q:        What do you enjoy most about teaching and being a professor?

A:        You know what, I think I really enjoy teaching because of the students’ positive energy. I realized that even I feel exhausted or lack energy. Once I go into a classroom I get immediate energy from the students and I feel completely different. Teaching is also the best way to learn things. You really need to know the topic inside and out to teach it, and by teaching you have the real opportunity to research and learn things thoroughly. I just love the process of thoroughly researching the concepts or things I am teaching. I think those are my favorite things about being a professor.


Alumna Kelly Morales Offers Insight into the Beauty Industry

Alumna Kelly Morales Offers Insight into the Beauty Industry

Alumna Kelly Morales shares her best tips about working in the beauty industry

By: Jacqueline Borrego

Today’s alumni spotlight shines onto 2014 graduate Kelly Morales. Morales majored in communication studies and minored in graphic design. Soon after graduating, she worked as a content marketer for PeerSpace. After exploring other opportunities, she decided to go back to school to attend the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and study merchandise marketing. Currently, Morales works as the merchandise coordinator for Sephora.


Q: What sparked your interest in studying communication studies?

Kelly Morales: I was interested in majoring in communication studies after I took an Asian communication class with Professor Evelyn Ho. I enjoyed being able to understand the reasons behind why we communicate the way we do. I also thought it would be useful for any career path I decided to take.


Q: How did you start working in the beauty industry?

Kelly Morales: I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty. However, I never really thought about it as a career path until after graduation when I was doing more research on what I really wanted to do. I got my start in the beauty industry by landing in internship at a natural skincare company. By having that on my resume, beauty companies were more willing to hire me because I had knowledge about working in the industry.


Q: Can you explain your role as a merchandise coordinator at Sephora? What does your normal day at Sephora looks like?

Kelly Morales: I work specifically with Sephora’s Canadian site. My role involves working aside the buyers of Sephora and beauty brands in order to get all the assets needed to make merchandise go live on our website. I also work closely with the email marketing team to make sure all merchandise is labelled and merchandised correctly. Every day is a little different! One of my main roles is to problem solve, so if there is something that isn’t live on time on our website or our products don’t look as they should, I’m the person that resolves these issues.


Q: Why did you decide to attend FIDM?

Kelly Morales: After graduating, I had a job doing content marketing. After having this job, I soon realized that it wasn’t what I was interested in. However, my mom attended FIDM, and I decided to check out its website. I looked into its merchandising program and decided to give it a shot. It was only a yearlong program since I had already completed my undergraduate degree at the University of San Francisco. I decided to go into merchandising because I believe that merchandise is important for every company. I learned a lot in a year, and it helped me get the position I’m in now.


Q: What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far and how did you overcome it?

Kelly Morales: My biggest challenge, so far. was knowing where I wanted to go in my career. It can be a scary thought for any recent graduate because you don’t know what direction you want to move into. I think it’s all about taking a chance and following your gut. Before I started working at Sephora, I was working at a small beauty startup, and I thought I was going to work there for a while. However, an opportunity with Sephora came up and the thought of moving to a bigger company was really scary. In the end, it’s all about taking a chance.


Q: What tips can you offer to students hoping to work in the beauty industry?

Kelly Morales: I think it’s important to get your foot in the door somewhere, even if it means getting an unpaid internship or a part-time retail position in the beauty industry. A lot of beauty companies are looking that that type of knowledge. You don’t need to be a beauty fanatic. However, it’s important to have passion and willingness to learn, especially for an entry-level position.


For more information on Kelly Morales, please refer to her LinkedIn profile here.






Lambda Pi Eta Announces New President Simran Dhalla

Student Shout-Out: Lambda Pi Eta Announces New President Simran Dhalla

Lambda Pi Eta Announces New President Simran Dhalla

By: Melissa Borrego, senior communication studies major


Lambda Pi Eta (LPH) at the University of San Francisco (USF) announces Simran Dhalla as the new president for the student honor society. Dhalla is a senior communication studies major with a minor in legal studies. I had the opportunity to sit down with Dhalla and learn more about her new role with LPH and her plans after graduation.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Simran Dhalla: I am a senior at USF and I formally joined LPH this semester, but I was inducted as president at the end of last semester. I am a communication studies major with a minor in legal studies. I really love the major, and it has been amazing to me! I have loved all of my professors and classes. Outside of school, I love playing sports and dancing or reading novels when I’ve got time.


Q: What is LPH and why did you decide to get involved with the organization?

Simran Dhalla: LPH is the communication studies honor society, and I decided to join because I thought it would be a great way to connect with students in the major. At USF, I think students can have a tendency to become very distant from one another. I don’t think we see this much at other universities. I really wanted to connect more with my peers. Last semester, the previous president of LPH also encouraged me to run for presidency.


Q: What are the requirements to join LPH, and why should students pursue membership?

Simran Dhalla: You must have completed at least 60 units, and you must maintain excellent grades. It is an honor society, so we do require that you have no lower than a B- average in the major. I think students should join LPH because it’s a great way to connect with the faculty and students in the major. We hold a lot of events, and it’s a nice way to get yourself involved a little bit deeper with the USF community.


Q: What are your responsibilities as LPH president, and how do you manage with the pressure?

Simran Dhalla: I manage everything as president, it’s a lot of delegating and communicating between the faculty and students. I contact everyone when we have events coming up, as well as help organize and execute those events. As far as managing the pressure, it’s a lot of work, but the LPH officers and our faculty advisor, Eve-Anne Doohan, all work together to make everything happen.


Q: What projects are you currently working on for LPH and what can students anticipate for next semester?

 Simran Dhalla: Currently, we are working on more fundraising events. We have a fundraiser coming up with Chipotle on Nov. 28. We are starting to organize more events at games. We try to identify student athletes in the major and attend the games to represent our major. It’s a great way to bond with other students too. Students can look forward to more sporting events and group activities next semester.   


Q: What advice can you give to students who wish to pursue leadership roles at USF?

Simran Dhalla: I say, just go for it! There are so many different leadership positions at USF and there’s something for everyone. Leadership is not only a great way to empower yourself but also empower others. Find something that you are passionate, about and it’s really important that you just go for it!


Q: What are your plans after you graduate, and how do you think USF has prepared you to accomplish your career goals?

Simran Dhalla: I have so many things I want to do, I’m just trying to figure out the best way to focus my energy and maximize my positive impact. It sounds really cliché, but I believe that USF has given me so much information about not only what is wrong with the world but also how to fix it. USF has prepared me for the reality of the world and for recognizing that the world may not be in the best shape right now, but there are so many things we can do as individuals to fix it.


What Can I Do with My $240,000 Degree? From a Confused College Senior to a Budding Career at Top-Tier Tech Company 

What Can I Do with My $240,000 Degree? From a Confused College Senior to a Budding Career at Top-Tier Tech Company

 by Ashley Cook

Every soon-to-be college graduate can relate to the panic that sets in right before graduation; the odd mix of anxiety and excitement toward the next chapter in life. USF Communication Studies alumna Hannah Decker, class of 2016,  remembers this feeling all too well. During a recent interview, Decker reflected on her-post graduation journey from being a confused communication studies senior at the University of San Francisco to landing a position with San Francisco’s Yelp:

Describe how you felt about your next steps following graduation from USF.

 Decker: I was nervous. After high school, I knew that I was going to college, but no one tells you what exactly you need to do after college. I had to decide for myself and make it happen. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or where I was going to go. I was lucky to have come across a career opportunity at Yelp via USF’s Spring Career Fair.  It was such a relief to secure a job before walking in May. Though I felt I got lucky, I worked very hard to find the position and to prepare myself for success in a well-known and influential organization such as Yelp.


How has your education prepared you for your career?

 Decker: At first, I thought communication studies was the same as communications. I was expecting to learn about media operations but I quickly realized the two are different fields of study. However, I fell in love with the major, faculty and course subjects. Many skills and concepts I mastered as communications studies scholars are extremely applicable in the workplace. I believe that my studies help me to master active listening, understanding and critiquing power dynamics and basic human communication in the workplace. Furthermore, I am able to think critically about situations, which leads to better success when working with clients.


How does the 9-5 workday differ from a day at USF? What is the most difficult part of this transition?

 Decker: One of the biggest adjustments I am facing is adjusting to the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday. I am still learning how to readjust my personal life around my work life. I come into the office and check my emails/schedules, and then I complete calls and do demos or “pitch on the fly”. Professional work life is very demanding, so it is important to manage your time wisely. Furthermore, I had to learn how to budget in order to afford all of my living expenses. I can’t eat out and get my nails done all the time because I have to pay my bills!


What does your position entail and what do you admire most about the company and your role? 

Decker: I currently work in the sales for the Yelp Wi-Fi service. In this position I pitch, cold call–contacting a potential client for the first time–and walk clients through the purchasing process. I enjoy this position because I work directly with several small businesses, including restaurants, spa owners, and other brick-and-mortar companies. I have gained a sincere appreciation for small corporations and enjoy being able to help them expand their businesses through Yelp infrastructures. Furthermore, my supervisor is very supportive of my professional growth. She is currently assisting me in navigating the various departments within our company so that I can explore the different facets of the tech industry.


What advice would you offer to any communications studies students at USF?

 Decker: Take advantage of your resources! Career Services offers a plethora of free career building tools that will truly prepare you for your first job. Also, go to office hours and learn more about your professors! We often forget they are all working professionals that have both worked in the communication/communication studies field, as well as in academia. They have a wealth of knowledge, advice and connections they can use to help you get where you want to go. They truly want their students to succeed.


Genesis Barraza Gains New Perspectives through Debate By AnaChristina Arana

Club Ed: Genesis Barraza Gains New Perspectives through Debate

By AnaChristina Arana, Senior Communication Studies Major


Today’s Club Ed features Senior Communication Studies Major Genesis Barraza’s involvement in the debate team. In this interview, Genesis shares what students can gain from participating in the club.

Could you please describe the opportunities the debate team provides for students?

 Students engage in various types of public speaking through the debate team. Members participate in public debates and compete at intercollegiate tournaments at the novice, junior varsity, or varsity level. It also provides opportunities to participate in individual events, including persuasive speeches, impromptu speeches, and original oratory.


What is the structure of the events the team participates in?

 The team participates in three types of debates: policy, parliamentary, and Lincoln-Douglas. In policy debates, students are given one topic for the year to prepare arguments for different tournaments. For parliamentary and Lincoln-Douglas debates, they are given new topics each time. At each tournament, students debate in front of one judge for six rounds to determine their qualification for the semi-final and final rounds. If they qualify, they compete for majority vote among three judges.

The intercollegiate tournaments the team participates in each year are the Golden State Season Opener, Southwestern College Hannie Shaft Tournament, California State University Northridge (CSUN) Robert Barbera Invitational, Las Vegas Classic Invitational Collegiate Debate Tournament, Western Policy Debate Championship, and Division I Qualifier and Pacific Championship.


Why did you decide to join the debate team?

 I joined in October 2015 during my freshman year. I always had an interest in debate, but because my high school did not offer the program, I did not have the opportunity until coming to USF. I learned about the team from my public speaking professor, Orion Steele, who joked that I would be good at debate due to my persistence during a class discussion. I was intrigued, so I asked for the coach’s contact information and reached out. Now I participate in policy debate at the varsity level, with Steele as the current coach.


Could you please share a memorable experience you had as a member of the team?

 The best experience I had on the debate team was when my partner, Senior Nicolas Landeros, and I won our first tournament at the Western Policy Debate Championship on March 11, 2016, solidifying our move up from novice to junior varsity. Because we were in the top seed, we were selected to participate in a by-round, where we qualified for semi-finals. As semi-finals progressed, we became stronger and more confident. In the final round, Nicholas and I faced two students that defeated us at our first tournament. I felt both admiration and intimidation toward my opponents, so when my team won, I felt a great sense of accomplishment.



From left to right: Assistant Coach and Senior Graysen Stille, Senior Genesis Barraza, Senior Nicolas Landeros, and Coach Orion Steele pose with the plaque that Genesis and Nicholas earned for First Place Novice Division at the Western Policy Debate Championship Tournament 2016.

What might students gain from joining the debate team?

It provides new perspectives and transferrable skills. Debate allows students to improve their public speaking skills, which are essential in every profession. It changes the way an individual looks at the world by allowing them to see a clear breakdown of everyone’s ideas. It also helps individuals understand their own place in the world, as they start to recognize why they think the way they do.

Participating in debate helps you show up in the world. Curiosity is not necessarily encouraged in our upbringings, but debate helps us question why things are the way they are. As a person of color who was always shunned as the “sassy one” or the “smart mouth,” it validates my opinions and gives me room to express them.


How can students get involved in the debate team?

 We are a close-knit community consisting of 12 students, and we are always seeking new members and perspectives. Most members watch and practice with the team before participating in debates. Students interested in debate are encouraged to attend meetings and support the team, as we could always use a new set of eyes for our arguments.


The debate team meets on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. in Kalmanovitz Hall, Room 365. Students may contact the coach, Professor Orion Steele, at orion.steele@gmail.com or me at gbarraza@usfca.edu. To learn more about debate, I also recommend taking Steele’s course on Argumentation and Debate.


Social Media Strategy with Professor Chen

Class Notes: SpTp (Special Topic): Social Media Strategy for Public Relations with Professor Chen

By: Dennise-Marie Leon


This is the first time that Social Media Strategy for Public Relations has been taught at USF, and it’s also the first year Professor Chen teaches it! As registration nears, you can sign up for the opportunity to take this class in the spring. Social media is one of the most prevalent forms of communication of this generation, so if you’re using it, it’s important that you learn how to do so appropriately. If you are going into the field of public relations and strategic communication, chances are you will have to deal with some aspect of social media every day.


You might find yourself asking some of the same questions I did upon finding out about this class. Here is the course in a nutshell in the words of Professor Chen:


Q: What are the main components?

This class has two main components, the first one is to understand the underlining mechanisms and driving force behind the new media platforms and the social psychology of human behavior online. The second component is the practical side to build analytical skills and develop content strategies.


Q: What type of work will I have to do?

Rather than having exams, the learning outcomes will be assessed via various projects. Students will be working on content strategy, social media research and strategy development. Students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experience in what it is like to develop a social media strategy, produce a social media analytics report, create comprehensive campaigns and establish professional online presence. It’s such an interactive class that we have our own hashtag on Twitter (#COMS490fall17 for Fall 2017), where students must tweet as a way of engagement.


Q: What topics will I have to cover? And how will we cover them?

If you are interested in the class, just wait until you hear about the topics covered! This class will cover:

  • Social media storytelling
  • Strategy development
  • Social media research and measurement
  • Social media monitoring and analytics using Hootsuite and Meltwater
  • Personal branding
  • Crisis communication
  • Social media law and ethics
  • User-generated content and viral marketing
  • Social media content governance and team management

These topics will be covered using:

  • Discussions
  • Case studies and videos
  • Pop-up creative brainstorm sessions
  • Guest speakers
  • Analytics workshops
  • Real world practices

The major assignment in this class is the final project which showcases everything that the students have learned in a full public relations/strategic communication social media campaign. This class is a very co-oriented class, which means that it isn’t just the professor lecturing at the front of the class every class. Professor Chen hopes the students will also learn from one another through discussions and workshops as much as learning from her.


Q: What is the main outcome of this class?

I want students to leave this class being prepared and feeling like they accomplished something. I want them to demonstrate they can use social media in a professional way, as well as writing reports that can be of immediate use for job application straight out of college.


Whether you want to go into the field of public relations or not, this class will prepare you for any career that deals with social media.


There is a pre-requisite/co-requisite for this class, and that is COMS 320 Public Relations Principles and Practices. However, Professor Chen may waive the pre-requisite on a case-by-case basis.


SpTp: COMS 490: Social Media Strategy for Public Relations counts as an upper-division Communication Studies major course and can be counted towards a Public Relations Minor.