Departments of Public Policy and Communication Launch a Media and Communication Campaigns Track

UConn’s Department of Public Policy (DPP) and Department of Communication (COMM) recently launched a joint venture that allows Master of Arts in Survey Research (MASR) students the opportunity to tailor their degree towards an interest in Media and Communication Campaigns.

Through Communication coursework MASR students can tailor their degree with the following coursework:

  • COMM 5003 Advanced Communication Research Methods: Research techniques and procedures for the study of communication. Research design, multivariate statistics, and structural modeling.
  • COMM 5120 Communication Campaigns: Campaign theory and planning. Students learn how to conduct interviews and focus groups with members of a target audience, and work with non-profit organizations to design a campaign.
  • COMM 5150 Crisis Risk and Communication: Research, theory, and best practices in crisis and risk communication.
  • COMM 5640 Social Media Use and Effects: Research and theory on the social and psychological predictors and effects of social media use as well as social media platforms: their technology, functions, and analysis of collected data.
    Vanessa Maturo
    Vanessa Maturo, Program Manager, Google

    Alumni Spotlight: Vanessa Maturo, Program Manager at Google

    Vanessa Maturo is a 2013 Master of Arts in Survey Research (MASR) alum who currently serves as a Program Manager for CX Lab at Google. In this role she oversees research studies that focus on making Google products more helpful. Prior to this role, Vanessa was a Survey Research Lead at Google where she ran tracking surveys to understand customer sentiment. Before working at Google, Vanessa was a Client Service Analyst at Gallup, where she specialized in survey methodology across a breadth of government, market research, and custom client studies.

    While completing her MASR Vanessa interned with The Pert Group, which is a market research firm in Farmington, Connecticut. After graduating from UConn, Vanessa worked as a Research Analyst, then as an Associate Research Manager at the Keller Fay Group, a market research firm specializing in word of mouth and consumer advocacy. There, she worked closely with designing and implementing custom surveys and the management of a large, syndicated tracking study, as well as managing client accounts.

    Reflecting specifically on her time at UConn, Vanessa notes that the MSR program was practical and was taught with an eye to application. During the program, she was trained in theory but taught to ask questions and apply her knowledge in a very practical way. It was very much on the job training before the job. She is always thinking about total survey error and how decisions made at a program level can impact data quality and the insights delivered to stakeholders.

    Vanessa’s advice for the current and future students is to go beyond the classroom and think about how you would apply what you’re learning at work, imagine having a conversation with stakeholders – what else would you need to know to make a sound decision or to feel like you have enough information with which to take action? Look for classes that can round out your skills/knowledge a little more.

    Job Placement

    Survey Research: is a field that is continually evolving as organizations work to adopt new methods and data to increase productivity. Job opportunities are most prominent for those with advanced degrees. Survey researchers work in colleges and universities, corporations, government agencies, nonprofit, polling organizations and research firms.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2019 the annual wages for survey researchers in top industries include:

    • Scientific research and development services: $71,620
    • Educational services: state, local and private: $61,760

    Market Research: is a field that is growing much faster than average at local, regional and national levels. Researchers help to determine the potential sales of products and services. They also create marketing campaigns and gather data on competitors, prices, sales and methods of marketing and distribution.

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in May of 2019 the annual wages for market researchers in top industries include:

    • Publishing industries (except Internet): $75,720
    • Management of companies and enterprises: $74,510
    • Finance and insurance: $71,500