MPC & PCAA News – Fall 2016

MPC Students Win IABC Gold Quill Awards for the Third Year in a Row

Current MPC candidates Warsan Amin, Katherine Fernandez-Blance, Josephine Lim, and Joanna Liu, continued the program’s three-year winning streak as recipients of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill this year.

The team received the prestigious Sharon Berzok Student Award, which is awarded to the best student entry chosen by the IABC Committee, and a Gold Quill of Merit in the Communication Management, Student Entry category, for their work on the Splash Effect Digital Content Strategy.

Toronto-based digital marketing agency Splash Effect requested that Ryerson MPC students conduct a thorough analysis of their current digital properties and design a content strategy for the company’s website as an assignment for the Virtual Organization class. Splash Effect was looking to grow its business by expanding its clientele. The MPC team recommended an integrated strategy that combined a website redesign, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media engagement to target identified audiences.

“Winning the IABC awards was a great reward for all the hard work we put into our submission,” says Joanna, “It was recognition, not only for the outcome of that hard work, but for all the learning and experience we gained through our MPC program at Ryerson.”

“Both faculty and alumni played a role in the team’s win. We were able to reach out to several MPC students and alumni for guidance, while faculty also provided us with helpful feedback on the original class submission,” says Katherine.

Professor John Shiga Steps Into Role as New Graduate Program Director

Dr. John Shiga has been appointed Graduate Program Director for the MPC program. The Assistant Professor with the School of Professional Communication is no stranger to the role since he took over temporarily during 2014-2015 when former Graduate Program Director, Dr. Wendy Freeman, went on sabbatical.

Dr. Shiga will be the third MPC Program Director since its inception. He holds the role during a crucial moment in the program’s history as it undergoes a program review, to reflect on the strengths of the current program and propose new ways to make the program stronger.

Dr. Shiga takes over for Dr. Freeman who was recently appointed as the new Director of eLearning and Faculty Teaching Chair for the Faculty of Communication & Design.“I do take Wendy’s words of wisdom very seriously and believe she is right about the importance of listening to students,” says Dr. Shiga.

“Listening takes courage (maybe that is my mantra – have the courage to listen to each other!), particularly when the person you are listening to has a view that is different from your own. Meeting with students individually in the fall and winter is key to helping students customize the program according to their needs and interests and I look forward to those discussions next year.”

ProCom Alumni Association to Launch Mentorship Program in 2017

One of the key priorities for the PCAA this fall will be to plan for the launch of a mentorship program in 2017.

The plan is to develop and coordinate a program for meetings between interested alumni and current students. It will likely be similar in nature to York University’s TASTE (Take a Student to Eat) program, but the details have yet to be confirmed.

“Building off Ryerson University’s Trimentoring Program, the PCAA Executive Committee is excited to establish a unique mentoring partnership between MPC alumni and current ProCom students.

Recognizing the need to foster our vibrant community and extend the heartfelt support received throughout one’s studies, the PCAA mentorship program is being designed to provide ProCom alumni a unique opportunity to give back.

Opportunities will be available for candidates to connect with faculty, staff, MPC, and soon-to-be BA graduates that will be facilitated by the PCAA. Not only will the program allow students the chance to speak with communication professionals one-on-one, it will also help strengthen the networks of all parties involved.” —Danielle Taylor, ProCom Alumni Liaison

For current students it will offer a valuable opportunity to find out more about post-graduate life, work, and how to maximize their time in the program and afterwards.

With a diverse set of roles and industries represented in our alumni community there’s also big potential for making connections more broadly across the industry from corporate communications to non-profits to government.

Stay tuned for more details!