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Our Master of Arts in Emerging Media program embraces all demographics—men, women, recent college graduates, mid-career professionals, career changers, entrepreneurs, and more. Through our unique asynchronous approach to online teaching, students from all over the world become strategic, visionary thought leaders in emerging media and join a dynamic network of colleagues.

As part of the program curriculum, students are asked to engage in original research on a subject relevant to new and emerging media. Many take the opportunity to develop a final capstone project, in which students work closely with an advisor to present their findings in a format of their choosing or to develop a project in which they demonstrate their proficiency using new and emerging media.

The capstone projects of recent alumni demonstrate the application of emerging media for various organizations and new research in the use of digital media:

Mikayla Matthews, M.A. '23 – Enterprise Residential

Mikayla Mathews

As the marketing and communications coordinator for mid-Atlantic property management non-profit Enterprise Residential, one of my functions includes creating and regularly scheduling content for the organization’s Facebook page. The social media campaign I implemented over a five-week time period intended to incorporate Enterprise Residential’s values that directly reflect their philosophy of “residents first.”

The campaign-specific goals included the following: display Enterprise Residential’s associates and residents’ dedication to establishing strong and lasting relationships, provide adequate resources for community residents, and to inform job seekers of current organization openings. From establishing real-world goals, the campaign’s SMART goals were to increase engagement, brand awareness, and website traffic over the five-week time period.

Through testing content including community events and activities, communities with vacancies, employee testimonials, promotions, new hires, and local resources, a few key tactics utilized assisted with the achievement of goals. Posting during certain times during the day and engaging in partners’ and connections’ posts saw an increase in likes, follows, and shares of posted content. Highlighting the long-lasting relationships of the residents and the site/ corporate staff were also received positively by followers of the page.

As I still work for Enterprise Residential, I incorporate the practices that were most successful for me during the campaign. Regularly evaluating existing goals and establishing new goals in tandem with the leadership team’s suggestions has worked particularly well. Budgeting ahead for specific content to promote special initiatives or additional activities has impacted community vacancies and brought aboard a surplus of new associates.

When selecting your organization or topic for your project, make sure that it is something you’ll enjoy doing over the semester. As my project encompassed my daily work, it did not feel an additional or strenuous task to me – just another positive aspect of my capstone work. Most importantly – don’t expect perfection. You’ll run into portions of your project that many not yield the results initially planned and that is okay. Remember it can simply be utilized as a pillar for initiatives and work in the future.

Nicole Smith, M.A. ‘20 Birthing Wisdom

Nicole Smith

As a social media editor, Nicole is adept in creating effective social strategies to target and engage audiences across various life stages. She carefully curates content with client needs at the forefront, ensuring high performance results and successfully scaling business.

For her Capstone Project in 2020, Nicole created and managed a multichannel campaign for Birthing Wisdom, a local birthing and lactation consultant in Rockland County, New York. Informed by her history of growing social footprints and building brand awareness, Nicole was able to serve a small business and the surrounding community to empower families with relevant birthing education and information. She recognizes the importance of maintaining brand authenticity and voice, as demonstrated by Birthing Wisdom’s campaign. From setting objectives to creating a content calendar and analyzing performance, Nicole grew monthly site visits by 150 percent, in addition to expanding the brand’s Facebook and Instagram followings. Upon the campaign’s conclusion, Nicole conducted a retrospective, identifying key takeaways to guide future strategy.

Nicole applies her learnings from the Capstone and the Emerging Media program to her daily work as Social Media Editor at The Knot, executing dynamic full-funnel strategies and creating custom social programs for a portfolio of high profile clients.

Natalie McDonald, B.A. '19 / M.A '20 iHeartMedia

Natalie McDonaldKnowing she did not want her education as a Greyhound to end after graduating from Loyola with a BA in 2019, Natalie continued her academic journey at Loyola University Maryland in the Emerging Media MA program. As someone who is passionate about marketing and fascinated by the always evolving digital landscape, this program helped Natalie to grow as a marketer. When it came time for Natalie to develop her Emerging Media final Capstone project, she was most interested in a brand new emerging audio format – podcasting. She dedicated her entire final semester to researching this audio format, even creating a concept for & promoting her own podcast to learn from the inside out how a podcast is made and distributed. After graduating from the Emerging Media master's program in 2020, Natalie's extensive knowledge of podcasting lead her to pursue her dream job at iHeart Media, the #1 podcast publisher and largest audio company in the country. Every single day, Natalie leverages her Emerging Media expertise as she navigates the dynamic digital audio landscape, helping brands to strategically harness the power of audio in its many forms to connect with their target audiences and drive consideration.

Dena Lorenzi, M.A. ’15 – Faith in Fashion

How do you take two disparate ideas and combine them into one successful social media marketing practice? For Dena Lorenzi, this was a no-brainer. She had a keen interest in social media and a deep interest in faith-based marketing. To that end, Dena created the Faith In Fashion campaign for her capstone project in the Loyola University Emerging Media Masters program. As with all good communication campaigns, Dena’s started with a vision – to provide the best-in-class marketing communications counsel and services to her clients. She developed a full-blown strategy for her burgeoning consulting practice that upon execution met or exceeded all of her KPIs. In addition to developing social media properties on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, Dena created her own website. She became an active publisher on LinkedIn and self-published on her own website in order to effectively reach her target personas. By the end of her campaign, Dena acquired almost 1000 followers on her Twitter feed, she obtained a Klout score of 49, and her Google Analytics showed a very low bounce rate.

Zach Spedden, M.A. ’15 – Hagerstown Suns

When you think about baseball, perhaps what first comes to mind are major league teams in major metropolitan areas – the big leagues. But what about minor league baseball teams in more rural areas? How do such teams overcome the problem of attracting audiences, even when their team has won back-to-back championships? Zach Spedden faced such a challenge as student in Loyola’s Emerging Media masters program in his social media campaign on behalf of the Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball team. After conducting extensive primary research he was able to determine two key groups with whom he needed to communicate. To put it simply: there were older fans who had been attending games fairly regularly and a cohort of younger fans for whom the campaign had to spark interest. In other words, the goal of the campaign was to energize the fan base. To that end, Zach developed hashtag campaigns that were directed toward each of these groups. Using hashtags allowed Zach to measure the degree of success of his campaign. The ultimate measure of the campaign’s success was an 11% increase in attendance from the previous season.

Christine Kempf, M.A. ’15 – The Maryland Democratic Party

Politics, for lack of a better term, are Christine’s cup of tea. In her capstone project in Loyola University’s Emerging Media masters program she did an analysis of social media strategies for the Maryland Democratic Party. She conducted extensive research with state and local party officials to develop a better understanding of social media use among different groups – statewide and local – regarding the use of new media. She conducted an extensive media audit for the Democratic Party to assess the various platforms they currently under-utilized. As a result of her communication audit, Christine was able to develop a series of recommendations regarding how the Democratic Party could more effectively utilize new media in order to better reach their target audiences.

Rebecca Heemann, M.A. ’15 – The Yellow Light Project

We all know that cyber bullying is a significant problem. But it seems, after a spate of incidences in recent years, that the issue has fallen off the edge. Even though research shows that cyber bullying has decreased, Rebecca, a student in Loyola’s Emerging Media masters program who is passionate about this issue, wanted to keep parents and teachers focused on cyber bullying, lest it rear its ugly head. In order to keep awareness levels high, the Yellow Light Project was created. The project revolved around an awareness campaign to keep parents and teachers apprised of information this important issue. Rebecca created social media properties, including a Twitter feed and Facebook page. As well, she created a dedicated blog site to write about the issue of cyber bullying. Her personal goal with this project is to become a thought leader to spur further discussion on the issue.

Aliza Friedlander, M.A. ’15 – Emerging Media Master's Program

As the Loyola Emerging Media master’s program entered its third year, it was time to assess how far the program had come and where it was headed; in particular how to communicate the program’s growth and success to prospective, current and past students. Aliza Friedlander created a hashtag campaign -- #weRreal – based on extensive primary research. She determined that although the Loyola Emerging Media program was mostly online, meaning the program was virtual – students wanted a greater sense of social presence. To that end, Aliza wanted to extend social relationships through a communication campaign that included external media platforms, especially establishing a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook. She employed techniques employed by marketers and public relations practitioners to come up with a content strategy that would encourage the target audiences to share events, stories and other information while growing a social network. She was able to promote student ideas through the emergingmedia360.org blog, and she created other tactics, like video testimonials.

Dennis Cornwall, M.A. ’15 – Loneliness, Older Adults and Computer Technology

While enrolled in The User Experience course in the Emerging Media graduate program, Dennis came up with an idea that he turned into a semester-long study regarding the ways in which older adults utilize digital media in their everyday lives. After the course ended and Dennis had to come up with a capstone project as part of the requirement for the master’s degree and returned to this topic. The use of digital media by older adults research project became an extensive ethnographic study of the ways in which older individuals, whether living alone and independently or living in an assistant living facility, utilized smart phones and accessed other digital technologies to stay in touch with family and friends and to keep up with news and information. He concluded that because older adults are the fastest growing age group in the United States, their perceived isolation may lead to adverse health conditions, some of which could be ameliorated by their use of digital technologies. In fact, he found that older adults are indeed interested in adopting newer technologies in their everyday lives, and in his conclusion he calls for the establishment of training and assistance programs.