This page contains selected works and projects from my diverse experience with the online Master of Communication degree program. These projects range from academic research to PowerPoint exercises to short films.
Crisis Communication Strategy
In the 5310 Crisis Communication Strategy course, I designed a complex tabletop crisis exercise centered on a scenario where the leader of an organization was publicly dishonest. This simulation, set against the backdrop of a hypothetical resignation of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, provided an immersive experience for participants by integrating a diverse mix of media resources. These included video clips and news stories, enriching discussions, and key messaging points that participants could utilize. These elements together created an authentic crisis management environment, challenging participants to navigate intricate public relations issues and uphold a credible party narrative. The exercise underscored the significant role of communication professionals in managing public perception and reputation during high-stakes political transitions, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach between immediate damage control and long-term reputation management.
Short Form Video
Dr. Zaynab Quadri, a Mershon Post-Doctoral Scholar, was immersed in the preparations for the 20th-anniversary conference on the Invasion of Iraq at the Mershon Center. As a key figure in the organization, Dr. Quadri was diligently working to ensure that every aspect of the conference was flawlessly executed. From selecting the distinguished panelists to arranging the logistics, she aimed to create an intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking event. With her expertise and passion for Middle Eastern studies, Dr. Quadri's dedication was evident as she meticulously coordinated the conference's schedule, secured notable speakers, and facilitated engaging discussions. This commitment to fostering dialogue and understanding made her an ideal candidate to capture in a "Day in the Life" video, created as the final project for Communication 5510 - Short Form Video at Ohio University. The video not only showcased Dr. Quadri's tireless efforts but also highlighted the significance of the upcoming event and its contributions to academia.
Motion Graphic Elements
In the final project for the Communication 5520 course, I drew on my professional background to craft a hypothetical brand and an associated creative brief for Songbird Strategies. This concept transitions from individual freelancing to a consolidated professional service, geared towards navigating the political communications landscape. Songbird Strategies, underpinned by the personal touch from my freelance endeavors, adopts a singing canary as the emblem of its brand identity. The comprehensive brand design — including logos, color palettes, and typefaces — exudes a friendly yet professional, modern, and accessible image. Selected design elements such as the P22 Mackinac Pro and Montserrat fonts encapsulate both personal heritage and progressive ambitions. The project was capped off with a 30-second commercial that encapsulates the Songbird Strategies' spirit, spotlighting its services and extending an invitation to potential clients to engage.
Social Analytics in Crisis Communication
In a module for the Social Analytics in Crisis Communication course, I designed a study examining social media dialogues and acts of civil disobedience associated with the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion (Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) that potentially threatened to overturn landmark abortion rulings. During this period, I served as the Associate Director and Media Relations representative for the Catholic Conference of Ohio, focusing on the activities of the pro-choice group "Ruth Sent Us" across social media platforms. The group gained notoriety by advocating protests at the residences of Supreme Court justices supportive of overturning Roe and organizing disruptions at Catholic churches throughout the US. My research identified the top contributors to this online discourse as individuals and allied organizations, participating in emotionally charged conversations characterized by strong language and firmly held beliefs. Moreover, hashtags such as #SCOTUS6, referencing the conservative Supreme Court justices, gained prominence during this period. Interestingly, despite the fervent online activity, Catholic Churches in Ohio reported no physical disruptions. My study concludes by drawing attention to the continuing social dialogue in anticipation of a pivotal Supreme Court decision, underscoring the profound connection between social media and real-world political debates.
Social Analytics in Crisis Communication
In my final paper for the 5320 course, I thoroughly explored the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in FEC v. Citizens United on campaign expenditure in American politics, with an emphasis on the marked influence of Donald Trump's 2016 election. I utilized an extensive dataset from the Federal Election Commission and OpenSecrets.org, and to facilitate a clear and impactful understanding of the data, I employed the data visualization tool, Datawrapper. This enabled me to better communicate the shifts and trends in campaign spending across numerous election cycles and the financial influence of external groups. My analysis, aided by the visualizations, revealed that the FEC v. Citizens United ruling—which recognized First Amendment rights of speech for organizations in political campaigns—resulted in a substantial increase in campaign spending, particularly during periods of heightened political polarization post-2016. Furthermore, I identified a significant surge in outside group spending influencing election results since 2016, reaching over a billion dollars. With the escalation in political polarization, I conclude that campaign spending is set to continue its rise, potentially leading to future elections being the most expensive in history.
Strategic Communication Fundamentals
In the Communication 5800 Final project, a comprehensive critical audience assessment was performed for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies at The Ohio State University, which underscores the Center's commitment to fostering interdisciplinary research on national security within a global framework. Recognizing the importance of key audiences, such as academics, graduate students, university officials, the local community, and external stakeholders, the study examined the rationale, unique traits, perceptions, and needs of these groups, specifically focusing on the Mershon faculty affiliates and university officials. Insights were derived through careful evaluation of these audiences, and a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) scorecard was developed to provide actionable guidance for the Center's growth and development. The project further highlighted the alignment between audience needs and the Center's brand aspirations, paving the way for enhanced engagement and a deeper understanding of international security studies.