Dana Anthony is a second-year strategic communication master’s student in UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Her interests include diversity, and intercultural and international relations. “I hope to help business organizations initiate, build and manage successful relationships with their audiences and eliminate any cultural imbalances that limit opportunities for everyone.”
What made you choose UNC-Chapel Hill when deciding on a program/place to study?
For me, it was extremely important to find a program that allowed me to develop lasting relationships with the other students in my cohort, faculty and staff. I was leaving a job that I had in corporate America for 10 years to complete my graduate studies. I wanted to be a part of a program that offered not only education but also experience, networking opportunities and relationships. I wanted to be available for every opportunity presented that would allow me to grow and be exposed to new ways of learning and being. I reached out to some of the faculty and staff in the Hussman School to learn more about the program before applying. Their professional experience, and enthusiasm about learning who I was as a person and how they could support me solidified UNC-Chapel Hill as my first choice. Also, being one of the top universities in the country providing academic excellence in journalism and media didn’t hurt.
Tell us about your research.
For my research, I am focusing on how to increase the number of high school students of color who participate in international educational exchange programs. Currently, the majority of students who participate in these programs are middle-to-high-class white Americans, which is not an accurate representation of America. So, I’m working with the U.S. Department of State to research why students of color are not applying and participating in these programs. I’ll analyze the branding of the programs and recruitment practices of placement agencies and talk to parents to understand their views on studying abroad. I’m hoping to identify challenges, gaps and opportunities, and develop a recommendation for the U.S. Department of State to utilize in an effort to increase the number of students of color who participate in these programs, so that America is properly represented across national borders in our public diplomacy initiatives.
What does it mean to you to be a first-generation graduate student in your family?
Being a first-generation graduate student means a lot to me! I used to call myself “the interrupter” because I tend to interrupt a lot of mediocrity and tradition that surround me. I have a 17-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son, so being a first-generation graduate student not only paves the way for them and the generations that will follow, but I also believe that it will give them permission to explore and achieve any goals they have. Especially if the generations prior did not accomplish it.
What are you hoping to accomplish with your Carolina degree?
I hope to use communication and storytelling to influence how people understand different communities, groups, nations, cultures and places. I hope that my work will increase tolerance, understanding and respect among different communities. I hope that my work provides new opportunities for the underrepresented, both professionally and personally.