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Future Journalism PhD Uses STJR Education to Teach and Learn

Posted July 18, 2014

roma-subramanianGrowing up in Mumbai, India, Roma Subramanian dreamed of a career where she could combine her training in the sciences and her passion for writing. Today she is a PhD student at the University of Missouri’s journalism school, where her STJR education has proved most valuable.

As an STJR student, she learned what fine writing “looks like” thanks to her classwork and her graduate assistantship as a science writer with CVM Today. “Now I know how much effort, practice, and revision it takes,” she said. That experience has helped her publish her research. A scholarly article based on the thesis she wrote for the STJR program was published by Journalism Practice earlier this year.

In the STJR program Roma also learned what good teaching looks like, and as teacher of undergraduate journalism classes she follows those practices. “I always try to encourage and push my students to achieve excellence because I know that’s what [Dr. Barbara Gastel] expected of me,” Roma said, referring to the STJR program coordinator.

Roma’s doctoral research focuses on health communication. Topics she has studied include portrayals of suicide in college newspapers and their effects on students, smokers’ responses to anti-tobacco public service announcements, and the relationship between narcissism and self-esteem in Facebook users. She expects to receive her PhD in 2015 and hopes to become a professor and continue her research.

Roma received her master’s degree in STJR in 2011. Before joining the program in 2009, she worked at Cactus Communications in Mumbai, editing manuscripts for submission to scientific journals. She also has a bachelor’s degree in botany from Ramnarain Ruia College in Mumbai and a master’s degree in life sciences from the University of Mumbai.



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