Meet Alena Feeney

Following several years in media communications, Alena Feeney desired to create communication campaigns that relayed a message of social change. This desire kicked off her journey into higher education. The journey brought her to Washington State University’s MA in Strategic Communication program. This program not only advanced her academic and professional goals through technical applications, but it also highlighted the art of communication strategy.

While in the program, Alena designed campaigns for conservation organizations that focused on plastic pollution reduction in our oceans. She combined her passion for social change with the applied technical knowledge gained through her research into communication strategies and persuasion.

After graduation, Alena was selected as a Communications Fellow, part of a coalition of emerging Northwest talent hosted by Philanthropy Northwest.  She had a strong standing in her placement in the philanthropic sector and it enriched her views on community engagement and enlivened her desire for ocean conservation outreach.

Parallel to this work, Alena sought new challenges and employed her Master of Arts degree teaching courses at Bellingham Technical College. She is now in her second year of developing curriculum and teaching a three-part certification program in Social Media Marketing.

Why WSU? “Online MA in Strategic Communications has benefited my career, renewed my skills and contributed to my community in ways I never imagined,” she said.

The education Alena earned at WSU provided a foundational understanding of digital communications and new media. The program was able to blend her academic and professional goals while furthering her career interests. It was a passion of interest that would grow to become something even she wouldn’t realize she’d enjoy this much, but this is a prime result of the efforts and results that came from the Murrow Strategic Communications. Not only has it benefitted her career, but it also renewed her skills and got her the job she desired.

These rewards don’t come without challenges though. A challenge that Alena recognized early was that learning in an online environment demands time management, self-direction and applied effort to build connection and rapport with professors and colleagues.

When asked about her reasons for choosing WSU’s MA in Strategic Communications, she stated: “In the program, I learned about communication campaign development, persuasion and ethics and design technology and these new skills are used every day in my work.” She said, “I also produced a portfolio of work that I am proud to share with prospective employers today.”  Alena Feeney’s graduate portfolio can be viewed here: hawaiigirl808.com

Ms. Feeney continues to advance the field of communications through campaign development for local organizations and through her academic pursuit of a Doctorate in Communications.

Author: Pritha Agarwal, Oct 2018

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