Being in the Strategic Communication PhD program at UCF has taught me many things. The obvious, of course, is theory building, writing academic research papers, quantitative and qualitative research methods and preparing and writing a dissertation. Some things that I didn’t expect to learn are adapting to new situations and the fact that strategic communication can apply to so many fields including health, intercultural, instructional, popular culture, within organizations, and communities. I got a unique perspective on the field by being able to interview faculty about their research interests and projects that they have accomplished.  

There are so many elements in communication which makes it such a broad and interesting subject. Oftentimes I have been asked, “so what do you want to do with this?” Followed by a raised eyebrow and their head tilting to the side, questioning the field of communication as a whole. With a PhD, I can become a professor like my parents. Perhaps I can gain more experience in the discipline and work from there.

I have been particularly interested in health communication for many years. Beginning with my interest in speech and debate in middle and high school coupled with my major in communication in undergrad, I knew this was where I was meant to be. These skills are so important in the medical field because effectively disseminating health information to individuals can be a difficult task (just look at what happened during COVID-19).  

Although this is what I am interested in pursuing, there are so many career opportunities in which other students like me can follow. For example, with the rise of AI and communication technology, there is still so much research to be done in this space. I think it’s important to note that with all of this knowledge, it is imperative that we take what we learned and apply it beyond the classroom setting whether it is engaging with a community or simply being in a workplace environment. Being able to employ our skills in the real world and solve relevant issues will make quite an impact across communication contexts. 

Written by Majdulina Hamed.

Published to Nicholson News on June 4th, 2024.

If you have any news, accomplishments or highlights about your work or life, please be sure to share them with us, by emailing us at