A new doctoral program in multi-sectoral communication focused on innovation

June 21, 2022

As the communications industry evolves, so do the educational opportunities at St. John’s University.

The University’s new doctoral program in Multi-Sector Communication prepares students for innovative careers in an ever-changing industry. Developed by Basilio G. Monteiro, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Division of Mass Communication and Director of the Master’s Program in International Communication, its cross-departmental nature reflects the broad influence of media and communication in society.

“Communication is more than how you choose your words,” Dr. Monteiro said. “Without communication, nothing happens in society, so we explore all aspects of society – politics, economics, diplomacy and international relations – through the prism of communication.”

Dr. Monteiro, who is also director of the University’s Institute of International Communication, began work on the program in 2018 and it launched with nine students in spring 2021. Enrollment increased to 13 students this fall . Registration for fall 2022 continues.

“Communication is not a well-defined industry these days,” said Ph.D. candidate Tara DeWorsop, a 35-year-old nonprofit development professional from Brooklyn, NY.

“We are looking at how things like social media can impact global politics and how communication can impact a number of different sectors. This program helps you think about communication in a different way.

A graduate of Rutgers University with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and an MBA from New York University, Tara was drawn to the diversity of St. John’s Ph.D. program. He has about 18 months of study left. In the meantime, she and several colleagues will present a paper on the impact of global misinformation at a research symposium on the St. John’s campus in Rome, Italy this summer.

Hanying Wu, Tara DeWorsop, and Shweta Dilip Singh Sinha, Ph.D.

She will be joined by Andrew White, a 39-year-old higher education administrator from Richmond Hill, Queens. With two master’s degrees, Andrew relishes the opportunity to work with Dr. Monteiro, whom he calls “one of the best human beings” he has ever met.

“When I heard he was starting a PhD in multi-sectoral communication program, I asked, ‘what is that?’ “Said Andrew. “But I saw a connection not just to the field of communications, but to a whole other set of industry needs. The program offers an in-depth analysis of how so many aspects of the industry are intertwined and the impact of media on this.

The program is open to holders of a master’s degree. Thirty post-master’s credits are required in courses ranging from crisis communication, science and technology studies, data analysis, economics, and more. Dr. Monteiro said the program is ideal for those considering careers in corporate and strategic communications, communications technology, and academia.

Students receive six additional credits for completing a thesis. Full-time students can complete the Ph.D. program in three to three and a half years or perhaps sooner; part-time students can complete the program in five to five and a half years.

The St. John’s program is modeled after similar programs at the London School of Economics and the University of Leicester in England, and is ideal for working professionals, Dr. Monteiro said. The whole cohort meets him every week on Wednesday evenings.

“For some, a doctorate. programs in the United States can be time- and cost-intensive,” said Dr. Monteiro, describing the benefits of the St. John’s program.

The program attracts students from a variety of backgrounds. The 2022 student mix includes diplomats, economists, lawyers, engineers, clergy, and many who aspire to careers in academia.

Dr. Monteiro attributed the diversity of student backgrounds to the forward-looking nature of the curriculum. “The media always emerges,” he explained. “Where does it go next is the question to explore.”


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