MPC & PCAA News – Winter 2017

By: Danielle Taylor, MPC2015

ProCom Awards Night

Left to Right: MPC award recipients Loren Dingwall, Hallie Anthony, Violet McLeod, Tanya Pobuda. Credit: The School of Professional Communication

The 4th annual ProCom Awards Night was held on Tuesday, November 14, to commemorate students and alumni for their achievements both at Ryerson University and within the greater communication industry.

Since 2014, the department has honoured both graduate and undergraduate students who exemplify ProCom’s academic and professional reputation. Award recipients and their guests were joined by faculty, staff, and community members to recognize outstanding academic scholarship and special merit.

The ceremony was facilitated by ProCom Chair, Dr. Greg Elmer, who had the pleasure of congratulating recipients alongside esteemed invitees, including a special letter of address from Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi, and a video message from the Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), Charles Falzon.

In addition to undergraduate prizes, candidates and alumni from the MPC program were acknowledged for their scholastic achievements.

MPC scholarships were presented by Graduate Program Director Prof. John Shiga, with the help of the Associate Dean of Scholarly, Research and Creative Activities (SRC), Dr. Charles Davis, and the Associate Dean, Programs, Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Dr. Cory Searcy.

The Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) – awarded to the incoming student with the highest-ranking application for admission – was given to MPC candidate Donovan Taplin. The Ontario Graduate Fellowship (OGF) recognizes the incoming student who has distinguished themselves through academic excellence in their application for admission and was granted to MPC candidate Allison Wiseman.

The Dean’s Award for Academic Achievement and the Chair’s Award for Outstanding Performance, bestowed to Class of 2017 alumnae Tanya Pobuda and Violet Macleod respectively, honours academic achievement among graduating students as determined by their grade point average.

This year’s Associate Dean SRC Award for Best Master’s Research Paper was presented to MPC2017 alumna Loren Dingwall for her project The First Prime Minister of the Instagram Age: The Visual Rhetoric and Image management of Justin Trudeau. An Honourable Mention was also awarded to MPC2017 alumna Hallie Anthony for her creative and comprehensive analysis entitled Communicating Through Music: Creating Accessible Songs for Individuals with Memory Loss.

Congratulations to all award recipients – we look forward to celebrating your continued successes as upcoming and future alumni!

MPC Info Night

Dr. John Shiga addresses students’ questions at Info Night. Credit: Danielle Taylor, MPC2015

Prospective students and their supportive guests made up an engaged and captivated audience at the 2017 MPC Info Night held on Tuesday, December 5, at the Rogers Communications Centre at Ryerson.

The annual session is an important recruitment event for the MPC program, providing interested candidates with essential information surrounding the program and application process.

Graduate Program Director, Prof. John Shiga, provided a brief overview of professional communication as a whole before walking potential applicants through degree requirements.

Emphasis was placed on the program’s balance of both theoretical and practical activities, and the level of flexibility and personalization available to cater to individual students’ interests and aspirations.

An attractive component of the degree program, the MPC internship is a prime example of ProCom’s hands-on approach to experiential learning. Graduate Internship Coordinator Prof. Ava Cross spoke to guests about the process, providing an overview of what can be expected before, during, and after the work placement experience.

Representatives from Graduate Admissions and the Centre for Communicating Knowledge (CCK) spoke about available opportunities and resources.  Graduate Program Administrator Mauro Chiera reinforced the importance of a timely application and a detailed letter of intent, while CCK Project Coordinator Jacky Au Duong (MPC2014) shed light on some of the exciting projects taking place at ProCom’s knowledge mobilization hub.

The evening concluded with a live panel conversation with MPC students and alumni who spoke to their experiences leading up to, during, and after graduating from the program. Class of 2018 candidates Linnea Franson and Ahmed Minhas were joined by alumni Nicola Brown (MPC2014) and Richard Francella (MPC2016). Facilitated by ProCom’s Internship and Alumni Liaison Danielle Taylor (MPC2015), the discussion allowed audience members a glimpse at the lives of MPC students and graduates. Current students and faculty members were also in attendance to help answer questions following the session.

If you missed this engaging and informative event, you can watch a recording of the MPC Info Night 2017 online and visit for more information.

Evening with Industry

Event flyer. Credit: Linnea Franson, MPC 2018 candidate

The MPC program is renowned for fostering professional opportunities that engage with the greater communication industry. The MPC Evening with Industry held on Tuesday, December 5, revived the tradition for the Fall 2017 semester.

MPC2018 Class Rep Linnea Franson, and the organizing team consisting of MPC candidates Alanna Graham, Jessica Rodriguez, and Zoe Zettel, engaged a panel of six industry professionals working in diverse areas of communication. With backgrounds ranging from legal and public sectors to branding and telecommunications, the speakers engaged in a lively talk that dealt with a wide range of interesting topics.

Guests included founder and CEO of Think Dirty, Lily Tse, Social Media Officer at the Toronto Police Service, Scott Mills, and Manager of Public Affairs at the Ontario Securities Commission, Kristen Rose. The panel was also comprised of alumnae from the MPC program including Senior Communications Partner at Telus, Elena Iacono, Brand Marketing Coordinator at the University of Toronto, Katherine Fernandez-Blance, and Digital Communications Team Lead at the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Alana Mager.

The audience of MPC students were invited to submit their burning questions for the panel prior to the event, which led to an enriching conversation that covered a variety of subjects, such as professional identity, trends in the job market, mentorship, wellness and work/life balance, media and consumer behaviour, diversity and inclusion, and ethical challenges in contemporary communications.

The MPC Evening With Industry event is hosted by graduate students at the School of Professional Communication during the fall and winter semesters. If you would be interested in participating as a guest panelist, please contact for more information.