Meet Some of Our Ph.D. Students

Whitney Sessa, second-year Ph.D. student

Whitney Sessa received her M.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Miami in 2009 and bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Florida in 2008. Prior to starting our doctoral program, she worked as a communications coordinator for Barry University, providing media relations support to the university while also practicing internal communications as the editor for Barry’s internal website BUCWIS, an online daily newsletter designed for faculty and staff. In addition to practicing media relations, Sessa has also worked as freelance writer for several South Florida publications, including The Miami Herald, the South Florida Times, and The Miami Times, and for the national online publication

Paola Pascual-Ferrá, third-year Ph.D. student

Paola Pascual-Ferra received her M.A. in Public Communication from American University and a bachelor’s in Political Science from Princeton University. She also teaches courses in Communication Theory, Public Speaking, and Intercultural Communication. Her areas of research include interpersonal, intercultural and political communication. Prior to being here, Paola taught courses in Understanding Media, Communication Theory, Public Relations, and Censorship and the Media in the School of Communication at American University in Washington, DC. From 2008-09, she worked in the Office of Communications at the Federal Election Commission, offering guidance to the regulated community and leading agency outreach efforts during and after the 2008 Presidential election. She has over 10 years of work experience, most of which she spent managing strategic communication programs in the private, non-profit and government sectors. She has worked both inside advertising and public relations agencies as well as on the client side. She has also volunteered her time to furthering education programs such as the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, The Esperanza Education Fund, Take Stock in Children, and Language ETC, an organization offering affordable English-language education programs to immigrants. Check out her recent publication here.

To read more about some of doctoral students, click here.


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