Student Spotlight

D'Jeane Peters

D’Jeane Peters was born and raised in Grass Range, Montana, and is currently a senior at RMC. In high school she was involved in basketball, 4-H, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, and spent one season as the basketball team mascot. For the 2011-2012 school year, D’Jeane studied abroad at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. This experience shaped many of her interests, and motivated her to travel to other places in the world. At RMC, D’Jeane has participated in many campus activities and clubs, and enjoys skiing, hiking, and taking a variety of classes.

What is your area(s) of study (major/minor)?

Bachelor's of arts in communication studies, bachelor's of science in environmental management and policy, and a minor in Arabic studies.

 Are you involved in athletics, either at the collegiate, intramural, or professional level?

I play intramural ultimate Frisbee every fall and rode with the RMC IHSA Equestrian team my first year at RMC. I love going on Outdoor Rec trips to ski or hike, and last year I completed a 100-mile bike ride with Outdoor Rec.

 Are there other extracurricular activities or organizations that you are a member of, on or off campus?

I am currently the student publications director, and last year I was a copy editor for the Summit, the student newspaper. I am a member of the RMC Environmental Club, and I spearheaded a new fundraiser raising money for the campus-wide recycling program. This also is my second year as a resident assistant in Rimview Hall, and part of that job is to develop meaningful intra-curricular and extra-curricular programming within the residence halls and the campus community. Some of my programs last year were a recycled art competition, a presidential debate viewing party, and an informational meeting about study abroad opportunities at RMC. 

 Is there a class or particular sub-discipline you are especially fond of?

I’m incredibly interested in how communication and mass media plays a role in relations with the U.S. and the Middle East, and I tend to focus my papers and research projects towards those issues. My favorite communications class so far has been communication theory because I liked being able to apply the theories to my life experiences. 

Are there any other special programs (study abroad, internships, honors program, etc.) that you have participated in or will be involved with while at RMC?

I studied abroad in Morocco for a full year during my second year of college. This was an incredibly formative experience in my life, and experiencing cross-cultural challenges early on in my academic career has made me more thoughtful and engaged in world issues. I also interned for three summers with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in their Public Affairs department, which allowed me to use what I’ve learned in both my degree programs. 

How has communication studies played a role in your academic life?

Communication classes teach you how to articulate your ideas clearly and thoughtfully. This has been an enormous help in my environmental management and policy major, where it has been necessary for me to analyze research and articulate my results. Communications and management practices are closely linked.

How has communication studies played a role in your personal life?

I enjoy being able to apply what I’ve learned in my interactions with others. This semester I am really excited for my negotiations class, and I think it will be really useful when I’m interacting with my friends and family. 

Do you have any advice for fellow students in the communication studies program or those considering it as a major or minor?       

Communication studies is a great degree to have no matter what you want to go into. Don’t let people convince you that the communication degree isn’t useful – I’ve known people in the program who have applied what they’ve learned to go into medical school or law school. College works on the rule that you “get out of it what you put into it.” If you spend your time working on something you’re passionate about, you will benefit from that work. 

How do you plan to utilize the skills and concepts in communication studies in your career?

I plan on using my major to go into international development work, and the theories and skills I’ve learned as a communication studies major will be a huge help. Learning about organizational structures and practicing my professional writing skills will be beneficial for any job I have in the future. 

Is there anything else you would like to say about the communication studies program and/or faculty?

The communication studies department has been very supportive of all my goals. When I wanted to study abroad or had scheduling conflicts with classes for my other major, they were willing to help me work around those issues and get the most out of my college experience. 

Holeigh Shafer

Alumni Spotlight

Holeigh Shafer

Holeigh Shafer is from Puyallup, Wash., and has been visiting Billings and the surrounding area for her entire life. It was for that reason that Holeigh discovered and then chose Rocky Mountain College. From a young age Holeigh had always been considered theatrical and dramatic by her friends and family members, and when she found out that RMC had a close-knit theater program, she couldn’t wait to begin.

During her first semester, Holeigh was introduced to the communication studies program through one of Erin Reser’s small group communication classes. Thanks to the teachings of Dr. Reser, Holeigh was able to find a passion for the program and she began to immerse herself into the double major during her sophomore year. Between rehearsals, classes, and homework, Holeigh was becoming a better communicator both on and off stage.

While at RMC, Holeigh was also able to participate in an internship at a radio station in downtown Billings for nearly half a year, and she found a passion for the career. After graduating from RMC this last May, Holeigh moved back to Washington. She has been searching for a job in the radio and TV career fields, while also trying to further her acting career in the Seattle area. She hopes that whatever career she finds, she will remember all of the skills that she received from her communication studies major.

What is your area(s) of study (major/minor)?

I graduated with two bachelor of arts in theater arts performance and communication studies.

Are you involved in athletics, either at the collegiate, intramural, or professional level?

I was not involved with athletics, except as a fan.

Are there other extracurricular activities or organizations that you are a member of, on or off campus?

I was extensively involved with the theatre program, traveling to competitions for KCACTF and RMTA, as well as 2-3 productions on and off campus every year.

Is there a class or particular sub-discipline you are especially fond of?

I enjoyed the majority of the classes I took, but I especially loved rhetoric of protest and dissent and stage makeup.

Are there any other special programs (study abroad, internships, honors program, etc.) that you have participated in or will be involved with while at RMC?

I participated in a radio internship with 98.5 The Wolf for five months while I was a sophomore at RMC.

How has communication studies played a role in your academic life?

Communication studies made me more confident in all my classes because it taught me how to effectively convey my opinions and ideas. Public speaking was able to give me skills and tools that I still use when I’m giving a speech or presentation.

How has communication studies played a role in your personal life?

Communication studies helps with every interaction of my day. I feel comfortable communicating in most situations and try to utilize interpersonal skills with friends, family, and strangers.

Do you have any advice for fellow students in the communication studies program or those considering it as a major or minor?

I started off my college career majoring in only theatre arts performance, but I took a communication studies class my first semester and fell in love with the material. After that, I realized how important communication studies was to every single interaction of my day — it is a great major or minor to pursue and you won’t be sorry.

How do you plan to utilize the skills and concepts in communication studies in your career?

I hope to take the many skills that I learned over my four years in the communication studies program and utilize them in whatever career I may have. I want to be able to communicate precisely and effectively no matter the situation and also be able to help others if they are having difficulties.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the communication studies program and/or faculty?

The communication studies department at RMC provides an amazing program that will truly help students become better communicators. The faculty are amazing people, inside and outside the classroom. They were all extremely helpful in answering questions, listening, and inspiring me to be the best communicator I could be. 

Toryn Rogers

Alumni Spotlight

Toryn Rogers

Toryn Rogers is a fifth-year senior from Laurel, Montana. Born in Colorado Springs, he moved with his family to Montana in 2002, when his mother opened the Backdoor Quilt Shoppe in Billings. While in Colorado, Toryn dabbled in karate and baseball, as well as learning to play guitar and violin. Upon moving north, he played basketball, then moved on to cross country and track in high school. It was at that time that he took an interest in debate, which continues to significantly shape his life, and also participated in Business Professionals of America (BPA).

Now in his fifth year at RMC, Toryn continues to stay busy. Initially a walk-on for the collegiate cross country team, his training under Coach Alan King has led to the running of the Montana and Boston marathons in September 2011 and April 2012, respectively. Debate-wise, he has traveled internationally for training and competition, attending camps and tournaments in Slovenia and Ireland. He is currently working as an administrative assistant on a grant program to teach debate and related skills to students at tribal colleges in Montana, under the leadership of Associate Professor Shelby Jo Long-Hammond (also the debate coach). His tentative post-graduation plan is to spend a year or two away from academia before returning to attend graduate school, preferably at the University of Montana.

What is your area(s) of study (major/minor)?

I am planning on graduating with a double major in communication studies and philosophy and religious thought, as well as minors in political science and pre-law.

Are you involved in athletics, either at the collegiate, intramural, or professional level?

I am a member of the RMC cross country and distance track team and have been for the last four years.

Are there other extracurricular activities or organizations that you are a member of, on or off campus?

In addition to being on the cross country and distance track teams, I have been a part of the debate team since I started attending RMC. I've tried joining other clubs on campus, but there's only twenty-four hours in a day.

Is there a class or particular sub-discipline you are especially fond of?

I enjoy almost anything to do with critical theory in rhetoric, which is a collection of different theories that generally approach human communication with the goal of uncovering and understanding social power dynamics. Some examples of critical theory include gender studies, postcolonialism, Marxist criticism, and postmodernism.

Are there any other special programs (study abroad, internships, honors program, etc.) that you have participated in or will be involved with while at RMC?

I'm currently working on an senior honors thesis examining how suicide is characterized in prevention campaigns. In terms of extracurricular activities, I interned with the Montana Democratic Party last fall as part of Jon Tester's re-election campaign, and I am helping Shelby Jo Long Hammond with her grant program to teach debate at Montana tribal colleges.

How has communication studies played a role in your academic life?

Communication studies has really been a reference point for me; it draws from so many other disciplines and examines so many different areas of human activity that it's fairly simple to draw on that body of knowledge for a project or a class, no matter the subject.

How has communication studies played a role in your personal life?

It's really given me an appreciation for how complex even the simplest everyday interactions can be, and the various ways we each strive to communicate our understanding of reality to others. Of course, it's also kind of ruined film and television for me – I'll catch myself analyzing a movie or show like there's a paper due on it by next week.

Do you have any advice for fellow students in the communication studies program or those considering it as a major or minor?

Communication studies is a good complement to pretty much anything else you could possibly hope to study at RMC, so it's worth considering at least a minor. Also, don't let Shelby bully you into studying it.

How do you plan to utilize the skills and concepts in communication studies in your career?

It's hard to say at this point, since I don't have a career locked in. All I know is that I'll be highly adaptable and will be probably the assistant who takes care of all the mini-crises that spring up.

Is there anything else you would like to say about the communication studies program and/or faculty?

I've been exposed to a lot of opportunities through the program – the faculty is very knowledgeable and well-connected. The best thing is the freedom and versatility the program offers – the only limits to applying its skills and concepts are your imagination and the demands of the situation.

Past Student Spotlights

 
omniupdate
omniupdate