Finals Survival Tips from Your Fellow Huskies

Finals week is stressful. As the dreaded week before winter break rolls around, I’m sure everyone is asking themselves the same question, “what should I be doing to prepare?’ Instead of Googling “Tips for Finals Week,” I decided to go old school this year and ask students on campus what they actually find helpful for […]

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Time Management Tips

By: Meghan Farrell Communication Major & Economics Minor, 2019 As a student who juggles multiple jobs, a full-course load and community involvement, I had assumed that simply having many responsibilities would be enough to make me “good at time management.” However, in college I quickly learned that time management skills do not come automatically from […]

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Learning to Love UConn

By: Elizabeth Collins Political Science & Linguistics/Psychology, 2022 As a UConn first-year, it’s interesting to watch my friends who are high school seniors endeavor through the college application process. It’s allowed me to reflect on my personal experience with the procedure which, despite the fact that it was in the fall of 2017, still feels like […]

[Read More]

4 Things I Learned From My First Internship

My first internship happened to be on the earlier side – the summer after my Freshman year. I had no idea of what I wanted to do as my career, let alone that summer. At that time I was currently a Spanish major and preparing to apply to the business school. However, I was fortunate […]

[Read More]

My Education Abroad Experience

Imagine it’s February and you’re wearing nothing heavier than a light coat. You’re walking on the cobblestone streets heading towards the Ponte Vecchio while eating the best gelato in the world and you have plans to travel to Spain the next weekend with your newfound friends. For me, I could never picture that being my […]

[Read More]
photo of Sharde Davis

Prof. Shardé Davis receives AAUW Fellowship

Assistant Professor of Communication Shardé Davis is the 2018-19 recipient of the American Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research Leave awarded by the American Association for University Women (AAUW). The primary purpose of the Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship is to increase the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions and to promote equality for women in higher education. This fellowship […]

[Read More]

People of Color & Interpersonal Communication

As the Spring 2018 semester began, Communication students were buzzing about the new courses that had been added to the course catalog. One of the new courses, People of Color and Interpersonal Communication (COMM 4222) taught by Professor Shardè Davis, has been particularly popular amongst students. The objectives of this course are to observe the […]

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From the Court to Class – WBB Player Kia Nurse’s Senior Thesis

Senior Communication student and UConn Women’s Basketball player Kia Nurse is finishing up her collaboration with East Hartford Middle School for her thesis about young female athletes. Despite her busy practice schedule, Kia has been meeting with a group of students from East Hartford Middle School to work on their communication, leadership and teamwork skills. […]

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COMM Society’s 5th Annual Public Speaking Competition

Every year for the past 5 years, the Communication Society has hosted their Annual Public Speaking Competition. Students from all majors and backgrounds audition to win the title of “UConn’s Best Public Speaker”. The 2018 competition is just around the corner, taking place on the evening of April 9th. “The competition is a way for […]

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Finals Survival Tips from Your Fellow Huskies

December 3, 2018

Finals week is stressful. As the dreaded week before winter break rolls around, I’m sure everyone is asking themselves the same question, “what should I be doing to prepare?’

Instead of Googling “Tips for Finals Week,” I decided to go old school this year and ask students on campus what they actually find helpful for them before or during finals week.  Here are some of their favorite stress relievers and go-to study tips:

STRESS RELIEF

“Meditation definitely helps me. I have this app called Aura and it’s amazing for stress and anxiety.” – Sidney Rochlin ‘19 (CLAS)

“It always helps me to talk things out to someone else.” – Ellie Grafstein ‘19 (BUS)

“If I have a chance to, Yoga really helps me clear my head.” – Katie Grigely ‘20 (ED)

“Don’t pull all-nighters, get sleep!!!” – Julianna Vinciguerra ‘19 (NUR)

“I actually clean my apartment as my stress reliever.” – Kelly Pagoto ‘19 (BUS)

Sometimes I just say to myself ‘I’m doing nothing and I deserve it’…that usually ends up with me watching Netflix and a face mask!” – Joni Cotter ‘19 (CLAS)

“My go-to is cooking or baking. Then I binge eat most of it…” – Amanda D’arbanville ‘19 (BUS)

 

STUDY TIPS

“Hand writing a study guide with the most important things. Handwriting is really helpful with memorization.” – Nicole Williams ‘19 (BUS)

“I really try to start studying at least a week before and devote around 30 minutes to an hour every day for that one exam until the actual test day.” – Kwaku Gyasi ‘19 (CLAS)

“Quizlet’s test mode is really good for studying! They make it so simple.” – Liz Gallucci ‘19 (BUS)

“I plan out step-by-step what I need to do for the week on my calendar to make sure I stay organized.” – Marisa Nazzaro ‘20 (ED)

“Well first I have a good cry…just kidding! But using color coded highlighters is definitely my lifesaver.” – Avery Adams ‘19 (CLAS)

 

I hope by reading about how other students on your campus use their time to succeed during finals week was helpful—and, at least, comforting, to know you’re not the only one, and we’re all in this together.  I know I’m definitely am going to try some of their study tips and stress relievers!

While taking advice about this upcoming week it is important to remember, no matter how many articles you read about tips for studying, everyone is different and not everything will work for you. Even though studying is important, taking breaks is important, too. Taking stock of HOW you spend those breaks, might help you make the most of them and get the maximum benefit.

I hope one of these tips from your fellow Huskies will help you get through these exams and onto the holiday break that you so very richly deserve. Good luck to all!

 

Time Management Tips

November 12, 2018

By: Meghan Farrell

Communication Major & Economics Minor, 2019

As a student who juggles multiple jobs, a full-course load and community involvement, I had assumed that simply having many responsibilities would be enough to make me “good at time management.” However, in college I quickly learned that time management skills do not come automatically from the addition of more tasks, but the quality and impact of your work really matters, too. My work experiences have taught me that careers in communication require excellent time management ability as one must manage multiple deadlines, competing priorities and diverse audience needs—all while ensuring a high standard of attentiveness to detail.

 

One of the most important tokens of advice I received was to consider time management not as a standalone skill, but a combination of them. In the spirit of paying forward, I offer my own tokens of advice on time management.

 

Start with the Work That Matters Most. My first tip is to identify the work that energizes you, particularly when there are pressing demands on your time. Deadlines are going to conflict, emergencies are going to arise, meetings will be rescheduled, someone is going to hate your first draft; however, if you are passionate about the work you will find the energy to push through and move to the next task.

 

Make a Working List. I also recommend keeping a fluid to-do list. Planning and organization are among the most obvious time management skills, but it is easy to get overwhelmed if you are resistant to adapting your plans. I often block out time for specific work and school responsibilities, but I also ensure that I evaluate my task list at least twice daily. Reflecting on your to-do lists can also help you come up with creative ways to take advantage of the “slow” parts of your day. I listen to recorded lectures or relevant podcasts on my commute to my internship to reinforce material from classes, and I spend time between classes strategizing article or design ideas.

 

Keep Communication Channels Open. Working as a member of a team is common in many upper level courses, and it’s the norm in most office environments. Communication, delegation and empathy help you manage time in a team environment for efficient work flows. Clear communication and delegation of responsibilities, from the start, will help your team succeed. In my school projects, I create task communication documents in Google Docs that outline objectives for the project, allow people to sign up for the tasks that align to their strengths and track progress to hold everyone accountable. The tracking document also helps identify challenges early on, so that you can intervene effectively before tensions build or it’s too late to solve a problem effectively.

 

Practice Self-Care. One of the most important lessons that I have learned to improve time management skills is how to manage stress. Anyone who took Interpersonal Communication knows that stress can have damaging effects on both your mental and physical well-being. Understanding how you can respond effectively to stress and setbacks will make you stronger when you face your next challenge. Thus, it’s important to also develop your coping skills as a co-requisite of your time-management skillset.

 

Stress Doesn’t Breed Creativity. Especially in a career where you are called upon to think creatively, it is important to give yourself mental breaks to recharge. There are many ways to manage stress, so it is important to find what works best for you. For example, I love the outdoors, and I will often casually write content while sitting outside: I remember one article that I wrote in September at 4,580’ elevation, nestled in the White Mountains. Being in nature allows me to clear my head and broaden my perspective so that I can tackle my next assignment with a renewed focus.

Learning to Love UConn

October 31, 2018

By: Elizabeth Collins

Political Science & Linguistics/Psychology, 2022

As a UConn first-year, it’s interesting to watch my friends who are high school seniors endeavor through the college application process. It’s allowed me to reflect on my personal experience with the procedure which, despite the fact that it was in the fall of 2017, still feels like a week ago. Despite the ups and downs that came with the transition to college, I haven’t had a single regret about choosing Storrs as my home for the next four years.

Since I’ve been a Connecticut resident my whole life, I’ve grown up right with UConn. I look back fondly on when I fawned over the women’s basketball team in third grade; I remember signing up for ECE courses every year of high school; and, I think about all of the news I’ve consumed about the school and all of the informal campus tours I’ve taken because my father is an alumnus.

Naturally, when it came time to choose universities to which I’d apply, picking UConn was a no-brainer; it felt like a rite of passage as a Connecticut high school senior. However, having grown up in a wealthy, academically competitive town, I faced internal stigma throughout the entire process of applying, extending even to summer orientation. While the bulk of my classmates were attending private universities and Ivy League schools, I felt anything but special being a part of UConn’s class of 2022. The notions of UConn as ‘high school 2.0’ because of the many neighbors who studied there and it being considered a ‘last resort’ school stuck with me throughout the entirety of my senior year and up until the first day of classes. I felt defeated, even before my first graded assignment.

With one semester almost under my belt, I can definitively say that none of my worries or hypotheticals came to fruition. Instead of falling asleep because of boring lectures, I’ve been taking riveting and challenging classes with intelligent and complex professors. Rather than feeling alone and disappointed, I’ve attended the fall involvement fair and signed up for the women’s rugby team and clubs like PIRG, all of which I look forward to every single day. In place of hating and not engaging with my new school, I’ve cheered on teams in Gampel, attended several Late Night events, painted the Spirit Rock, toured the Benton, eaten at the Dairy Bar, pulled late nights in Babbidge, and even petted Jonathan XIV. With each new activity I try and every new place I discover, I fall in love with UConn even more– and realize how wrong the negative little voice in my head was.

With the plethora of resources on campus, I’ve been able to see how exceptional a UConn education is and where it can take me after I graduate. Every day, I’m reminded of how I made the right choice in choosing to attend UConn. With all of the newfound pride in my school and state, it’s difficult to not want to spread all of the joy I’ve found in my college experience. At the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that the stigma surrounding attending UConn as a CT resident or attending a public university in general is useless; it was just a mental product of my upbringing in a seemingly perfect town. With all the negativity aside, I’ve been able to open my eyes and discover how rewarding it is to live in Storrs and attend a university with a beautiful campus and a perfect level of academic rigor.

Even when looking at my friends who attend Harvard, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, or Northeastern, I have no regrets choosing UConn above all of the schools I was accepted into. During the year-long process of applying and enrolling into a college, if anything, I’ve learned that your college experience isn’t what someone else wants it to be or tells you it has to be; your time is truly what you make of it, no matter where you are. You’ll look back and remember all of the friends you made, the traditions you took part in, and the stress you experienced that was ultimately worth it; and you’ll realize that what will matter are the memories, not how expensive your tuition was.

4 Things I Learned From My First Internship

October 24, 2018

My first internship happened to be on the earlier side – the summer after my Freshman year. I had no idea of what I wanted to do as my career, let alone that summer. At that time I was currently a Spanish major and preparing to apply to the business school. However, I was fortunate enough, and an internship at a New York City Public Relations agency presented itself through a family connection. This PR agency happens to value its confidentiality and privacy of their clients. However, while searching for the other two internships I have had, I used primarily LinkedIn while also searching Husky Career Link.

This specific company had their internship set like a rotational program. They made sure that every couple of weeks, we switched from one area of the company to another. My ‘stops’ around the office were Social Media, Crisis Management, Public Relations and Events. Throughout this program the agency made sure to include ‘Lunch & Learns’ for us five interns. Those lunches consisted of us meeting with those in high positions, including the two founders of the company, and listening to their experiences and advice while getting to ask them questions we had. Lastly, the program also had the interns complete an end of the summer project where we worked together in groups, created and presented a PR pitch to six people from the agency.

I learned a lot that summer, but here are a few of the main takeaways from that internship experience:

1. Never be Afraid to Ask
Never having had an internship before, I was not aware of most programs and terminology in the Communication field. Jumping into something that fast-paced can definitely be scary and overwhelming; however, your supervisor is there to help you. By asking how to do something or what way they want something done can be extremely helpful to learning how a company formats their work. As the program progressed I became more confident, as l realized that I didn’t have to rely only on what I knew, but that I could rely on the collective wisdom of those around me.

2. How to Network
During a Lunch & Learns with one of the company founders, he stressed the importance of networking and challenge us to complete networking goals throughout our time there. Each rotation in the program, we were each placed with three or so people in that area of the company. I followed that advice, and set the goal of keeping in regular contact with everyone I’d worked with on my rotations. Whether it was saying good morning or stopping by during the day for a quick word, the simple gesture made my time there more enjoyable and it helped create connections for later. I also made sure to connect with those I worked with on LinkedIn and I made sure to get their email as well. I made sure to reach out to them when I was finished the internship, to make sure the relationship I built during my time with the company did not end once I left.

3. How to be Organized
Throughout this internship, we were constantly on the move, learning new things almost daily. It was important that with all the information we were gaining, we had to keep it separated into their specific areas of work—such as, for example, crisis management. In order to keep our work organized, this company gave me a folder to hold all of my information. In the folder, they had already placed some quick tips and helpful reference guides, in case I needed any clarification on general areas of work. From there on out, I would print out everything that I did, with approval of course, and put it into the folder. By doing so, I was able to see what I learned from each of the four sections of the company, as well as producing a small ‘portfolio’ of what I had done that summer.

4. Realized What I Liked and What I Didn’t
Even though this was my first internship in the communication field (or at all, for that matter), I was able to learn that I was heading in the right direction of what I wanted to do after I graduate. I was able to experience, first hand, some of the different possibilities that a communication major can offer. Because I enjoyed my experience so much, I even went on to find another PR internship the next summer, at another agency, which helped confirm my strong feelings towards a career in PR. In my second internship I was truly able to hone in on what I liked and what I didn’t. I realized that although I enjoyed working at an agency, I wanted to do something more specific, like a brand. I wanted to learn how to work for one specific company, to understand the brand identity and make relationships with the brand itself.

Without having this first internship, I would have never been able to explore the field of communication represented by Public Relations, and understand my own particular interests within PR. Some people might worry about not having a positive or enjoyable experience, but I would say you still would learn a lot, even from the negative moments. I learned that even if this were the case, you still would learn that the job is not the best fit for you. Sometimes you have to learn what you don’t like, before you can learn what you DO like!

My Education Abroad Experience

September 26, 2018

Imagine it’s February and you’re wearing nothing heavier than a light coat. You’re walking on the cobblestone streets heading towards the Ponte Vecchio while eating the best gelato in the world and you have plans to travel to Spain the next weekend with your newfound friends. For me, I could never picture that being my life, especially in college. Before studying abroad, I was never a big traveler and had never left the country. I was born and raised in Connecticut, as well as attending UConn, so applying to study somewhere that was that far where people spoke an entirely different language seemed scary to me. After hearing my friends discuss the application process, I decided to join in and research. Soon after, I realized my interest was prominent enough to apply. The website made the checklist clear and manageable. As the application deadline came closer and I had officially applied, I became more and more eager to actually go. At that point I was unsure of what place was right for me but after speaking to the abroad advisors, I realized Florence, Italy was the perfect fit. I was drawn to how Florence was a city, but on a smaller scale. The history and unique culture made me feel like that place could be my home, all while learning about my family heritage. The city, people, and classes could not have done a better job of making that come true.

A couple months later, I got off the plane and was in an entirely new country. The first week was a blur, exploring new sights and settling into my Italian apartment. Soon, once classes started, a more structured schedule helped me make the most of my time every day. In my semester there, I took four classes: Social Media, Italian, Intercultural Communication, and the Art of Buon Fresco. Luckily for me, two of my courses provided valuable knowledge in my future career as well as my major.

Social Media took us step by step on how to create interesting, eye catching posts as well as how to build your audience reach. In that class, we took “field trips” and went to the major sites, such as the Boboli Garden, to take pictures for our Instagram account we created for the course. In Intercultural Communication, we discussed how important it is to be culturally sensitive and aware. Also, in that course, we interacted with students from the University of Florence regularly and discussed topics together such as stereotypes. For my Communication major, these courses helped me gain skills and perspective on what may be asked of me later on in my upcoming career.

While those two helped me with my career path, all four guided me through the culture while I was there. Italian, of course, gave me the basic understanding of the language that I was able to speak, or at least try to, with the locals (which they greatly appreciated). Florence is known for their beautiful artwork around the city, thus why the Art of Buon Fresco provided me with insight and background of the famous works of art I was seeing every day. One of our lessons in that class was a trip to Palazzo Pitti. We walked through the palace’s historic rooms and discussed the fresco’s we saw, their techniques and meanings. After that class, places like Palazzo Pitti are no longer just beautiful pieces of architecture, they tell a story through the artwork within about what life was like during that time period. Without taking these classes, I would have never known about the culture and everyday life in another country the way I do now.

Although my courses happened to teach me about subjects in my major, every course you take will still help you in the future. Think about it: you are in an entirely new country, whichever you choose, and you are in a classroom. The professor will be from that area and will be able to give you lessons from their local perspective. Already, you will begin to understand and learn what the people from that country think and think about. Also, once you live outside of the U.S. for a while, you are able to learn about an entirely new culture and find new ways to empathize with those not from your background. You are able to work on your ability to think bigger and outside of what you know. That alone will help you in the future. The independence, confidence and experience that you had there will follow you for a lifetime.

I was hesitant about going at first; however, thankfully I made the right choice for me as I would never take that time back. I believe this was the best adventure for me to grow as a person thanks to my informative classes and open mind each day I was there. So with the application deadline approaching, my advice to you would be to research more about studying abroad. What could it mean for you? Where would be your perfect place? If you think this could be right for you, apply for this amazing opportunity! If you are even thinking about, or want to know more about study abroad, speak to your academic advisor as well as the abroad advisors! You never know if it’s right for you unless you try.

Prof. Shardé Davis receives AAUW Fellowship

August 30, 2018

Assistant Professor of Communication Shardé Davis is the 2018-19 recipient of the American Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research Leave awarded by the American Association for University Women (AAUW). The primary purpose of the Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship is to increase the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions and to promote equality for women in higher education. This fellowship is designed to assist the candidate in obtaining tenure and further promotions by enabling her to spend a year pursuing independent research.

People of Color & Interpersonal Communication

April 23, 2018

As the Spring 2018 semester began, Communication students were buzzing about the new courses that had been added to the course catalog. One of the new courses, People of Color and Interpersonal Communication (COMM 4222) taught by Professor Shardè Davis, has been particularly popular amongst students.

The objectives of this course are to observe the impact of race, ethnicity, and culture on interpersonal interactions and survey key theories and empirical works of past and current race relations in the U.S., negotiation of identity, and ways identity is communicated in various personal relationships. Professor Davis teaches students about the communication theories that may be relevant to many people of color that are not thoroughly covered in any other course within the university.

Students learn through many different personal experiences throughout the course. For example, students complete a project where they observe race relations in a public place on campus, and they also partake in a privilege walk to understand the different intersecting forms of identity and oppression. Students are able to gain knowledge from one another through this experiential method of learning. The classroom cultivates meaningful and productive conversation about the relations between communication and race.

Professor Davis hopes that students are able to learn theories and language that will help them understand the experiences that they go through in their lives. This class builds upon the interpersonal communication courses that students have already taken while intertwining aspects of diversity in communication. People never stop communicating, and this course teaches students how to communicate more effectively with a more diverse population.

Professor Davis stressed the importance of keeping the course relevant. Race relations in America and the world are always changing, and because of that, so will class discussions and projects. She emphasized the need to make the class relevant to the world around us and the experiences that her students are going through.

Students are thrilled to have a course like this at the university, and many of them can’t stop talking about their experiences with the course. A current student stated, “I like this course because I’m able to hear different perspectives on life and how their experiences shaped those perspectives. I would describe the class as a place where a group of students are able to have meaningful and insightful conversations about topics that our society has deemed as taboo. Dr. Davis is a great professor that has taught me valuable life lessons that I can use outside the classroom to be not only a better member of society but more importantly, a better person overall”.

The course will be offered online in the Summer of 2018 for any interested students. For any questions about the course or Dr. Davis’ research, you can email her at sharde.davis@uconn.edu

From the Court to Class – WBB Player Kia Nurse’s Senior Thesis

April 20, 2018

Senior Communication student and UConn Women’s Basketball player Kia Nurse is finishing up her collaboration with East Hartford Middle School for her thesis about young female athletes. Despite her busy practice schedule, Kia has been meeting with a group of students from East Hartford Middle School to work on their communication, leadership and teamwork skills.

Kia’s goal for the project was to create a program where young female athletes could understand the benefits of sports other than just winning and losing. “A lot of research shows girls quit sports once they get to high school, they lose confidence in it, it’s not cool anymore, but there’s so many benefits. The team work, the communication, the discipline that you learn through it. That’s why you have to keep playing” stated Kia.

She has enjoyed her time working with these students and she plans on continuing to stay a part of their lives in the future. She hopes that her students learn that, “there’s always going to be someone in the world that’s bigger, faster, stronger, more talented than you. But if you can always work hard in everything that life puts in front of you, it’s noticed more”.

COMM Society’s 5th Annual Public Speaking Competition

April 4, 2018

Every year for the past 5 years, the Communication Society has hosted their Annual Public Speaking Competition. Students from all majors and backgrounds audition to win the title of “UConn’s Best Public Speaker”. The 2018 competition is just around the corner, taking place on the evening of April 9th.

“The competition is a way for UConn students to have a strong opinion or idea, and be able to express it while providing evidence to support their opinion” says Public Speaking Competition Chair Jessica Devitto. Students will be suiting up and practicing their public speaking techniques that they’ve learned throughout their time as an undergraduate student. The contest features 5 excited students that will be judged by three esteemed judges. The judges this year are the Comm Department’s Professor Amanda Denes, WFSB-TV and Connecticut’s CBS affiliate Caitlin Nuclo, and NBC Connecticut’s political reporter Max Reiss.

Year after year, the COMM Society searches for participants with “previous public speaking experience, charisma and an overall confidence that will light up the stage” says Devitto. Any undergraduate student is welcome to audition, which diversifies the participants and brings interesting perspectives to the event. This year’s topic is “What impact is social media having on our personal relationships?”. Each contestant will have the opportunity to speak out about whether or not they feel social media is having a positive or negative influence on people’s personal relationships through multiple rounds.

The competition is composed of 3 different rounds. The first round consists of prepared speaking, where each contestant will deliver their take on the subject in under 5 minutes. During the second round, contestants will be asked a short question by the judges based on their first speech, and they will have 2 minutes to give a response to the question. In the third and final round, contestants will be presented with an impromptu topic by the host, and the contestants will be given 15 minutes to formulate their 4 minute response. At the end of the third round, the judges will award one contestant as UConn’s best public speaker, and they will distribute $400 in awards.

Devitto stated, “This event is heavily anticipated by the members of the Communication Society because we get to see their months of hard work pay off. We also love attending because it is a way to gather the COMM community together to recognize accomplishments while building friendships”. Along with the rest of the Communication Society, Devitto has spent months working to make the event run smoothly.

Overall the COMM Society sees this as an opportunity for students to have their thoughts and ideas heard by people of different ages, races, and genders. It allows for contestants to get joy out of knowing they did something they might never have thought about doing before. As the competition rapidly approaches, we’re looking forward to being blown away by the contestants for the 5th year in a row, and we hope to see many familiar faces in the crowd.

 

Event details:

Monday April 9, 6-8pm, Student Union Theater

Questions? Contact Jessica Devitto at jessica.devitto@uconn.edu

Women Making History at UConn

March 30, 2018

The month of March is very special to the Department of Communication because it is Women’s History Month. We are lucky to have so many women faculty members that are constantly innovating the field of Communications and making history. Some of these amazing women have compiled words of wisdom to share with other women who are looking to be history makers themselves.

 

Amanda Denes Ph.D.Amanda Denes is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication. Her research focuses on communication in various types of interpersonal relationships such as romantic relationships, parent-child relationships, and friendships.

 

“One piece of advice is to make sure you find time to take care of yourself. There are so many struggles that women face on a daily basis that can be emotionally and mentally draining, so looking out for our own mental health and well-being is pivotal. There is sometimes stigma around mental health issues, but it’s so important for women to have an outlet and place to discuss struggles. Part of our gendered society is that women are often taxed with managing other people’s problems, fixing everything for everyone, doing the unpaid emotional labor, etc… it’s important to take time for yourself, whether that be finding a great therapist, practicing yoga or meditation, going on a run, or taking time for any other forms of self-care. For me, part of this also means having a great network of female friends. I am so fortunate to have amazing women in my life that help provide support and empowerment–they have helped me through so many challenges and the ups and downs of building a career. Whatever way you choose, make sure to take time for yourself and to not feel guilty about engaging in self-care.”

 

Shardè Davis Ph.D.Dr. Shardé M. Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and a faculty affiliate of the Africana Studies Institute and the Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy (InCHIP) at UConn. Her research explores how Black women’s complex identities—and the power-laden social structures that shape them—influence the way they communicate with close others.

My advice to other women is to give yourself some grace.  U.S. Society has a way of making women (especially women of color) feel like we aren’t doing enough. We fall victim to the superwoman archetype and push ourselves beyond our physical, mental, and psychological capacities to be our “best self” in every situation and in the company of others. This lifestyle is not sustainable and research shows that it corresponds to maladaptive health outcomes. We need to tell ourselves that if we are trying our best then that is enough! Don’t compare yourself to other people, namely folks who have gender, racial, class, and other institutional privilege over you. It’s not a fair comparison and we will fall short every time. Focus your energy on being your best self based upon your own (reasonable) standard of excellence. We also need to listen to our bodies and take a break when we experience exhaustion and take a moment to respect our emotional process and expression. I study these topics for a living, yet I struggle to adhere to my own advice at times.  So please know that our womanhood is an ever-evolving journey.”

 

Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch Ph.D.Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at University of Connecticut, where she conducts research in the Human-Computer Interaction lab. Her research interest is on the benefits of social media in terms of learning new information, civic engagement, and well-being.

 

“Be honest with yourself about what you really want. Society puts strong pressure on all of us about what we should be striving for, and the pressure is even stronger for women. We have been put into prescribed paths for most of history about what it means to be a woman, what we should expect out of life, and what is expected of us. Expect things for yourself, and work to fulfill your true needs and desires.”