MSS at Newseum

Media, Self and Society

The impact of media and technology on the world

Introduction

Print, televised and social media impact every facet of our lives. Yet to what extent are we aware of how they affect us and our view of the world?

Media, Self and Society analyzes the role that various forms of media play in society, prioritizing critical thinking about media production and consumption. Students assess the source, message and meaning of different modes of media, examining:

  • The effects of social media on our self-perception, relationships and beliefs;
  • Viral deception and misinformation online; and
  • The ways in which news and entertainment media represent—or misrepresent—marginalized communities.

Students take part in discussions; create media, ranging from TikTok videos to infographics, that focus on self-exploration and civic engagement; and learn from working journalists, media experts and other guest speakers. The goal: to become active, rather than passive, in our interactions with media.

The Media program welcomes students of all majors and provides critical thinking and analysis skills fundamental to all career endeavors.

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • Media transformation: The disappearing newspaper
  • The psychology of advertising
  • Media and violence: The role of video games
  • Technology and the music industry

I have had the opportunity to explore my interests through hands-on experiences while also developing my communication skills. I am so grateful to be a part of a community that not only encourages me to be myself but also challenges me to be the best version of it.

Rebecca Lin
Rebecca Lin '23

Other Learning Opportunities

Students get a real-world perspective on the media—both what it’s like to work in the media and the impacts of the media on society—through:

  • Field trips to media outlets and cultural sites, such as NBC4 Washington studios, NPR headquarters and the National Museum of African American History and Culture;
  • Visits to various news studios and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum during our annual trip to New York City; and
  • Guest speakers, particularly working professionals in journalism, advertising, technology and public relations.

During their sophomore year, students fulfill a practicum requirement, which allows them to gain professional experience in their chosen fields. Past Media students have:

  • Written for The Diamondback campus newspaper;
  • Broadcast sports games with WMUC, the campus radio station;
  • Worked on a political campaign; and
  • Interned at Microsoft.

In all cases, students were able to apply the analytical skills they learned in the program and assess the role that various media played in that organization.

Curriculum Overview

Over the two-year program experience (four semesters), students will complete 2 supporting courses, totaling 6–8 credits, that will count toward their Media Scholars citation. In most cases, these will also fulfill General Education requirements. Note that your Scholars courses—colloquium, practicum and supporting course(s)—will generally be in addition to any courses you take to satisfy major requirements.

The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the Media Citation Checklist.

SEMESTER COURSES CREDITS
Freshman Fall Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
Academic Writing 3 credits
3–4 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 9–12 credits
Freshman Spring Scholars Colloquium 1 credit
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Sophomore Fall Analyzing Media Practice through Theory 3 credits
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course) 12–15 credits
Sophomore Spring Scholars Practicum (if not already taken in the fall) 1–3 credits
4–5 courses toward degree and major requirements (including possible supporting course if not already completed) 12–15 credits

Residence Hall

Cumberland Hall

Office Address

1122 Cumberland Hall

Office Phone

301-405-3013

Faculty

Portrait of Alison Burns

Alison Burns

Program Director, Media, Self and Society
Portrait of Kelly Brower

Kelly Brower

Assistant Director, Media, Self and Society/Public Leadership
Portrait of Sohana Nasrin

Sohana Nasrin

Graduate Assistant, Media, Self and Society

Social Media Etc.


Media, Self and Society News

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  • Scholars recognizes Citation Class of 2021, Founders Circle Award winners

    When the Scholars Citation Class of 2021—all 930 of them—stepped onto the University of Maryland campus in August of 2019, spirits were undoubtedly high. College Park Scholars was celebrating its 25th anniversary, with branded #ScholarsAt25 shirts, buttons and laptop stickers, and even a Maryland Dairy ice cream flavor created specifically for the occasion. But spirits sank in March of 2020 with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, sending the cohort into a virtual experience for the rest of their time in the program.

  • College Park Scholars Awards First Rebecca Basena Kampi Memorial Scholarship

    College Park Scholars has awarded its inaugural Rebecca Basena Kampi Memorial Scholarship to Joy Nash, a junior materials science and engineering major and an alum of the Media, Self and Society Scholars program. The scholarship provides financial support for undergraduate students in College Park Scholars who, through their leadership and public service, work to produce social change and support social justice.

  • Scholars Alum Recognized by National Coalition for Work on Campus Voting

    Alexandra Marquez, a Media, Self and Society Scholars alum and a 2021 graduate of the University of Maryland, was recently named Standout Undergraduate Student by the All in Democracy Challenge, a coalition of 850 higher education institutions across the country. The All in Democracy Challenge empowers colleges and universities to achieve excellence in nonpartisan student democratic engagement.

  • In-Person Service Day Relaunches With Enthusiasm

    Kids bent over boxes of school supplies. Tubs of tomatoes, picked fresh off the vine. College students clad in waders, waist-deep in pond water. These were just a few of the scenes witnessed during College Park Scholars’ annual Service Day, which took place on Friday, Aug. 27, this year.

  • 10 Scholars Alums to Serve as Spring Commencement Senior Marshals

    A significant number of Scholars alumni will be serving as Senior Marshals at the University of Maryland commencement this Friday, May 21, 2021. Senior Marshals are graduating seniors who display the highest levels of scholarship, service, extracurricular activity and personal growth.

  • Despite Being Virtual, Scholars Showcases Promote Personal Interaction

    For most University of Maryland (UMD) students, the end of the spring semester heralds the start of finals. But for sophomores in College Park Scholars, for the past 24 years, this time of year has signified Academic Showcase.

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