Montclair State University Students Make “Real World” Connections

Classroom Projects for “Real World” Clients Set to Expand

In the back row, from left: MSU senior Artie Viana, Metropolitan Opera Guild representatives Jesse Cohen and Laura Day; Associate Director of Experiential Education and Co-Op Internships, elaine Russo; Communication Studies Chair, Harry Haines; Seeing Eye Marketing Director, Amalia Duarte; and MSU senior, Billy Chiabo. In the front row are MSU students Danielle Sandars, Jesica Cetrulo, Nicole Hansen, and Jessica Rios.


The Communication Studies Department at Montclair State University is beginning to build an impressive legacy of partnering with outside organizations. From creating a number of communication products for Lorena Ochoa and her foundation in 2007, to developing a “First Time Homeowner” public relations proposal for K. Hovnanian Homes in 2008, this year senior MSU Public Relations students developed PR proposals for, among others, The Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Seeing Eye, and the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame. On May 20, representatives from the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the Seeing Eye visited the Montclair campus to receive second annual appreciation awards. The event also signaled the beginning of a wider partnership between the outside groups and College of the Arts departments.

Representatives in attendance from the Metropolitan Opera Guild were the Director of Communications, Jesse Cohen, and assistants, Maggie Koozer and Laura Day. Joining them was Seeing Eye Marketing Director, Amalia Duarte. In addition to the clients, chair of the Communication Studies Department, Dr. Harry Haines, and Associate Director of Experiential Education and Co-Op Internships, Elaine Russo. Russo stated that she looked forward to a future partnership with both organizations and feels that “internships are an integral part of the student’s ability to develop confidence as well as testing the waters in the real world.” As the tour came to an end, Dr. Haines wrapped up the event by saying he was “very grateful for the opportunity to work with such established philanthropic organizations” and felt strongly his students are “very prepared for the real world.”

The senior students who planned the day’s event, which also included a facilities tour, were Danielle Bree Sandars, Nicole Hansen, Artie Viana, Jesica Cetrulo, and Billy Chiabo.

The Montclair State University Communication Studies’ first notable achievement came in 2006 when it defeated public relations student teams from New York University, State University of New York, Quinnipiac, Dowling College, and Fairleigh Dickinson University in a competition to create a PR campaign for the United States Postal Service’s online presence.