*AMERICAN STUDIES M.A. PROGRAM QUESTIONNAIRE*
When were you enrolled in the program?
Respondent #21: 1995-96
How did you learn of the program?
I learned about the program when I received my acceptance letter to the
English dept -- I didn't appy directly to the American Studies program, but
Why did you enter the program, and did it meet your expectations?
I entered the program because Alan Howard indicated that it would be an
interdisciplinary format, which appealed to me greatly as my BA was in
Humanities. The program did meet my expectations.
What did you find most valuable about the program?
The program's real value is in its variety -- of classes you can take, of
ideas you study, of different ways of using that knowledge.
Was the program different in any significant ways from your earlier
The use of the Internet was, of course, new at the time so by default
different than any other educational experience. In addition, the small core
group size (7) was unique for me, coming from a larger state school.
Did the program help you develop any of these aspects of your life?
-Thinking and communicating?
To what extent did your classmates affect your experience in the program?
My classmates affected me greatly -- the group formed a close bond, and we
were able to draw on each other's strengths to not only understand the
content, but become proficient in web publishing. I am still close friends
with nearly all of those from the MA96 group, so I can also honestly say that
the program changed my life by allowing me to make some great friends.
To what extent did the public venue (the Internet) for much your work
affect your experience in the program?
It was a great experience. I still get e-mails from people -- academic and
otherwise -- about my online thesis, as well as my other projects. The
choices of subjects for our projects were no different than in a traditional
American Studies program, but the ability to be truly interdisciplinary --
writing, graphics, editing, etc -- gave me a more varied and useful
experience and skill set.
Was the course work appropriate to the goals of the program?
Did you perceive yourself as part of any university department or
community larger than the American Studies Program itself?
I felt very attached to the AS@UVA group, and did not feel particularly
welcomed into the MA English group, or MA Art History, MA History, etc., as I
was part of an interdisciplinary group. We were all taking classes in
different areas, but what we all had in common was our AS@UVA group.
How well was interdisciplinary study integrated in the program?
Very well -- although the core coursework focused heavily on history and
cultural studies. However, the opportunity to study other areas -- art
history, literature, filmmaking, architecture, etc. -- was immense and helped
round out the experience.
Were the following resources (and any other ones) adequate for your work?
-Computers and technical support?
At the time, the AS@UVA lab had some fairly outdated equipment for us to use
-- luckily, I had a computer at home which made life much easier.
The lab was actually perfectly sized for the 7 of us, and taking classes in
Pav XIII was a treat.
Alan was great, very supportive. I didn't feel particularly attached to any
other faculty members -- I didn't feel I got the same attention or level of
personal relationship or support as I did with Alan.
During the program did you have any relevant part-time employment?
Please describe briefly your major forms of schooling and/or employment
since your time in the program (giving dates, name of organization, and
chief activities there):
August 1996 GraduationOct 96-Dec 96 Associate Producer,
Knowledge Products, Mindscape Inc.
*Coordinated the development of education and reference software products
from concept to final release, including programming, art, sound, testing,
documentation, and packaging
*Developed and enhanced relationships with internal and external developers
*Maintained production schedule and tracked expenses
*Managed writers, editors, and designers in creation of Teacher's Editions
for Mindscape educational products; copyediting and editorial oversight of
Jan 97-Mar 97 Freelance web designer, San Jose Mercury News
*Worked with editorial team to evaluate appropriate content and graphics for
specialized pages within Mercury Center
*Executed and uploaded design, utilizing graphics, HTML, and FTP tools
*Updated pages frequently during daily coverage, reflecting live and organic
nature of both the style of coverage and the nature and possibilities of the
April 97 - Jan 98 Web Program Manager, Wyse Technology Inc.
*Full responsibility for management of domestic and international websites,
including coordination with web design agency to update and maintain look and
feel, architecture of site
*HTML conversion and graphic design
*contact with internal customers, VARs, and end users to determine needs
*online marketing and promotion programs
*investigated new technologies and avenues for information delivery.
*Implemented and promoted corporate Intranet, providing a useful and
attractive information source and community for Wyse employees; coordinated
interdepartmental Web Team
*Conducted training for Web Team to provide an introduction to the Web, and
provided a means for individual and departmental creation of web pages.
Jan 98 - Mar 99 Interactive & Channel Communications Manager, Wyse
*Full responsibility for management and oversight of domestic and
international websites, including
*online banner advertising
*coordination with web design agency to update and maintain look and
feel, architecture of site
*corporate Intranet, providing a useful and attractive information source
and community for Wyse employees
*coordination of extranet for field sales force, providing timely
corporate and competitive information
*coordination of extranet for OEM partners to share information and
*management of Interactive Communication Specialist
*Full responsibility for timely communication of Wyse programs, promotions,
sales tools, and news to our Channel partners and internal sales force, via
web, fax, and e-mail
*Management, through Telemarketing Manager, of telemarketing activities,
including inbound pre-sales and outbound marketing support, including direct
mail follow up and lead generation
*Management, through Channel Communications Specialist, of entire Value Added
Reseller application and approval process.
April 99 - present Manager, Marketing Communications, Wyse Technology Inc.
*Plan and manage North American marketing communications and brand
activities, by orchestrating the optimum mix of aggressive public relations,
direct mail, collateral, and interactive
* P&L and staffing resopnsibilities for the marketing communications dept,
including budget planning and management. Establish functional strategic
goals and objectives, tactical management and analysis of program
* Responsible for employee communications programs
* Responsible for management, through Interactive Communications Specialist,
of field sales and OEM extranets, employee intranet, and corporate Internet
Did you find advising and placement support in the program to be adequate?
It was fine -- although introductions or more networking would have been
helpful. Of course, this was in the beginning stages of the Web as a
phenomenon and employment area, so not many connections were yet made.
Has your involvement in the program made a discernible difference in the
subsequent steps of your career?
Yes -- I was able to parlay my skills in web development into freelance work,
as well as acting as the webmaster/designer for a medium-sized high tech
company, which has led me to my current position. In addition, the M.A.
degree, of course, gives me greater credibilty and income potential.
How might the program be strengthened?
The program could be improved by better equipment and more extensive up front
web training (so the time can be spent on the content and what we do with the
content). Otherwise, it was very useful for my purposes.
Any other reflections?
It was a wonderful experience, incredibly useful to me both as a person and
for my career.