November 18, 2021

DAUS DCoM Student Spotlight

Two students in the STEM-designated Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications and Media (DCoM) program recognize the importance of digital media communication in today’s twenty-first century market. In this practice-based degree, students develop artistic and technical proficiency in a range of digital media - from design principles to interactive or motion design to filmmaking. Topics such as the cultural impact and ethical responsibility of a mass communication professional also help students build a holistic understanding of contemporary media.

Julia Smith, DCoM ‘22

Julia Smith has always been a creative person and feels best when creating and designing. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, she had realized the importance of digital presence in the world and the impact media can have on a society. When she was looking for programs as a transfer student, she knew digital communications would be her focus, but she sought a program that could teach her the hands-on skills of creation, rather than just viewing and analyzing media. “I wanted to graduate with all the skills I would need to create and leave school with a strong digital portfolio. DCoM (Digital Communication and Media) within NYU SPS DAUS offered me exactly that. I knew it was the right place for me, and it was the only place I applied.” After she completes her studies at the NYU SPS Division of Applied Undergraduate Studies (DAUS), Julia will pursue digital branding as a branding consultant. She hopes to help small businesses develop visual identities, including everything from their logo to website. 

So far, her favorite class has been Media Design II with Simona Prives and Mary Nittolo. Relating its impact on her, she describes, “Our class was divided into two teams and given a real-life client who wanted a comprehensive re-brand. We received guidance and art direction from our professors throughout the semester and presented our work to the client as our final project. This was an incredible experience that greatly boosted my confidence as a designer, while giving me a sample of what design work is like as a career. It shifted my focus to branding, and I discovered a passion for it.” Additionally, Julia had the opportunity to work with a client over the summer to design a back-to-office campaign, which was her first large design project on which she worked independently.  

Julia Smith

Julia Smith

When not studying on the 9th floor of the Bobst Library or the student lounge on the 5h floor of the NYU SPS Fairchild Building at 7 East 12th Street, Julia participates in Rainbow Alliance and the Social Media & Design Committee at SPS, which provides her an outlet to continue building design skills. One might ask how she has time for everything. “What has helped me most,” she says, “is to write everything down and embrace scheduling. I use a physical planner and write down absolutely everything in it, from due dates to appointments to social commitments.” But she also realizes the importance of leisure and rest so as to be fresh for the next design project. 

Gina Moore, DCoM ‘22

Since she was young, Gina Moore has loved to tell stories. This attraction has led her to pursue a career in filmmaking. Determined to complete her degree 30 years after she first began, she sought out a program that offered a flexible schedule for a working mom. The Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Communication & Media at NYU SPS DAUS proved to be the best option for her to “make films that inspire, educate and uplift. Going back to school to continue to learn and obtain a degree has been one of the most important things I could have done for myself.”

Gina Moore

Gina Moore, First Day of School

But balancing college as an adult learner with two children, two elderly parents, and work has not been without its challenges. “Lots of prayer has helped me!” For Gina, family is of the utmost importance, so the decision to go back to school was not made lightly. With boundless enthusiasm for learning and a steadfast self-confidence, Gina has learned to juggle her commitments as she sets her mind on completing her degree so she can “make movie, after movie, after movie….” Gina was not the only one in her family who had to adapt to college life. She relates, “My favorite spot to study is my kitchen table, but it drives my kids nuts because it's always filled with a ton of papers and folders!”


Gina's work station

Writing skills certainly aid a successful storyteller, and Gina credits her writing courses at NYU SPS DAUS with improving her skills. They also happen to be her favorite courses. She relishes the prospect of communicating stories to the world through so many different mediums and forums now available. One of the main topics that interest her is Black women in film. While there were many barriers in the past, Gina asserts, “We are having more and more opportunities to be heard and shine behind the cameras, not just in front of the cameras.”

Clinical Professor Mechthild Schmidt Feist leads the Bachelor of Science in Digital Communications and Media program as its Faculty Coordinator.


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