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CCI Graduate Spotlight: Monique Freeman

Monique Freemon

Monique Freemon is a second-year master’s student in the Communication and Information program with a concentration in Journalism and Electronic Media. She plans to graduate this spring in May 2015. Monique is currently finishing this semester taking online classes while working in retail and applying for jobs. 

Continue reading to get to know Monique and her experience as a graduate student here at the University of Tennessee, and find out the story of her logo design that won a contest for an international conference next year.

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication with a concentration in Print and Web Journalism as well as a minor in marketing. For the last two years of my undergraduate career I took art classes, which involved print, digital art, graphic design, and painting due to one of my communication professors suggesting it would enhance my design skills. I took these types of classes as I always wanted to take more art classes after an art appreciation course, and crossing over to a different department that had nothing to do with communication was a breath of fresh air. At APSU, I was a designer and writer for the college’s yearbook, The Monocle. During my undergraduate career I also interned for Inspirer magazine, an international publication and eventually became a writer and designer. 

Why did you choose the University of Tennessee for your graduate studies?

I was accepted into two schools, UTK’s Journalism program and NYU’s publishing program. I wanted to attend a school that was close to home, had a good journalism program and was worth the price. There were a lot of reasons but the main one was that I had heard UT’s program was very good. 

What opportunities have you had here at UT that has helped prepare you for the future?

One opportunity I experienced was studying abroad in Prague to learn about international journalism. I had always wanted to study abroad but it was always too expensive, too long, or not the right time. I went in May 2014 and spent three weeks with a group of fourteen students. I learned about reporting and video by watching the video students do their work, conducting interviews, and Dr. Swan’s critiques. Another opportunity was provided the following semester, when I learned about video production in Dr. Caudill’s Advanced Reporting Across Media course. That class not only helped with my news reporting but I also learned how to use Premier Pro and the basics of video editing. At UTK, I freshened up on old skills and learned new skills that I wanted to know how to achieve. 

Tell us about the logo contest that you recently won for an international conference. Monique’s logo is shown below.

I received an email around November/December about the BOBCATSSS 2016 logo competition. At first, I was not going to do it but then decided it would be fun, the worst they could say is no. BOBCATSSS is an information science conference held in a different country each year.

Description of the Monique’s logo:

I made sure the logo included the city (Lyon, France), year (2016), and the organization (BOBCATSSS). The hard part was creating an image that conveyed the topic, Information, Libraries, and Democracy. I decided a tree would be the best representation of the topic as a tree usually symbolizes knowledge, wisdom, strength, protection, community, and security. Also, I noticed within the logos of Enssib and University of Paris Descartes both included an image of a tree representing connections in information sciences. As for the colors in the logo, I took them from each of the participating school’s mastheads/logos at the top of their webpages. The participating schools are Enssib-Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Sciences de l’Information et des Bibliothèques, University Paris Descartes, and the University of Tennessee School of Information Sciences.

What advice do you have for students considering graduate school?

I would say have an idea of what you want to do your thesis or non-thesis project on and make sure that you do something that you are passionate about and will enjoy doing. Do not pick something because it may be a better topic, but something you will truly enjoy, even if it is ambitious. Also, start planning early, even before you register for the project/thesis course as it cuts down on time.