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Master’s Student Q&A: Diane Carr

A native of Midland, Michigan, Diane Carr is completing her master’s degree in Communication & Information this summer with an emphasis in communication studies. She received her bachelor’s degree in human resources at Michigan State University and later joined the Peace Corps. 

She began working at UT’s College of Nursing as a research information specialist in 2016, which rekindled her longtime interest in pursuing a master’s degree. She wants to continue working in communications and has a passion for environmental conservation and helping those less fortunate. 

Why did you choose Tennessee and the CCI program for your master’s degree? 

“I first thought about getting my master’s degree after I returned from my Peace Corps service in 2010. It never seemed to be the right time for me to pursue it; there was always something getting in my way – work, financials, location, etc. I started working at the University of Tennessee in 2016 and it immediately rejuvenated my desire for obtaining my master’s. The supportive environment, working on campus, and the encouragement of my peers allowed everything to fall perfectly into place. My role in the College of Nursing which focuses on PR, marketing, social media, graphic design, and other forms of communication, made CCI the perfect match.” 

Tell us about your research and major projects as part of the C&I program. 

“My thesis focuses on the subordinate’s emotional responses to interactions and events between the subordinate and supervisor in a workplace environment. Using Twitter data pulled from Social Studio, I am conducting a content analysis on what individuals say publicly about their supervisor and/or workplace. Specifically, I am interested in the emotional expression, length of tweet, social support, how the message is displayed, and if there is something specific activating the emotion. With over 180,000 tweets pulled, I am in the process of cleaning the data and will begin coding very soon.”

Tell us about a professor who has made a positive impact on your studies or career outlook. 

“Every course and every professor I have had has positively impacted not only the trajectory of my studies, but my thought processes surrounding their area of expertise. The wealth of knowledge each professor holds and their willingness to help all their students is truly wonderful to be a part of. One professor that sticks out and I had the opportunity to have twice in class is Dr. Virginia Kupritz. Her encouragement, support, and advice helped me develop the basis for my thesis. Her commitment to her students — and all students in the college — fosters a culture of openness and encourages the generation of new thoughts and ideas. Dr. Emily Paskewitz is another professor for which I have great admiration. Her patience, guidance, and overall concern for my success has kept me on track over the past two years, and I am forever appreciative.”

What are your career goals/plans? 

“My current position is a communications role, however, my aspirations are to continue to advance in a PR or marketing role here at the University. My heart has always been with conservation, environmental improvement, and helping those less fortunate than me. Soeventually, I would love to lead a communications team for a non-profit or other socially aware organization.”