The fifth cohort of entering students in the Master of Arts in Technology and Communication program at the UNC School of Media and Journalism got started with orientation this week.

The group of 18 working professionals gathered in Carroll Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus Monday and Tuesday to meet one another, graduate students in other school programs, professors and program administrators. The faculty members instructing MATC first-year courses held introductory sessions with the new students.


The orientation also introduced the newest MATC cohort to the online learning tools they will use. Students and alumni from previous cohorts visited—in person and virtually—to serve on two panels, one focused on balancing the workload of a rigorous online program with other responsibilities and the other discussing the final thesis project.

June Merlino led a team-building session to help prepare the new students to work together as they take classes and progress as a group through the 2.5-year program.

Fall classes will begin Tuesday.

Student comments
"Orientation was an essential part of the MATC experience, because it allowed me to meet my classmates and get to know them in person, meet the professors that I will be taking classes with and understand what they expect from us as graduate students, as well as gaining insight to what it will take to be successful in the program. It definitely got me excited to start the semester on a positive note, and I'm looking forward to the summer residency when we get to all meet up again." - Angela Brockelsby, director of communication and marketing, Division of Enrollment Management and Services, North Carolina State University

"It kept me engaged the entire two days. We learned what to expect during the program and received a glimpse of campus. Most importantly, we got to know each other personally before we embark on this two-year adventure together. I had a blast and look forward to seeing everyone again next summer." - Karin Fullington, creative producer, Fox 50

"These two days exceeded my expectations on several levels.  I had no idea I would be able to establish a feeling of connection with my fellows in such a short period of time. I'm looking forward to the days head with a higher degree of assurance thanks to this orientation experience." - Niel Sollod, director of local and new media sales, Fox 50

Group photo
First row, left to right: Jeffrey Camarati, director of photography, UNC Athletics; Angela Brockelsby, director of communications and marketing, N.C. State University Enrollment Management and Services; Barry Morris, public affairs officer, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Second row: Gillian Speace, readers’ advisory specialist, NoveList; Kirsten Khire, executive director of external relations, UNC-Charlotte Belk School of Business; Scott Thompson, senior Web developer, N.C. State University

Third row: Marcie Montague, senior manager of executive communications, SAS; Eva Bland, communications coordinator, North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness; Tyler Ritter, director of communication and instructional design, UNC-Chapel Hill Friday Center; Laura Ruel, MATC academic director

Fourth row: Matt Smith, team leader, BH Media Group Hickory Consolidated Editing Center; Kaylon Kirk, Web and social media manager, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center; Maureen Robbs, content marketing specialist, Harte Hanks; Karin Fullington, creative producer, Fox 50; Joshua Kleinstreuer, digital content producer, Time Warner Cable News; Niel Sollod, director of local and new media sales, Fox 50

Back row: Karah Manning, communications specialist, North Carolina Office of State Human Resources; Rachel Lillis, MATC administrative director; Caitlin Russell, marketing writer and editor, Citrix; Elizabeth Hammond, designer and front-end developer, BB&T