People: Spotlight on Shannon Muth
Class of 2008 alumna Shannon Muth is currently working as a Copywriter/Communications Coordinator for 123Print. In the following interview she reflects on her time as a Comm major at Shepherd.
What makes Shepherd different from other schools? What made it the right choice for you?
The best thing about Shepherd is that you’re never just a number when in a classroom. Every professor within the Comm department knows you by name, and takes the time out to get to know your strengths and weaknesses. This isn’t just limited to professors either. Even employees at the Ram’s Den or the dining hall take the time out to learn your name. It transforms the college from being strictly a place to learn, to someplace you can call “home.”
Why did you choose to study Communications?
Mass media has always fascinated me. I love the Internet and music, and have always had an interest in doing something with the music industry. I don’t have the talent to make music professionally, and I’m not business savvy, so I figured I could do advertising of some capacity within the music industry – thus landing me in the Comm department.
What’s your favorite story/experience that happened in a Comm class?
This is a tough question, but the best experience(s) probably took place within the Game Design course I took my junior year. Creating games and rules was always tedious and a hassle, but to see the game come alive and to have your peers actually enjoy playing it was really rewarding. My group made a game about the feats Hercules had to accomplish, and had to find a way to make the feats more family oriented, and less gory. The game ended up having challenges like shoving marshmallows into one’s mouth. It seemed to be a hit.
What are/were the other students like in your classes? The teachers?
Like every place you work, or go to school, there will inevitably be people that you like and people that you don’t like. It’s just how the world works, and this goes for classmates and professors alike. However, from my very first Comm course back in my freshman year, I felt accepted and like I belonged. It was shocking how friendly students were. Most people go out of their way to make conversation and try to plan times for everyone to hang out outside of class. As for the teachers, it’s the same thing. I had never enjoyed one-on-one conversations with teachers or professors until I got submerged in the Comm curriculum at Shepherd. When I was bored or needed to kill some time before another class, I would often find myself in Monica Larson’s office talking about everything from her kids to what show/concert I would be attending next.
What do you plan to do when you leave Shepherd?
The ultimate goal is to do advertising or public relations somewhere in the music industry, but that isn’t something I can just jump right into. So the short-term goal is to just get my foot in the door. Hopefully that means advertising, marketing, or public relations at some non-profit organization, but if not that’s alright as well. That’s the beauty of having a degree in Communication; you have a plethora of options. Currently, there are a few prospective jobs depending on how my internship goes – but I don’t want to jinx it. (Editor’s Update: Shannon now works at 123Print.)
What did you think of the technology available to you?
I loved it, for the most part. I had never in my life used a Mac until getting to Shepherd. After being on a Mac as much as I was during my time at Shepherd, there are moments where I feel more comfortable on a Mac than I do a PC.
What other campus activities did you found valuable?
I wasn’t really involved on campus. I’ve never been one to join clubs and go to organized functions. However, I was active at Shepherd’s radio station 89.7 WSHC. I had my own show that featured acoustic, indie, and alternative rock. I absolutely loved every second of it. It allowed me to go to more shows, have a reason to sit on my computer and find new music, and interview musicians. I’m also a member of Shepherd’s sociological Honor Society, which pushed me to stay on-top of things and not slack off – seeing as how membership is based on one’s grade point average.
COMM 344 Game Design
Part of the New Media concentration, this course focuses on the structure/ theory of game design, and the analysis of games' role in modern society. Using readings, playing of games and in-class exercises students will explore what makes meaningful play. Rule systems, game culture and history will be covered. Students will learn game design by creating their own games. No programming knowledge is needed for this class.