My adventure co-authoring and presenting a paper at AEJMC as a Greenlee master’s student

Lexi He presenting research at AEJMC
Lexi He presents the paper she co-authored with Professor Angela Powers at the virtual AEJMC conference in August 2020.


headshot of Lexi He
Lexi He, Greenlee master’s student

By Yuxi (Lexi) He, Greenlee School master’s student

When I first applied to the Greenlee School in early 2019, the first word I noticed when I looked through the Greenlee Graduate Handbook was “diversity.”

As an international student, I saw diversity as a crucial component when choosing a master’s program. I wanted to be fully immersed in a different culture. I hoped that even though I am not a native speaker and I barely knew about the journalism industry in the U.S., I could still study journalism and mass communication there.

I came to the U.S. in August 2019. Although I already had a master’s degree from a Chinese university, the teaching methods and the course requirements in the United States were quite different. Luckily, I felt supported here. All the professors and my fellow graduate students were lovely and patient. They gave me so much confidence to help me get to where I am today.

Then I learned another important word to me at Greenlee: “Opportunity.”

During my time at Greenlee, I have tried to seize every opportunity, every small chance I can make. Since spring 2020, I have had the chance to work with Dr. Angela Powers, whose research focuses on the field of news organizations and their social influences. Together, we co-authored a paper on alternative and mainstream local news competition and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In June, we presented this paper at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference. The event exceeded my expectations. It was great being able to “meet” so many outstanding scholars in my field of study. In addition to co-authoring the paper, I was selected as an inaugural AEJMC Presidential Diversity & Inclusion Fellow. This was exciting news! I attended a career development workshop that discussed academic career planning, interviewing and negotiation skills that graduate students pursuing their future career. The workshop covered how to write a strong job application letter, how to negotiate during the hiring process and how to address with potential microaggressions that can occur in interviews. These topics reminded me of the first word I learned from Greenlee – diversity – the concept that attracted me here and guided me to success.

I would definitely say all these great experiences opened my insights and horizons of seeing things in the future. Now, I can proudly say that I feel much confident, and no matter which way I am going to choose, I will not be afraid. I appreciate the power and strength that Greenlee School has offered to me. All the training and education experience at Greenlee will undoubtedly help every student who wants to find their clear path to success.

The Greenlee School’s master’s program offers tracks in communication theory and research and professional and strategic communication. More information about the program can be found in the Graduate School Handbook.