School of Journalism and Media Studies
San Diego State University, Leadership Starts Here
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Student Voices

Sofia Bert

Sofia Bert

Major: Journalism with a public relations emphasis and my minor is International Studies.

Where I’m from: Folsom, California

Follow me on Twitter: @sofffrose

Favorite spot on SDSU campus: My favorite spot on campus is the benches in front of the PSFA building. I love the art on them and how the shade from the trees makes it a perfect spot to sit in the sun/shade and do work in between classes.

Why I chose my major: I chose public relations specifically because I knew I loved journalism but I wanted a more business style job rather than a reporter style job. Whenever I learn about PR I get more excited to become a professional and practice it full time.

What I do for fun: When I’m not doing homework or work, I like to cook and attend Muay Thai classes. Cooking is a nice way for me to unwind after the day and also enjoy a good meal afterwards! Also, on the weekends, I often visit my family and friends in Orange County.

About my scholarship: For my International Studies minor, there is a requirement to study abroad. I have been lucky enough to study in both Italy and Thailand. My most recent trip was to Italy, to study Art and Anatomy. I found the Brenda and Dave Rickey Foundation Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship when it was posted on the JMS Blackboard Homeroom and decided to apply. The scholarship generously gifted me over $3,000 towards study abroad, which helped me immensely. With the scholarship, I also had the
opportunity to meet with the Rickeys for lunch and I am so excited build a professional relationship with people who are interested in me and furthering my academics.

Advice for students interested in applying to SJMS:

1. Try all of the different clubs: The Daily Aztec, KCR, AMA, PRSSA, SPJ, etc. they all provide real world experiences that will help you find your best career fit.

2. Make sure to go to advising to learn more about your major, what classes you need to take, and what opportunities this campus has for you! (It’s helped me realize I could graduate in 3 years due to AP high school credit).


Mike McDonald

Mike McDonald

Major: Journalism

Where I’m from:
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Favorite spot on SDSU campus:
The grassy hill behind Scripps Cottage.

How SJMS is preparing me for my career: I like that whatever aspect of
journalism you are interested in, there are classes for it. I personally
appreciate the focus on multi-media presentations and video editing.

How I want to give back:
I want to give back by keeping the public informed. I consider journalism a
public service, vital to the well-being of our nation and communities.

What I do for fun:
Right now, I am having fun playing with my son, but when I have spare time or
need to get out, I like to go hiking, fishing or golfing.

Advice for students interested in applying to SJMS:

1. Read legit news.
Look at how professional journalists write.

2. Get used to asking strangers questions and writing
about it. Go out and do it.


Yukari Oda

Yukari Oda

Major: Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies

Where I’m from: Fukuoka, Japan

Follow me on Twitter: English @YukariOda and
Japanese @YukariOda2

Research interests: I have been researching the hidden, dark side of South Korean modern society since 2014. My hometown, Fukuoka, is the closest Japanese city to South Korea. Japan and South Korea have opposite marketing approaches in the entertainment and media industries (qualitative and quantitative) and my studies document observations and experiences in the two countries.

About my scholarship: As an international student, tuition is almost tripled compared to local students. Through receiving the Arthur C. & Mildred Wimer Scholarship I have been able to update my laptop and provide for my living expenses while in San Diego. As a student, receiving financial support is obviously beneficial; however, receiving the intangibles (mentorship, guidance from professors, and more) has been even more beneficial while in a competitive program.

Advice for students interested in applying to SJMS:

1. Concentrate on studying. Be professional with what you do, even very basic things such as paying attention to the lecture and talking with professors and/or your future SJMS professors. They are always happy to help students to reach their career goals.

2. Study well for the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test (GSP Test) to get into the major. Practice by using as many sample questions from various universities and use the books SJMS recommended. I have seen several dropouts and pre-journalism students who assumed they do not need to study for the test because they are native English speakers, but this is not true since the test is designed for students to determine minute differences in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.