Navigating the Intersection of Technology and Communication at Kent State

Dominic Gonzalez, ’23, a Kent State Emerging Media and Technology major, is poised to graduate with a skill set that reflects the needs of a world where technology is ever-evolving.

As he began his college journey, choosing Kent State was a no-brainer. It was the only college Gonzalez toured, but the close-knit campus, downtown Kent and its proximity to his hometown of Mentor, OH, made it an ideal choice. And the Emerging Media and Technology major caught his eye because it was comprehensive: he could learn hard skills like programming and web design and also work on a lot of team projects.

“(Technology is) constantly growing and changing," he said. "I didn't want to be stuck with just one thing; I wanted to have something that I could branch out and try different things."

Gonzalez’s favorite classes have been Introduction to Web Design and the capstone class, Interdisciplinary Projects, which he took this most recent semester (Fall 2023). In Interdisciplinary Projects, students work in teams on a technology challenge or prompt for a real business, department or organization. Through the process, they learn skills in project management while gaining real-life experience communicating with leaders and cross-functional teams about technical projects. Gonzalez says he’s appreciated the opportunity to “work in groups, communicate with clients and kind of get that real, real-world experience.”

This semester in Interdisciplinary Projects, Gonzalez has served as “scrum master” — or team leader — for a group of students working with the Northeast Ohio Cyber Consortium (NEOCC). NEOCC is an organization formed in 2015 to help Northeast Ohio business and technology leaders from large companies, universities and nonprofits share information and stay on top of best practices, tactics, techniques and more, in the realm of cybersecurity.

Read more about the Fall 2023 team projects. (…)

Gonzalez and his team are working on creating Microsoft resources (SharePoint and Microsoft Teams) to make information sharing and communicating easier for the consortium.

“The major thing I’ve learned so far is communicating,” he said. “One of the things that we’ve been doing is working with focus groups. Those focus groups include companies and organizations like Progressive and Eaton. Working with them, getting feedback on what we’re working on and working with a team, is something that I’ve really taken away as a benefit.”

The Emerging Media and Technology major is set up so that by the time students reach this capstone course, it isn’t the first time they’ve worked on a team. Gonzalez said this makes him feel prepared for life after Kent State.

“I think you’ll always be working on a team no matter where you are and what you’re doing, and you’ll almost always be working with technology,” Gonzalez says. “So having that diverse set of skills — to be able to know what you’re doing with the technology and then knowing how to work with projects and team members, it all goes hand-in-hand in creating a good project and a good product, no matter what you’re doing and where you’re working.”

POSTED: Monday, December 11, 2023 03:50 PM
Updated: Monday, December 18, 2023 04:42 PM