Recently, we sat down with Heather Gasaway, a graduate of Spring Arbor University’s online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership program, to discuss her background, her reasons for choosing Spring Arbor University and her current role as a professor of media studies.
Heather emphasized the meaningfulness of SAU as a safe but challenging environment and an incredible place for students to learn among like-minded Christians.
Evolving From Graphic and Web Design to Communications and New Media
Q: Can you describe your background and previous work positions/study roles?
A: I have over 20 years of combined experience in communications and graphic design. I began my career at a non-profit Christian sports organization in Southern California called Kare Youth League. In 2008, I moved to Mississippi and worked at IFDC as a worked as a graphic and web designer. I graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications/ Journalism from California State University Fullerton in 2003.
Several years later I went back to school to get some design training. Of course you know that I graduated from Spring Arbor University with a Master's in Communications/New Media in 2015. I recently accepted a position at Pre-Born as Director of Marketing, Communications and Events.
SAU’s Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership Led to a Professor of Media Studies Position
Q: Can you explain your position as Professor of Media Studies, Social Media Specialist at Missional University and what the role involves?
A: As Professor of Media Studies, Social Media Specialist at Missional University, I will be teaching several levels of social media courses, including social media theory, analyzing, managing and developing social media campaigns, and writing and storytelling for social media.
The Benefits of Studying at Spring Arbor University Online Including Studying While Working Full Time
Q: What made you decide to study at Spring Arbor University online?
A: I was looking for a program in which I could grow spiritually and that was not too much of a financial burden for my growing family. I was also looking to be able to take all my classes online while working full time.
The Relevance of Thesis Topics in SAU’s Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership Program
Q: What did you do your thesis work on at SAU?
A: Cyberbullying and its effects on teenagers.
How Professors Stand Out at Spring Arbor University’s Online Master of Communications Program
Q: What did you find the most meaningful and useful in SAU’s online Master of Communication & Leadership program?
A: I had some wonderful professors who were also great role models and spiritual leaders. I also enjoyed being able to complete my entire program online. The highlight was graduation and getting to meet my professors and fellow classmates. It brought everything full circle.
How Students’ Passion for Issues Culminates in Capstone Courses
Q: What course in the program stood out for you? Was there any one experience or program that you feel will contribute to your teaching career?
A: My favorite course was the capstone course with Dr. Woods, not only because it was my last course, but because it gave me the opportunity to apply all the knowledge I had received throughout my time at SAU toward something that I am very passionate about: cyberbullying.
Timeless Lessons Learned at SAU Online Utilized in the Professional Roles of Graduates
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about SAU’s online Master of Communication & Leadership program?
A: Spring Arbor University is an incredible place for students to learn among like-minded Christians. It is a safe but challenging environment. The professors are always accessible and willing to help. I will never forget my experience at SAU, and I will take many of the lessons I learned there with me, to my new position at Missional University.