Elise Viger: UROP

UROP Photo: Elise Viger
UROP Photo: Elise Viger

Elise Viger

Major: Communication
Minor: Management
UROP: Stigma and Childhood Obesity Prevention Campaigns
Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Rebecca de Souza, Department of Communication

What do you think is unique about your major?
Communication provides the opportunity to explore with creativity through practicing the art of rhetoric. Equally important, communication demonstrates how rhetoric plays a role in everyday life. Finally, the study of communication is unique because it teaches the importance of problem-solving through a critical lens involving the practice of humility, dialogue, and deliberation to collaborate on moving forward.

How does your major fit into your life goals?
My major is one of the main reasons I landed my job as a future Executive Team Leader with Target. Specifically, studying Communication has provided me with a toolbox full of different tools to use in a variety of complex situations, particularly leadership skills. The practice of incorporating humility and group communication skills into various projects has helped me make the leap from being a student to becoming a leader in a Target store.

What piece of advice would you give to a student considering your major?
This is the type of major where you need to give it your all and not be afraid to try new things. Its not until you end up taking that one class you thought you would dislike, and then eventually love, that you learn where your true passion lies.

Tell us about something you're involved in here (a sport, a club, a cause) and how it has changed you.
I'm the Public Relations Director for the UMD Student Association. This involvement has allowed me to work with a group of motivated individuals to work towards enhancing the UMD student college experience. I learned that representing the student body voice is not an easy task, yet through constant involvement and engagement with my peers, we can come together to work towards bettering UMD for current students, as well as future students.

How has the Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP) that you participated in enhanced or complemented the education you received in your major at UMD?
Being able to study national-level childhood obesity health campaigns has given me the opportunity to incorporate lessons from a variety of communication disciplines. I'm able to combine my passions for marketing, ethics, policy, and health into one research project, which has been the highlight of my undergraduate experience at UMD!

What were the most valuable aspects of your UROP experience?
I enjoyed having the ability to continuously research a topic that I have a true passion for. Specifically, as a student wanting to continue school through a graduate school, the experience allowed me to get a taste of what research at the graduate level might entail. Finally, I was incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be mentored by my professor, as the one-on-one educational opportunities are so beneficial.