Asbury’s First M.A.C. Graduate Receives Admission to Ph.D. Program – Asbury University
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Asbury’s First M.A.C. Graduate Receives Admission to Ph.D. Program

May 2, 2024

As the first graduate from Asbury’s M.A.C in Communication program that launched last fall, Sydney Scheller ’24 received admission to Texas Tech University’s Ph.D. in Media & Communication program. Scheller also received her B.A. in Communication from Asbury University in 2020.

“From 150 applicants, they chose ten of us to begin this fall,” Scheller said. “I was honored to be the first candidate the committee selected overall for the 2024 cohort. The Asbury Communication professors, especially Dr. Jim Shores and Dr. Todd Wold, have been supportive through this process. They were with me in Drinklings Coffee Shop as I pressed the submit button on my Ph.D. application.”

“The Media & Communication program at Texas Tech University is widely considered a ‘top 10’ program in the U.S.,” said Professor of Communication Dr. Jim Shores. “Sydney wrote an insightful master’s thesis examining the role of Tumblr in the 2010s in mainstreaming non-normative ideas that now influence political discussions and policy decisions as this age group becomes adults. The faculty at Texas Tech were very impressed with the graduate work she did at Asbury University.”

As a Ph.D. student at Texas Tech, Scheller will teach undergraduate classes, gaining experience to prepare for her dream job of becoming a professor someday.

Scheller conducted research during her time at Asbury, beginning with a SEARCH project that expanded into a larger project with Director of Graduate Studies in Communication and Associate Professor Dr. Elizabeth Jones and Nathan Vick ’19. Scheller, Jones, and Vick published their findings as a book chapter titled, “#MarketingFaith: The Megachurch Pastor as Social Media Influencer” in Research Perspectives on Social Media Influencers and their Followers, edited by Dr. Brandi Watkins.

“Sydney has been active in research since her undergraduate career at Asbury, and we know that her communication scholarship and exemplary character will contribute to important societal issues and discussions,” said Jones.

For three years, Scheller served as one of the founding board members, vice president, and president of the Asbury University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Mentored by Assistant Professor of Communication and Public Relations Dr. Todd Wold, the PRSSA team hosted a bone marrow donor drive for Be The Match (now known as the NMDP) and started the ASPIRE Agency, a student-run communication and public relations firm at Asbury University.

“My involvement with the PRSSA and Dr. Wold’s mentorship throughout my years on the executive board left a huge mark on my undergraduate career at Asbury,” Scheller said.

The Asbury University School of Communication Arts offers master’s degrees in communication and media (M.A.C. in Communication; M.A. in Digital Storytelling; M.A. in Instructional Design, Innovation & Leadership; MFA in Film/TV Production; and MFA in Screenwriting). Learn more: