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Students pursuing graduate degrees in WRTC learn writing, design, and communication skills to become successful professionals across business, government, academia, and nonprofit fields.

Our graduates pursue career opportunities in areas ranging from pharmaceutical manufacturing to environmental advocacy to law firms to publishing houses.  

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Alumni Spotlight

The biggest thing I took away from WRTC that has helped me in my position at Lowes is how to be adaptive in working and communicating with different teams. I work with teams in merchandising, marketing, user experience, SEO, IT, Business Intelligence, Operations, and so on. 

My WRTC classes on user experience and web design helped me understand customer behavior and how to use data to make unbiased decisions. Every day, I use documentation and process mapping to better understand team workflows and how to improve those processes.

I always tell people that every company is going to use different tools and systems. So the biggest thing you can get out of your classes and projects are the foundational research, communication, and critical thinking skills that you can adapt to any situation.

Christy Chilton

Christy Chilton
WRTC MA ('12)
Senior Search & Navigation Analyst
Lowe's Digital Team

Where Are They Now?


Nina Varma
WRTC B.A. ('17)
WRTC M.S. ('19)

Nina Varma is a double-Duke who earned her Bachelor of Arts in WRTC and a minor in Spanish. She completed her Master of Science in WRTC with an emphasis on multimedia, branding, graphic design, and publication management. Her interests in project management propelled her into Agile development—an iterative approach to project management and software development.

In 2020, Nina reignited her passion for learning and became a Certified Scrum Master. Shortly thereafter, she joined General Dynamics Information Technology where she worked on secret clearance projects for Air Force eSeries aircraft, weapons, and satellites. She currently works as a Scrum Lead for NBCUniversal.



Henry Barden
WRTC M.S. ('23)

Henry Barden earned his Master of Science in WRTC in 2023. During his time in the program, he studied publication management, technical communication, and professional editing. For his capstone project, Henry interned at The White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington D.C.

Henry currently works as an Environmental Protection Specialist for the Federal Highway Administration in Boston, Massachusetts. In this role, he draws from his WRTC training to develop program management strategies for the Federal-Aid Highway Program. When asked for advice for future WRTC graduate students, Henry emphasized that students shouldn’t “be afraid to make a big move. Sometimes life puts you on an unexpected and non-linear path, so don’t be afraid to take chances.”


Madiha Patel
WRTC M.A. ('20)

Madiha Patel earned her Master of Arts in WRTC in 2020. Prior to joining the program, she participated in peacebuilding efforts that focused on local interfaith initiatives. After completing a Bachelor’s in International and Religious Studies at Towson University, she sought to expand her understanding of how human rights, foreign affairs, and peacebuilding efforts in theory translated into practice locally and globally. This interest brought her to WRTC where she gained frameworks to enhance communication in peacebuilding spaces.

Madiha currently provides grant writing services and communication strategies to community-based nonprofits. Her WRTC training in professional writing, literacy building, and rhetoric are critical to her work in supporting nonprofits serving marginalized communities.


Morgan Vega Gomez
WRTC M.S. ('19)

Morgan Vega Gomez completed her Master of Arts in WRTC while working full-time in marketing at James Madison University. For her graduate capstone, Morgan interned at the intersectional feminist publisher, Kore Press, and received a travel grant to work on-site in Tucson, Arizona. 

Morgan is currently the Associate Sales Manager at No Starch Press, a publishing company that focuses on computer programming, security, hacking, alternative operating systems, and STEM. In her role, Morgan strategizes marketing campaigns, builds stakeholder relationships, and creates digital assets. 


Emily Knapp
WRTC M.A. ('18)

Emily Knapp earned a Masters of Arts in WRTC in 2018 after studying Cinema and Sociology as an undergraduate at Virginia Commonwealth University. Emily joined the WRTC graduate program to expand her research, writing, and documentary film skills. She is currently a Communications and Marketing Manager at iDE Global, an international nonprofit in Denver, CO that creates income and livelihood opportunities for low-resource, rural households.

Emily manages iDE's digital assets, provides general communications support, and creates video content. "My WRTC graduate courses and the people I met during my time in the program gave me the skills to land a job I love. I will carry what I have learned with me throughout the rest of my career."

Mackenzie Kelley

MacKenzie Kelley
WRTC M.A. ('17)

Mackenzie Kelley received her Bachelor of Arts in WRTC in 2015 and her Master of Arts in WRTC in 2017. After graduating, she served as a technical writer with a federal contractor in Washington, D.C. where she worked with senior proposal managers and subject matter experts to craft government proposals.

Mackenzie has also worked as a freelancer with a FinTech start-up company founded by JMU alumni. In this role, she used her writing and graphic design skills to create white papers, pitch decks, presentations, marketing materials, and more. Mackenzie is currently a Capture and Proposal Strategist at Palantir Technologies. 


Emily Kohl
WRTC M.A. ('17)

Emily Kohl joined the WRTC graduate program to pursue a career in publishing. She is currently Executive Director of Boxerwood Education Association, a Virginia-based organization that educates and inspires people to be environmentally responsible stewards.

When asked about her time in the WRTC graduate program, Emily emphasized that "WRTC changed the course of my career. The program challenged me to grow academically and professionally, to push myself instead of being content with what felt safe and comfortable. It’s when I left my comfort zone that I actually learned something, and found a fulfilling path in nonprofit work. Whether I’m writing a grant proposal or creating a volunteer training manual, I use my WRTC skills every day."


Emily Diamond
WRTC M.A. ('17)

Emily Diamond graduated with a Masters of Arts in WRTC in 2017. During her time in the program, she studied content management and medical communication. After graduating, Emily worked for a federal contractor in Virginia as a proposal writer and communications manager.

In this role, Emily collaborated alongside subject matter experts in the fields of defense systems, IT, and healthcare to provide technical solutions for federal bids. Emily is currently a Technical Writer and Product Owner at Lumen Technologies. 


Jen Oskin
WRTC M.A. ('16)

Jen Oskin earned a Masters of Arts in WRTC in 2016. After graduating, she moved to the Midwest to begin a professional career as a copywriter. She spent two years working in higher education marketing before transitioning into legal writing. Jen currently works as a copywriter for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

In this role, she works with a team of marketing specialists and graphic designers to promote the Bar’s products and services to its 25,000+ members. When asked about her experience with WRTC, Jen notes that the program "provided her with a strong foundational toolkit to evolve and thrive in a variety of roles over the course of her career."

Brandi Harrigan

Brandi Harrigan
WRTC MS ('11)

Brandi Harrigan works as a communications analyst for the Armed Forces Services Corporation. She provides on-site strategic communication support to the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment as a part of the Future Initiatives and Transition Team. Her work in this role involves publication design, research development, internal staff training, and website management. 

Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee
WRTC MS ('11)

Nicole Lee graduated from JMU with a Bachlor of Science in Communication Studies in 2009 and a Masters of Science in WRTC in 2011. During her time in the program, Nicole studied professional editing and medical writing. She is currently a Publication Specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges where she manages print and digital publications.


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