Raquel Buckley

MA in Educational Studies: New Media and New Literacies

Student status: Current student, part-time

Geographic region of origin: Manila, Philippines

Education prior to Ed Studies MA: Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Bachelor in Applied Statistics

Prior to Joining the Program

I discovered my skills in creating visual presentations after graduating from PUP, and when I started working for San Miguel, the largest food and beverage company in the Philippines. I later became the graphics coordinator for the Student Affairs Office at the University of California, Irvine, where I created numerous print and web publicity materials for various campus-wide events and programs. One of the major initiatives I worked on was called “Cyber Ink,” a print and web awareness campaign geared towards middle-school, high-school, and college students about mindful posting on the web, managing cyber presence and etiquette, and cyber bullying. The campaign received a silver award in the Issues Management category from the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE) District VI.

When I moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2012, I continued working as a graphic designer for the University of Michigan Confucius Institute. I subsequently became a communications editor for International Institute, supporting four of its seventeen centers; I am continuing in this position while in the New Media and New Literacies program. Part of my job involves working closely with program specialists and directors to help develop the communication and publicity strategies of their centers’ events and activities; the other part is creating the publicity materials both print and for web. My progression from creating visual presentations to more sophisticated examples of graphic design has been slow but steady, and I’m always looking for ways to improve my skills. Taking inspiration from the “Cyber Ink” campaign, I think the next steps of my personal evolution will be to focus my skills on creating materials that educate as well as illustrate and communicate.

Why the New Media and New Literacies Program?

I wanted to apply the skills that I have developed these past years both to create teaching materials and to work with educators, in order to find different ways of presenting learning materials that engage and motivate the learner to continue learning. When I create materials, I always make sure that I produce something that I can be proud of. If I’m going to start focusing on creating teaching materials, I want to make sure that I have the proper foundation and some familiarity with what I’ll be working on. This program will help me achieve that goal.

Individualized Course of Study

For fall semester, I took EDUC 591: How People Learn and EDUC 470: Professional Development Seminar. The former class was a great introduction to the science of learning. And because I’m a nontraditional student coming from a different discipline, EDUC 470 provided the necessary resources and guidance for assimilating into graduate school. For winter semester, I’m taking a core class (Research in Practice), a thread class (Media Literacies), and a cognate from the School of Information (Graphic Design). The program has different professional roles or paths one can concentrate on—designer, educator, researcher, etc.—I chose to take the designer role, so I’m taking classes that will prepare me for my internship and for what I would like to achieve after the program.

Highlights of the Michigan Experience

The highlight for me has been supportive people from the School of Education. Everybody—student services, professors, other students, cohort—wants you to be successful and will be there to support you.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

I was born and raised in the Philippines. Education was and still is really expensive in the Philippines, so I chose to start working immediately after earning my undergraduate degree. Deciding to pursue graduate studies after several years of working, especially at one of the top universities in the world, has been very daunting, but the school gives opportunities to qualified students. Though I have to admit that I was worried and overwhelmed when I received my acceptance letter, the school continues to create a diverse and inclusive community that really supports student success.

Raquel invites prospective students to contact her with questions about the program, resources for students, being a part-time student, being a non-traditional student, or living in Ann Arbor.

Buckley’s program of study: