Thank you Manship for teaching me to push myself creatively and to work hard… even when you THINK no one is watching!

Sirdaria Williams
Manship Graduate Sirdaria Williams

By Sirdaria Williams, 2018 Manship Masters in Mass Communication Graduate

I am a true example that a Manship degree is one that can take you anywhere… even places you don’t expect.

During my time at Manship, I was Dr. Jinx Broussard’s teaching assistant. One of the classes I assisted with was Public Relations Campaigns, which partners with the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) every semester to plan and implement an awareness campaign.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that assisting that class would eventually assist me in landing an amazing job after graduation. LOPA community educator, Lori Steele, who had been working with the class, approached me a couple of months before graduation about my plans for after graduation. I shared that I was in the stressful process of looking and applying for jobs.

A smile spread across Lori’s face, and she enthusiastically told me she’d been watching me with the students, and thought that I would be a great addition to the LOPA team. She encouraged me to reach out to LOPA’s director of communications about a community educator position in Baton Rouge. I did… and on July 16, 2018, I officially joined the LOPA team as a community educator working to #MakeLifeHappen!

I never expected that from the start, my Manship degree would connect me with a job. I never expected the organization I was helping students put together campaigns for to hire me.

You never know who’s watching, but because I was #ManshipMade, I impressed. Because I was #ManshipMade I ended up at an incredible organization, doing work I never expected I would be doing. So everyday I wake up, and help save lives through organ, tissue, and eye donation.

Thank you Manship for teaching me discipline, to push myself creatively and to work hard… even when you THINK no one is watching!

Manship School Alum Turns Published Novelist

2012 advertising alum and published author Lindsey Duga shares insights with Manship School students

Have you ever wondered just where your Manship School degree might take you? For Lindsey Duga, a 2012 advertising graduate and account manager for the digital advertising agency Gatorworks, the writing skills she honed during her time at the Manship School have helped her become a published novelist.

“I chose the Manship School because I was extremely impressed by the writing curriculum,” she said during a class visit to public relations instructor Doug Draper’s public relations writing class Thursday morning.

In her day job as account manager at Gatorworks, Duga stressed the importance of keeping up with the constant changes in the digital advertising industry.

“It’s such a fast-paced field. Google is constantly changing the rules for how content displays in their searches, and that has important consequences for how our clients appear online,” she said.

While Duga loves her role in digital advertising, her favorite writing outlet takes the form of fiction books for young adults and middle-grade kids, who range in age from eight to twelve years old. She writes 2-3 novels per year, she said, and has sold several to established publishing houses. Kiss of the Royal, a young adult fantasy romance, was released by Entangled Teen publishing house in July.

Besides her writing skills, Duga attributes her success as a novelist to her ability to give a powerful “elevator pitch.” Although not a journalist, Duga said learning about the inverted pyramid structure, a traditional journalistic way to organize information, at the Manship School helped her to develop this skill.

“I’m better at pitching books than others because I know how to get to the most important information first. The origins of that came from the Manship School,” she said.

Duga said she has a 100% success rate with these pitches: to date, every agent or editor in her target genre has asked her for pages from the book she pitched them. However, she notes that the publishing world can be tough, and persistence is essential to succeed.

Kiss of the Royal went through about 100 rejections from different publishers before it got published,” she said. “You do have to grow a thick skin.”

Duga left the class with one key piece of advice for current Manship School students.

“Learn to love writing because it’s literally everywhere. Anything you can do with writing is extremely important,” she said.

You can find out more about Duga on her website,

Article by graduate student Mary Chiappetta

Here for You: Disability Services at LSU

Manship student Alaina Davanzo

By Manship student Alaina Davanzo

Being a public university with roughly 30,000 students, Louisiana State University has opportunities for many students to learn in ways that best benefit them. One opportunity is having a Disability Services office to accommodate students’ needs.

Disability services at LSU accommodates students falling under the provided categories: ADHD, Learning Disability, Physical/Mental disability, Psychological disability, and students with temporary conditions such as broken bones. Students are accommodated in several ways. Accommodations include but are not limited to: receiving extended time on exams, taking tests in a less distractive environment, receiving notes from classmates, being provided with readers/scribes and interpreters/captioning for students with hearing impairments, and having access to electronic textbooks.

The Disability Services testing center is available for all students with testing accommodations. The advisers in Disability Services serve as advocates for the students. Advisers help registered disability service students with communication to the students’ professors on how the student can best be accommodated. Any professor with questions regarding how they can best fit the needs of the registered student can contact the Disability Services office at any time.

In order to receive these accommodations, students must register with Disability Services and provide documentation of the student’s disability and how the disability impacts the student. To talk more with Disability Services about your options and possible opportunities for accommodation, visit or email with questions you may have. The Disability Services office is located at 124 Johnston Hall on LSU’s campus.

“Without Manship, I would not be qualified to work in this position”

Manship School junior Cobi Smith
Manship School junior Cobi Smith

My name is Cobi Smith. I am a junior at Louisiana State University majoring in Mass Communication with a minor in Library and Information Sciences. I am currently interning at the Office of Community Development with the Disaster Recovery Unit in downtown Baton Rouge.

This internship is really opening my eyes to how the real world operates on a daily basis. Many of the things I have learned through Manship are being executed every day in the office. It is especially rewarding to understand why professors teach certain topics and to be able to use the knowledge they have given you in the workplace.

We are currently working with Emergent Method for The Louisiana Watershed Initiative data workshop and program roadshow. This tour will allow experts and community members across the state to engage with the Initiative’s representatives.

We also revise and create press releases to alert the public about important community events, such as the Restore Louisiana Program. Restore LA provides grants to eligible Louisiana homeowners affected by the floods of 2016 to aid in recovery.

Manship professors taught me how to edit and create press releases, as well as how to work with others to complete a task. We all know college students dislike group projects, but they are extremely helpful in understanding how to work efficiently with others in a work environment. Without Manship, I would not be qualified to work in this position.

I believe internships are important for college students because they grant opportunities to work in unique settings other jobs do not allow. Not only do you get to experience what you will be doing once you graduate, but you also get to see what you do not want for a future career. Manship has guided me in ways I never thought possible and I will always be grateful for the door it continually opens for me.

Manship Senior Interns at San Francisco Photography Studio

Olivia Roy is proof that a Manship School degree can take you anywhere. This summer, the Manship School took her all the way to the Golden City.

While there, the public relations senior interned at Grace Image Photography in San Francisco. The internship allowed her to put to use her love for photography along with the public relations skills she has gained at the Manship School. For her internship, Roy led the social media strategy for the photography studio. Posting on social media on behalf of a business can be a big responsibility, she said, but the internship helped her build self-confidence. Roy says that the experiences she gained at the Manship School, especially in her visual communication classes, prepared her well for her internships.

“The skills that I learned in my classes like branding, marketing, and social media management were so useful in all my internships,” she says.

Manship School senior Olivia Roy during her San Francisco internship

In addition to her internship at Grace Image Photography, she previously managed social media accounts for The Varsity and for the local nonprofit Hands Producing Hope.

Because Roy loved the experience and fell in love with California, she hopes to return as soon as she can — this time as a Manship School graduate ready to take on the world.

Article by graduate student Hannah Boutwell