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Corey Allen, Journalist and Communications Professional

Corey Allen

We recently caught up with Corey Allen, Assistant Media Relations Specialist at the University of British Columbia and News Writer at Global BC.  Corey did his MA in Communication Studies and New Media at McMaster.

What did you hope to gain from your MA at McMaster?

I went to graduate school for the same reason why I hope other people go to graduate school for – to seek knowledge. I went for the academic challenge and to better understand the world around me. I wanted to engage in a critical process.

In an earlier conversation, you mentioned that you felt you had something to say. How did McMaster’s MA program allow you to do this?

Communications is a broad field which means you can often play a hand in shaping what you study. I held strong convictions about the required major research project (MRP) and was given free rein to explore my chosen topic.

“The whole experience, its entirety, of obtaining a master’s degree was both personally and politically transformative for me.”

How did McMaster’s MA program help to build on your capacity to engage critically and to think on a higher level?

The ability to think critically is a life skill; a skill grossly undervalued. My master’s degree gave me a greater sense of agency. bell hooks talks about the concept (and importance) of becoming an “enlightened witness” and graduate school allowed for that process to take place. The program enhanced my media literacy and analytical ability, having been trained in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

What interests you? How did McMaster’s MA program allow you to build on those interests?

My scholarly interests include identity politics, American neoliberalism and media representations of youth, race, class, sexuality and gender. The program gave me the time and opportunity to explore these interests further in an academic context.

What was the most importance experience you gained at McMaster?

The whole experience, its entirety, of obtaining a master’s degree was both personally and politically transformative for me.

Why did you choose McMaster?

The cost of post-secondary education, among other things, prevents many from pursuing an undergraduate degree, let alone a graduate degree. OSAP paid for my bachelor’s degree and when it came to funding my master’s degree, McMaster offered the most financial resources. The MA program at McMaster was also only a year old at the time I applied. The fact that the program was in its infancy meant there was more potential there to forge my own path, which I found exciting.

“Make it a point to remind yourself of why you’re there, whatever that reason may be for you. Fulfill your purpose.”

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in your life?

Wear sunscreen.

What advice do you have for McMaster students?

Make it a point to remind yourself of why you’re there, whatever that reason may be for you. Fulfill your purpose.