Media Psychology (MA) Program
Great schools give you food for the road ahead
My experiences with MSPP's Master's program in Media Psychology
Dr. Matthias D. Ehrhardt
"I brought you a sandwich and a drink for lunch."
I can't remember any other time when the head of an academic program brought me food or drinks. Dr. Erik Gregory, Director of the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Program at the Massachusetts School for Professional Psychology (MSPP), was different. I had asked to meet with him in order to learn more about his newly-created master's program in Media Psychology. I had searched far and wide for such a program. I work in Germany as a consultant and researcher, and one of my focuses is consulting and researching businesses and managers in times of crisis. This topic is especially important to me since I myself have faced various crises with my company. It all started after the dot-com bubble when many of our customers went bankrupt, and it took us several years to overcome those extremely difficult times. In 2006, we began to consult and invest in companies facing crises themselves. At that time, I also started to research questions pertaining to leadership in times of crisis. One of the most important aspects for managers and entrepreneurs nowadays is how they present themselves and how they are perceived in (social) media. This is especially true in tough times. Interestingly enough, the related psychological aspects in that field are often underestimated or even overlooked. Because of this, I started to search for an academic program which dealt with psychological aspects concerning human behavior, media, and new technologies and where I could share both my entrepreneurial questions and experience. I looked all over the world at various programs and finally came across the newly-established online Media Psychology program at MSPP. I was immediately thrilled by the topics, the background of the professors, and the entire curriculum. So I called.
"Dr. Gregory, I'm very interested with your program. Could we meet sometime?"
"Anytime. Would you like to participate in this year's or next year's program?"
"Immediately", I answered.
"Wonderful. Then we should meet as soon as possible."
Four days later I was sitting in his office, excited about this online program, and so enthralled by our conversation and his warm reception that I forgot to eat my sandwich. Dr. Gregory then introduced me to the school's president, Dr. Nicholas Covino, and the Director of Admissions, Mario Murga.
Six months have now passed and I'm even happier with this program. All of the courses have been extremely interesting and have offered great new insights. They have dealt with theoretical foundations and practical aspects of narrative and storytelling, the global importance of media, current trends and developments in social media, and questions concerning media literacies. I am especially impressed by the excellent academic level, the practical applicability of these courses, and the unbelievable commitment of our professors.
I'm sure that all of our newly-acquired knowledge from this program will be extremely helpful for the entire cohort.
I'm really looking forward to the remaining courses at MSPP and to graduation day. I'm sure when I receive my degree I'll look back to my first meetings with Dr. Gregory, Dr. Nicolas Covino, Mario Murga, and others. I'll remember how I got back into my car, full of new impressions and sure I had found a wonderful program, and how I noticed the sandwich which I had forgotten to eat. I started to eat it. It was delicious and served as a wonderful lunch for the road. Great schools not only give you knowledge but also food for the road ahead.
A final side note: Since I'm so excited about MSPP and its faculty, my wife and I have decided to come to the US with our children for the next six months, starting in March 2013. We are very much looking forward to meeting and doing research with several MSPP professors. In addition, we are going to try to set up collaborations with German universities.