Amazing Alumni: Sarah Hughey

By Leah Antovel, marketing and social media assistant at UF CJC Online

Jan. 5, 2021

Students like Sarah Hughey, a 2020 Digital Strategy graduate of our Master of Arts in Mass Communication program, learn skills and develop a network that benefits their lives and careers after graduation.

Upon graduating from the University of Maryland in 2013, Sarah had just started a new job that offered education assistance. Not exactly sure what she wanted to do, she came across UF CJC Online after researching different schools.

“I was really excited because the curriculum would not only kind of help me learn about what I was currently doing at that job, but it would also teach me things that I never got a chance to learn in undergrad,” Sarah said. “Which I knew would help to make me, you know, a better digital practitioner, as well as just a better employee in the digital world all around.”

Once she decided to pursue her master’s with us, she distinctly remembers her first class ever, a copywriting course with Lisa Hope. This experience and all she learned from it made her confident that continuing with our program was the right decision for her.

Aside from graduating from our program with a 4.0 GPA, she credits much of her success to her instructors who are passionate about what they teach and helped her to be just as passionate about the subject matter. A proud memory she has with the program is when she was chosen as the leader of her capstone group.

“That was just again full circle because I came, you know, from the student who wasn’t even really sure if I wanted to be in this program to leading my capstone program and really demonstrating everything that all of us have learned, you know, in the past few years, and showing it to a client who genuinely loved it,” Sarah said.

Now, Sarah works at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland. Her current employer saw the kind of work she did during her master’s program and wanted to learn more.

“I was able to show them a lot about what I do and what I learned honestly from the program because they were really looking for a digital specialist in terms of someone who really understood how to write for the internet, how to do social media copy and how to use analytics to inform strategy,” she said. “All three of those were things that, you know, I knew how to do before, but I have really refined through the work that I did in the program.”

Even now as an alumnus, despite not being on campus during her studies, Sarah enjoys the excitement that comes along with being a part of the Gator Nation. She also appreciates how passionate Gators are about learning and making a difference in the world. For those who may be considering going for their master’s with UF CJC Online, she suggests connecting with as many instructors and peers who you can go on to have meaningful relationships with and who you can go to for help long after you graduate.

If you’d like to learn more about pursuing a degree with UF CJC Online, please visit our website at onlinemasters.jou.ufl.edu/ and follow us on social @UFCJConline

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University of Florida is ranked one of the top Master of Arts in Mass Communication programs in the nation by Super Scholar.



U.S. News and World Report called our distance education program a top performer in online degree programs.



UF alumni include two Nobel Prize winners, eight NASA astronauts, 10 U.S. Senators, 42 U.S. Representatives, and eight U.S. ambassadors.

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