Q&A with Assistant Professor Haseon Park

Teaching Communicators of the Future

Haseon Park, Ph.D., the Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication’s new assistant professor, teaches courses “where students’ creativity sparks and shines.” She discusses her entry into the field of digital advertising, two strategic communication courses she “is very much looking forward to teaching,” and what comes next for her in “the midwest winter wonderland.” 

What are your areas of specialty?
My areas of research in advertising include examining critical factors contributing to sustainable relationship-building between consumers and brands and among fellow consumers, particularly through hashtag-based online communities. 

How did you become interested in what you study and teach?
I was once an undergraduate student who was undecided on what career to pursue after graduation back in South Korea. There came this opportunity to study abroad in the United States for a year, and after taking a variety of classes at the University of North Dakota, I got very interested in how words about brands spread across digital platforms and wanted to learn more. That's how I first thought of going to graduate school in communication and doing in-depth research, particularly on consumer perceptions and behaviors observed in digital and mobile platforms.

What courses are you currently teaching or will be teaching soon?
I'm currently teaching JOUR 3004 Information for Mass Communication, covering how information needs to be evaluated and aggregated to craft a message as professional communicators ranging from advertising and public relations professionals to journalists. I enjoy teaching this class so much first and foremost because my students are awesome—they're motivated and active in class activities. It is also an opportunity for me to meet students focusing on a variety of professions in the broad area of communication not limited to advertising.

Another exciting class that I will be teaching soon this upcoming spring semester is JOUR 3261 Media Planning. I always love teaching media planning because that class is where students' creativity sparks and shines with their class assignments. 

Not only is it a critical class for future strategic communication professionals, but it is also a way for students to expand their thoughts on various traditional and emerging media platforms and apply their knowledge and creativity in planning for actual ad and PR campaigns. Learning some hands-on skills to operate several important softwares used in the industry is a plus. I am very much looking forward to teaching this class here at UMN!

What are some of the takeaways students will get from your courses?
In JOUR 3004, students will get a fundamental and essential understanding of evaluating sources and information they borrow for professional purposes as future communication professionals. We learn that we are only as credible as the sources we are using to create and deliver any messages to the audience. Needless to mention the growing importance of information and media literacy, this course sets the core stone of what basic information skills are expected and required for professional communication.

In JOUR 3261, the knowledge students acquired over the course of previous semesters in the Hubbard School is brought together and applied, strategically planning for real-world campaigns in different media platforms. Students will learn the unique characteristics of various media platforms, important differences among them, and how such knowledge should inform strategic planning of advertising and PR campaigns.

One of the big takeaways from this course will be having a final portfolio of ad and PR campaign briefs ready for a hypothetical, but existing, client in addition to having so much fun bursting out their passion and creativity in crafting those over the semester!

What are you most excited about right now?
I'm very excited to learn more about this vibrant community at the University of Minnesota and around the Twin Cities area! I would love to get more involved in interdisciplinary research collaborations across campus.

Haseon Park