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Need help on my SOP for phd in health and risk communication


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Really need help on my SOP. My writing is my weakness but i still want to work for my dream. Please review this and give me some suggestion. Thank you so much.

Applying for: Department of Communication, UMD

In any endeavor in the business world, medicine, or government, communication plays a key role in realizing success. As I came to appreciate its significance, the field of communication and its real world application became the focus of my academic research interest as well as my career path. My interest in health and Risk communication became more concrete when I started working for sleep centers. Although my responsibilities were planning and managing online communication campaigns and social media strategies for those clinics, I had opportunities to work with doctors and interview some of their patients. I had observed some issues that could arise in the healthcare services. Communication issues between doctors and patients get my attention the most because they are related to my education and work field. Since I have been aiming to contribute to society since I was young, I think I could contribute my knowledge and experience in communication field to find solutions which can help improve the quality and efficiency of care.

My undergraduate studies and work in the advertising business in Thailand have enabled me to gain insight into the complex influence of communication on society. Advertisement is employed not only to convey information but also to change attitudes and shape societal views. I found that a successful advertising campaign results from an understanding of the target of communication, a well-designed message, timing, and a consideration of human psychology. Coming to appreciate how communication shapes advertising and influences society has led me towards my career goal of becoming a communication educator who inspires students to become passionate and able communicators. I also aim to work as a researcher and to make theoretical contributions that contribute to the advancement of the field. In order to pursue my goal, I decided to study abroad. For my Master’s in communication I studied at The University of Central Missouri (UCM).

Throughout my Master’s program, I worked to develop my research and analytical skills as well as practical skills related to qualitative and quantitative research methodology. My research focus was related to the identity of individuals and online communication. For example, in a research paper “Which ‘I’ is Real? Self-Identity in Real Groups vs. Cyber Groups for 8th and 10th Graders in a Rural Missouri School,” I studied how middle school students in a rural area portrayed their identities through online media and in the real world by conducting deep interviews. The study was presented at the National Communication Association’s (NCA) 93rd Annual Convention, 2007 in Wisconsin. In my thesis titled “MSN Display Names, Personal Messages and Human Self-Identity: An Analysis from the Perspective of Speech Act Theory and Symbolic Interaction Theory,” I collected data from 286 MSN users from around the world, coded and analyzed 1,811 MSN display names and personal messages with Chi-square analysis. Deep online-interviews were conducted with 15 randomly selected interviewees. The objective of the study was to identify and analyze efforts by subjects to use their MSN display names and personal messages as tools with which to present their self-identities. Searle’s Speech Act Theory was employed in investigating how MSN users used their display names and personal messages for communicational purposes. According to the result, MSN display names and personal messages were used as a type of speech act such as informative, directive, and expressive speech. In addition, I conducted and analyzed online interviews through the lens of Mead’s Symbolic Interaction Theory to study how MSN users created their online identities and whether they adopted their online identities into their real lives. 

Currently, I am working at the Office of Science and Technology (OSTC), Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C. as a research consultant. My responsibilities are to plan and manage communication campaigns in order to promote awareness and interest in science and technology in public as well as to encourage research collaboration between American and Thai scientists and researchers. In 2011, I conducted a research paper about online communication strategies for scientific community and had the Association of Thai Professionals in America and Canada (ATPAC) as the case study. 

With my personal interests mentioned above, I would like to pursue a doctoral degree in health and risk communication. My research interest concerns the effects of communication on doctor-patient relationship, health information strategy, risk communication and using Computer mediated communication (CMC) and social media in health care.

Working at OSTC, I have visited some laboratories and events in UMD such as JIFSAN Open House in 2011 and met several UMD professors and alumni. I have learned about reputation of the University and its faculties. Moreover, I am working on a research paper on doctor-patient communication and patients’ expectation for a sleep center and have read a number of research papers by faculties of Department of Communication. There is no doubt that UMD Department of Communication is an ideal place for me to pursue doctoral degree. I hope you will give me an opportunity to continue my studies at your department.

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