Community Outreach Coordinator Utilizes Her Online Communication Master’s to Inspire Action on Water Pollution

Sacramento-based community outreach coordinator Jeanette Huddleston believes skillful communication can change the world. She sees the impact of communication every day in her job, where she helps communities around Sacramento protect local waterways and preserve California’s beautiful oceans, rivers and streams for future generations. As a community outreach coordinator, she plans workshops and events, conducts youth outreach, runs public awareness campaigns, and empowers her neighbors to take action on water pollution and preservation. 

Huddleston’s passion for how communication can inspire action is what led her to go back to school for her master’s degree. She felt that a master’s program could equip her with the tools she needed to make a bigger impact in her career and open new opportunities in the future. 

“I wanted to use my degree to engage with the community in Sacramento about water pollution,” Huddleston said. “And I wanted to open the door to more leadership opportunities down the road.” 

Purdue University’s online Master of Science in Communication stuck out to Huddleston for multiple reasons. First, Purdue’s program was affordable. She was impressed by Purdue’s record of keeping undergraduate tuition rates frozen for 13 consecutive years and felt Purdue offered the best education at the best value. She was also impressed by the variety of relevant courses Purdue offered and the career focus of the curriculum. Additionally, Purdue’s online program gave her the flexibility she needed to work toward her goals without sacrificing her other responsibilities.  

“Flexibility is important to me,” Huddleston said. “As a busy working professional, I wanted a program that would work with my family life and career life.” 

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With Purdue’s program, Huddleston struck a balance between working full-time and investing in her education. Purdue’s dedicated support staff were always there to help her find time for assignments and work through the program at her own pace, and her courses kept her interested by teaching relevant skills that she could immediately apply to her career.  

One of Huddleston’s favorite experiences in the program was her social media course, where she learned how to communicate and engage with her local community on Instagram and Facebook. As a community outreach coordinator, Huddleston needs to be able to connect with different audiences, and the course helped her craft messages around water preservation that will reach new audiences and grow organically.  

“[This course] will help me connect with my audience in meaningful ways,” Huddleston said.  

For Huddleston, pursuing a master’s is about making a personal investment. In addition to taking courses that will help her career, she has increased her confidence and proven herself as an expert communicator. Though going to school and working full-time is stressful, Huddleston says being able to celebrate the small victories with her support system makes it all worthwhile. 

“Going back to school shows that I’m hardworking, committed and able to invest in myself and the future,” Huddleston said. “My advice [to other online students] is to make sure you make time for yourself and your family and practice self-care. Celebrate small victories and never forget your ‘why?’” 

Now that she’s graduated, Huddleston looks back on her experience and describes it as one of the best decisions she’s ever made. She recommends Purdue to anyone looking to expand their career horizons and challenge themselves. She says her understanding of communication has grown exponentially, and she looks forward to using her newfound skills to inspire action on water pollution in Sacramento and beyond.  

“If you’re looking for a top-notch education that’s relevant to your career, Purdue University is a great choice,” Huddleston said. “If you’re looking for great tools and strategies that can be applied to your career, Purdue’s a great choice there as well.” 

To learn more about Purdue’s online master’s in communication, visit the program’s webpage.