A Q&A with Senior Journalism and Political Science Double Major Mica-Ela Vitug

by | Jun 9, 2020 | Dean's Corner, Faces of Fulbright, Q & A, Student Success

Mica-Ela Vitug
Senior Double Majoring in Journalism Advertising and PR and Political Science,
Fulbright College’s Undergraduate Student DE&I Council Representative

In this conversation, Vitug talks about how much she loves the people and professors she’s met in her favorite campus spot and safe haven – Kimpel Hall; her favorite classes that have sparked her passion for media literacy and representation, the campaign side of politics, and the literature of nonviolence; the importance of getting involved in activities outside the classroom; and how students shouldn’t be afraid of failure or asking for help, as it’s all part of the education journey.

Mica Ela VitugQ: Tell us a little about your academic passions, research and/or what you’re studying within the college. What excites you about this?

I am currently studying journalism (AD/PR) and political science and I am working towards my event management minor. In the future, I would love to be a campaign manager, work in political advertising, or be a publicist.

Throughout my junior year, I have found an interest in political communications and analyzing how the politicians’ verbal and nonverbal actions have an impact on how voters/other viewers see that politician. I have also found a passion for learning more about diversity (or the lack of) in the media.

I think those topics really excite me because these are things that are able to create change.

For example, if I am a campaign manager, I can tell my candidate that he should do x, y, and z during a speech in order to get the results that we are searching for. If I am an advertiser or publicist, I can be able to make sure there is a correct representation in ads, in order to make the audience feel seen.

Q: How long have you been at Fulbright College? What have you enjoyed most about your time here?

I am about to enter my senior year here at the U of A! I’ve been a Fulbright College student since I first stepped foot on campus almost four years ago.

There are so many things that I have loved or have learned to love during my time at the university. Since I am a journalism student, I practically live in Kimpel Hall. I have an Instagram Story Highlight of pictures of me just in Kimpel. I think Kimpel is one of my favorite things about being a student at the U of A.

Not only is Kimpel found on the best spot on campus (right across from the Starbucks) and home to my favorite classes and professors, but it’s also responsible for a lot of my long-term friendships.

It was in Kimpel Hall that I found people who share the same ideologies, goals and aspirations as me. I’ve created friendships that have pushed me to be the best version of myself.

The professors that I have met in Kimpel have been incredible mentors for me. These professors care about their students inside and outside of the classroom. Of course, they teach us the things that we signed up to learn about, but the life lessons that I’ve learned in classes are indescribable.

Kimpel Hall is a safe haven and I am incredibly honored to walk through those doors every single day.

Mica Ela Vitug with friends in front of Kimpel HallQ: What has your favorite class been so far and why?

This is a tough one! I’ve loved almost all of my classes, but I can give you two that have stuck out to me!

First, Asian-Americans in the Media/Indian-Americans in the Media with Dr. Kumar.

I took these two classes during my sophomore year! There are so many things I could rave about in regard to these classes! Dr. Kumar did an amazing job at showing how important correct representation in the media is. Media literacy is so important! I think everyone should take a class like this at least once during their time at the U of A!

I thought it was amazing that there were so many people in this class that wanted to become an ally for minorities. It gave me hope. Dr. Kumar also taught me things I never even realized when I was growing up as a first-generation Filipino-American.

Second, Political Communication with Professor Stewart!

I’ve always had a passion for politics and political science, but this class definitely sparked my interest and love for the campaign side of politics. Professor Stewart really tailored the class to make sure we got out of it what we wanted. It is such an interesting class. I’m taking his Political Psychology class in the fall!

Honorable mention is Literature of Nonviolence with Dr. Burris and Professor Dorjee! Two intelligent minds putting together an incredible lecture. This class is eye-opening.

Q: What advice would you give to new students about to join the college?

Get involved in as many things as you can! You only get out of college what you put in! There are so many RSOs that you can get involved in! There are hundreds of RSOs that you can be involved in that fit your interests.

Greek Life is awesome and I love it. In my experience, I’ve learned a ton from being involved in Greek Life and other RSOs. This has really pushed me to be a well-rounded version of myself.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your professors for opportunities! I took Digital Content Strategy with Professor Reed and I ended up getting hired as a student worker for the IDEALS Institute at the U of A! Professors are here to help and guide you!

Mica Ela Vitug Q: What do you like to do during your time outside of the university?

Outside of the university, I am currently an ambassador for George’s Majestic Lounge and a campaign intern for a Missouri Democratic State Representative candidate!

Hanging out with my friends is so important for me. Getting time away from our textbooks reminds us that school is only one important aspect of our lives. Cultivating those intentional relationships and friendships help me grow interpersonally.

I like to think of myself as a creative. Besides from hanging out with my friends, I enjoy listening and creating music. I love taking photos and videos to really remember the in-between moments.

Q: When do you anticipate graduating, and what’s up next on the horizon for you?

I am scheduled to graduate in the Spring of 2021, and I am currently studying for the GRE and LSAT. I anticipate applying to and attending either law school or a graduate school in the fall of 2021.

This past year has been eye opening for me. I feel like the world is my oyster now more than ever. Even though I don’t have any solid plans yet, I have somewhat of an idea.

I’d like to attend law school, but I would also like to attend graduate school in efforts to obtain my master’s in either public relations or political science. Then hopefully get my Ph.D.!

Mica Ela Vitug with friendsQ: Is there anything else you’d like to add or let readers know?

There’s something at OrangeTheory that the coaches would tell us: “Be comfortable with the uncomfortable.”

I feel like this statement is truer now than it has ever been. You may be faced with situations that you don’t exactly know how to handle. It is within you to educate others, educate yourself, and most importantly stand up for what you know is right.

Find others who stand with you and don’t be afraid to educate others. It is your job to do what you can to the best of your ability. From there, you know you have done what you needed to do.

College is a time for you to learn more about who you are and what you believe in. Understand that there will be good days and bad days, but remember the bad days are what craft you into the person that you are.

Don’t be afraid of failure, don’t be afraid to educate yourself and others, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications,

J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 // liwag@uark.edu