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MSU PR Student Finds Hope and Curricular Connections Following Campus Tragedy

MSU PR Student Finds Hope and Curricular Connections Following Campus Tragedy

A photograph of MSU's Sparty mascot kneeling, petting a dog.

By: Stefanie Sadocha

Editor’s Note: Following the violence our Michigan State University campus community experienced in February 2023, many original content plans for The Brief’s SS23 PR 320 student editorial team were no longer feasible or appropriate.

In that event, writers took alternate approach developing PR stories about themselves as students in our AD+PR community. For those students who found it healing or helpful, content focus shifted to experiences resulting from our campus violence, in classes the week after, access to departmental/campus resources or support, or involvement in campus and/or community events – especially those related to and connected with the Department of Advertising + Public Relations.

This special #SpartanStrong Issue of The Brief contains digital and video content related to the events surrounding MSU violence campus experienced in February 2023. To access crisis support resources and updates, please visit


MSU public relations sophomore, Stefanie Sadocha, woke up in shock the morning following the violence that Michigan State University’s campus experienced in February 2023. She watched her friends pack up their belongings for the next week and head home, but as an out-of-state student, Sadocha did not have that option.

“Being from New York, I am used to being on campus during long weekends,” said Sadocha. “The days on campus following the tragic events felt different than it has ever felt before. My roommate and I would walk outside and not pass a single person.”

Like many community members, Sadocha was glued to her computer to keep up with the most recent updates. But as an AD+PR student, Sadocha was able to apply content from her classes to real life. After taking seven public relations courses, Sadocha analyzes public media from different perspective.

“One of the biggest takeaways I have gained from my PR coursework, is that there are going to be difficult conversations and topics that need to be covered, but as a professional it is important to remain ethical,” said Sadocha. “As I watched content unveil about the recent events, I really started to think about my future in the public relations field and make connections between what I learn in class to how the situation was being covered by the media.”

Sadocha says she has goals to work for a public relations firm in a major city post-graduation. She specifically is interested in the social media aspects of the field.

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“Since I grew up near New York City, I have always kept up with the news,” said Sadocha. I have read The New York Times almost every morning since my freshman year of high school, and I read about tragic events happening around the world all the time. You really never think it is going to happen to you, until it does.”

MSU’s Department of Advertising + Public Relations offers coursework that goes beyond understanding the principles of AP Style writing. Classes including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Public Relations and Advertising (PR 310) and Public Relations Strategy and Ethics in a Digital World (PR 425) provide students with an outlook that prepares them for the professional world.

“I am grateful that my classes have given me the opportunity to look at the news from different perspectives,” said Sadocha, “The way my professors and classmates have responded to the recent events further proved to me how valuable this department really is. We all just want to support one another.”

To access crisis support resources and updates, please visit