PhD alumnus Jian Rui knew he had found his perfect program for PhD study.
“Before I started my PhD study, I heard a lot of problems you could encounter as a PhD student, so I was nervous when I came here,” says Rui.
But his anxiety soon disappeared because he found joining the PhD program in communication was the best decision he could have made.
“This is perhaps the best program for international students. Everyone here is so nice, open-minded, and helpful. They gave me a lot of information that made my transition very smooth. We are like a family.”
The most important work for PhD students is doing research. Whenever he has questions about his research, he doesn’t hesitate to ask his mentor, Dr. Michael Stefanone, assistant professor of communication.
“I know he’s always there whenever I need help. I even don’t have to make an appointment with him. I can just stop by his office. He’s willing to spend time helping me. He even showed me how to solve statistical problems step by step. Time is very precious for a professor on the pre-tenure track, so I’m very grateful for him.”
Besides detailed help, Rui said, Dr. Stefanone changed his way of doing research.
“He encouraged me to think of a bigger picture, not delving into a particular small area,” says Rui, “This is very helpful because I learned to relate all the theories and concepts together and have a comprehensive view of my field.”