Watching the Monitor

Center for Social Media

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The Center for Social Media provides training in social media listening, engagement, influence, and analytics. Using social media listening software from Salesforce, students learn industry-leading practices that enhance their skill set and ensure they stay competitive in their internships and careers.

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Through Marist’s partnership with Salesforce, students have access to two professional software programs including Social Studio, which enables publishing original content, engaging with followers and influencers, and analyzing data using quantitative methods, and Command Center, which is a real-time, actionable data visualization platform providing key demographic and psychographic variables on social media users. Students can also earn skill-based, professional credentials using the digital badges initiative through Salesforce’s Trailhead.

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Community-Based Learning

Student interns in the Center for Social Media have the opportunity to work hands-on with clients, providing oversight on social media strategy as well as gathering/creating, posting, and analyzing content. On-campus clients have included the Department of Art & Digital Media and For The Record, along with the Investment Center and Marist’s Swimming and Diving teams. As part of a collaboration with Marist’s Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership (CCEL), student interns in the Center for Social Media have worked with local nonprofits including the Walkway Over the Hudson, Sprout Creek Farm, Dutchess County SPCA, and the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library District.

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Undergraduate Research

The Center for Social Media is a hub of undergraduate research and inquiry. Students in Marist’s Honors program have worked with Center faculty and used Salesforce software for multidisciplinary projects ranging from cancel culture, to beauty bias in the workplace, to corporate social responsibility. Each semester the student interns in the Center undertake a content analysis project using data harvested from Salesforce. Their work has evolved into original manuscripts and has been presented at national communication conferences. Previous studies have looked at the intersection of health communication and risk communication on social media.

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The Center for Social Media Lecture Series provides an outlet for social media professionals and students to come together to discuss industry trends, cutting-edge practices, and social media professions. Previous speakers have included social media professionals from  LEGO, ESPN, IBM, Beautyblender, and Marvel Entertainment.

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For Students

  • Student interns function as on-site social media professionals by keeping office hours in the Center and providing software tutorials to classes and student organizations
  • Students come together in the Center to work on projects with seven screens and two computers that process and display digital listening data
  • Student organizations such as North Road Communications and MPorium, integrate Salesforce into their operational model, to establish measurable objectives
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For Faculty

  • Work hand-in-hand with the Center for Social Media staff to customize a software tutorial and an assignment catered to the unique subject matter of a particular course
  • Collaborate with undergraduate students for research projects using data harvested from Salesforce
  • Network with engaged faculty in other disciplines or institutions for social media-related research initiatives 
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  • Valuable opportunity to meet students and build long-term professional partnerships
  • Achieve organizational goals by tapping into valuable human resources
  • Make larger, more meaningful contributions to the community through collaborative efforts
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Student interns in the Center for Social Media immerse themselves in their Hudson Valley living and learning environments. As such, they are passionate about giving back to the community through workshops and presentations that enhance the local workforce. Through a partnership with the United Way of the Dutchess-Orange Region, the Center student interns offer training on social media as part of the United Way’s “Community Conversation” series.

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Being just a short train ride from New York City, a haven of communications organizations and experts, student interns in the Center for Social Media visit downstate for networking events with social media professionals. Additionally, Center student interns regularly attend and give presentations at Salesforce conferences including Dreamforce and the Higher Education Summit.

Center for Social Media by the Numbers

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Engaged Departments

The Center for Social Media has collaborated with all five of the departments within the School of Communication & the Arts.


Student Interns

Over 100 student interns have worked with the Center for Social Media since its inception in Fall 2017.


Research Success

Every single research project conducted by student interns through the Center has been accepted to national communication conferences.

Meet the Director: Dr. Amanda Damiano

Amanda D. Damiano, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of communication and director of the Center for Social Media. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations-journalism from Utica College, a master’s degree in media studies from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and a Ph.D. in communication from the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. Her research focuses on the intersection of health communication and risk communication on social media. She has previous experience working in the industry doing marketing communications, public relations, and stakeholder engagement. She has been the director of the Center since May 2019.

244 Lowell Thomas
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