Jana’s Capstone Digital Portfolio


I am Jana Coleman Sanders.  I am from the smallest town in the state of South Carolina.  Blair.  Blair has made me the strong woman I am.  Where I am from, many people do not attend college let alone graduate school.  My parents instilled a need for a hard work ethic in my brothers and I at a young age.  Here I am.  A candidate to receive my Masters of Communication from Queens University of Charlotte. Welcome to my digital portfolio!



I am the baby of three children.  We are all eight years apart.  My parents raised my brothers and I to be strong people who are capable of thinking for ourselves and always giving back to those around us.  My husband Mike and I moved to Charlotte together after only dating for six months.  Although immature, it was the best decision we made in our lives.  We welcomed our son, Coleman Cash in December of 2016.  He has brought an unspeakable joy in my life.  Cash is the funniest person I know.  The smartest baby I have ever encountered.  The little boy is amazing and I am not just saying that because I carried him in my tummy for nine months and three days. We also have a fur baby Rocco who we adopted shortly after moving to Charlotte.




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Coursework Completed
2014-2015 Summer
COMM-629-G-001 Leadership, Empowerment & Management of Meaning-Daina Nathaniel
COMM-616-G-001 Communicating Mindfully-Carol Isom-Barnes
2015-2016 Fall
COM-601-Communication Fluency-Leanne Pupchek
COM-610-001 The Social Creation of Organizing- Carol Isom-Barnes
2015-2016 Spring
COM-613-001 Constructing Messages and Audiences-Carol Isom-Barnes
COM-662-001 Mediated Construction of Life Cycle Dr. Zachary White
2016-2017 Fall
COM-676-001 Visual Rhetoric/Influence Aesthetic Leanne Pupchek
2016-2017 Spring
COM-658-001 Creativity and Networks Kimberly Weller
Fall 2017-2018
COM680 Expanding Comm Boundaries John McArthur
Fall 2017-
COM-624 W34 Comm & Culture in a Network Society Daina Nathaniel
Spring 2017-2018
COM-681-002 Launching Passion into Practice Carol Isom-Barnes and John McArthur
Spring 2018
COM-664-W42 Organizational Identity and Brand Renee Cowan
Spring 2018

Reflections on Learning Outcomes
Theoretical Literacy
The most memorable experience I had with Theoretical Literacy happens to be my most recent experience as well. On the final exam, we were instructed to act as a Communications Specialist for Starbucks and to apply a communication theory we best saw fit to handle the Starbucks/breastfeeding situation. On the exam, I chose to use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Looking back, I should have chose Goffman’s Impression Analysis. One reason is because I have to retake the exam and the other reason would be because Goffman’s theory would have been better suited for that particular communicative situation.

dont give up
Research Literacy

My Capstone has taken me to heights I never thought I could reach.¬† I have cried. I have smiled.¬† I have questioned why I even decided to come back to school?¬† I have laughed.¬† I have had to encourage myself.¬†¬†Listening.¬† Writing.¬† Researching.¬† Embedding myself into my own culture.¬†In the process of creating my ethnography of the black hair culture I have most importantly been enlightened on my own culture.¬†¬†I have never been so proud to be…well black and proud.¬† Say it loud!¬† I’m black and I’m proud!¬† Below are pictures taken through my ethnographic journey in the hair salon and barbershop I visited in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

Digital and Media Literacy
In graduate school, I discovered WordPress! In Creativity and Networks, we were able to experiment with digital and media components on a weekly basis. I have included a link below of projects I completed in this class and that I shared via my WordPress account.

30 Years For This?

Kanye and Trump?

Writing Literacy
Oh APA! It was a rough start but I have finally mastered you!

Ethical Consideration
I remember my very first class at Queens. Communicating Mindfully with CIB! She is by far my favorite professor. She sparked discussions in our class that I knew would undoubtedly change the learning trajectory in my life. We talked about topics such as race, privilege, and politics. Through those discussions, I learned to have respect for others’ opinions while learning to respectfully voice my own.

Global Awareness
When I took Visual Rhetoric/Influence Aesthetic with Dr. Pupchek, we were instructed to choose a topic that had been in recent news and to use communicative practice to explore the issue. I chose the Syrian Civil War. Soul searching.  I spent nights crying while working on my final project in this class.  It was about the Syrian Civil War affected children.  Below is an excerpt from my paper.

Continue reading Jana’s Capstone Digital Portfolio

Kanye and Trump?

So Kanye West pops up at Trump Tower yesterday.  He was photographed with none other than our President-Elect Donald Trump.  This is just weeks after it was reported that West had suffered a nervous breakdown after a bizarre rant at his concert in Sacramento, California.

I am a certified hip hop head.  Let me be the first to say, I used to be the hugest Kanye West Fan.  This is going  back to his 808s and Heartbreaks album.  Late Registration.  College Dropout. Yeezus.  I so used to stan (stalker and fan) for Kanye.  The man is a musical genius.  Some of his lines will forever live on in brilliance.

I had a dream I could buy my way to Heaven. When I awoke I spent that on a necklace.

I guess the money should have changed him.  I guess he should have forgot where he came from.

She don’t believe in shooting stars.¬† But she believe in shoes and cars.

Cause when she leave your ___ she is going to leave with half.  18 years. 18 years.  She got you for 18 years.

No one man should have all that power.¬† The system is broken. The schools closed. The prisons are open.¬† We don’t have nothing to lose.¬† Everybody we rolling.¬† With some light skinned girls and some Kelly¬†Rowlands.¬†

So hopefully I did an ok job trying to convince non-believers that at one time Kanye West was the coolest musician in the entire world.  He spoke of this raw truth that others were afraid to express.  I always respected people as such.

I believe all of that¬† came crashing down when Kanye’s mother passed away a few years ago.¬† Donda West died from complications undergoing¬†cosmetic surgery.¬† Kanye was extremely close to his mom and just¬†seems to have not been the same since her death.

Here we are years later and Kanye is standing next to Trump.  How did we get from a conscious rapper to befriending the most hated politician America has ever seen?  At this point I do not know what it could be when it comes to Kanye.  I just pray he gets the help he needs to help him overcome the obvious mental setbacks that is occurring in his life.  His demise has actually been such a sad thing to watch for me.  I feel like I have been with Kanye since the beginning.

Now I am sad.  *Goes to listen to old Kanye West songs*



Maybe This Will Not Be as Bad as We Thought


It was a week ago.  Here I am nervously sitting on my couch waiting for election results to come in.  At first I was at ease.  All the polls had Hillary Clinton points ahead.  America was about to elect its first female President.  How cool was this? Eight years after America elected its first African American President, we were about to elect our first female President.  With this revelation, I would be able to tell my own kids and grandkids how anything is possible.  They could dream big and actually make those dreams a reality.

Well that all came crashing down last Tuesday night when America elected Donald Trump as it’s 45th President. ¬†I was shocked. ¬†I was numb. ¬†I could not figure out exactly what went wrong. ¬†All of these polls had Hillary so far ahead. ūü§Ē

After the shock of that night, I actually was able to start to think clearer about what had taken place in America in the previous days.  And I concluded no matter how horrible of a person Donald Trump is/was, the man is absolute genius.

In the days after the election, so many things were revealed and examined that everything all of sudden started to make sense. ¬†Hillary Clinton had not visited ¬†some key swing states that could have very well helped to elect her as POTUS. ¬†Then there is the whole component that Hillary is a woman. America simply was not ready to elect its first female President. ¬†Then I thought about the authenticity of Hillary’s personality. The lady is simply not relatable. ¬†There always seems to be something she is hiding. ¬†Donald Trump capitalized off her shortcomings. ¬†With his racist and loose cannon rhetoric, he was able to reach a segment of America that felt like it had been forgotten about. ¬†He appealed to a crowd that “wanted to make America great again”. ¬†To this day, no one can ¬†fully explain to me exactly what that slogan means but I digress.

Then the days after Trump is elected, I began having lightbulb moments after lightbulb moments. It was announced Trump would not indeed build a wall to separate the states from Mexico.  Then we start to see a totally different Donald.  He says he will not appeal Obamacare, but instead look for ways to improve it.  Then, he removes anti-Muslim rhetoric from his website.  He sets out a student loan repayment plan that totally appealed to my husband and I.

We do not know if Trump will indeed make a good President.  This is a President who is about the people and putting Americans first.  We just simply do not know yet.  But what we do know is his tune has changed a lot over the last few days.  It has not even been a full week since the election.  Could it be possible that Donald Trump fooled all of America?  One could only hope so.

Johnson or Stein for President? ūüáļūüáł

I have always been confused by other parties running choosing someone to run for President if they are not Democrat or Republican. ¬†This election cycle is no different. I am like why would people run who virtually have absolutely no chance of winning the Presidency run for well the Presidency? ūü§Ē

After hearing about both on Facebook, I decided to do some research on both Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.



So I learned, Gary Johnson is an American businessman, author, and politician who was a Republican until he joined the Libertarian party in 2011.  He also ran for President in 2012 as the Libertarian candidate.

Jill Stein is the Green party’s candidate for President. She’s an American doctor and politician. ¬†I was stunned when one of my close friends announced on Facebook that she voted for Stein. ¬†She said instead of picking the lesser of two evils, she would instead vote for the candidate that followed her own principals. ¬†This led me to explore exactly why do people vote for candidates that stand no chance of winning the Presidency.

I remember a few weeks ago, Chris Matthews asked a Johnson who his favorite world leader was. ¬†He attempted to name Vincente Fox (former Mexican President) but could not pronounce his name correctly. ¬†I thought why would this guy even run for President. ūüėź

I thought back to my friend who said she voted for Stein and I figured it out finally! My friend is an Indonesian immigrant. She is very headstrong.  She does not trust the American government AT ALL.  She does not feel as if her beliefs and principles follow the Democratic or Republican script.  Her vote for Stein is her way of saying I can vote for whomever I want and feel empowered by that. I also feel as though some Americans are becoming weary in general of how our supposed democracy works.  This election cycle, we have seen hacked emails, allegations of corruption, a very racist and bigoted candidate, violence at political parties, and the list goes on.  Just maybe these third parties stand a chance at actually becoming popular in the future.  Just maybe.

After, I saw my friend’a status about voting for Stein, I decided to write a status of my own. ¬†I asked my Facebook friends why would people vote for third party candidates. ¬†I asked why give Donald Trump even more of a chance of becoming POTUS by splitting the vote. ūü§Ē It did not take thirty minutes before my friend’s husband responded. ¬†He wrote how there are some people who would just rather stay true to who they are. ¬†They don’t want to become a prisoner to the system or political parties. ¬†They just want to stay true to themselves. ¬†That is an answer I absolutely can respect.



30 Years For This?

For the first time since 2008, I was really excited about watching the Presidential debate that took place Monday night between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Donald Trump Jr. I’m not particularly a huge fan of either but I will admit I just really do not like Trump’s antics. The possibility that he could become the next President of the United States really terrifies me. I have been trying to think what Carribean island would be ideal to raise my family if he is elected. Seriously.

I was really concerned prior to watching the debate with Hillary being about to keep her calm through the blatant jabs Trump was sure to throw at her. ¬†I was beyond pleased and impressed that not only did she keep her calm, but she magically made Trump lose his cool. ¬†He constantly interrupted her. He told the moderator (Lester Holt) that he was wrong on a lot of the assertions Holt presented to the candidates. ¬†Hillary emerged looking very Presidential whereas Trump looked like…well Trump. ¬†If Trump’s actions were not so horrible, they almost could be laughable. I stumbled across the picture below today and could not help but use it for my blog post tonight.


This picture perfectly captured the first debate for me. ¬†Trump babbled on and on. ¬†It was clear early on to me, that this man does not have a clue when it comes to real issues that affect everyday Americans. ¬†He claimed to bring back millions of jobs back to America as if he does not outsource overseas. ¬†His commentary on “Stop and Frisk” was ridiculous. ¬†Honestly, he never even seemed to completely answer questions presented to him. ¬†It was on CNN’s after show that Mark Cuban was being interviewed. Cuban claimed he sent Trump so many books on foreign policy and the economy. ¬†Cuban asserted Trump just wanted to “do things his way” which ultimately pushed Cuban’s decision to support Clinton.

Then there was Clinton on the other side of the stage. ¬†I did not want to see her become flustered so that the headlines could destroy her by saying she was emotional, weak, menopausal, all because she was a woman. ¬†She did an excellent job. ¬†This picture was particularly interesting to me because her face seems to suggest, “Have I really worked over 30 years to debate this idiot?” ūüėā ¬†Her look said “Did I spend my nights in my Yale dorm room dreaming about who my Vice-President would be for this?”

To tie this back to our readings, I am reminded of our discussion last week on Burke.  Burke says people come together for two reasons.

1. Common heroes

2. Common enemies

That applies to this election perfectly. ¬†I found myself wondering exactly what kind of person would support Trump? ūü§Ē I made a Facebook status and all asking for insight. ¬†I was perplexed. ¬†Honestly, I a still am. ¬†But I did realize there is no simple answer to my question. I guess I will gain more understanding and clarity as November 8th approaches.

Reflection 2: Examining The Walking Dead


Every since the show, The Walking Dead premiered in 2010, I have been quite the fan. I wait every Sunday patiently in front the television waiting for it to come on.  Most people I talk to, say that cannot watch the show due the blood and gore.  I always tell those people that once you get past that, you will encounter one of the best written television shows to date.  It amazes me when the show is able to perfectly illustrate parallels between the everyday life and the post apocalyptic world.

It is no secret to real The Walking Dead fans that the show is actually based loosely  off the comic series written by Robert Kirkman also named The Walking Dead.  In the midst of me catching up on Season 6 today, I took to the Internet to get other fan perspectives and predictions for Season 7 and happen to come across the above picture.  Perfect! A picture that I could therily examine and present for my blog using materials and we discussed in class.

I have decided to use Cicero’s five cannons of rhetoric to examine the picture and even deeper…the actual show.

1. Invention/discovery- According to The Walking Dead, somehow, someway the world as we once knew it, has ended.  The show chronicles what human survivors have to endure to last in the post apocalyptic world. The picture above does an awesome job at showing that to the audience. In a world surrounded by zombies, how do these humans survive and even more important survive amongst remaining and dangerously human beings who pose a bigger threat than the zombies.

2. Arrangement-We know from Cicero that arrangement involves putting together a cohesive argument. Through the seasons, The Walking Dead shows us just how dangerous the world has become after the zombie takeover. As the seasons progress, we are able to see just how the danger changes from just zombies but to people who have survived that are even more dangerous than the zombies. The audience sees this through ransoms, battles, and deaths of main characters.

3. Style-The intention of style is to stir emotions. No doubt about it as the illustration shows a lot comes down to life and death on The Walking Dead. ¬†In the picture, one of the main characters Glenn is about to die because he is surrounded by a hoard of zombies. It gets the audience’s emotions involved. ¬†Here is a character we have gotten to know for five seasons and here is the real possibility he may be killed. ūüėĘ

4. Memory-is created through the main characters. The speeches. The motivation to keep going. This is especially done through the show’s main character Rick, the leader of the group.

5. Delivery-is done so perfectly on this show. We are able to feel exactly what the characters are going through.  We begin to question ourselves. What would we do in these situations? Could we, ourselves survive a post apocalyptic world? The delivery is carried out so well we begin to evaluate self and how the show really parallels real life.



America…The Great?

First I would start my first blog by saying I think I am really going to enjoy this class.  When I signed up for it, I was like oh yeah whatever another class to meet the obligations required to complete this program.  Then, I showed up to class last Wednesday and I was so relieved to be back with my peers in an environment where deep thought and open conversations are welcome.  Since then, I have decided that I would not work for the duration of my pregnancy and was so relieved to know I could for the first time devote so much time ad energy to graduate school.  Now that that declaration is complete, I would like to get to the blog prompt I chose for this week.  I knew this would be the first prompt I addressed as soon as Dr. Pupchek put the syllabus up on the screen in class.

Identify a visual image that has persuaded you, and compose a reflection about who sent it and the reasons it succeeded.

First things first.  My husband sent me the following image last week during the ongoing Colin Kaepernick controversy.  I found it really interesting.


 Just a bit of backstory, I think everyone in America knows who Donald Trump is by now. The billionaire.  The Republican nominee for President of the United States of America.  the man who has repeatedly used divisive and hateful language to further divide our country.  The man who promises to make America great again.

Just last week, Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback the¬†San Francisco 49’ers refused to stand for the Star¬†Spangled Banner.¬† He explained in a press conference that he would not show support for a song¬†that represented a country that continued to oppress a population of its citizens…people of color.

When my husband sent me this image he saw on Instagram, I immediately¬†thought…oh my gosh¬†they have the same exact message.¬†Trump and Kaepernick have very different reasons of course,¬†but they both seem to say America is not great.¬† Sighs.¬† Very interesting huh?¬†¬† Then again, I guess it depends on who you ask.¬† If you were to ask my husband¬†and I, we completely agree with and understand the sentiments of this illustration.¬†¬†If you were to ask a Trump supporter, I am sure they would completely disagree.

I thought back to our first class and how Dr. Pupchek talked about how we as humans could be so easily persuaded through images.  I have never thought of my surroundings in this way.  I look forward to exploring these ideas and visual rhetoric with my professor and classmates.

Then I started thinking about when was this era of American greatness that Trump speaks of and what was the date it disappeared.  Hmmm. But that is for another day.  Another blog post.

Final Paper

I really enjoyed the process of writing my paper in Communications 601.  I appreciated all of the feedback from my group members. It’s so refreshing to think graduate school is all about things that really interest each of my classmates and I.  I was able to explore something that I liked and for that I’m appreciative. ūüôā

My Final Paper So Far….

So before my sitdown with Dr. Pupchek I had no idea where I was going with this paper. Like huh? What? Ummm ok. ūüėā I must say it is making a lot more sense to me these days. I think it also helps that the focus of my final papers is one of my favorite papers ever. So last night I found out I complete butchered my literature review. But that’s ok. Now I know what to correct and include to get this A paper (hope you are reading Dr. Pupchek). ūüėā

Well Where Do I Start

Sigh. I can honestly say my second semester of graduate school has been overwhelming. It is not so much as the work we have to do than it is just trying to figure out hope and pray that this sacrifice will somehow pay off in my future. I’m a very spiritual person. I believe if God brings me to situations in life then surely He will bring me through it. I constantly remind myself of Jermiah 29:11.  He has a plan for me. A plan to give me a future. To prosper.

I find myself confused this semester by one assignment and for my personality type that has bothered me so much. Like why can I not figure out how to do a literature review? ūüėēūüėā But life goes on and I’m confident by the end of this semester I will know how to not only write a literature review but basically knock it out of the ballpark. ūüėä We are halfway through the semester guys! Here’s to completing it successfully. ūüćĽ