Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Dr. Teresa Healy

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen Blanchard


This qualitative research study looks at how media can be used dynamically as a vehicle for study abroad students to create more meaningful engagements with the communities they visit. It takes a post-structural approach with an emphasis on how media supports participatory community-driven initiatives. It is the result of a 3-month participatory research process that looks at how media is emerging as a resource in some of the most remote communities in Nicaragua. The study was based on interviews with community stakeholders of the study abroad program, participatory observation, questionnaires, talks with community members, and the results of dynamic media tasks implemented by students. It found that media is reaching even the most rural of communities and has the potential to be an effective community resource. Media in itself does not benefit communities, but can be embraced as a tool that contributes to the success of community initiatives. By doing this it represents a dynamic way that students can participate and understand these initiatives more deeply.


Art Practice | Audio Arts and Acoustics | Digital Humanities | Film and Media Studies | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Photography