It’s no surprise that Jessica MacIntosh ’16 has achieved a lot in a short period of time. A recent graduate of SUNY Poly’s accelerated B.S. Communication and Information Design / M.S. Information Design and Technology program, her story exemplifies the flexibility and adaptability of two of our most contemporary degrees. It also shows a grounded young professional determined to gain the educational and experiential tools to succeed.

Her story begins in the mid-west, growing up in St. Charles, Missouri, and later earning her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications at Missouri Southern State University. A job offer from the Utica Observer-Dispatch newspaper would take Jessica over 1,000 miles from home to New York’s Mohawk Valley and to the next chapter of her life.

Jessica spent the next seven years as copy editor at the newspaper, allowing herself to learn various design techniques, and while she took to design skillfully, she knew she wanted to grow, to get even better. That eagerness to grow, as well as open up new opportunities, motivated her to research schools with design programs in the Utica area she now called home.

After meeting with faculty at SUNY Poly, she found the variety of classes and focus impressive, enrolling in the BS/MS accelerated program.

Today, she applies all the principles and skills she developed throughout her career as a copy editor and honed in the SUNY Poly CID and IDT programs to great use as a Marketing Communications Coordinator in the Utica area. During her time at SUNY Poly, she also served as a Communications Intern for the Utica Comets, worlds that collided when it came time for her thesis project.

“Growing up, I always had a passion for hockey,” she says. “I grew up outside of St. Louis, watching all the Blues games, and then became an equally big fan of the New Jersey Devils. I was so excited when Utica announced the city was getting an American Hockey League team.”

Inspired by her love of hockey and internship with the Comets, Jessica put her skillset to work, creating a new mobile app that improves on the fan experience through interactivity similar to those used by other NHL and AHL teams. The upgrades to the app not only served as her thesis project under Dr. Russell Kahn, but when complete, allowed for interaction with other fans during the games, the ability to play interactive games, scoring alerts, and direct access to social media feeds.

“If there’s anything I would tell a prospective student looking or thinking about the CID or IDT program, it would be to look at the variety of classes it offers its students,” Jessica says. “The CID and IDT programs have done a great job catering their classes to the ever-changing world of communications. SUNY Poly has really embraced the digital landscape and has successfully gotten its students thinking in the same fashion – from learning about social media to creating a digital portfolio.”