Thomas Family Scholarship 2018 Recipient

Samantha Zaino | Photo Credit: Beth Wallace

As director of social content at Organic in New York, Elisa Thomas, class of ’95, heads a team that creates social media strategy and content for leading brands. “Social media advertising/marketing is unique because it is a two-way conversation with consumers…. We need to craft compelling stories that are relevant to our users. Otherwise there won't be any engagement in the conversation,”
she said. 

While Thomas was a student in the Journalism department, emergent media wasn't receiving the focus it does today. So she worked with Senior Lecturer B.J. Roche on ideas to better support that field.

And to encourage UMass Journalism students to work for websites, blogs, social media and other digital media outlets, Thomas established the Thomas Family Scholarship of $2500 for a Journalism major with an unpaid or underpaid internship in the emergent media field. The 2018 recipient is Samantha Zaino.

Zaino is interning at Steve Smith Marketing and is interested in a career in public relations. 

Thomas launched her digital career at Monster Board (now Monster.com) as a copywriter nearly 15 years ago. She said her background in journalism has been a huge benefit throughout her career. “I spend a lot of time talking with students about what the industry looks like, on an ongoing basis,” Thomas said. “All I want to say to them is, ‘Everything will be OK.’ There is so much pressure around getting a job. Take a step back."

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