Pat Hong: More than a Master's Thesis

I was a little bit dazed the moment I held the award in my hands for ‘Best Academic Thesis’ at the Digital Communication Awards 2012 in Berlin on September 14th. Overwhelmed and deeply touched when several communication experts came up to me to congratulate me for my achievements, I was thrilled for the tremendous recognition and encouragement for my efforts in the field of science communication, where the journey began with my master degree at Science Communication at TU Delft back in 2009.

"Social Media Communication Factors in Energy Campaigns" is the title of my master thesis project that won me the award, which I conducted as a master thesis project at Science Communication Master Program at TU Delft last year, and also as a research internship at TNO. During the short seven-month thesis project I interviewed organizations, gathered and analyzed data using mixed methods, with the aim to investigate to which the extent social media communication factors contribute to online participation in energy campaigns. Like every master student, I struggled through the writing process, shivered at the thought of my thesis defense, had doubts about whether I would have fruitful results, and finally, celebrated when I happily received my diploma.

I just never imagined that, one year after, I would be given the opportunity to enter my thesis project for an award and present it to a group of jury members consists of communication experts from institutions, companies, associations and academics in Europe with their expertise from CSR communication, Crisis communication, corporate communication, to social media, online community, weblog, and etc.

Walking down the red carpets in a funky and glamorous hotel in East Berlin with a pink and shiny award in my hand, I realized that indeed I have so many people to thank for: my supervisors Caroline Wehrmann and Maarten van der Sanden from Science Communication at TU Delft, David Langley from TNO, and my family and friends who support me with my pursuit of my career in Science Communication.

It is, after all, more than a master’s thesis.

The Digital Communication Awards was hosted by the Quadriga University of Applied Sciences, where nominees and jury members gathered to honor outstanding achievements in online communication.

Chao-Ping (Pat) Hong is a recent graduate from the Science Communication Master Program at TU Delft, and she is currently a PhD researcher at Dublin City University.