College of Communication Master of Arts Theses

Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Interdisciplinary Studies

First Advisor

Sam Close


Many second-year college students have struggled to socially transition back to in-person schooling. After a significant period of enforced isolation, there is a need to aggregate loose connections activated or maintained online. Through conducting UX/ethnographic research on current second-year students who have lost out on major life milestones between the years 2019-2021, synthesizing research from fields of media studies, interpersonal communication, and art/design that incites self-disclosure, and collaborating with a group of student designers, I responded to this issue by creating Graduation Simulator (2022) over a period of 8 months. Graduation Simulator facilitates emotionally vulnerable discussion through a VR scavenger hunt for friends who did not have a traditional graduation and wish to reconnect.