Capstone Spotlight: The Quiet Struggle by Desiree Jacob, EMAC MA

In Fall 2012, Desiree Jacob completed her capstone project, The Quiet Struggle (, as part of the degree requirements for the Masters of Arts in Emerging Media and Communication.

The Quiet Struggle

When Desiree began thinking about her capstone, she wanted to explore the impact of social media on adoption processes. She began by looking at scholarly research on the effects of adoption, particularly open adoption, on the adoptee. She then completed several case studies to examine what types of digital resources were already available on the topic. These two steps gave her a solid theoretical foundation and helped her realize that one of the areas that needed development was in telling the stories of all members of the adoption triad – the birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee. Thus, she began work on “The Quiet Struggle.”

According to Desiree, “Many adoption myths persist in our society. Understanding details on the topic of adoption is something that all members of the triad (adoptee, birth mom and adoptive parents) should be more educated and aware of before decisions are made.” On the site, Desiree collects testimonials from all members of the triad, blogs about her own experience, and shares news about adoption.

EMAC Assistant Professor Kim Knight, Desiree’s capstone supervisor, observes, “One of the things that is exemplary about “The Quiet Struggle” is that Desiree has used her passion to construct a project with social benefit for an audience with very specific needs. She has a growing pool of readers and people are coming forward to share their stories on the site, both of which speak to the quality of the project.”

Desiree will continue to work on “The Quiet Struggle” after her MA is awarded. In her final paper for the project, Desiree reflected, “knowing that there are others who have gone through similar experiences can provide reassurance that these feelings and experiences are “normal” (whatever normal is). I also believe that by more of us opening up and talking freely about our experiences, we can help bring an end to the secrecy and taboo that surrounds adoption and hopefully increase understanding of how complex adoption really is.”

You can access “The Quiet Struggle” at and follow Desiree on Twitter at