Dear Communication Students,
It is hard to believe, but four years one entire presidential
election cycle have elapsed since we officially became
a School of Communication. During the summer of 2004, in the
midst of a more mundane electoral season, we popped open a bottle
of champagne to celebrate the transformation of the department
to a school.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Susan Kogler Hill, who chaired the Communication Department from 1995-2003. Faculty and students would not have had a Communication School were it not for her ideas, hard work and perseverance.
We now have four undergraduate majors: Communication Management, Film and Digital Media, Journalism and Promotional Communication, and the older Communication major. The three new majors, approved in 2005, are so much a part of the daily lexicon you would think they had been here for decades.
The number of students choosing one of the four majors has been on the upswing; at present, 544 undergraduates claim one of the four areas as major fields of study. New courses advertising copywriting, a senior seminar in managing communication, psychological processing of media, film production have been on the books for several years. The specialized coursework is solid academically, the majors are intellectually stimulating, and they have embellished our undergraduate offerings, making ours one of the finest communication programs in the state.
The School has also strengthened the internship program, launched a certificate in science writing, and helped initiate a culture, communication and health certificate.
We have enhanced and personalized advising, working with the CLASS Deans Office to hire an experienced adviser, Dr. Sandra Ezekiel. Our Media Arts and Technology faculty have spearheaded workshops in conjunction with the Cleveland International Film Festival.
On the graduate front, the Masters program is luring more students and this is a point of professional pride the School developed a Communication track in the Urban Studies Ph.D. program. Our sequence, which begins this fall, offers doctoral training in urban communication theory and research.
There are more tasks that await us. Over the course of the next year, faculty will be discussing such issues as journalism accreditation, making curricular changes in the graduate program, taking steps to embellish the undergraduate majors, and strengthening ties with alumni and the community.
Our school has an outstanding faculty and caring staff. Students are indefatigable, applying communication ideas to new terrains, exemplified by their participation in national advertising competitions, organization of promotional communication groups, and crafting of short films. There are many stories of student perspicacity. I will offer one: Audrey McCrone.
The quintessential student reporter, Audrey found a way to snap close-up pictures of Senators Clinton and Obama at the February debate, moderated a forum with WKYCs Kim Wheeler and The Plain Dealers Connie Schultz, served as online editor for six Cleveland Stater issues, and is president of the student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Somehow, she manages to maintain a 3.96 grade point average, actively promotes the student chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society as its public relations director, and serves as an academic role model to two kids, 10 and 6, who she tucks into bed by 8:30, reading them stories each night.
Part of the reason I strived to earn high marks is because I am trying to model behaviors I hope my children will repeat or mimic, she says. Dont be surprised if the next stories her kids hear are her own, news articles appearing beneath the byline of Audrey McCrone. Audreys success is an inspiration, another example of what makes the School of Communication a dynamic, exciting place.
Richard M. Perloff
Director, School of Communication