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Department of Communication
Professors: J. Akrami, S. Ferris, J. Lee, T. Lesher, C. Lum, B. Morganstern, I. Olaye, D. Peck, W. Sandmann
Associate Professors: R. Bartone, E. Birge (chair), L. Brown, L. McLaughlin-Vignier, J. Rhodes, E. Stroppel, K. Yoo
Assistant Professors: J. Beal, G. Guerrieri, K. Obadike, R. Quicke, L. Ramos , K. Smith , C. Williams
The mission of the Department of Communication is to provide academically based communication courses aligned to William Paterson University's central mission of preparing students for "careers, advanced studies, and productive citizenship in an increasingly global economy and technological world." The bachelor of arts (B.A.) in communication offers an integrated introduction to the communication arts and technologies through a humanizing course of study in concert with introductory and advanced production-oriented classes.
The BA in communication describes, at its most general level, the creation, transmission, and evaluation of messages at all levels, for commercial or noncommercial purposes, and prepares individuals to apply the principles of communication to work in varied media. This includes instruction in modes and behavioral aspects of human communication, the formal means by which society organizes communication, and the role of communication in culture.
Concentration Programs within the Major
The BA in communication encompasses an integrated curricular structure leading to a single degree. As of fall 2008, students may choose from the following concentrations within the major.
The Communication Studies concentration provides provides students the opportunity to study interpersonal communication from behavioral, humanistic, and scientific perspectives. This includes instruction in the theory and history of communication, the development and application of intercultural and international communication practices, as well as relational, team, and leadership communication competencies in business, education, and social settings. Enhanced competency in written and oral expression is supported through the examination of oral and nonverbal and current technology-based messaging formats.
Journalism/Public Relations students are introduced to the methods and techniques for gathering, processing, and delivering information in print and broadcast media. The concentration includes instruction in news writing, reporting, editing, media laws/ethics, and public relations principles and practices. Students produce television news shows, publish a campus newspaper, and create public relations campaigns. Students may choose from the following tracks to better customize their course of study based on specific interest areas:
• Print Journalism
• Broadcast Journalism
• Public Relations
Media Studies and Media Production students are introduced to both the aesthetic and applied methods of communication media. The concentration offers two tracks: media studies, which examines the cultural, social and ethical dimensions of communication practices, and media production, which encompasses the production of broadcast and film. Students may choose from the following tracks to better customize their course of study based on specific interest areas:
• Media Studies
• Media Production
Theatre and Comedy students focus on the arts of theatre and comedy, both academically and experientially. In theatre classes, such as acting, directing, and playwriting, students learn historical and contemporary theories of theatre, act in improvisations and scenes, direct fellow students, and write staged plays. In the Comedy/Stand-up classes, they learn comedic theories and skills, and take their final exam at Gotham Comedy Club in New York City; in the sketch comedy writing and performing class, they replicate the process by which Saturday Night Live skits are developed and present their skits and videos at the end of each semester. Live performance, writing, research, and collaborative learning are the hallmarks of this program as students develop skills in presentation and creativity, and learn how to utilize them in all media. Requirements include performing in and work on University theatre productions.
A variety of professional opportunities exist for majors with a BA in communication in broadcasting, print journalism, radio, television, theatre and comedy. These include careers in announcing, station management, corporate and cable operations, filmmaking, acting, directing, writing, editing, and criticism. In addition, communication studies prepare students for positions in business, government, education, public relations, personal work, management, consulting, etc.
The degree also provides an excellent undergraduate background for students intending to pursue advanced degrees in law, business and areas of public service, government, or education.
Alpha Psi Omega (APO), the National Theatre Honor Society, provides acknowledgement to those students who demonstrate a high standard of accomplishment in theatre. This society is not intended to take the place of any other theatre club or producing group, but as students qualify they may be rewarded by election to membership in this society. APO requires that students participate in on-campus theatre work for a minimum of two semesters and participate in a variety of production tasks (acting, directing, technical theatre, etc.). Students of all disciplines are welcome. For more information, please contact Professor E. Stroppel, Department of Communication, 973.720.3342.
Lambda Pi Eta, the National Honor Society in communication, is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and an affiliate of the National Communication Association. Lambda Pi Eta recognizes and rewards student excellence in the field of communication. Membership is open to any communication major who has a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, a minimum communication GPA of 3.25, and demonstrates an active commitment to the field of communication. Full members must have 60 credits; associate membership is available to those with fewer than 60 credits. The Beta Xi chapter of Lambda Pi Eta is a student-run organization, which provides opportunities and support for academically related activities. For more information, please contact Professor M. Crick Department of Communication, 973.720.2655.
The Department of Communication offers two types of internship opportunities for students through COMM 3300 & COMM 3301.
External internships are open to juniors and seniors with a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Students receive credit for interning at any of a large number of media outlets, including the major news networks and talk shows in Manhattan, as well as public relations agencies, newspapers, film production companies, Fortune 500 corporations, and theatre companies. Permission from the internship coordinator is needed for students to enroll.
Internal internships offer students credit for working on campus-based media outlets, such as radio and television, and in theatre. Permission from the instructor in charge of the specific area and the internship coordinator is needed for students to enroll.
The broadcast journalism track gives students an overview of the theory and history of television news, and focuses on the research, writing, and production skills associated with putting together the various parts of a TV network-style news program. Students learn to: write and produce TV news stories, both in the newsroom and also using cameras, editing, and sound equipment; do "live" video reports from remote locations; assemble a news show rundown; supervise preproduction of a TV news program; and supervise the program as it airs. In this way, students are prepared for internships at the major TV news networks and ultimately for TV industry jobs.
The print journalism track prepares students for professional careers in the newspaper and related industries and for advanced study. The curriculum enables students to become sophisticated consumers of news media and includes instruction in news writing, reporting, editing, and media law/ethics. Emphasis is placed on integrating new media throughout the track's curriculum. Students prepare for internships and entry-level positions at newspapers through writing for the student newspaper.
The public relations track prepares students for employment in public relations and related industries and for advanced study in the field of public relations, corporate communication, management, or business. The curriculum provides students with an understanding of the broad career opportunities available in the field and explores the various definitions of public relations as a management function. Students who complete the public relations track will benefit from course work covering cultural and economic context, public relations theory, and evolution of the practice. Rigorous applied public relations practice includes public relations writing and oral presentation, audience analysis, media outreach, strategic integrated communication, program development, and crisis management. The program encourages participation in an internship or cooperative experience where students gain valuable experience by applying their public relations skills and knowledge in a professional setting.
The media studies track takes a generalist approach to understanding the social, economic, political, cultural, aesthetic, legal, and ethical dimensions of communication media. Courses are designed to introduce students to an international and multicultural appreciation of the role of media technologies in a global society. Students have the opportunity to blend their critical studies in media with hands-on creative studies through elective media production courses. Students considering careers in the various media industries would benefit from this broad understanding and the program's emphasis on the critical analysis of the role of media in a society characterized by rapid media change.
The media production track introduces students to the methods and techniques used to create aural/visual messages in a variety of mass media. Sequences of introductory and advanced courses in theory and practice of film, television, and radio provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the aesthetics and techniques of media production and prepare them to function as professionals in different media fields. The production facilities in the track allow students hands-on practice in two television studios, a radio station, a film production lab, a digital audio production lab, and several digital video and audio editing rooms.
- Communication - Broadcast Journalism BA
- Communication - Interpersonal Communication BA
- Communication - Media Production BA
- Communication - Media Studies BA
- Communication - Print Journalism BA
- Communication - Print Journalism BA
- Communication - Print Journalism BA
- Communication - Public Relations BA
- Communication - Theatre & Comedy BA
- Communication Studies BA
- Communication Studies BA
William Paterson University
300 Pompton Road
Wayne, New Jersey 07470
Comments: Contact Catalog Team