Revised Communication Studies Program Joins the College in Briggs

Highlighter & Laureate, Summer 2002 issue

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After more than 25 years at the Smith Media Center on Puritan Avenue, the Communication Studies Department (CST) has a new home in the Jane and Walter Briggs Building on the McNichols Campus. All classrooms, computer labs, audio/video labs and equipment and faculty offices are now housed with the other Liberal Arts programs.

The move follows curriculum changes and technology enhancements that were designed to prepare students for today's communication world. The new location includes a redesigned video studio based on an industrial model that includes handheld cameras and other features requiring less space; an audio/radio studio, where students help to produce "Ask the Professor" and learn about broadcast media; and an iSmart computer classroom in Briggs 110.

Funded by a Title III grant, the iSmart classroom is shared by the English department's Electronic Critique program. This multi-media lab has 20 G4 Macintosh Computers on which students learn electronic applications for page layout, web development, photography, text animation and other multimedia functions. Some computer equipment is on moveable carts, allowing the classroom to be more flexible. This equipment can also be moved to other classrooms.

The audio/radio studio recently acquired a new mixing board from WMUZ that was donated to CST through the efforts of Michael Jayson, the Communication Studies audio engineer. The new mixer is like those found in the radio industry today and gives students a hands-on, state-of-the-art experience.

In addition to a new location, equipment and multi-media lab, the Communication Studies program has revised its curriculum to offer a stronger research component and a generalist approach with courses centering around research, theory and writing. While students still can focus their courses in a particular area of study--public relations, advertising, audio/video production, journalism or rhetorical criticism--they are exposed to all the topics necessary to be versatile, well-versed, research-savvy and technologically-astute communicators, which is essential in today's communication industries.

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