From the School of Communication Director
Welcome to one of the most vibrant schools on campus. With nearly 1,000 undergraduate majors studying in four different areas of concentration, and a master’s program with a focus on health communication, we are the third largest major on ECU’s campus.
In each of our areas of study — journalism, public relations, interpersonal/organizational communication and media studies— the School of Communication blends scholarship with real-world experience. We want our graduates to not only be prepared for the challenges they’ll encounter as they enter today’s competitive job market, but to also become critical thinkers, better able to gather, process and interpret information in an ever changing and evolving world.
We have an internship program that is the envy of many. Whether students are interested in entering fields like journalism and public relations, or other areas of communication, we facilitate internships in order to introduce them to the professional world. Our students have been placed in such varied settings as: Madison Square Garden, the NBA, CBS Evening News, Sirius/XM Radio, San Francisco 49ers, CNN and many more.
In fall 2006 we began offering our MA in communication with an emphasis in health communication. Graduate students develop knowledge and skills to evaluate the role of communication in health-related contexts. Students who have completed this program have gone on to work in a variety of areas like pharmaceutical sales, health literacy, student health and wellness, and message design for the CDC.
Students who want to experience intercultural communication in Eastern Europe can join faculty from the School of Communication in summer 2013 as we study the ways in which various cultures create and share meaning. Students will spend one week in Krosno, Poland, at Krosno State College, and one week in Krakow, working with students and faculty at Jagellonian University. Graduate study will focus on intercultural communication in the health context. We are working to develop study abroad programs in other locations as well.
In the School of Communication, housed in Joyner East just across the plaza from Joyner Library, there is an atmosphere of excitement and activity. Classes are held in state-of-the-art classrooms and labs. We recently completed a new Communication Research Center and a multiplatform newsroom equipped with the latest technology for creating professional quality productions.
Students have the opportunity to work closely with award-winning faculty who have been recognized nationally and internationally. The School of Communication has had multiple winners of the University Alumni Award for Outstanding Teaching; and, in 2011, Dr. John Howard won the prestigious University of North Carolina Excellence in Teaching Award. Our students are award winners as well. The Southeast Journalism Conference has consistently recognized our student-run newspaper The East Carolinian
and individual student writers and editors.
We have been at the forefront of distance education as well. We offer our BS degree with a concentration in interpersonal/organizational communication completely online. The rigor of our online courses is equal to that of our on campus degree programs but allow many more students the opportunity to seek out higher education without the traditional time and place restrictions.
Upon graduation, our students go out as our alumni to be incredibly successful professional journalists, public relations specialists, writers, thinkers and business leaders. Among our alumni we have John Clark, VP of team sales for Madison Square Garden, Jamie Lynn Sigler, co-owner and founder of J Public Relations, Tayleigh Davis, reporter for WWBT-TV, Francesca DiMarco, communication manager for Johns Hopkins University, and Harry Lundy, deputy director, Community Outreach for the US Air Force Academy, and the list goes on…
All of these efforts by our students, alumni and faculty make me very proud of what we have done and are doing. The past 20 years have seen us grow and develop from a newly formed department, to a strong, diverse and award winning School of Communication. With the talent and efforts of our students, alumni and faculty, I can only imagine what the next 20 years will bring.
Dr. Linda Kean
Director, School of Communication