ECU communication professor to promote diversity projects
(Jan. 26, 2005)
Rebecca Dumlao, a professor of communication at East Carolina University, was chosen to serve on a nationwide classroom diversity promotion project for the National Communication Association.
Dumlao, as part of the 27-member panel known as Communicating Common Ground, will initiate local partnerships between the ECU communication department and the Pitt County Alliance for Youth and Communities in Schools organizations.
Dumlao will ask students to consider how they could help middle school students become more aware of how different forms of media can influence them.
"The plan is they will find a middle school student to interview and find out what they are learning about media, what do they know, what do they watch," said Dumlao, who helped her students carry out a similar project last semester. "Later on the in the semester, they will develop a media product, a web site, comic book, video, that would address an issue. At this point, they are coming up with prototypes for ideas. Hopefully, we could come up with funding and do more professional quality projects and then have them circulated locally."
The goal of the project is to help both college students and children embrace an increasingly diverse society and to foster better ties between universities and public schools. Dumlao said it was also important for communication students to understand and value the importance of volunteerism as well as execute a project that relates to their professional and academic interests.
"I see a great need in what we're trying to do: how students and faculty can address the needs of our community in a practical way and educate students at the same time," she said.
Dumlao works closely with ECU's Volunteer and Service Learning Center to coordinate the outreach project. In addition to the National Communication Association, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Association for Higher Education and Campus Compact worked to develop the intercampus compact. Now in its fourth year, the project has already created more than 70 partnerships across the nation.