Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

What’s in a name? I am writing in response to Rowan Stuart’s recent article on the Communication major’s name change this year to the more inclusive and descriptive Media and Communication. Along with this name change, the department wants to get the word out about who we are, what we do and how our graduates fare. Far from being limiting, the study of Media and Communication teaches students to develop their abilities in producing and interpreting oral, written and visual messages. In our classes, students make films; write for various forms of media; do qualitative, quantitative and socio-critical research; investigate media theories and audiences; explore media texts; and gain important hands-on training through internships. These skills open many doors and lead to exciting careers. Matt Ryan and Amari Agee are filmmakers in Los Angeles. Mary Toves is a creative director for Disney. Aaron Clark does sports communication for the Chicago Bears. Elice Cuff is a senior director of media relations for country music in Nashville. Beth Clarke is a higher education consultant. Amy Mallett is manager of corporate communication for Virginia Natural Gas. Alana Peters is marketing manager for Buzz Franchise Brands. Our graduates, such as Brandon Elliot, are typically among those recognized each year by the university’s alumni awards. They pursue work in public relations, advertising, marketing, social media, corporate communication, university relations, sports media, the visual arts and other creative areas. A Media and Communication degree provides a good foundation for graduate work in any number of fields. Kirsten Powell is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the prestigious Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California. Lily Kunda is finishing a Ph.D. in radio-TV-film at The University of Texas at Austin, where she specializes in Black and gender issues; she served as national graduate school representative for the Popular Culture Association. Sara Erlichman completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in mass communication at the University of Kansas and Pennsylvania State University respectively and, after working for a time at Ketchum Public Relations, just landed a visiting professor’s position at Methodist University. No question, our students are happy with the myriad opportunities our program offered and are thriving. As you register for classes, remember that we are now listed under M for Media and Communication. We invite you to check us out.

Kathy Merlock Jackson, Ph.D. 

Professor of Media and Communication


By Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson