A profile of the Communication Department
Take a look at what past grads from Witt have done with their majors – internships, grad school programs, and first jobs after graduation. It’s not always as cut and dried as you think; a Liberal Arts degree has a lot of flexibility!
What Past Witt Communication Students Have Done
Do you ever wonder why:
- some people communicate effectively with ease, while others struggle?
- some people talk and everyone listens, while others say essentially the same words and are ignored?
- disagreements often center on trivial things, but prove so difficult to resolve?
- people can experience the very same event, and yet interpret it so differently?
- cultural differences at times pose seemingly insurmountable problems in communication, but at other times are sources of inspiration?
- some mediated messages are believed, while others are instantly discounted?
The answers to such questions are not only intriguing, but have significant implications. Research demonstrates the importance of understanding the processes of communication for all facets of our personal and professional lives:
- Employers seek articulate people with refined listening skills, recognizing that communication is the lifeblood of organizations in the fields of social services, the sciences, education, technology and government.
- Satisfying personal relationships depend upon one’s ability to communicate effectively in face-to- face situations.
- The ability to communicate across differences is a vital skill in our world of major demographic shifts.
- Understanding technologically- mediated communication is increasingly important as the world of the future is marked by exploding information and mass communication technologies.
- It is not enough to know how to communicate effectively. In a democracy, responsible citizenship includes understanding the ethics of communication—recognizing that language can be used to enhance human possibilities but also to manipulate others unscrupulously.
At Wittenberg, communication students explore the nature, processes and effects of human symbolic interaction. They not only practice effective and ethical communication, but understand the theories supporting such practices.
Our communication major reinforces Wittenberg’s liberal arts mission rather than narrowly training a student for a particular career. Students develop the capacities to recognize and evaluate underlying assumptions and values; to work effectively with others through collaboration, team work and community building; to participate in deliberation for effective decision making; to develop aural, visual, technological and information literacy—all knowledge and skills that we believe are imperative for a quality life in the 21st century.
Students have opportunities to apply their understandings of communication through courses or internships in areas such as journalism, marketing, advertising, computer imaging and photography.
Majors take courses in communication theory and research methods to prepare for a capstone project during their senior year.
The communication major features courses in three major areas: rhetoric (persuasion, public speaking, deliberation, public discourse); media (media literacy, media law, media history); and communication and culture (intercultural communication, gender, relational communication). Students take 36 semester hours of communication courses, and also may take applied courses in other areas such as management, advertising, journalism, business and professional writing, computer imaging and photography.
Oral Communication Center: Students recommended and approved by faculty take a public speaking tutoring course and then are eligible to work as tutors in the OCC, assisting students with speaking.
Writing Center: Students recommended and approved by faculty take a peer editing course and then work as writing advisers, helping students and faculty from all disciplines with their writing.
The Torch: Communication majors sharpen their journalistic skills through working on Wittenberg’s weekly newspaper, produced entirely by students. Its purpose is to inform the Wittenberg and Springfield communities about current issues, news events and feature stories.
WUSO 89.1 FM: Those interested in broadcasting may work at Wittenberg’s campus radio station. This student-run station provides experience in all aspects of the radio industry.
With guidance from Wittenberg’s Career Center, our majors have secured internships—both on- and off-campus—in a variety of fields:
- TV and radio: editing, news writing, research, broadcasting, directing
- Video production: story and film editing
- Video production: story and film editing
- Newspaper and magazine journalism
- Public relations and advertising in health care, social agencies, government and nonprofit organizations
Recognizing the value of experiencing other cultures in the study of communication, we encourage our majors to study abroad. With assistance from the Office of International Education, our majors have studied in countries such as England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Japan and Austria.
Communication classes are taught in Hollenbeck Hall, a technologically advanced academic building. All classrooms have access to the Internet. Students also have access to computer labs and audio-visual equipment (video cameras and editing equipment).
Upon graduation, students with an interest in communication have chosen to pursue employment in jobs such as the following:
- Aldi Foods, district manager
- Alton Theater of Louisville, public relations
- Bank’s Institutional Investment Group, Nashville, TN
- Bristol Myers Squibb, territory business manager
- Fahlgren Advertising, Columbus, OH
- Forbes Magazine, reporter
- Kentucky Country Day School, Summerbridge Program, co-director
- KVLY TV-2 Grand Forks/Fargo, North Dakota, news reporter
- Lutheran Volunteer Corps, teacher
- National Council of Non-Profit Associations, information services manager
- Old Dominion University, admissions
- Random House, assistant publicist
- Xenia Daily Gazette, city editor