Nicole Marie Keating
Media makers occupy a place of great influence and importance in our increasingly mediated world. This studio-based Communication program is designed to reflect the changing nature of the media industries due to new technologies, demographic diversity, and the increase global flows of ideas, images, and products. Upon their graduation, we expect our students to be able to work in a variety of media forms, to be broadly knowledgeable about the media industry, and able to think critically about media making and the media’s impact on culture and society.
Students learn how to create work in one or more of three principal concentrations: documentary production, digital journalism, and advertising using the digital tools of the trade. While developing professional skills in these areas, they are exposed to theory in communication and media studies, grounding their production work in an understanding of how to think about media and its place in contemporary culture. Students learn about the connections between aesthetic approaches and communicated meaning, about the history of communication, and about cultural context and organizational constraints, and grapple with the ethical considerations that arise in professional practice.
Throughout their undergraduate training, students take a range of courses in the liberal arts and choose electives throughout the University. Student’s production work builds on this intellectual base, beginning with exercises and growing to intensive projects in the selected area of concentration. The program stresses digital media production across platforms and promotes an understanding of what these new tools make possible and what they limit.
Freshmen take courses that offer both an historical and a social perspective to communication, while they learn visual and sound fundamentals through introductory courses. They are introduced to digital still and video cameras and post-production studios, and begin to produce and critique their own work.
The year-long Media Forms and Contexts course in the sophomore year acts as a keystone to the basic Communication curriculum. The course gives students experience in producing in a broad range of media genres, and includes screenings of cutting-edge film and video work. Interactive Studio and Writing for Media teach important basics in web design and writing. The Interactive Studio and Writing for Media courses round out this year.
In the junior year, students work more intensively in each of the program concentrations Documentary Production, Digital Journalism, and Advertising. Media Industries and Communication Theory and Culture in the 20th Century deepen students understanding of the changing landscape of media industries and their cultural impact.
For their senior year, students choose one of the three concentrations as the focus of their major work, taking a year-long production course. Through this intensive training, students develop a portfolio of media work, pulling together their previous experiences and interests into a project that can represent their abilities to the professional world. Additional courses, including two internships, prepare students for professional life beyond the University.
In addition to the major, students may minor in a five-course sequence designed to augment their major. Students in Communication are particularly interested in minors in: Narrative Video, Screenwriting, Web Design, or Photography