The major in Communications provides students with a firm foundation in the liberal arts, while it also prepares students to communicate effectively through contemporary channels.  Effective communication is relational.  It requires an understanding of the contexts and beliefs of others as the foundation upon which a relationship may evolve.  It also involves mastery of processes through which messages are disseminated.  The program equips students with a deeper comprehension of the assumptions and contexts of targeted audience, while it also sharpens students’ ability to use a variety of mediums, each with unique techniques and crafts, to convey well-crafted ideas or messages.

Students come to better appreciate the audiences, social and political contexts, and the media outlets through which effective messages can be conveyed.  Students are trained in the arts of public speaking, argumentative writing, and artistic expression.  At the same time, they are offered the opportunity to apply these classic skills to digital and video productions, permitting them to market well-crafted message to targeted audiences.

Explore the Communications Program

Are you interested in rhetoric, public speaking, and marketing?  Are you looking for creative outlets through which to communicate artful messages?  Are you thinking about a major that will allow for an internship opportunity in which you can put into practice the lessons learned in the classroom?  The Communications major is tailored to fit students with these interests, who would like to develop their skill sets into a vocation.  Students benefit from the best of a liberal arts curriculum before considering how their communication skills can be adapted to the ever-changing mediums of communication in today’s digital world, while ever being aware of their ethical imperatives to communicate truth in its fullest dimensions.

Outcome 1: Students will demonstrate an understanding of historical and contemporary audiences to whom effective statesmen, authors, religious leaders, and other rhetoricians have crafted and conveyed ideas and messages.

Outcome 2: Students will understand the Church’s teachings on contemporary media and its ethical applications.

Outcome 3: Students will demonstrate proficiency in the arts of rhetoric and public speaking.

Outcome 4: Students will demonstrate proficiency with concepts and practices in marketing.

Outcome 5: Students will be able to write effectively in appealing to targeted audiences.

Outcome 6: Students will be able to use digital, video, social media or related contemporary channels to conveying messages.

Outcome 7: Students will acquire work experience in which the skills and knowledge of the major are applied.

Required Courses for the Major

  • COMM 200 Media, Society, and the Church
  • COMM 230 Rhetoric
  • COMM 250 Public Speaking and Public Discourse
  • COMM 350 Audio and Visual Productions
  • COMM 400 Internship/Clinical in Communications I (4 credits total.  May be taken over multiple semesters)

One COMM Elective from the list below

  • COMM 310/POLT 310 Media and Politics
  • COMM 325/LITR 325 Modern Fantasy
  • COMM 330/HUMS 330/THEA 330 Shakespeare in Performance
  • COMM 401 Internship in Communications II
  • COMM 413 Pre-Visualization and Post-Production
  • COMM 415 Advanced Audio and Visual Productions
  • COMM 418 Special Topics

Three Additional Electives from the list below*

  • Any COMM elective
  • BUSN 330 Organizational Behavior/PSYC 330 Organizational Psychology
  • HIST 370 History and Film
  • HUMS 490 Thomas More
  • MKTG 200 Marketing
  • MKTG 335 Consumer Behavior/PSYC 335 Consumer Psychology
  • MKTG 450 Advertising and Digital Marketing
  • PHIL 203 Logic
  • PHIL 315 Philosophy of Art and Beauty
  • POLT 305 Public Policy
  • PSYC 320 Social Psychology
  • THEA 206 Fundamentals of Acting I
  • THEA 207 Fundamentals of Acting II
  • THEO 250 Foundations of Catechesis
  • THEO 350 Catechesis in the Church
  • THEO 370 C. S. Lewis: Theological Apologetics

*COMM majors must complete four Communications Electives in addition to the Required Courses for the Major. At least one of those electives must have a COMM designation. The other three may be COMM Electives or may be selected from the approved list of Additional Elective Courses.

The Communications major builds within it an internship or clinical experience so that students can begin building a portfolio and acquire professional experience.  From this hands-on experience, excellent students may be recommended for positions in television, digital productions, radio, journalism, or other media related work.

Justin Bonanno, Ph.D.

Internship Coordinator and A/V Studio Director, Assistant Professor of Communications
Education: B.S., Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Mount Union; B.A., Spanish, University of Mount Union; M.A., Rhetoric and Philosophy of Communications, Duquesne University; Ph.D., Rhetoric, Duquesne University
Office: Henkels 2018
Phone: (239) 304-7964

Travis Curtright, Ph.D.

Chair of the Humanities Department, Director of Shakespeare in Performance, Professor of Humanities & Literature
Education: B.A., Philosophy, University of Dallas; M.A. Literature, University of Dallas; Ph.D., Literature, University of Dallas
Office: Canizaro Library 219
Phone: (239) 280-1612

Gavin Hurley, Ph.D.

Director of the Writing Program, Assistant Professor of Literature and Communication
Education: B.A., Philosophy, Saint Joseph’s University; M.A., Writing Arts, Rowan University; Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, Writing & Rhetoric
Office: Henkels 2052
Phone: (239) 280-1662

John Jasso, Ph.D.

Chair of the Communications and Literature Department, Associate Professor of Communications
B.A., Speech and Philosophy, Kansas State University; M.A., Communications, Kansas State University; M.A., Philosophy, University of Pittsburgh; Ph.D., Rhetoric and Communications, University of Pittsburgh
Office: Henkels 2054
Phone: (239) 304-7936

Charles Kolmann, M.A.

Adjunct Instructor of Communications
Education: B.A., English & Literature, LaSalle University; Pennsylvania State Master’s Equivalency