JCU’s Communications Department held an Open House on March 10 to share information about the Department’s new initiatives this year. Professor Antonio Lopez welcomed a group of 80 students in the Aula Magna, sharing that this Open House was an opportunity for JCU’s communications students and professors to get to know each other while discussing the new revisions to the communications curriculum, the 2015 Summer Communications Institute, and the new courses that will be offered in fall 2015.
Each professor in the Communications Department introduced themselves and their specializations:
Peter Sarram, Head of Department – media studies
Erika Tasini – film studies and documentaries
Lorenza Parisi – media culture and society
Clelia Clini – media studies and post-colonial cinema
Ben Scribner – intercultural communications with a focus on the Middle East
Brian Thompson, Director of the Multimedia Lab – digital media production
Antonio Lopez – media studies and environmental issues
Professor Lopez discussed the changes that will come with communications curriculum, which will launch in fall 2015. The highlights are revised core requirements with an emphasis on more production-oriented courses and practical applications to complement theory courses. Classes offered as part of the new core curriculum include Introduction to Visual Communication (COM 111), Writing Across the Media (COM 221), and Foundations of Digital Video Production (COM 230).
Students will also be required to focus in one of three areas of study by taking at least three classes within their chosen area of specialization: Media Studies (CMS), Digital Media Arts (DMA), or Digital Journalism (DJRN).
The Department of Communications is also developing a variety of new courses, which will launch during the 2015-2016 academic year. Among these new courses is a class on Editing and Genre, taught by Conor Morrissey, an Irish filmmaker who will be coming to JCU as a visiting professor. Other new courses include Digital Audio, focusing on creating sound pieces, and Directing for Film.
Professors also strongly urged students to take their core communications classes at JCU if they intend to study abroad through JCU’s Going Global program. The communications curriculum which was designed to ensure that communications students graduate with a wide range of skill sets and well-rounded communications knowledge, and as a result students who take these classes at other institutions may be disadvantaged when they take JCU’s higher level communications courses.
The Summer Institute in International Communications was highlighted as well, introducing the theme for 2015 as Media Geographies. This summer’s institute will span both summer I and II for the first time ever, and participants are also eligible for a housing discount should they stay for both semesters. More information on the 2015 summer institute can be found here.