Message from Helen Sterk, Department Head


As you can see from this newsletter, the Department of Communication is hopping! From faculty members winning awards to students competing in speech contests to sponsoring a Homecoming Queen candidate to engaging the campus community in a World Cafe discussion on race, we energize educational and social connections among students and in the community.
Many groups inside the department initiate events that enable these connections—faculty members, individual students, our national honors society Lambda Pi Eta, Communication Ambassadors, and our chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators. One group counsels the department from an external point of view.
The Communication Advisory Council, made up of a wide range of department alums and other interested people, meets twice a year to offer their expertise to the department, advising us on how best to serve our students and community.
Because of the council, we’ve undertaken several initiatives, including revamping our graduate program so it serves both on and off campus students, developing internships, encouraging study abroad, and inviting a prominent business person to speak and work with us each spring.
This fall, the Advisory Council recommended the department engage in strategic planning, emerging with 3-4 goals and a focused set of actions aimed at meeting those goals.
In January, 2015, Dr. Larry Long, until recently the Executive Director of the School of Communication at Illinois State University, will lead the faculty members of the department in a strategic planning process. The goals and actions we choose will direct our graduate and undergraduate programs over the next several years.
Dr. Long has led many faculties through this planning process. As he has done before, he’ll separate us into groups, have us brainstorm both silently and within the groups, and help us organize the ideas we generate into a plan that will focus our energies on making our programs even stronger than they are.
In the spring newsletter, we’ll let you know what we decide and invite your ideas as students, alums, and interested people on how we can bring our plan to life.


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