We can use the power of communication to make our lives and our world better — if we can learn as much as possible about what shapes how we communicate, how communication shapes us, and how we can communicate with others in ways that shape the common good.
The Communication Department offers a combination of “hands-on” training and rigorous analysis. In our program, students learn the communication skills that employers want — how to report a news story, make a presentation, produce films and television programs, design communication campaigns, and create digital content. But, unlike many other programs, we pay as much attention to helping students develop messages that are informed by research. What moves people? What moves them to act? How do we know how others interpret and interact with our messages? How do we listen to what others have to say and what they need? We draw on a long tradition of theorizing and studying interpersonal, mass, and networked communication to help students answer these questions and communicate effectively.
We provide an education that does not train students what to think and do, but that helps them learn how to think and do for themselves.
When Communication Department Senior Lecturer Gordon Young traveled to his hometown of Flint, Michigan in the summer of 2009, he was hoping to rediscover and help a place that once boasted one of the world's highest per capita income levels, but had become one of the country's most impoverished and dangerous cities.
Yahia Mahamdi describes how he helps students engage with the world through film. Communication majors collaborated on a film dealing with immigrant rights and human trafficking. Another profiled wrongfully convicted people exonerated with help from the Northern California Innocence Project.
Peter Summerville interned with Gabe Kapler, a former Major League Baseball player who is now a health and fitness guru. Kapler publishes a popular blog, and he gave Peter a chance to create a guest post that touched on his experiences in Prof. SunWolf's Science of Happiness course.