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Department ofCommunication


Award-winning Communication Majors

Students honored for essays that draw connections between different fields of study and reflect on their education, their goals, and how their learning impacts themselves and others.

Congratulations to three Communication majors who recently earned 2018 Pathway Essay Awards.  

Caitlin Lyons was honored for her essay on the Values in Science and Technology Pathway; Grant Pustelnik for his essay on the Cinema Studies Pathway; and Michelle Lee for her essay on the Democracy Pathway.

"The award winning essays demonstrate a level of thinking, integration of ideas across disciplines, and reflection that are hallmarks of a liberal arts education," said Katharine Heintz, director of the Undergraduate Core Curriculum and a senior lecturer in the Communication Department. "The Pathways are unique in that they are truly student-driven: from choice of pathway, to the courses taken in the pathway, to the essay which is written outside of any class. It really celebrates the Jesuit ideals of recognizing the uniqueness in each student, educating the whole person, and encouraging student self-direction."

The essays are an integral part of SCU's undergraduate programs emphasizing a liberal arts education that encourages students to become independent thinkers who can draw connections between different fields of study and who find value in reflecting on their education, their goals, and how their learning impacts themselves and others.

The Pathway essay graduation requirement is an opportunity for students to challenge themselves by identifying and describing connections between Pathway courses and analyzing an issue, problem, or situation of their choice in a way that provides evidence of their abilities as a college graduate. The short reflection essay encourages graduating students to integrate, analyze, and reflect on what they have learned at SCU inside and outside of the classroom. Writing the essay can help them to illustrate and analyze their unique learning experiences. 

Winning essays were considered "Exemplary" by the faculty readers and pathways facilitators. Out of more than 1,300 essays, just 15 students were honored as Exemplary in all areas.  These essays were reviewed by the Pathway Facilitators and a decision was made to award 11 of the students with the Pathway Essay Award. 

Michelle Lee

Caitilin Lyons


Grant Pustelnik