Changes in the Communication Department
Greenville College has made many changes the past year and is set to make many more in the following years, including changes to the communication department. The past year, two communication professors announced retirement, Veronica Ross and Dr. Cary Holman. That left a need for a professor to chair the department. Adjunct Professor Matthew Bernico will be filling this position at Greenville College for the 2016-2017 academic school year. Bernico graduated from Greenville College in 2010, with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. He then went to the University of Illinois in Springfield where he received his Masters of Arts in Political Philosophy and Cultural Theory. Bernico currently takes courses at the European Graduate School where he plans to graduate in 2016 with his Ph. D in communication and media studies.
Communication and media studies will be the new name for the communication department. This newly developed department plans to approach the curriculum differently than it has in the past. Instead of the main focus being on broadcasting, speech, interpersonal and other areas of human communication, the department will use the skills Bernico has acquired in media and cultural studies. There will be new courses offered after 2016-2017, by the department, such as media studies and podcasting. Sophomore and public relations major, Hope Brakenhoff, shares, “I think the changes are going to be beneficial for the students. I also think they will help attract new students to the program!”
The Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies (CVCMS), is a new way for the communication and media studies department to develop. This learning space will allow students to broaden their knowledge and ideas by having the ability to take classes from the following majors: art, communication, digital media and English. The new program is directed by Art Department Chair and Professor Jacob Amundson. Junior and mass communication major Kasey Richardson states, “It gives communication students a little more breathing room to pick the classes they want.” The CVCMS’s Facebook page states, “The Center for Visual Culture and Media Studies is an interdisciplinary effort at Greenville College to investigate media, visuality, film and pop culture.”
Although there are many changes taking place in the communication department, the classes juniors and seniors need to graduate will still be available. Bernico comments, “In the Fall of 2016, I’m teaching Speech Communication, Communication Theory, Public Relations and the Senior Seminar courses. In the Spring of 2017, I’m teaching two sections of Speech Communication and the Persuasion and Argumentation courses. I’m also happy to work with students on Independent Studies if there’s a more specific need. In this transition, Dr. Holman and I have been working together so that current students get the courses they need to graduate. You all are our biggest priority!”
The communication department is losing valued professors who have made the department into what it is today, but the big shoes are being filled with someone who has innovating ideas and is ready to make a positive impact on the department. With the communication department making these major changes in the upcoming years, many students and faculty members are excited to be a part of this change which will broaden the playing field and make Greenville College communication students even more desirable in the workplace.