Written by Stephanie Rodriguez. Media by Riley Hannula.
Dr. Cary Holman, a communication professor at Greenville College, will retire after Spring of 2016. He contributed 36 years of teaching classes for public relations, speech and mass communications. Some of the classes he teaches are Broadcast Writing, Small Group Communication, Speech Communication, Interviewing and Mass Communication Issues. Surprisingly, Dr. Holman’s favorite class is COMM 101 because he enjoys having new students each semester and helping them become better public speakers. Dr. Holman took over the Communication Department after Veronica Ross retired last spring. As the general manager for WGRN 89.5, the Greenville College radio station, he advises a group of students each semester on how to control, talk and manage the station.
He attended Greenville College as a student for the Chemistry major but soon realized it wasn’t something he wanted to pursue, so he took some communication classes and received his Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication. Throughout the years, Dr. Holman continued his education in the communication field and received his Master’s degree from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and his Ph. D from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
When asked “Why is the communication discipline important today?” he commented, “Everyone spends much of every day communicating to form relationships, to get work accomplished, to get needs met and for many other reasons. But just because we do something a lot does not necessarily mean that we do it effectively. Studying how to communicate more effectively can improve our lives as much today as ever before.”
Dr. Holman spent most of his career teaching because he felt passionate about helping students become effective communicators. He taught at a high school for a few years and later realized he preferred teaching college-level classes and returned to Greenville College to achieve that dream. The Communication Department at Greenville College “strives to improve your public and interpersonal communication knowledge and proficiency by enhancing your appreciation and skills in the arts through theater, and develop your abilities in mass media while discerning our public’s needs.” As a student in the Communication major, I can attest that Dr. Holman has done a tremendous job preparing students for the real world in this field of study.
Veronica Ross, a former communication professor at Greenville College, retired Spring of 2015 after 25.5 years. Ross states, “Cary Holman was such a delight to work with in the Department. He was always so cheerful, positive and a team player.
When departmental updates needed to be made, Holman was willing to examine his classes, revamp content and explore new ways to teach even the basic COMM course.”
In an interview with Dr. Holman, we asked, “What advice can you give to students going into this field?” he responded, “Estimates are that students graduating from college today may have as many as five different careers in their lifetime. Those who have broader preparation will be in the best position to adapt to this quickly changing work world. So it makes sense for students to study communication in as many contexts as possible—interpersonal, small group, public speaking, mass communication and more. Also, it will be helpful to learn to write in many different contexts such as news writing, feature writing, broadcast writing, writing for websites and blogs and so on. Then, as needs change in the work world, the student can draw on theses other skills as needed.”
Be sure to stop by Dr. Holman’s office in upper Dietzman to converse about the field of communication or WGRN. Below is a podcast in which we interview Dr. Holman.
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