This past week the Department of Communication played host to over 45 faculty members from Jesuit institutions around the country who teach and research in communication, film, journalism and related fields. The conference was a smashing success and included panels and sessions on pedagogy, research trends, mission and identity topics and host of other conversations. Visiting Faculty and Deans toured the Bellarmine museum, walked campus and even had a clambake on Sheffield Island in the Long Island sound.
On Sunday, March 18th Fairfield University held its 64th Commencement exercises. Over 100 undergraduate Communication majors and 12 Masters students received their degrees in separate ceremonies held under gloriously sunny skies. Congratulations to our graduate and undergraduate students, please stay in touch!
Dean Robbin Crabtree, a Professor of Communication and former Chair of the Department of Communication, will be leaving Fairfield for our sister school, LMU in Los Angeles this summer. It is difficult to say goodbye to sic a wonderful colleague. Below the Communication Faculty (and special guest star Dr. David Sapp) are toasting farewell to our colleague Dr. Crabtree. Dr. Crabtree was a favorite teacher when she was serving as chair of the Department and served for six years as the chair of what is now the largest major in the College. She presided over a period of growth for the major, the hires of several new faculty and the development of graduate program in Communication. Good luck Dr. Crabtree from all of us in the Department of Communication!
Senior Communication Major Kaitlyn Banazynski was named the Outstanding Achievement in Communication Award Winner and is pictured here receiving her award with Departmental Chair Dr. David Gudelunas. Congratulations!
Dr. Barbie Zelizer from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania was on campus last week to deliver a very popular lecture on “Remembering to Forget: Images from the Holocaust” for an event sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Department of Communication. Dr. Zelizer was an advisor to both Dr. Gudelunas and Dr. Serazio and her lecture proved very popular with the campus community.
The Department of Communication was well-represented at the annual College of Arts and Sciences Awards night on April 28th, 2015. Graduating Senior Kaitlyn Banazynski was honored with the Award for Achievement in communication and Michelle Lesko was presented with the James Keenan Award for Graduate Studies in Communication. Bellow are Kaitlyn (in a #selfie moment with Dr. Gudelunas) and Michelle with grad director Dr. Zhang. Also honored last night was Comm major Jess Mendes with the Ella Baker Award in Black Studies. Way to go graduate and undergraduate Communication students!
The 2014 Student Achievement Awards also honored some very deserving graduate students in Communication! Michelle Lesko, who is currently the Communication program assistant at Fairfield, has received the James Keenan Award. Angela Rudas has also been honored with The Graduate Student Service Award. A huge congratulations to these two!
A big congratulations to the 2014 Student Achievement Award Winners! The Student Achievement Awards are given out each year to recognize outstanding seniors who have enhanced a specific University program. The senior’s commitment to this activity must have resulted in the program or organization attaining a new level of achievement not possible without the senior’s leadership and guidance. This year’s undergraduate award winner are:
- Alexander Long for his Commitment to the Fairfield University Community
- Outstanding Achievement in Communication Award: Kaitlyn Banazynski
- Outstanding Communication Service: Hannah Patridge
Kaitlyn Banazynski, a Communications major and Marketing minor expressed her thoughts on the Communication department in Fairfield by stating, “My experience at Fairfield and in internships has been largely shaped by the Professors in the Comm. department. I’ve only had good experiences and feel like I’m leaving with a lot of mentors.” Currently, she is involved in an independent study with Dr. Gisela to complete research for her Honors Thesis called “Framing Corporate Social Responsibility: A Computer-Assisted Text Analysis of Statements by Fortune 500 Tech Companies.” This project aims to fill the gap between Fortune 500’s financial oriented list and the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). She is leaving for DePauw University (Indiana) tomorrow to present her group’s capstone paper, “Attitudes Towards Online Learning in the Advent of MOOCS.” Her experience in the field has inspired her to take more of an interest in her minor in Marketing and eventually plans to pursue her MBA.
Hannah Patridge from Denver, CO is also a Communications major with a minor in English and has also learned a lot about herself and her hopes for the future during her time in the Communication program at Fairfield. Having taken an interest in nonprofit work and having a lot of valuable experience under her belt, Hannah states, “Going forward, I’m interested in working for innovative and mission-driven organizations and companies where I can wear different hats, use my skills, and be challenged every day. This may or may not be in a nonprofit, but I have realized that if I can really sink my teeth into what the organization is doing, then I will have the passion to go just about anywhere.” Hannah also mentioned that since freshman year, she knew that whatever her future career path, she wanted to make a difference in the world for the better. She added, “I still want to make a difference in the world, Now I just have a better idea of how to do that.”
Congratulations again to these extremely deserving winners!
Over 100 Communication majors packed the Kelley Center on Monday Night for the Annual “Careers in Communication” event sponsored by the Department of Communication and the Career Planning Center. Special thanks to Dr. Sallyanne Ryan and Sue Quinlivan from the CPC for creating another wonderful edition of the annual event. Obviously, we are very grateful to our panelists as well – all wonderful examples of how a Communication degree pays off after graduation! Thank you to Molly Barone (’13), Sasha Campbell (’11), Diane Carter (’13), Liz Brady (’04) and Alissa Mebus (’08) for sharing their path to success with our majors.
If you are Comm major you should be here: The annual Careers in Communication event. Seriously, this is a networking, information-gathering, career-relevant event that is must-attend. Be there. Really.
Comm Majors: Advising starts April 1. Everything you need to know about advising can be found here. Go on, click!
Here is what promises to be a great lecture being coordinated by our very own Dr. Gisela Gil-Egui. Plan on attending and learning some fascinating stuff. The Department of Communication is proud to co-sponsor this event.
On February 12th, seven undergraduate Communication students, headed by Professor Maggie Wills, participated in the local Warde High School’s second annual “Life after Warde” program designed to help high school seniors navigate their future college campus and find ways to connect with others apart from engaging in the drinking culture. Warde High School sought out Fairfield University students and faculty to assist with this program by providing their insight on college life and drinking in a Q&A session. Professor Maggie Wills gladly attached herself to the program and was able to turn participation in this program into a fun and beneficial project for some of her CO 101 students. This year, she recruited a number of students from her classes to take part in the University Curriculum Infusion of Alcohol Use/Abuse Program, where she asked these students to choose a topic related to alcohol abuse and create a presentation for their informative or persuasive speaking assignment. Some of the titles of student speeches from this year included:
Campus Resources – Working Together (Alexis Espinell, ‘14)
Alcohol Awareness – The Role of Family (Lilly Savage, ‘16)
Party Alternatives – So Much to Do (Patrick Kiernan, ‘16)
Pursuing Passion – Defining your Four Years (Alexander Long, ‘14)
Time Management – It’s not High School (Natalie Beauparlant, ‘16)
Roommates – It’s All Good (Brooke Baumgartel, ‘16)
Friends – New You and New Friends (Kristin Kelly, ‘14)
Professor Wills reported that she was thrilled to see how hard the students worked on developing these presentations and that this year’s program was such a success that they have been invited back to Warde High School next year. She is currently looking for a few students to fill graduating seniors’ spots and participate in next years’ program.
Chair of the Department of Communication, Dr. David Gudelunas, and his father, Dr. William Gudelunas, presented a series of lectures on media and American politics at the Rancho Mirage Public Library in California during the Winter break. Dr. William Gudelunas is retired professor of History from CalState and College of the Desert in Southern California and father to Fairfield’s own Dr. David Gudelunas. ”It was a great chance to actually share a stage with my Dad. We have similar lecture styles as it turns out,” remarked the younger Gudelunas. The crowd of over 350 Palm Springs retirees and their friends packed the library for the series. ”I wish all my undergraduates knew that they would be fighting for seats for these sorts of talks 50 years down the road,” said Gudelunas. More photos from the event can be found in Palm Springs Life here.
Dr. Maggie Wills said she was surprised to attend the first debate club meeting and not see any communication students present. Since becoming the advisor for the “Debate Society” at the end of last semester, her goal has been to recruit her Communication students to take part in this organization that is so helpful for developing skills for the future. So far, she has recruited 8 students to take part and stated, “It’s great to see them attending the meetings and honing in on their argumentation skills.” She went on to add, “It’s win-win—I think they’ll have a good foundation for presenting solid persuasive speeches in our CO 101 class, and they will also have a line on their resume that speaks to developing solid persuasive speaking skills needed for careers in PR, marketing, law, non-profits, teaching and more.”
The debate society holds it’s regular meetings on Tuesday nights in CNS 101 from 8-10pm. Interested students can drop by for pizza and join in on a debate – working on teams to develop cases in which they propose a case or serve as the opposition. Dr. Wills says, “these are informal and fun nights; only one or two people from each team (from 7-10 people on a team depending on who shows up at the meetings) have to actually get up and present the case for or against – and I’ve noticed that it’s the more regular attenders who grab that role. For the rest of the students, it’s just fun to develop and critique arguments on anything from “Should school uniforms be abolished?” to “Is marriage an important foundation in society?” On Thursday nights, those students that wish to compete meet to critically develop their arguments and presentation skills. The students are able to present in front of Dr. Wills so she can provide them with helpful feedback and advice. This past Fall marked the first time in many years that Fairfield students attended a debate tournament, and recently students attended the APDA (American Parliamentary Debate Association) tournament at The College of New Jersey.
Dr. Wills has clearly been taking steps to grow and improve the debate society. She even brought in Communication major alumnus, Mr. James Carlon, class of ’96 and a partner at Day Pitney LLC, in Stamford, to open the semester’s debate meetings with some remarks. She said, . I called on him to “lead the charge,” so to speak, as I recalled his intellect and inspirational speaking style from CO 101
in the mid-90s.” By bringing in speakers to meetings, Dr. Wills hopes to set the bar high for the debaters.
You can learn more about the Fairfield University debate society from Dr. Wills or on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/fairfielddebate.
Dr. Gudelunas edited a special section of the new journal QED about Jodie Foster and what she did, or did not, say at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards about her sexuality. Gudelunas culled together contributors from across the country to add pieces to the section and contributed his ow piece to the section: “Jodie Foster at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards: What She Said (and Didn’t) about Coming Out, Celebrity, and Queer Activism.” You can check out the journal here.
The Department of Communication is excited to host faculty from across the country this summer at the annual meeting of AJCU Communication programs. Faculty from all of the Jesuit schools will be visiting Fairfield to talk about teaching, scholarship and best practices in media, communication, journalism and related programs. Fairfield is thrilled to show our friends from across the country our campus and our program. Students who may be around campus this July and are interested in volunteering to help out with various tasks, we welcome your assistance. Just reach out to Dr. Gudelunas. You can read more about the conference here (notably the conference itself is just for faculty).
Congratulations are in order for Dr. Michael Serazio who recently published another piece of research. His article, titled, “The elementary forms of sports fandom: A Durheimian exploration of team myths, kinship, and totemic rituals” was published online on November 28th in the journal, International Association for Communication & Sport.
Using the behaviors of Philadelphia Phillies baseball fans, Dr. Serazio spent his time analyzing any myths, kinships and rituals that emerged from these fan behaviors. He chose to look at behaviors on display at public sporting events as well as through sports media during the time of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series victory.
This is not only a must read for sports fans, but for all Communication students due to the focus on behavior patterns, the media and interpersonal communication phenomena. The link to this article is as follows:
Enjoy! And congratulations again, Dr. Serazio.
Congratulations to three M.A. students who have been chosen to present research papers at the 2013 National Communication Association (NCA) Conference in Washington D.C. next month. Ryan Cassella will present his paper, “Living in TV’s digital age: Is the television producer the new starving artist?” Ryan draws inspiration from his current position as a producer at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and commented that he was happy to focus on a topic that reflects both his career and his personal interests. When asked about his thoughts on his research, he stated, “The digital era has brought some profound changes to the mass media industry and the individuals working within it are fully immersed in this ongoing revolution, whether they like it or not!”
Angela Rudas and Matthew Beasley will together present their research titled, ““The effects of diversity demographics on inclusiveness in the workplace.” This was originally a project started in Dr. Zhang’s Communication Research Methods course that both students chose to continue to work on due to a shared interest in diversity and communication. Rudas said, “Diversity is rapidly growing and increasingly prevalent within the U.S. workforce. However, minimal research has empirically investigated the specific attributes and practices for diversity and inclusion within organizations.” Beasley, who currently works in finance, stated, “It is evident that our world has been impacted by globalization. Due to globalization, our workplace has become more diverse, therefore employee diversity and inclusion has become critical to productivity and ultimately doing business.”
Dr. Michael Pagano, director of the M.A. in Communication program, said, “The faculty in the Department of Communication are extremely proud of our graduate students and recognize their very impressive research, critical thinking, and writing in our courses. It is however, even more gratifying when we see our national association further attest to our students’ accomplishments.” He added, “It is wonderful to see the fruits of our students’ hard work rewarded academically and scholarly, but also rewarded professionally as many of our students have earned promotions and new leadership roles based on their successful completion of our program.”
Congratulations again on these wonderful accomplishments, Matthew, Angela, and Ryan, and good luck in Washington!
Fairfield Media Career Nights To Hold A Presentation About The Value of Media Knowledge in the Real World
Fairfield University’s Communication, Journalism and newly named Film/Television and Media Arts programs will be hosting a fun and educational event for students. The Fairfield Media Career Nights will take place on Thursday, October 24th and will feature Fairfield U. alums currently working in media. In a presentation style event, our alums will share their stories of work after college, how they’ve gotten to their successful positions, and any advice they have for students. After the presentations, students will have a chance to chat with the guests to gain even more valuable insight.
The all-star lineup of alumni presenters includes Becky Krause, an associate producer at MTV Networks, Augusta Mellon, a publicist working for Buzzfeed.com, Stephanie Hill, a communications and digital specialist at GE Capital, Kristen Prestano, senior account executive and Kate Dillon, account supervisor at Prosek Partners, Ben Doody, the group managing editor for both The New Haven Register and Digital First Media, and Meghan Doody, who has worked on digital media for Brides Magazine and The Oprah Magazine.
Communication students should not miss out on such a relevant, informative event. As we learn more about the discipline of Communication, it is apparent just how important knowledge of new media is, not just for Communication-related positions, but for all careers. The Fairfield Media Career Nights presentation will take place in the first-floor meeting space of the Barone Campus Center and will begin at 7:30 pm.
Fairfield University now offers a unique program that allows students to gain valuable knowledge about potential careers in their given field. The Alumni Job Shadow Program, offered by the Career Planning Center, is designed to give Fairfield University students from all majors the option to observe real world work experience firsthand. Students apply online and if accepted, are paired with an alumni working in their field of interest and are able to shadow them during their work hours. Fairfield University students complete their job shadowing during their Winter break on January 6-10, 2014 or at a time that is mutually convenient for both the alumni and the student.
Junior and senior students from all majors are offered the option to participate and Communication students in particular have expressed an interest. Kimberly “Kimi” Kurata ‘14 spent her time in the program shadowing Aimee Hoffman, a ‘95 graduate currently working as a recruitment manager for Fox Filmed Entertainment in Los Angeles. During their pairing, Kimberly had the opportunity to spend the day on set of the TV show “The New Girl”, had lunch with executives with Fox Sports, and was able to receive advice about resumes and internship options. “The most significant lesson I learned in the importance of networking in the business world,” said Kurata. “When I’m looking for the right internship this summer or career choice after I graduate, it is all about who I know and who can help.”
Currently, Communication students also have the option of being matched with potential internships or jobs after graduation through the Stags4Hire program. Companies in the Fairfield/Greater New York area with Communication related positions include CBS Sports, American Red Cross, Indeed.com, Make-A-Wish CT, Legg Mason, Subway World Headquarters, and Prosek Partners, to name a few. Both options are offered under the Career Planning Center and are wonderful resources for students.
To apply for the Alumni Job Shadow program, please visit Fairfield.edu/jobshadowsignup. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (203) 254-4081. The deadline is November 1, 2013.
The Department of Communication is happy to be looking for a new faculty colleague to join our collegial group of scholars in Fall 2014. Our undergraduate and graduate students will be able to meet with finalist candidates this Fall semester. If you’re interested in being on the student search team, please email Dr. David Gudelunas, Chair.
The Department of Communication in the College of Arts & Sciences at Fairfield University invites applications for an assistant professor (tenure-track) position to begin in September 2014. Fairfield University is a highly selective institution in the Jesuit tradition, consistently ranked in the top three comprehensive universities in the North by The U.S. News & World Report. We are located less than one hour from New York City on the scenic Connecticut shoreline. The Department of Communication has a broad emphasis in communication theory including but not limited to media studies, organizational communication, interpersonal/intercultural communication, and cultural/critical studies. We seek a teacher and a scholar that can contribute to one or more of our areas of emphasis and are particularly interested in scholars who can contribute to our interpersonal, relational and/or intercultural communication offerings. The Department will consider applicants from a wide variety of research backgrounds. Qualified candidates will have a Ph.D. in Communication at the time of appointment. The candidate should demonstrate a record of scholarly production, potential for a strong research program, and a strong potential for pedagogical success.
For full consideration, please upload a (1) a letter of application including a discussion of teaching philosophy and scholarly accomplishments; and (2) a curriculum vitae to https://www.axiommentor.com/fairfield/comm. Applicants selected for the next round will be asked to provide (3) one set of recent teaching evaluations and (4) three confidential letters of reference to the online system by October 7. There is no need to supply these materials for the initial round, however.
Letters of application and CVs arriving prior to September 20, 2013 will receive full consideration. Preliminary interviews are tentatively scheduled for late September. Candidates selected for campus interviews will be expected to supply graduate transcripts.
Fairfield University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, and applications from members of historically under-represented groups and veterans are especially encouraged. To learn more about the Department of Communication and Fairfield University, please visit www.fairfield.edu.
Michael Serazio, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication at Fairfield University, has been appointed deputy director of Open VISIONS Forum, Fairfield’s signature lecture series that annually features eminent opinion-makers, artists, authors, learned contributors to the humanities and sciences, and civic and political commentators. In this new role, Dr. Serazio will be assisting with main stage events of Fairfield University’s signature OVF lecture series, while also collaborating with faculty colleagues in facilitating effective special events. The successful pilot of last year’s Open VISIONS Forum “Espresso” allowed the series to expand into wider and deeper academic and community programs. Dr. Serazio’s expertise will enable these smaller, more flexibly designed lectures to gain larger audiences and visibility while continuing OVF’s efforts to promote the ‘life of the mind’ for multi-generational audiences.
“Dr. Serazio’s exceptional arsenal of intellectual and creative talents will contribute to OVF’s platform serving our students, faculty, and a growing community audience of lifelong learners,” said Philip Eliasoph, Ph.D., Founder, Moderator and Director of Open VISIONS Forum and Professor of Art History. “As the series grows in prestige, bringing leading international diplomats, opinion-makers, authors, artists, and humanitarians to campus, he is uniquely qualified to promote our expanding program.”
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to join the Open VISIONS Forum team,” says Dr. Serazio. “One of the most vital things a university can do is to keep the wider community engaged in the big social, cultural, and political questions of our time, and OVF has long performed that role skillfully by bringing scintillating speakers and eager audiences to our campus, and with Espresso, we hope to continue that tradition in dynamic ways.”
Dr. Serazio’s research, writing, and teaching interests include popular culture, advertising, politics, and new media. In his first book,Your Ad Here: The Cool Sell of Guerrilla Marketing (NYU Press, 2013), Dr. Serazio investigates the proliferation of brands into pop culture content, social patterns, and digital platforms book, amid a major transformation of the advertising and media industries, and establishes his role at the epicenter of a new breed of scholars deconstructing the stealth commercial measures of the 21st century. In his articles and timely postings in The Atlantic, The Nation, and Bloomberg View, appearances on NPR, as well as in academic journals, he both exposes and exploits the matrix of digital media with its subtle, sophisticated orchestration of our contemporary lives in ways both consumerist and political. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of San Francisco, and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.
Soon after joining the Fairfield University faculty in fall 2010, Dr. Serazio demonstrated his keen interest in OVF and has twice been invited as a faculty respondent for on-stage dialogues with the series’ distinguished guests. “As one of our most productive junior faculty, he is on the cutting edge of a new generation of media critics, endowed with impeccable scholarly credentials but layered with a cool, nervy, critical engagement with the impersonal forces of corporate media and Big Data dehumanization,” said Dr. Eliasoph. “It takes a really intuitive sense of ‘connectivity’ to our current – sometimes wild, often confusing, always impactful – cultural landscape. He has his mind and spirit right on the pulse of our media environment – and we will all be enlightened with his presence.”
Dr. Serazio notes in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed: “Guerrilla advertising is slowly disappearing from view even as it becomes more ubiquitous than ever. We’re seeing a new breed of ‘hidden persuaders’ optimized for 21-century media content, social patterns, and digital platforms. This is advertising that markets without selling and shows without telling. Consumers would do well to pay closer attention to what’s being hidden in plain sight.”
The OVF bar was set high from the start, with Philippe de Montebello, then Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as its inaugural speaker in September 1997. This season is just as suitably represented by a series that includes CBS News’ Steve Kroft (Sept. 16); actress America Ferrera of “Ugly Betty” fame in the Eighth Annual Students Forum (Oct. 7); Damien Echols and Lorri Davis in the Annual Jacoby-Lunin Humanitarian Lectureship (Nov. 18); The New York Times’ A.O. Scott (Jan. 27, 2014); Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson (Feb. 11); human rights activist Ronan Farrow (March 18); and Dr. Spencer Wells, Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society (April 10). Lectures take place in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. For further information, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit www.quickcenter.com.