News and notes from the Communication program @ Fairfield

Archive for October, 2012

Important Advising Info

Hey Comm Majors-

Advising is upon us for the Spring 2013 semester.  Everything you could ever possibly want to know about advising can be found on this page.  Go on, click through and read BEFORE you email your advisor.  Good luck with the registration process!

Dr. Gudelunas

Chair, Department of Communication

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Need something to do Saturday night? Help this cause!

This Saturday (October 13th), Fairfield will host the second annual Cancer Crusher Hoedown, a fun twist on the fundraiser for a great cause. The square-dance event is sponsored and organized by the Cancer Crusher Club, a campus club with over 100 members and a mission to “crush” pediatric cancer by building community through collective effort and turning the spotlight on a disease which affects the lives of children from infancy to the age of 25.

The founder of this club, and the main organizer of the event, is Amanda McKean, a Fairfield student in Communication and Leukemia survivor, who chose to come to Fairfield University because of the “tremendous student involvement” on campus. Putting her communication knowledge and organizing skills in action, McKean notes that, “It was a HUGE hit last year with over 130 people in attendance. We were able to raise over $5,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society specifically towards their efforts having to do with pediatric cancer. We had a great group of volunteers who really helped to make the hoedown the success that it was.” She hopes to surpass last years figures on Saturday.

Tickets are now on sale at the info desk for $10 and will be on sale at the door the night of the fundraiser. The event is raising money this time around for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “This is where I was treated,” McKean says, “so it is a cause near and dear to my heart.”

The Hoedown will be held this Saturday, October 13th, from 8-10 PM in the Oak Room. And, for the freshmen, this will be counted as FYE service!

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Get to Know a Professor: Steven Yavner

Steve Yavner is the next adjunct professor in Communication that we’ll be following. He received a BA in Psychology from Williams College and and a MSEd in Psychology from the University of Miami. Here’s more about his approach to the field:

 

Why Communication?

I spent 25 years in broadcast journalism – hence my interest in communications.  I started in production, moved to on-air news and sports, then moved to producing and management.  I left commercial TV to go to the University of Miami, where I ran its TV station and taught in the Masters Program at the UM School of Communication.  While there I earned my Masters in Psychology.  I left there to come to NYU for a PhD, where my goal is to blend journalism, psychology, technology and education.

What has been your favorite course to teach?

I love teaching the Mass Media and Society class because it mirrors those interests. While journalism is only one piece of mass media, technology and psychology are woven through everything — as are education, entertainment, and connection.  It’s really all about the transmission of information, and learning to think critically, process new information, and creatively express original thought… Media is a great tool for sharpening these skills, which are important for everyone, regardless of specific interest or major.

My experience allows me to bring a unique perspective to the class. For example, my class just read “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu.”  It was an essay about Ted Williams’ last game with the Red Sox written by John Updike in 1960. It may be the best piece of sports journalism ever written.  It may not be journalism at all — it may be literature. But whatever it is, I doubt it’s on the syllabi of very many other Mass Media and Society classes!  We spent a recent class talking about the latest Egypt/Libya crisis — ignited by one form of mass media (a YouTube video), the attempt to mediate the crisis through another form of mass media (Twitter), how it was covered by the mass media (TV networks), how the mass media reacted to the political spillover (Mitt Romney’s reaction), and the related issues of censorship, free speech, and hate messages (and Google’s blocking the video in several countries).

I will be teaching Mass Media and Society again next semester, along with American Media/American History.  Last semester I taught Sports Broadcasting.

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