Jun 21, 2018  
2012-13 Catalog 
2012-13 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Communication


Britt 246
Jody Waters, Chair

Professor Associate Professor Assistant Professor Senior Instructor Adjunct Faculty
      D. L. Richardson Stuart Corns
Jonathan Lange Garth Pittman Robert Clift Howard Schreiber Tod Davies
 Susan Walsh Alena Ruggerio     Linda Florin
  Jody Waters     Mark Freeman
        Michael Gantenbein
        Warren Hedges
Emeritus Faculty        Terrie Martin
Mark Chilcoat        Cathy Noah
Ernest Ettlich        Bob Pennell
Thomas Pyle       Jane Picknell
Karen Shafer        



The Department of Communication provides students opportunities to develop verbal, nonverbal and visual communication knowledge and skills through the exploration of communication studies, film, television and video, journalism and convergent media. Students may select from one of two concentrations for the Communication degree: (a) Communication Studies or (b) Film, Television and Convergent Media.

The Communication Studies Concentration focuses on the understanding of communication practices that occur in the everyday interactions and understandings of social actors in a variety of contexts. Our research and teaching focus on interpersonal communication; small group, organizational and cross-cultural communication; analysis of public rhetoric and discourse; and conflict resolution, mediation and negotiation.

The Film, Television and Convergent Media Concentration combines analysis of the historical, theoretical, and cultural contexts within which television, film, new media, journalism and popular culture are produced, understood, and experienced with hands-on skill building.  Students are engaged in critical analysis, aesthetics and interpretation, as well as media production and reception, and exploration of the relationships between media, power and everyday life. In addition to theoretical understanding of media, students in this concentration are also offered instruction and resources to create t their own productions in a wide variety of forms using facilities such as Rogue Valley Community Television, The Siskiyou (SOU’s student-run newspaper), and the facilities and expertise associated with the Center for Emerging Media and Digital Arts (eMDA).

The Communication Department emphasizes connections between conceptual understanding, critical thinking and message construction.  Faculty bring a broad range of academic and professional training and accomplishments to the classroom, and the department’s student-centered program emphasizes skill-building, critical thinking, research and writing.

Students may earn credit for on-campus practical experiences with University media outlets, public relations and marketing, as well as teaching and research assistance to faculty. Communication majors intern throughout and beyond the local community at newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, social service organizations, government agencies, advertising and public relations firms, and many businesses and non-profit organizations.


Academic Credit Policies

Activities, Practica, and Internships

The Department of Communication has adopted the following policies regarding academic credit for Communication Studies activities, internships, and practica. Students should also view additional policies in the information packet available from the Communication Studies practicum administrator. No more than 12 credits of COMM 377 , COMM 409 , and COMM 410  may be applied to the Communication Studies concentration. Credits accrued in COMM 377 , COMM 409 , and COMM 410  beyond the first 12 will apply toward the 180 credits required for graduation, but not toward the major. No more than 20 credits of COMM 199 , COMM 377 , COMM 401 , COMM 405 COMM 409 , and COMM 410  may be applied to the 68-credit minimum for the major. The remaining 48 credits must be earned through completion of formal classroom courses.

Activity Courses

Activity courses involve an on-campus communication activity approved by the Communication Department chair. Such activities include, but are not limited to, working for the University’s student newspaper or radio station, aiding a departmental faculty member as a teaching or research assistant, judging high school or SOU forensics tournaments, working on departmental and University publications, participating in leadership activities, or serving as a member of the SOU Orientation Team. Activity credits may be earned under COMM 377  orJRN 377A  or JRN 377B . COMM 377 is recommended, but not required, for the Communication Studies Concentration. Students may:

  1. register for no more than 4 credits of COMM 377 per term but repeat it in subsequent terms for credit;
  2. apply no more than 6 credits of COMM 377 to their major; and
  3. register for no more than a total of 12 credits of COMM 377.

COMM 377 credits count toward the 60 communication credits required for the Communication Studies Concentration, but not toward the 28 upper division communication credits required for the major. Activity courses may not be taken for a letter grade without instructor consent.

Practica and Internships

Practicum credits are earned for off-campus communication internships. Students may earn practicum credits by working at radio and television stations, newspapers, or advertising and public relations agencies; volunteering at a variety of social service agencies; or working with youth organizations, health care facilities, charitable organizations, political campaigns, governmental offices, magazines, chambers of commerce, or arts organizations. Practicum credits may be earned under COMM 409 /COMM 509 , VP 409 , or JRN 409 /JRN 509 . Students may:

  1. register for no more than 4 credits of COMM 409 per term, but repeat it in subsequent terms for credit;
  2. apply no more than 6 credits of COMM 409 to the Communication Studies major; and
  3. register for no more than a total of 15 credits of COMM 409.

COMM 409 credits count toward the 68 communication credits required for the Communication Studies Concentration and also toward the 28 upper division credits required for the major. Practicum courses may not be taken for letter grade without prior instructor approval.

Graduate Study

Graduate students may choose communication as the secondary emphasis in the school area degree (see Graduate Programs). This requires students to have previously finished three of the following courses: COMM 125 , COMM 210 , COMM 225 , COMM 324 . Graduate work must include COMM 560 - Topics in Communication  and two additional graduate courses in communication. Exceptions may be made on rare occasions with the approval of the student’s advisor.

Emerging Media and Digital Arts

Through collaboration with the departments of Art and Art History, Computer Science,and Communication, the center for Emerging Media & Digital Arts provides interdisciplinary instruction in visual narrative, design, and creation of visuals in a digital age. Students develop fundamental analytical and practical skills in constructing, composing, and evaluating digital media. Emphasis in this area reflects the increasing digitalization of society, as well as the dispersion of multi-mediated, non-linear forms of knowledge in the twenty-first century.  See EMDA for course descriptions.

Program Requirements








Convergent Media




Video Production