All posts by WhyCCIKent

Four academic programs united in July 2002 to establish the College of Communication and Information at Kent State University. The Schools of Communication Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, Library and Information Science and Visual Communication Design joined in one college to create a unique learning community and to begin a pioneering effort in integrative research and professional practice. The College of Communication and Information continues to build its reputation for collaborative, applied and theoretical research while providing a first-class education for the next generations of communicators and leaders.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going to China

Amrita Datta and Tyler Haughn


Be prepared for a change in climate. The weather is extremely muggy. The humidity levels were high with either really hot or rainy afternoons.



It is a spicy food lovers’ paradise. The food is so spicy that it can cause your tongue to burn.



It takes 14 hours to reach China from the United States. The journey is full of debating whether to stay awake with anticipation or try to sleep it off. (Shoutout to Michael Gallagher for being the only person still smiling after the plane ride.)


China4Most people in China, aside from the students, don’t know English. So adapting to a very different culture and language barrier is important.



Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and forge lasting friendships.



China will help you discover the inner shopaholic within you. There are shopping districts and malls every 15 minutes.



Get used to drinking beer if you want something cold with your meals. The water is served only as warm. (Just kidding… You can always find a variety of cold beverages.)


China8You can explore the ancient past of China and experience a country with a deep history and modernized future. (Modern travelers at the feet of the 1,300 year old Buddha statue.)



Forget Snapchatting your cool experience every 15 minutes as there is limited Wi-Fi.



Befriend a local to take you to places that are off the tourists’ path. This will allow you to experience China fully. (A Chinese friend of ours took us to the biggest bookstore – Fang Suo Commune in Chengdu.)

5 Things I Want to Learn This Summer

Ana Sanor

Effective Blogging


Blogging has become a popular way for our generation to share their thoughts, experiences, and advice with the world. From fashion and make-up blogs, to travel blogs and food blogs, you are bound to find the blog that fits exactly what you’re looking for. But what I want to know is what makes a blog popular. This summer, I hope to learn effective ways of blogging and how to become a better blogger myself by learning what content catches a viewer’s eye.

Creating Content for Specific Audiences


Blogging effectively depends on your ability to reach your audience. For blogs and other social media platforms, I want to learn what tactics reach the most people. I’m interested in looking at the analytics of websites, social media platforms, and certainly blog posts as well. I’m interested in what day and time people view the most content and also what content receives the most likes or clicks.

The Best Angles for Filming


After analyzing a scene shot by shot, I realized how important angles truly are to making a film. From medium shots to close-ups to deep focus shots, I never truly appreciated the importance of the perfect angle until I got a taste of the film world.  I hope to learn how to create a truly eye-catching piece that an audience would want to watch over and over.

New Video Platforms


I haven’t had much experience in learning about new technologies in the video-editing spectrum. I started taking basic film courses in high school and began a minor in Digital Media Production last semester. I hope to learn what video platforms can help me become a more advanced filmmaker.

Kent State Branding


Kent has invested a lot of time and effort in creating its new brand. This includes structuring the website and Flashline to fit its new messaging. I would love to learn how to properly use Kent’s branding in advertisements and on digital platforms.

What I Learned This Semester

I flew across the world in 2015 to follow my dreams, now, finally stepping into my junior year, I can feel the change in me. The part of the world that I come from is not very different from America if we disregard all sorts of stereotypes. We eat the same fast food, we watch the same movies and TV shows, we have the same work ethics, etc., etc. However, this spring semester really made me realize how much I have grown as a person.

Coming to Kent State I realized how wonderfully diverse the culture is in a university town. When you are 8,000 miles away from home, it is essential to be accepted in a community and create a sense of belonging for oneself. I was able to engage myself in a vibrant environment, which honored free speech and freedom of expression.  Each and every individual proclaimed the strength in unity that symbolized diversity.

As young adults, we take our independence for granted. We believe that being independent is nothing but moving out and living on your own. But when you apply this independence on the opposite side of the world along with your college bills and tuition fees, it makes you believe in yourself. It has been a privilege to participate in college activities that enable me to expand my horizons, to be kind, respectful, and generous in my manner and demeanor.

Spring 2017 semester made me realize that the food I took for granted in my house is nothing but a reflection of an ignorant young girl. After 2 years, I understand the efforts of hard work and the support of my loving family. Through rigorous bumps in my path, I can believe in myself through all the challenges that are thrown at me. I look forward to rising and pursing countless milestones with a sense of optimism after this semester.

Amrita Datta

A Letter From a Graduating Senior to Incoming Freshman


Dear Incoming Freshman,

Choosing a college and major is scary. No one wants to mess up and have to change their decision, but here is the thing, it is okay if you do. Study something you are passionate about and will allow you to pay your bills and be self-sufficient. In the end you will be happy that you don’t have to rely on someone but you can enjoy your future job.

Find something that relaxes you. You will have those days that you are drowning in three presentations and multiple exams, but having something that will allow you to eventually focus will allow you to get it all done. It could be running, going to your favorite coffee shop or calling your mom. You will be thankful you have that escape.

Remember that you won’t be in college forever. It may seem like the semester takes forever but sooner than you know it you will be going into your final year of school.

Make your advisor your best friend. They are going to be the person that helps you graduate on time or tell you about the cool new classes. Don’t be afraid to tell your advisor the cool programs you want to do and have them help you figure out how to fit it into your road map. Graduating on time may be your goal (or your parents) but there are some things you can only do while you’re in college (like studying abroad).

MAKE GOALS. I cannot stress this enough. During the first weekend of college, make goals for the things you want to accomplish during your four years (or more) in school. It could be finishing a twenty-piece nugget meal by yourself or staying in the library for 24 hours straight or studying in Geneva for a semester, whatever it is write it down somewhere that you can refer to.

Do something productive during the summer. An internship, a part-time job, studying abroad or summer classes but if you do something during the summer you will thank yourself during the school year. You aren’t going to benefit from doing nothing for three months.

Join activities, it is the best way to meet people you have something in common with.  There are so many organizations at Kent that you can’t go wrong with any of them and it is a great way to get to know other people and have familiar faces on campus.

Don’t be afraid to go home. Too many people their first semester are either very homesick or really avoiding going home. If you are able to go home for a weekend, do it. Often times you’ll see the different lifestyle between your life at school at home and appreciate the differences. I wouldn’t recommend going home every week because you will miss out on a lot but if you’re feeling homesick, don’t feel like you can’t go home, but make sure you come back.

One of the things that has helped me through college has been finding mentors. Find a student mentor, they will help you know what classes to schedule when and which professor may be tougher than another. Find faculty mentors, they will teach you lessons everyday outside the classroom.

My last piece of advice is ask for help when you need it. College is a difficult time and it is very different from real life. You will have times that you are up all night or sleep all day. It will be different from what you have experienced and that is okay. But if you need help in class, ask for it. If you need help mentally, ask for it. If you need help adjusting, ask for it. There are so many people at college that can help you like RA’s, advisors or faculty members. You are not alone in this strange experience.

Remember, very few decisions are permanent; you can always fix your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to take risks and be different.

Gabrielle Woodard.

Spring Break Around the World


Ciao tutti (Hello everyone),

I’m fresh off my spring break and what a whirlwind it was. I don’t think I traveled more in a short period of time. I did five cities in 10 days: Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Barcelona. It was refreshing leaving Italy and Firenze for a brief moment to explore other cultures, but I’m glad I’m back.

If you crave cheap Birkenstocks and history, go to Berlin. Seeing and touching the Berlin Wall was incredible because I’ve read about it and was taught about the wall when I was in high school. A fun fact is that the Berlin Wall is and probably will be the only wall that is built to keep its people in. Every other wall that was built was to keep people out.

I also went to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. It was one of the most surreal, emotional and intense places I’ve visited. It was huge, astonishing and left me heartbroken reading the history behind that camp. It’s a powerful place and really makes you think about humanity and the world we live in then and now.

Next stop: Amsterdam. My favorite part of Amsterdam was having the opportunity to go to the Anne Frank House. It was an emotional experience after visiting the concentration camp. To see where Anne, her family and another family lived for two years was astonishing. It was a small cramped room for 10 people. The original bookcase that was used to cover the door to the room was still in tact. Anne Frank and company were caught two years before the war ended. Everyone died in concentration camps except Otto Frank, Anne’s father.

We made a four-hour pit stop in Brussels, which was enough time to eat and see Brussels specialties. We ate ungodly amounts of Belgium chocolate and Belgium waffles. We even tried a Belgium tradition of fries with mayonnaise, not ketchup. After stuffing ourselves with four hours worth of food, we made our fourth stop in Paris.

Paris is in my top five favorite cities in Europe because I saw and did so much in a short period of time. I saw the Eiffel Tower, went to museums, saw the Palace of Versailles and walked through the Catacombs. My favorite part of Paris is of course the Eiffel Tower. I’m not ashamed to say that I was cliché and sat and ate macrons and a baguette as I gazed upon that magnificent monument. Seeing the Eiffel Tower during the day is as magnificent as seeing it at night when it’s lit and sparkles the first five minutes of every hour.


Another reason why I loved Paris was because they treat students very well. If you are studying abroad you have to get a student visa and if you show that document, you can get into the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay and other museums for free. Paris also gives out discounts if you show your student visa because I got into the Catacombs at a reduced price.

It was time to say goodbye to Paris and head over to Barcelona where it was city life then a 15-minute metro ride in one direction to the beach and another 15-minute ride to breathtaking views. Barcelona is a very cultural city where we spent our time eating churros, tapas and paella dishes as well as gawk at Gaudi’s buildings. From Park Güell to Casa Batlló to la Sagrada Família, we saw unique architecture.


The Sagrada Família was my favorite because it was completely different from any cathedral I’ve been to in Europe. It’s very modern and the architecture of the inside and outside is not tradition to the typical cathedrals you see across Europe. The Sagrada Família started being built in the late 1800s and won’t be finished till 2026 so I guess that’s motivation to pay another visit to Barcelona to see the finish product.

After this 10-day excursion I need a little R&R before finals and weekend trips kick back in again. I only have one month left of this incredible four-month experience. I’m not thinking about the ending of this journey just yet because I still have more places to visit, sites to see, food to try and people to meet.

Sophomore Comm Studies Major Aims to Educate Community About Human Trafficking

I had no idea what human trafficking was until I came to Kent. My freshman year, I was shown the documentary “Nefarious” that completely broke my heart for the people who have fallen into the shadows of society as victims of human trafficking. I found my passion in life and began getting involved on campus to learn more about this topic.

I am now vice president of International Justice Mission at Kent. We are focused on raising awareness about and advocating against human trafficking. I have been to Washington, D.C., to visit International Justice Mission, the global nonprofit, and learned so much about human trafficking around the world. I recently traveled to Columbus with Kent State’s OEECE program for a human trafficking immersion trip that really opened my eyes to the issues of gentrification, poverty and human trafficking. We got to hear from a former trafficker and victims of trafficking, all of whom are now activists. This impactful weekend experience served to solidify my desire to pursue this as a career. Delaney1

My advice to every college student is to take every opportunity to get involved with what you are most passionate about. Find what starts a fire inside of you, and chase after it. During college, you have ample opportunities and resources available for hands-on experience in many different areas. You will come to realize that you can turn that passion into your future career.

The Columbus Human Trafficking Urban Plunge was a wonderful experience for me that focused on learning about human trafficking and how I can get involved with the movement to end it. This was a big step in learning more about how I can spend my whole life doing exactly what I am passionate about. I am on a mission to abolish human trafficking in our lifetime. However, as my knowledge of this issue increases, I have noticed that the biggest problem is how many people are unaware that this happens in our world today. Here are the top five myths human trafficking that everyone should know:

1. U.S. citizens cannot be trafficked. This only happens in other countries.
Many people are unaware of the fact that human trafficking, although illegal everywhere, exists in every country. The belief that people trafficked in America are all smuggled from other countries is false. Over 100,000 American children are trapped in the sex trade alone. This manifests in every state, city and most likely in your own community.

2. The only form of trafficking is sex trafficking. Slavery no longer exists.
Forced labor, bonded labor, debt bondage and involuntary servitude among migrant laborers, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, child soldiers, sex trafficking and prostitution, children exploited for commercial sex and child sex tourism are all major forms of trafficking in persons, or slavery, that exist today. All involve the exploitation of people and happen within hotels, massage parlors, domestic service, agriculture, restaurants and sweatshops.

3. Only women are trafficked or prostituted. All the women that are trafficked are adults and chose this life. They could have left at any time.
Men, women and children are all susceptible to trafficking. Minors are protected by law as victims of human trafficking without proof of coercion. However, studies show adult individuals who are involved were trafficked from young ages, with an average age of around 11-13. They are forced or coerced through acts of love, violence, threats and loss of possession of their identification documents.

Victims come from all walks of life. Typically, they have disadvantages that make them more susceptible, including poverty, disabilities, backgrounds of sexual abuse and violence, runaways or growing up in foster homes. However, anyone can become a victim, regardless of their demographics.

Physical and psychological wounds keep the victim from speaking out or trying to leave. Law enforcement has often made it worse for victims through victim blaming and by labeling them as criminals, which can cause victims to turn away from law enforcement, viewing them as the enemy. This also causes the victims to have records of arrests and charges that keep them trapped.

4. Trafficking looks like a movie scene where girls are kidnapped from the streets, never to be seen again.
This can be true in some cases, and people should be very aware of this. However, more often than not, the victim is slowly lured into a trap. In many cases, traffickers are someone close to the victim, including parents and other relatives, neighbors and significant others. There may be a “boyfriend” promising a young girl love and protection, then turning around and telling the girl that she now owes him and this is her only option. With a mix of violence and love, the girls are psychologically conditioned in a way that keeps them from ever leaving or seeking help. Feeling responsible or guilty for the situation and blaming themselves adds to their resistance to leave. Stockholm Syndrome, where the victim becomes attached to their abuser, is another cause of victims returning to this terrible situation, because it is familiar to them. But what is Stockholm Syndrome?

Psychiatrist Dr. Frank Ochberg of the National Institute of Mental Health defines it: “First, people would experience something terrifying that just comes at them out of the blue. They are certain they are going to die. Then they experience a type of infantilisation – where, like a child, they are unable to eat, speak or go to the toilet without permission. In their mind, they think this is the person who is going to let them live.”

5. People who are involved in prostitution are criminals.
There is a stigma that surrounds prostitution, claiming that people chose this life because they’re “whores” who are addicted to sex or drugs. They’re often coerced into living this life and may turn to drugs or alcohol. Many police officers consider them criminals. They tend to let the person purchasing sex go free and arrest the prostitutes. In reality, many of these people are not criminals, they’re victims. And even if they are arrested, they usually end up going right back as soon they are released.

by Delaney Cordova

7 Netflix Shows To Binge Watch Over Spring Break


Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 2.30.09 PM

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, spring break! If you’re broke like most college students, your spring break plans probably consist of a date with your couch. Here are the best shows to binge watch and pass the time with:


  1. Stranger Things – Set in the 1980s, this throwback show follows a town in hysterics after a local boy goes missing, and aliens might be behind it? Oh and it has the best intro sequence ever.



  1. House of Cards – Beware Frank Underwood! This political-thriller might seem totally far fetched, but given our current political atmosphere, maybe not so much.


giphy (1)


  1. Lost – So a plane crashes on a deserted island and it might all just be a dream? That’s how I would describe Lost to someone who’s never seen it. If you like shows that make no sense but are completely awesome, then Lost is the show for you!

giphy (2).gif


  1. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – Think Seinfeld, but ten times funnier. This show follows a group of five friends and their latest ideas to get rich and famous. Added bonus: The episodes are only a half hour long!

giphy (3)


  1. Black Mirror – This show is the twilight zone but set in modern times. Each episode features a new story with different characters that will leave you saying “whaaaaaat”.

giphy (4)


  1. Shameless – You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh again. This Showtime original series follows the dysfunctional Gallagher family as they just try to make it through the day on the Southside of Chicago.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 3.57.34 PM


  1. Fuller House – Feeling nostalgic? Relive your childhood by seeing what DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy are up to now that they have kids of their own.

giphy (5)