Category Archives: November 2010

Best Study Spots: With and Without Internet

By Anne Dudley

Around this time of year, the library, I admit, can be a mess of people everywhere! If you don’t get there at the right time it could be hard to find a seat. And we all know the obvious places to study like Jazzman’s/Cyber Café, study lounges, lower Eastway by the market…. But where do you go to really get away?

I used to get made fun of as an undergrad because I always went and hid away by myself to study. I’d settle into a hiding spot and work until someone found me or I was finished. It wasn’t until I needed some distraction or a friend to keep me awake that I would study with others. Since then, I’ve gotten better at studying in various places alone or with groups.

Another big study challenge is the good ‘ol internet. We all love it, but it can be a huge distraction when you’re really trying to accomplish something. Facebook can waste hours of time and energy you could use to focus! So, choose a place below based on whether you really need internet or not.

Here are some of my top spots on and around the Kent Campus:

Without Internet:

  • Downtown – The Backerei is a German bakery in Kent. Try the Gouda Pretzel . You won’t regret it!
  • The Bus – Call me crazy but driving clears my head. Reading a book or reviewing for a test while riding the bus is just enough distraction and gives you something new to look at.
  • Drop in tutoring at the Academic Success Center – Michael Schwartz Center
  • Sixth floor of library and up
  • Recreation and Wellness Center – get on a bike and read or review notes while working off some of that stress!

With Internet:

  • CIRL –The Communication Instructional Resource Lab in Taylor Hall is open until 5 p.m. and has plenty of computers and couch space to go around.  
  • Computer labs – less people, usually pretty quiet and most open until 8 p.m. Try Bowman, the Student Center, Business building, Beall/McDowell, and Tri-Towers.
  • Kent Free Library – located on West Main Street. ‘Nuf said.
  • Panera Bread – if you’re like me, you might need to go for a drive just to clear your head once or twice a week (as noted above). Grab a booth and some soup at Panera.
  • Downtown: Scribbles Coffee Co., Franklin Square Deli, Artic Squirrel, and Wild Goats Café. Take yourself to lunch or a snack and a study session.
  • Hidden spots in academic buildings: Honors College Library, the 2nd Floor of Cartwright Hall, the IRC in White Hall (Library and Computer lab on the Second Floor), Food for Thought in White Hall, the Moulton Hall lobby, or the lower level of Oscar Ritchie Hall.

Anne Dudley is a graduate student studying public relations in the College of Communication and Information.

Why is this time of the semester so ridiculously difficult?! And how do I deal with it?

By Anne Dudley

I am a firm believer in the fact that the last month of the semester can be just plain unhealthy. First, you’re exhausted. Second, you’re busier than ever. Third, everything is due (suddenly) and fourth, you’re exhausted!

As much as you may not want to admit it, the business of a semester can really start to wear you down after about 10-12 weeks. With everything you have on your plate it can be hard to slow it down when crunch time hits.

Here are some tips to help you deal:

1. Make a countdown list and calendar: sync your syllabi, planner, extracurricular activities, and work schedule with the rest of the work you have to do. Schedule out when everything is due and more importantly, when you plan to actually do it!

 Here’s what to do:

Monday   Tuesday Wednesday

 Finish research for paper. 

 Make flashcards for exam.

 Make an outline of paper. 

Review Flashcards.

 Study for exam! 

Get rough draft done. 

KCS Mtg @5!


Thursday Friday

 Health Comm. Exam! 

Edit paper!

  Intercultural Paper Due!  



Health Comm. – Paper due 12/6, Exam 12/15

Intercultural – Group Presentation 12/1, Paper due 12/8

(and so on…)

2. Set personal deadlines earlier than actual due dates: I think the best way to actually do this is to set up an appointment at the writing commons or with your professor. Why? It’ll force you to have something ready to show them. Also, it’s a great way to recharge your energy and effort by taking a step back and looking at what you have so far with another person.

3. Sleep well. Eat well. Exercise: Take care of yourself. If you can’t find time for all three of those, make sure to at least do the first and get some sleep. Just because the library is open until 2 a.m. doesn’t mean you have to stay that late. Which leads me to…

4. Work smarter, not harder: Use your time wisely. If you don’t need internet, go somewhere where you don’t have access (floor 6 and up of the library is good!). Studying for 8 hours won’t do you any good if 4 of them were on Facebook and 2 on Twitter and one on TFLN (hint: see what you find when you actually click those links…). If you don’t get anything done in your room, commit yourself to 1 hour of uninterrupted study time alone somewhere else.

5. Group Study Room Scheduler: If you want to study in groups or need a place to do a group project, schedule a group study room on the second floor of the library in advance. The library website now offers this feature.

6. “Keep your eye on the prize” For four years, my aunt used to say this to me every time I visited home. It kept me thinking about the image I wanted to portray to my family, why I am in college for the first place, and my end goal. It’s easy to get caught up in college life. At this crucial time of the semester, stay focused on your end goal.  

Anne Dudley is a master’s student in public relations and a graduate assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Communication Convention: Making the Most of your Communication Degree

Kent Communication Society and Lambda Pi Eta will host a Communication Convention geared towards students in the School of Communication Studies interested in learning more about their program. The Communication Convention: Making the Most of your Communication Degree will be held Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 from 8:30-10:00 PM in Kent Student Center room 317.

The event will feature current students, alumni, faculty and advisors in Communication Studies covering topics such as what students can do now at Kent State, life after graduation and everything in between. There will also be a networking opportunity with members of the panel as well as fellow COMM students. All COMM majors and minors are welcome and encouraged to come, as well as anyone who is interested in the program.

Email Arianne Gasser ( or Emily Carle ( with any questions.

Join the Kent Communication Society (KCS) group on Facebook or follow @KentCommSociety on Twitter for updates, reminders and more information.

University? College? Department? School? What is the difference?!

By Emily Carle

For many of you out there, including myself, coming to college means there is a whole new vocabulary to learn. Instead of teachers there are professors, there are TAs (teaching assistants) and GAs (graduate assistants) helping in class, and it’s tough to keep it all straight. To add to the confusion, the words university, college and school can’t always be used interchangeably. They may all seem to mean the same thing, but in actuality the different terms used make up the hierarchy of higher education. In simple terms, they’re different. Here’s a breakdown of each:

University: this is known as the highest level of higher education. Typically universities have four-year degrees as well as undergraduate and graduate level degrees. Also, a university is usually associated with research programs. For us, Kent State University is our university.
College: in the general sense, college can refer to a two-year or four-year degree institution. Colleges are usually smaller and can even be vocational or community colleges. Also, a college can be within a university, like it is here at Kent State.
At Kent State University, there are 9 main colleges: College of Architecture and Environmental Design, College of the Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business Administration, College of Communication and Information, College of Education, Health and Human Services, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, and College of Technology. There are also some other programs, but these are the main 9 colleges. Under each college, there is their own hierarchy of departments and majors.

Let’s take College of Communication and Information, more commonly known as CCI. At the undergraduate level, there are three schools in CCI, the School of Communication Studies (COMM), located in Taylor Hall, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), located in Franklin Hall and the School of Visual Communication Design (VCD), located in the Art Building. If that wasn’t confusing enough, each school has their own set of majors and advisors. Though we are all part of the same college and there may be some crossover, this is the major outline of how it is set up.
All together, CCI can help you in careers such as advertising, broadcasting, communication professions, electronic media production, graphic design, illustration, journalism, media management, photography, photojournalism, and public relations.
Specifically the CCI Website ( describes each school; COMM trains students to develop the knowledge and research skills in communication that will enable them to function effectively in interpersonal, group, organizational and societal settings. JMC provides professional programs in journalism, advertising, public relations, electronic media production and media management. VCD provides professional education that combines liberal education, knowledge of design and art history, and development of graphic design and illustration skills in print and electronic media.
The great thing is there are a lot of ways that all students in CCI can get together. For example, many majors or schools have their own student organizations, like Kent Communication Society (KCS) for all students in the School of Communication Studies. But, any student in CCI is welcome to come to the meetings. Also, we have many forms of student media on campus, like TV2, Black Squirrel Radio, Fusion, The Burr, and more that students in any major can be part of. So even though I am not a JMC major, I can still take classes like Principles of Public Relations and learn about aspects of PR.
If you are a JMC major and are thinking about taking a minor in a related field, something in Communication Studies or VCD may fit your fancy. As CCI, we can all be family! There are a lot of CCI-sponsored events, CCI-specific media outlets and communications, so keep in touch. Even this blog is meant for all CCI majors!
So to review, I am a student at Kent State University, in the College of Communication and Information, in the School of Communication Studies as an Applied Communication Studies major (phew!).
Emily Carle is a senior applied communication studies student and a marketing assistant in the CCI Dean’s Office.

Will I get a job after I graduate?

By Andrew Gardner

In today’s economic climate the question that seems to be on every student’s mind is “will I get a job after I graduate?” I’ve probably thought more about this question than any other topic throughout my academic career. It seems you face this question everywhere you turn nowadays, from A.M. talk radio stations reporting the struggling economy to the numerous times your asked by your friends and family members: “So, do you have something lined up after you graduate?”

Although times are tough, there are many resources on the web and around campus to help you not only find a job when you graduate, but also enhance your social networks and resume to reach the employers and get them to notice you. In today’s job market, probably the two most important questions you will have to ask yourself are “how much experience do you have” and “who do you know?”

When looking at experience, most jobs want you to have at least some practical experience or your resume won’t even get looked at. Fortunately, KSU offers many tools to help you with this before and after you graduate. One great resource you have as being a student is the Career Services Center web page. Here you can find great resume and cover letter tips, interviewing advice, and most importantly, in my opinion, the job board. The job board has thousands of jobs that stretch across nearly all of KSU’s academic spectrum. On top of that, they offer non-paid internships all the way up to high paying graduate level opportunities.

So maybe KSU’s Career Services aren’t your style, there are many other ways to get your name out there. One useful resource is the internet. Sites like Career Builder and Monster are just a couple of the hundreds of job sites that are out there. (Many are free and very useful in getting your resume to lots of eyes.) Another great resource in LinkedIn, a site that lets you network with professionals. Although times are tough right now in America and Ohio especially, with the right professional connections and practical experience anyone can find a job when they graduate. It’s all what you put into it in my opinion.

Andrew Gardner is a Senior Applied Communication major and practicum student in the CCI Dean’s Office.

Communication Studies Offering Two New Courses in Spring 2011

By Nicole Gennarelli

Family Communication and Social Support are offered to students both in the School of Communication Studies and other schools as well. Neither of these classes have prerequisites for registration.

Family Communication is offered this spring and summer as an online course. It will be a permanent course within the Interpersonal Communication concentration for Communication Studies Majors in the fall 2011 catalog. Interested students across the university may take it as well. This course examines families and the roles, rules, and functions that they fulfill from an interaction perspective.

“Effective communication is the most important job consideration factor desired by people making hiring decisions in organizations today,” said COMM Assistant Professor Jeffrey T. Child, Ph.D.

Child notes that in discussing the importance of studying family communication, parental communication defines and shapes how children see the world and their expectations for interaction with others throughout life.

“This course allows students to be able to understand how family communication impacts individual and group identity, the basic ideas developed about the role of family communication and dialogue in resolving stress and conflict, and how societal roles are defined and reinforced within the family unit through interaction,” said Child.

Child said this course shows the different roles and rules that provide meaning, and shape the family throughout their interactions. The course considers the diverse ways families can be defined and how definitional issues impact family communication patterns, norms, and experiences both internally and externally to the family unit.

“The course will develop an understanding about how family communication is portrayed on television and how such differentiated portrayals shape expectations and experiences communicating within families,” Child said. “Finally, the course explores cultural influences on family communication, such as how multi-ethnic families reinforce diverse values from mainstream cultural norms through storytelling, communication, and active identity shaping within the family.”

The other new course offered for students this spring is Social Support. Social Support will teach students “helping communication,” which is an important tool to help others deal with everyday problems such as personal, family crises and stress.

COMM Professor Rebecca Cline, Ph.D., said this course teaches undergraduate students one-on-one interpersonal supportive communication processes. Students will learn about both helpful and harmful messages, the barriers to giving and getting social support, and the negative as well as the many positive consequences of giving and receiving social support.

“Social support helps people’s psychological well-being when they have every-day crises,” Cline said. “Being able to be supportive of other people, in addition to being important in our personal lives, is important in our professional lives. Far too often what people intuitively think is helpful may actually be perceived as hurtful or harmful by the other person.”

Cline said that social support is an important issue in burn-out situations when people are overworked and overstressed, including university students. This course will prepare students to provide effective social support to others they care about and how to get social support when needed.

“Students who are in communication studies or considering working in a health or helping professions, will find these skills to be especially valuable,” Cline said.

Registration for these courses is open now to all students.

Nicole Gennarelli is a junior Public Relations major and marketing assistant in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Mac or PC?

By Andrew Gardner

If you’ve been watching television or surfing the Internet in the last few years, chances are you’ve come across the ongoing battle between giants Microsoft and Apple. Since I came to Kent State University in 2007, I’ve seen the amount of MacBook’s on campus literally triple. At first it was select students, mostly VCD and art majors. But then it seemed like everyone had one. From the MacBook Pro to the sleek MacBook Air, it seemed like they were everywhere. Computer labs that once had two or three in the front of the lab now have entire rows. Academic buildings now have them by their entrance doors, so the temptation to own one was stronger than ever.

This battle has been going on for years but has reached its peak as of the last three years or so. I remember going into BestBuy to look at laptops when I was drawn over to the Apple section. I remember it well; the special Apple area with the nice oak tables, the glossy white finish, the simple interface, and unfortunately the outrageous price tag. The Apple rep came up to me and told me all about Mac’s and why I absolutely had to own one. I didn’t end up getting one that day, but I was impressed.

This battle was close to being over a few years ago. In the late 1990s, Apple was close to extinction. It was lagging heavily in sales and was catering to a cult following at best. But then something happened that launched them into “major player.” That something is called the IPod. The IPod sold so well that it in turn raised computer sales.

So the question is should you buy a Mac? Well I guess it all depends on what you prefer. If you’re using your PC for gaming, for instance, I’d highly recommend a PC. A lot of games are for Windows only. On the other hand, if you are into graphic design and Web design, I like the applications you get with the Mac much better because they run smoother on a Mac.

One debate is price. This draws on the argument of quality verses quantity. A new MacBook will run you about $1,000. My computer is a Compaq desktop, and I paid $399 for it at Wal-Mart last Christmas. It came with Windows 7, a webcam, and Microsoft Office 2010; not a bad deal.  Now would I rather have a brand new MacBook Pro? Of course! But, today, people keep their computers for an average of just four years ( In the next 12 years, the Apple buyer will have spent $3,000 compared to the $1,200 I spent if I stick with Compaq. That’s a difference of 1,800 dollars; that’s six car payments for me.

So in the end, if you have the money, Apple is a nice choice. They are well-built, easy to learn, and have some interesting applications and programs. But I’m going to stick with Microsoft. In this day and age, Apple and Microsoft should worry more about Google than fighting between themselves. Smartphones are doing more and more and are quickly stealing sales from both superpowers.

Andrew Gardner is a Senior, Applied Communication major and practicum student in the CCI Dean’s Office.