Category Archives: October 2010

The Perfect Switch

By Renae Pettigrew

I know how the saying “nothing is perfect” goes, but in this case I beg to differ! Ever since eighth grade, I was advised to pursue a career in journalism.

Why? Because I was a person who loved to write about anything. Ever since then I stuck with the goal to study journalism at a four-year college but just needed to find where.

Thanks to a family friend, Kent State was my first choice. I researched the program throughout my senior year in high school and loved everything about it. From reading about TV-2, Black Squirrel Radio, and certain class requirements, I was ready to go.

Once the time finally came to move in and begin my career as a college undergrad, things were much different than I expected. I didn’t do so well my first year at Kent State because I was homesick and didn’t readjust my study habits. Because of this, I was put on academic probation and fell behind in my catalog year in the JMC program.

By the end of sophomore year, I was finally able to breathe with being off of academic probation, but my GPA just wasn’t high enough to meet JMC’s 2.75 requirement. I met with an advisor about my situation. She gave me advice about how switching to a major in Communication Studies would be the best choice, where I would still able to pursue a career in writing or broadcasting.

Ever since I switched, I’ve been a very happy college student! I maintained an average GPA, was able to take classes that I enjoyed, and learned a lot about the world of communication.

Pursuing a career in communication is broader than journalism. There are many more job options, but finding the right job is more complex. With a communication degree, I am able to hold a career in the world of public relations, even though public relations is more affiliated with journalism. Public relations is the career that I decided to focus on, although I would still someday love to broadcast and be on the news. Now I have an internship in the Dean’s Office in the College of Communication and Information, which made me even happier about the switch. Now that I think about it, a number of people who were in my communication classes throughout the years had also made the switch from journalism to communication.

Thank you Communications Studies, for picking me up from journalism after I fell!

Renae Pettigrew is a Senior Applied Communication major and practicum student in the Dean’s Office of the College of Communication and Information.

Tips and Tricks: Scheduling

By Nicole Gennarelli

It’s something every student on campus has to do every semester. Looking up classes, seeing if you like the teacher, what times are the courses offered, and asking yourself if you can make it from Moulton Hall to Taylor Hall in fifteen minutes are all valid concerns. Not to mention wondering if you’ll even be able to register for a class that has two spots left. Scheduling on top of school work can add to any college student’s stress level.
However, by following these tips that have proved helpful to me, I’m sure scheduling will become much easier.

  1. Make an advising appointment– Make an appointment as soon as possible. You can find links to each of the four schools on CCI’s website. Each of the school’s websites have links and guides to finding information about advising, and you can schedule an appointment online. Advisors are extremely helpful, can help you figure out what classes are necessary to take, and can make sure you have all the prerequisites you need for next semester.
  2. Look up your classes & times as soon as possible– This is very important. Scheduling sneaks up fast and many people do not take the time to put together a tentative schedule. It helps to write down all your classes, what times they’re offered, and what hall they are in. This gives you a picture of what your semester will look like and allows you to switch classes around depending on what you want your school week to look like.
  3. Write down the CRN numbers for classes– This makes the night of scheduling ten times easier. When everyone goes on Flashline exactly at midnight, they’re all doing the same thing you are- scrambling to get into the classes they want. So by writing down the CRN numbers ahead of time, you can go to the add/drop classes tab on Flashline and just type those numbers at the bottom of the screen and hit register. It eliminates searching for your classes and adding them by department.
  4. Make sure you registered correctly– It is easy, sometimes, to think you made it into a class when you actually didn’t. By going to the “My Courses” tab in Flashline, you will see your classes broken down by semester. There, you can scroll down and view what classes you have taken and what you are registered for in the upcoming semester. If you successfully registered for all the classes you wanted, you should see them all listed under spring 2011 (or whichever semester is next).

These tips are easy and actually really useful! I do this every semester and it eliminates a lot of stress. When it comes time to watch the clock, countdown to midnight, and scramble to type the CRN numbers in correctly, you’ll be thankful you followed these four tips.

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

Blogging: Pros and Cons

This blog is written in response to a student’s question on what the pros and cons of blogging are for students, especially non-traditional students.

There are countless pros and cons of starting a blog in an atmosphere where social media is constantly changing and competition for attention is heavy. Nonetheless, blogging and participating in social media has definite benefits such as building a personal network and brand, producing content, and showing your personal expertise on something – anything for that matter, spanning from craft-making or cooking to professional topics such as public relations, graphic design or new technology.  Linking your blog to your existing social media platforms makes marketing your blog easier than ever. Last, blogging is an opportunity to improve and showcase your writing abilities.

However, blogging can have its downfalls. Posting anything online can be a risk. Whatever you decide to post is out there for the world to see, comment on, agree with or disagree with. Keeping up with a blog can be a challenge as well. Blogging can take a significant amount of time per week, depending on what you decide to write about.

Bill Sledzik, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and blogger since 2006, describes this conflict:

“Blogging is a great way to build an online presence and a network, but you absolutely must produce killer content at least twice a week and do it for a long period of time. Since it’s such a huge commitment of time, you need a strategy to guide you – not to mention some expertise your topic and some solid writing skills.”

This is not to say testing the waters is a bad idea. Part of the beauty of blogging is that anyone can do it, on any topic, with any goal in mind. A way to start is to read other people’s blogs. If you want people to take the time to notice your blog, notice theirs. One of the greatest selling points of online social media is interaction with others and with information. I learn something new every day by just participating, just by reading and asking questions.

Each person or business will find different benefits of blogging, on personal or professional levels., a popular blogging website, has over 360,000 bloggers registered and posting constantly on topics ranging from zombies to childhood obesity.

As a student myself, I would weigh my decision of whether or not to blog heavily on whether I have enough time to commit to blogging and what would be the best and most interesting topic for me to write about. And, under reasonable circumstances, what harm could it do to try?

Communication Studies Graduate Program Open House: Today from 3:30-5 in 118 Taylor Hall

Today, the School of Communication Studies will host a graduate program open house in 118 Taylor from 3:30-5:00 p.m. So, are you thinking about graduate school?

In my opinion, it’s never too early to start thinking about your future. It’s important to think about what you can do and what you want to do with the degree you’re earning. Will you need a master’s level degree, a certification, or anything in addition to a bachelor to get the job you want?

Another thing to think about is when? When will you need a master’s degree? In many cases, several years experience is recommended before pursuing a master’s degree.

Think it through:

–       Think about your goals. Where do you want to be professionally in 5, 10, 15 years?

–       Explore the field you plan to enter. What will you need in addition to a bachelor’s degree? Do you need experience first? Or a master’s first?

–       Talk to professionals in the field. What did they do? What type of candidate do they want to hire?

–       Use Graduate Coordinators – ask questions of the graduate coordinators while you still can! If you’re thinking about it, have a conversation with a graduate coordinator before you graduate.

We’ll touch on this topic in more detail in future posts. But for now, I hope you start by checking out the School of Communication Studies!

Please! Not another group project…

By Anne Dudley

Group project after group project after group project! I have three this semester alone!! Who on earth thought a college student’s schedule would work well with group projects?!?!?!

We get it. You’re a student. You’re juggling 4 or 5 other classes. You may have a job or an internship. And, you’re the whosey-whats-it-called in that something-or-other organization.  On top of that you have a significant other, a social life, a car, a dog, a phobia of interpersonal contact and germs, and YOU have to do a group project.

Well sir, or madam, listen here: LIFE IS A GROUP PROJECT (or at least I think so).

I’m sorry to say it but the jury’s out on this one, we all know group projects stink, but when they say this will prepare you for your future, they (whoever “they” are) are right.

Picture yourself 5 years down the road sitting a conference table, discussing the very important whatchyamacallit and its future at whatchayamacalled. Joe Blow, your boss, asks your opinion on the subject. You, shocked, take your finger out of your nose, glance down at the agenda, the only thing you brought to this meeting, and frantically try to think of something relevant to say to save yourself, and your job.

NOBODY wants this to happen.  So now is the time to practice.

Here’s what you need to know to survive group projects:

1. Volunteer SOMETHING – Help get the ball rolling by volunteering to do something. It can be anything, even as simple as: I’ll take notes and email them to the group, I’ll get us a room at the library, or I’ll run our ideas past the Prof. to see how we’re doing. Be involved.

2. Position – Take a position. Make it up for yourself if you have to. Take charge of something. Ex. the research articles & Works Cited, the PowerPoint, group snacks, whatever.

3. Speak – TALK to your group. Silence at the roundtable will only make this take longer.

4. Schedule Early– Scheduling is always a problem for college group projects. Meet early on, or for 5 minutes after each class, and get started. If you think meeting is hard now, think about how hard it will be to meet four times the week before it’s due!?!

5. Practice – If you’re giving a speech, or even a simple synopsis of what your group did, DO NOT WING IT. Run through once. It will make it enormously easier to do it again in front of your Prof.

When you’re working on that next group paper, keep your eye on the prize. Practice makes perfect. Some day, when you’re leading a team of writers, designers, or whomever, hopefully what you learned now will be worth it.

CCI Boasts Three Representatives on Centennial Year Homecoming Court

To vote for homecoming king or queen, log into Flashline from 8 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6 until noon Friday, Oct. 8.

By Anne Dudley
This year, odds are in CCI’s favor for Homecoming Queen! The college can proudly boast three female representatives in the court during the centennial year’s Homecoming celebration.

Two of CCI’s court members will also receive the Outstanding Undergraduate Award from the School of Communication Studies on Friday, Oct. 8.

A student organization or campus office they are affiliated with nominated each representative.

Student Success Programs nominated Emily Carle, senior Applied Communication major from Bowling Green, Ohio. Emily said “It is a huge honor just to be nominated in the first place…Dozens of women were involved in the interview process with the Homecoming Selection Committee. All of the girls are very involved, very intelligent, and very aware of what’s going on on-campus…to be in the top six women is a huge honor.”

Carle also said she is so proud to have two other CCI students on court with her. “I know both of the girls personally and they are two of the nicest, most pro-CCI people… just to have them as my friends on court and second to have them represent CCI with me could not be better. All of them are very supportive of CCI. CCI could not have had better people.”

Carle also said she is looking forward to the philanthropy project court members will be involved in at the King Kennedy Center and continuing to form bonds with the other court members.

Kent Communication Society (KCS) nominated Arianne Gasser, senior Organizational Communication major from Canton, Ohio.

Gasser said she wanted to be a part of the Homecoming court because she not only loves Kent State, but also thought this would give her the opportunity to be the “ultimate role model” in addition to being a Resident Assistant and President of KCS.

“I’m really excited to get KCS’s name out there. In the last 2 years I’ve been trying to get recruitment up –I’ve tried to make KCS something that communication majors know about and want to be a part of.”

Kent Student Ambassadors nominated Carrie Drummond, senior Public Relations major from Boardman, Ohio.  Drummond said, “I didn’t ask to be nominated, and I didn’t see it coming” as she described the first Ambassadors meeting where all students with 90 or more credit hours were asked to stand and be voted on.

Drummond went on to say, “Going to Kent State was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I’m proud to be able to represent the school that has meant so much to me.”

Drummond is looking forward to leading the spirit walk to the pep rally. “…we even get to wear our sashes for that. That should be the most fun because we really get to show our Kent State pride!”

All of the CCI representatives are excited at the news of their selection and honored to have been chosen from a group of extremely worthy candidates. Gasser said, “It’s unbelievable and incredibly exciting.” She said that this experience will “top off all of the good memories of being at Kent.”

Drummond added, “Each girl on Court is more than deserving of the crown, and I’ll be thrilled for whoever wins.”

Each of the ladies stated that they were looking forward to sharing this experience with their families and friends, especially the other court members.

Drummond said, “I think that half of the female court members being from CCI says a lot about our college. We’re so well prepared by CCI. People in the college are well rounded. We participate in activities all over campus, we work hard in our classes, and we care about representing Kent State in the best possible way.”

Why should I get involved on campus?

By Emily Carle

Every week, I average at least 5 meetings and seminars for various clubs and organizations around campus. I always feel like I’m running from place to place, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There are so many organizations on campus that I’m passionate about, I want to support them in any way possible. Probably one of the best decisions I have made over the past 3 years is to start attending Kent Communication Society meetings. KCS is geared towards Communication Studies majors and minors as well as all CCI majors who want to get involved in the school, the campus and the community. I just happened upon a meeting my freshman year, and honestly I was pretty nervous. By the following year, I was more comfortable with everything and I actually spoke up in meetings. By my junior year, I was the President and was working closely with the Vice President and fellow Communication enthusiast, Arianne Gasser, to really help KCS blossom. Going into my senior year, Arianne and I have swapped places as President and Vice President but our goals stay the same, we want to make KCS into a powerhouse organization. We’re planning social events for the fall, including a Sunday cookout, as well as service projects like Adopt-a-Family. In the spring we will be focusing most of our efforts on Relay for Life to build on our success this past spring.

Not all organizations are perfect for everyone; I would feel very out of place at a College Republicans meeting or a College of Business meeting. That’s the joy of organizations though; there are over 200 on campus to fit all personalities, interests and goals. It may seem cheesy, but there really is something for everyone! I have been in a few organizations where I just did not feel like I belonged, so I left. Easy as that. I found something that fit me so much better. When I am involved with different organizations on campus, I really feel like I’m part of Kent State. I feel like I’m more than just a student going to class. Also, it may seem like a minor thing, but when I walk across campus now, I actually recognize people and can wave to multiple people as I run to class or my next meeting.

Without getting involved on campus, I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend as well as about 95% of the people I talk to now. I wouldn’t have figured out what I want to do after college, and I definitely would not have been as proud to be a Kent State student. Every organization brings something different to the table, but there is no harm in testing the waters to see what works. While I started with a major/academic organization, there are so many other avenues. And for all of the Communication Studies majors/minors or just anyone who is interested in Communications, check out Kent Communication Society! KCS meets every Wednesday at 5 pm in Taylor Hall, 144.

Emily Carle is a Senior, Applied Communication major and marketing assistant in the CCI Dean’s Office.