Kean University holds opening event for School of Communication, Media and Journalism

By Vera Boateng

Kean University has launched the School of Communication, Media and Journalism reflecting changes at the college.

“When the faculty was presented with the opportunity to become a school, we were excited for the chance to capitalize on our existing strengths while at the same time creating programs that forge new directions in the study of all facets of communication,” said Dr. Jack Sargent, who  is becoming the executive director of the school.

The new school was formally named at an event on Feb. 20 on the ground floor in the Center for Academic Success. Students and faculty joined with Kean President Dawood Farahi, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Susan Bousquet and Steven Fastook, vice president of operations at CNBC Network. Fastook, an alumnus of Kean who as a media student developed the university’s first television studio ,was the guest speaker.

The  university has been turning its departments into schools headed by executive directors for several years. At present, Kean has 22 schools within the university. This is what fueled the communication faculty members to think about what they could do that would be innovative and attractive to students. Putting the areas of communication, media and journalism together highlights the many career choices offered in the new school.

A new webpage and logo have also been created for the School.

“Students were very excited for the opportunity and pleased with the idea of becoming a school and being able to put that on their resumes,” said Sargent.

With these changes, the faculty hopes to create a new identity for the Communication School.

The school will change some of its curriculum and develop new programs and new classes to reach more students. This is to help students land jobs that will be useful for them in the future.The communication guide sheets will also be redesigned.

Different communication classes in areas such as social media or environmental communication will be explored in this new school.

At the event to introduce the new school, faculty members in communication pointed out that most of the faculty have worked in the communication industry and are able to direct students by telling them what jobs expect from them.

The new school will continue to house The Tower, an independent, laboratory newspaper of Kean’s journalism option, as well as WKNJ-FM Kean University’s radio station.

A video shown at the event highlighted Communication as a major, noting that surveys show employers are looking for the kinds of skills taught in the new school, which include public speaking, writing, research, persuasion and problem solving skills.

The video was produced by a Kean Communication graduate student Siddharth Gupta. The event was designed and created in a collaborative effort with public relations classes taught by Prof. Suzanne Schwab.

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