Communication News + Events
Welcome. Communication is an ideal major for a liberal arts degree. After all, everything we understand comes through communication. This makes it a rich site for intellectual inquiry, but it is a field of study that also has practical application and leads to fruitful careers. The program at Gwynedd-Mercy mirrors today’s industry realties of media convergence and offers students a well-rounded multimedia education.
Our young program just graduated its second class. Last year’s group is 100 percent employed and we expect this year’s too go forth with the same success.
Learn from the pros!
Gwynedd-Mercy is proud to welcome two new instructors: Jonathan Wilson and Markus Goldman.
Jonathan Wilson brings exceptional experience to his digital photography class at Gwynedd-Mercy.
Wilson brings 20 years of experience at The Philadelphia Inquirer to his digital photography classroom. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Reuters, and The Associated Press.
Goldman, currently a disc jockey at WMMR in Philadelphia with over 15 years of experience, is teaching a course on internet radio in which students create their own station after developing programming and learning the ins and outs of radio in the digital era.
Get hands-on experience in and out of the classroom.
Your education is about much more than coursework. That’s why at Gwynedd-Mercy class assignments are designed to bring real world experience and every student completes at least one internship.
Through in-class assignments and co-curricular work our students have published online and in print with WHYY/NewsWorks.org, The Next Woman magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, The Times-Herald, The Reporter, This I Believe, The Yardley Voice, The Upper Bucks Free Press, Delaware Valley Outdoors, Ramblinfan.com and elsewhere. This way students turn class lessons into industry contacts, portfolio pieces, and professional experience. This is considered an important part of their work in addition to their contributions to campus media such as The Gwynmercian, GwyneddNow.org, The Griffin, and Today magazine.
At least one internship is vital to a student’s future success. Gwynedd-Mercy requires such experience and gives credit for it through enrollment in COM 405: Communication Internship. The exciting places our interns work have included The Fanatic/ESPN Radio, WMMR, the U.S. Department of Defense, World Team Tennis, Millennium Radio Group, G-Town Radio, Combat Zone Wrestling, the spiritual sanctuary Malvern Retreat House, and Philadelphia’s legendary recording studio Sigma Sound.
Brianna Virginio with Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison hosts of the hit morning show "Preston and Steve" during her internship at WMMR.
Students also apply their skills as they acquire them through service learning projects. For instance, in the course Public Relations Writing, the class takes on a real client and produces real work on their behalf.
In their senior year, students take a Capstone course in which they complete individual semester-long assignments that incorporate skills acquired in multiple courses, applies them to a new project, and exhibit Mercy values of service and social responsibility. These projects not only tie together the Gwynedd-Mercy education, but show future employers that the student is capable of conceiving and implementing major initiatives. Such projects have included establishing and promoting a scholarship fund at an area Catholic High School (the first student funded by this project will attend in fall 2013) and an effort to revitalize downtown Quakertown via grant writing and establishing a non-profit coffee shop and open community space (the first grant was received before the semester’s end).
At Gwynedd, we send students into the world and we bring the world to them. Communication majors meet the movers, shakers and thinkers in today’s world of communication through classroom visits and campus talks. Guest speakers have included CBS anchor Ukee Washington; Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Dick Polman; WHYY/NewsWorks editor, Megan Pinto; Times-Herald editor Stan Huskey; Woodrow Wilson Fellow and sports journalist, Toby Smith; the owner of the world’s biggest jazz website Michael Ricci; Mike Morsch, executive director of Montgomery Newspapers; former Miami Herald reporter and current Villanova professor Jean Lutes; and former City Paper and China Daily reporter and current Long Island University professor, Jennifer Rauch.
CBS anchor Ukee Washington with students at a visit to Gwynedd Mercy University.
Gwynedd-Mercy offers courses in public speaking; television/video production; introductory, advanced, and broadcast journalism; public relations and PR writing; mass communication theory; media technology; media ethics; visual communication; and feature and magazine writing. Students also take elective classes in digital photography; graphic design; web design; and multimedia content creation.
Transfer students with two years of credit elsewhere can typically finish their degree with two years of additional coursework at Gwynedd Mercy University. Transfer students are advised to speak with an admissions counselor.
Our students prepare for careers, but college is more than that. The distinctive Gwynedd-Mercy graduate is prepared for life as well as work. That entails a critical understanding of the world and a sense of social responsibility. To that end, students in communication learn more than just how to create media. They learn about the ethical, social, political, economic, and cultural aspects of communication. On this basis, they are able to discern what is taking place in communicative environments and contribute meaningfully to the world not just as workers, but as engaged citizens.
Janis Chakars serves as communication program coordinator as well as assistant professor and chair of the Division of Language, Literature and Fine Arts at Gwynedd Mercy University. He has worked as far away as Mongolia (at Montsame, the state news agency) and as close as Philadelphia’s NewsWorks (WHYY’s multimedia local news website), where he is currently a contributor. His professional work has ranged from publicity to journalism and crossed media from newsletters to magazines to newspapers to websites to audio recording. His academic interests center on media history, international communication, and the use of media in political and social movements. His research centers on Latvia and he is currently a board member of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. His scholarly articles have appeared in Journalism History, the Central European Journal of Communication, International Research in Children’s Literature and elsewhere. He is also the guitarist of the influential underground punk band Citizens Arrest.
He can be reached at email@example.com.