Department of Communication Studies -- Spring 2012


Chair’s Corner –

Welcome to the Department of Communication Studies.

The big news this semester is all about the School of Communication and Media. Progress continues on the merging of Communication Studies, Broadcasting, and the Filmmaking programs. The University's President will soon decide on which competing architectural firm will get the nod to design and build our new media production center. A national search is underway for applicants for the School's directorship. We're excited about implementing major parts of the new curriculum in the Fall Semester 2012. Check out the details at this link.

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has taken on an ambitious and impressive roster of clients and ongoing projects that will help prepare our students for careers in public relations and other communication-related fields.  This past year, the PRSSA students conceived, promoted, and cohosted “Girls’ Night Out,” an ovarian cancer fund-raiser held in the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) on November 17. Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller and comics Sunda Croonquist and Kerri Louise appeared at the event, which raised thousands for the center’s foundation. To read the full article, scroll down below. The student group working with HUMC is planning a Blue Hydrangea spring fund-raiser for the cancer center.  It has also begun promoting a series of “Lunch and Learn” seminars for businesses throughout northern New Jersey. The Public Relations students are also working hard organizing and producing the final competition for "Curtain Call," a statewide program that discovers the top high school opera singers each year. The program is sponsored by our partner this year, Opera New Jersey.

The PRSSA has also taken on the role of public relations agency for the Alliance for Art and Health New Jersey, an organization that is an outgrowth of Art Pride New Jersey, a major statewide arts-advocacy agency.  The chapter’s work will include developing and then implementing a strategic communication plan to bring the Alliance’s important mission of healing to the attention of influencers in the arts and health-delivery industries. Students in the PRSSA, with the help of the Public Relations Management classes, have also planned an important advocacy and awareness comedy night for Autism New Jersey April 25 at Memorial Auditorium on campus.  Part of the students’ work is to unite various PRSSA chapters around the state to promote the event and sell tickets. Other PRSSA projects include a memory workshop, featuring mentalist Manlow, which will help students improve their memory and test taking skills.  Finally, the PR Management classes are planning the Communication Studies' first-ever alumni event, slated for May of 2012.

Prof. George Elian once again hosts the annual Public Speaking Contest this spring. It's named in honor of former Speech Department Chair, Dannis B. Eaton, and Prof. Elian has turned it into a major campus event. We're hoping to conduct the finals in the Cali School's magnificent Leshowitz Recital Hall, but we do not yet have the date confirmed.

The students of Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), the honorary communication organization, will conduct the first LPH Symposium, featuring student research, on April 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. in the  seventh-floor Conference Center in University Hall. The induction of new members will take place as part of the program. Our new colleague, Dr. Joel Penney, joins Dr. Hugh Curnutt in advising the student group.

Our Department will join the Marketing Department in co-sponsoring the New Jersey Ad Club's Career Expo, an all-day affair on April 12, that takes place in the seventh-floor Conference Center in University Hall. Dr. Yi Lou has worked closely with the Ad Club team to launch this important opportunity for students to make contact with advertising and marketing pros.

We were honored to welcome Olga Konovalova into our master's program this year. Olga is our first Fulbright scholar and has worked in journalism in her native Russia. Dr. Todd Kelshaw, who heads up the master's program, delivered the exciting news that two additional Fulbright scholars have applied for next year.

Field producer Steve McCarthy hits the international trail this spring, taking student TV crews to the Bahamas and Tunisia. Steve and our colleagues in Broadcasting produced a well-received webcast on the topic of bullying, titled "Don't Laugh at Me," as the semester began. Read more about it and/or watch it here.

There are great plans for the rejuvenation of WMSC-FM, the campus radio station that recently migrated to our Department. Under the direction of Manager Dick Hinchliffe, the station is no longer a student club but set to be a vital component of the new School. The University has generously budgeted a well-equipped and -designed location for the station in Schmitt Hall, the newly renovated and renamed Finley Hall. The new location is temporary, and the station will have a prominent spot in the planned media production center. 

Dr. Harry Haines,


Montclair State Students Organize Successful Cancer Fund-raiser 


Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller joined comics Sunda Croonquist and Kerri Louise for “Girls’ Night Out,” an ovarian cancer fund-raiser held in the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (HUMC) on November 17.  The event raised thousands for the center’s foundation, but, more importantly, was a highly successful showcase for the Montclair State University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which conceived, promoted, and cohosted the event. Read the full article.

Montclair State Partners with Opera New Jersey to Present Third Annual Curtain Call Award

Montclair State University’s Department of Communication Studies and Opera New Jersey will cohost the third annual Curtain Call Award vocal competition.  The finals will take place in the Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall in the John A. Cali School of Music on the University Campus at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 3.  The Curtain Call Award was created in 2010 by the Department of Communication Studies’ Public Relations students at Montclair State to provide a showcase for talented high school students who enjoy singing opera.  Read the full article.