Communication Studies: The Major with the Mostest

The Communication Studies department uses corporate communication to create a message and transmit that message to its publics through various mediums.  The Communication Studies department encompasses many different fields such as broadcasting, speech writing, public relations and research. The department sends out messages about why it is a worthwhile major and what the benefits are of having a degree in it. It is a very broad and far-reaching major, making opportunities for later employment very probable. It offers students a chance to express themselves and find their niche. This major teaches students about certain communication mediums and how to utilize them to spread its influence.

As we mentioned above, the Communication Studies department has several different mediums it uses to send out messages.  First of all, the department has its own section of the UNCW website where you can find information about the major, contact information for professors, and the mission statement. The department also sends out emails to all registered members of the major to discuss on-campus events and important occurrences within the department. Some of these events include Make the Most of Your Major, which helps students to better understand the classes that are being offered within the department. The department also has Com Studies Day, in which several events are held to teach students about life in the real world and how to best use the knowledge imparted to them. One example is the Dress For Success Fashion Show, which teaches students about proper business attire for an interview or a presentation. There is also a club for majors called Communication Studies Society, which helps members become more involved in the community and in campus life. Additionally, there is the Lambda Pi Eta Honors Society, which takes in academically advanced students and helps stimulate interest in the field of communication. Another event offered through the major is Rock for the Cure, a fundraiser that is held each year to raise money for breast cancer research and support. Each of these events signifies how an organization can reach out to the masses.

The Communication Studies department uses all these events and mediums to communicate their message to the public. These mediums include emails, posters, banners and online advertisements. Even this blog helps to spread the word about the department. The objective is to help students get more involved and achieve a more fulfilling college experience. The Communication Studies department uses corporate communication to raise awareness and send out their message about the major.

Sarah McIntosh, Eliza Wadson, Jocelyn Walson, Sean O’Connell

Going Global

As one of my business school professors always says, “If you’re not thinking international, you’re not thinking business.”  UNCW is constantly encouraging their students to either study abroad or do an exchange program in another country.  In January 2009, I made my way across the Atlantic Ocean and landed in the city of Arnhem, located in the Netherlands.  I journeyed with the intent of studying in a local school for six months.  It was more than a culture shock when everyone around me was speaking a language that I knew nothing about.  However, over time, I became more comfortable in talking with my peers and locals.  In class, we always spoke in English, but it wasn’t always that simple.  Sometimes having to re-word a sentence or change a sentence altogether was necessary to get one’s point across.  As an English-speaking native, I couldn’t take for granted the fact that the other students knew what I was saying.  This is exactly what organizations have to be mindful of on an everyday basis.  They must pay close attention to the communication they use within their company so that they provide a consistent and effective message to all of their shareholders.

International student dinner in Arnhem, Netherlands.

International student dinner in Arnhem, Netherlands.

Internationalization is key in organizations today.  Often, when searching for new hires, organizations look for candidates with some experience abroad.  Some students think that this isn’t a fair measurement of one’s ability and even you may be asking, “why is international experience so important?” Well, with the increasing push towards globalization and companies easily having affiliates in other countries, it is imperative that these different cultures communicate effectively.   Within an organization, clients, customers, employees, colleagues, and even supervisors could potentially be from a different culture or nationality.  Multi-cultural business ethics and communications must be a priority to organizations because in one culture, a quick, to the point email is acceptable, and others, it’s not.  It is imperative to be aware of these differences and function accordingly.

UNCW and the Communication Studies department are continually trying to make students aware of the need to be more global.  Offering courses such as Intercultural Communication, International Management, International Marketing, Business and Professional Communication, International Organizational Communication, and numerous foreign language courses as well as speaking partners for students that English is their second language, UNCW is committed to molding students into culturally aware career candidates in organizations.

Breanna Alexander

For more information about UNCW’s international programs, visit their website here.

Why You Should Hire a UNCW Com Studies Major!

Last week our Corporate Communications class discussed why other majors consider Communication Studies as the “easy major” or the “business school dropouts”. This is untrue and is the very reason that we have gateway classes such as com 105(intro to communications) and com 200 (research methods).  You are a pre-com major until you earn a “B” or better in both of these courses and then you become a full Communication Studies major. The gateway classes sort out the people who are serious about getting a degree in Communication Studies from the people who need to go a different route. Some people may think that a Corporate Communications class belongs in the business school; however, we feel that every corporation needs effective communication to succeed so, why not hire students who have a Communication Studies degree.

Here are our entrance requirements:

In order to prepare for our future careers we have the option to partake in an internship. While an internship is not required to graduate with a Communication Studies degree from UNCW, many students choose to be involved in one. Most students who are interning from this department are working in fairly large corporations.  Since communication in different careers varies there are many positions a Communication Studies Major may hold. Students at UNCW  intern and may eventually be hired in positions like…event planner, public relations assistant, marketing assistant, account executive, news anchor, journalist, human resources recruiter etc. and that is just to name a few! The options available with a Communication Studies degree in the Corporate world are unlimited and with all the wonderful things we learn and the networking we create thanks to UNCW, we are already well on our way!

-Emily Hunter

Let’s find the connection

What is the connection between Corporate Communication and Communication Studies?  Finding this connection may be more difficult than first perceived.  What we do know is that both of these subjects have broad definitions which can be interpreted and defined in a variety of ways.  Communication studies at UNCW is one of the largest undergraduate programs on campus.  The department focuses on eight core skills that are vital to the success of each person within the department. These eight skills include: confidence, intellectual curiosity, responsibility, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, civility, and praxis.  Within communication studies, students have the opportunity to focus on a number of different concentrations.  The central aspect that each concentration revolves around is the statement of clarifying who we are and what we are about.  This idea creates a strong link between the communication studies major and personal development as a whole.

Communication Studies @ UNCW

All this being said, how does this relate in the slightest bit to Corporate Communication? Our team defined Corporate communication as the communicative interaction of building and maintaining a reputation and consistent brand while fostering relationships internally and externally within each level of an organization.  The eight core skills of our department go hand in hand with this definition.  Here are the definitions of them……Core Skills

After reminding ourselves of the definitions of these skills, it is easier to see how they are necessary for work in a Corporate Communication profession. We can see  that without confidence and praxis, we will be unable to take responsibility for the decisions made when dealing with a company’s reputation and brand; and without the combination of intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, the organization will remain at a stand still. Beyond this we are able to easily say that corporate communication involves various positions within a company. This requires collaboration and civility with and among each individual. Lastly, problem solving is a conjunction of all of these things. Problems that are brought to a company regarding their corporate communication can be successfully solved only by utilizing the other seven skills.

That is how we view Corporate Communication in terms of our Communication Studies department and skills. It is an extreme understatement to say that we will simply use our skills in our future professions. They will be the cornerstones upon which we operate day to day and all that we do will in some way relate back to one of those skills.

Haley Williams
Arielle Williams

Lora Hampton
Danielle Dorantich

Fraternities and Sororities at UNC-Wilmington…a Greek Corporation

When thinking about a school 5 miles from the beach that doesn’t have a football team, the last thing that comes to mind might be fraternities and sororities.  Greek life however consumes roughly 9.5% of the student population and there are 26 Greek organizations on campus (8 Pan-Hellenic sororities, 11 IFC fraternities, 5 NPHC sororities and 2 NPHC fraternities). Most sororities and fraternities have an executive council, which make the decisions and determine the overall feel of the organization

The President of the fraternity or sorority can be considered the boss and  make the final decisions in the chapter .  There are also a variety of different positions that are held by the members of the sorority/fraternity ranging from Public relations to social chair to a treasurer.  Those who hold these positions are in charge of certain aspects of the organization to assure the organization is accomplishing their goals and take charge of those activities.

There is a different decision making process with the various organizations much like that of different corporations. There is a huge importance of the fraternities and sororities identity as well that distinguish them from one another.  For instance Chi Omega wears white dresses on bid day and Alpha Phi wears long dresses.  Pi Kappa Alpha always has very bright shirts for rush and Phi Mu is associated with anything pink.  These are all just clothing examples of things that give identity to the organization, but anything  from personal actions to parties to philanthropy events give these fraternity and sororities there “corporate identity.”

At UNC-Wilmington, Greek life runs like a business. There are the different roles that are played in the organization which help maintain reputation, scholarship, identity, brand, etc also striving for Greeks to follow the strategic plan which can be seen at:

Ari Nateman

Fran Greene

Lacey Inman

Megan Regele

Feel the Teal

Whether you attend UNCW, are a native of Wilmington, or you just know of the university, it is no secret that our school is near the beach.  Judging by some of the nicknames for UNCW: UNC Beach, UN Sea W, UNC by the Sea, it is clear that our geographical location plays a role in our school’s brand narrative.  This is exemplified through our mascot, Sammy the Seahawk, as well as our school colors.

Believe it or not, the color teal was not picked just because we think it’s pretty (although it’s a plus), neither were the gold and navy blue that help to round out the vibrant color palate.  UNCW’s school colors were chosen to represent the surrounding area that helps define our institution’s brand.  The color teal was chosen to represent the Atlantic Ocean, the dark blue represents the deep ocean, and the gold symbolizes the sand.

This association with the beach has created a community of teal throughout the university.  Everywhere you turn on campus you are inundated with the color teal.  Teal has become synonymous with UNCW and its brand.  We even turned the color into an adjective with a 2009 campaign for the athletic department that asked, “Are you tealin’ it?”  One popular t-shirt worn by students says, “Feel my Teal”.  We have Teal Tuesdays where students wear the color to show school spirit.  This creates a feeling of unity on campus and gives students a way to express their love for UNCW.

While the university’s close proximity to the beach has some influence on creating its brand narrative, there is more to the school than just that.  For those of us who attend UNCW, we know that going to class does not mean sunbathing, surfing, and collecting seashells.  UNCW has a strong focus on academics and that is it’s main priority.  We are well known for our excellent marine biology program as well as our professional school of business.  We also aim to be environmentally friendly and do our part to support the community.  There are many things that make UNCW the school that it is.  Our proximity to the ocean and our love of the color teal are just a few of those things that bring us together as a university.

Eliza Wadson, Jocelyn Walson, Sarah McIntosh, Sean O’Connell

UNCW on Forbes Top 20

As a university, UNCW must make a conscious effort to promote itself through advertising in order to continue to appeal to and reach perspective students. They also must network with other businesses and other universities to help expand and further their opportunities as a university. For instance, UNCW partners with many local and regional businesses during “Connect 2010” which is put on by the Communications department. The event allows students to meet perspective employers and for employers to connect with the freshest talent in the job market. Similarly, the Cameron School of Business hosts “Business Week” to promote the business school and help connect their students and other businesses. Also, international corporate communication is evident through UNCW’s partnership with foreign universities in order to place and entice students to travel and study abroad. With these types of corporate communication, UNCW is able to market and advertise the university.

When corporate communication is successful, the university’s image is enhanced. For example, UNCW just received its highest regional ranking to date. It has been listed among the top 5 public master’s institutions in the South for the upcoming 2011 year. Out of 118 public and private universities in the south, UNCW ranks 13th for undergraduate and master’s level programs. UNCW is ranked at number 5 in the region, which puts it among the 68 colleges and universities nationally that U.S. News identified as making the most promising and innovative changes. It is estimated that in 2014 the student body at UNCW will have an average SAT score of 1170 and an estimated average high school GPA of 3.8. These studies can be found at U.S. News & World Report rankings can be viewed online at

Similarly, because of UNCW’s successful corporate communication practices, top names such as Forbes Magazine ranked UNCW among the top 20 “Best Buy” universities in the nation. This ranking places UNCW in the magazine’s top 20 among all colleges and universities in the U.S. for providing a high quality education at the lowest cost to students. Corporate communication not only helps gets the message out about all aspects of the university to local communities, but it also plays a big role in why UNCW is recognized by such impressive organizations, namely Forbes and U.S. News.

Breanna Alexander
Lauren Dehart
Lauren Smith
Kelly Wiley