COM Department Then and Now

After attending this year’s COM Studies Day, we have entered into an interesting adventure exploring the difference between the COM department of today and that of years past. Luckily, this author was fortunate enough to speak with both alumni and faculty regarding their opinions regarding the COM department as it stands.

Matt Carter, who graduated from UNCW in 2003, and was kind enough to return to Wilmington to share his experiences, emphasized that the Communication Studies Department has changed drastically since he attended. He said that there are many more courses with specific foci meant to guide students in the direction they wish to move.

Dr. Weber agrees. He reminisced that the COM department used to be a “dumping ground” for students that failed to make it in other majors. It was tough for the COM department to keep undesirable students out of our major until the introduction of the gateway courses. Once COM 105 and COM 200 were implemented as courses that must be satisfactorily passed in order to continue in the COM major the quality of students increased greatly. This new breed of student, according to Dr. Weber, was conscious of future plans and aware of what skills COM Studies provided that would help each student exceed in their next step. With the addition of foci, including public relations and IMC, for the first time the Communication Studies Department was able to compete with the top majors on UNCW’s campus as a legitimate source of a quality education. The final aspect that Dr. Weber mentions as transforming the COM major into what it is today is the addition of what is now known as COM 400. In its early days COM 400 was known as COM 490 and was simply a senior seminar class meant to further the education of seniors on various subjects. Over the course of a couple semesters, this course was morphed into a training seminar, teaching COM seniors how to prepare for and land a job after leaving UNCW.

Finally, I was able to have a discussion with the infamous Dr. Chin, who is known for being in charge of many of the COM Studies Day events as well as teaching the best Advanced PR class this side of the Mississippi. Dr. Chin commented that as recent as the past semester the face of COM Studies Day has transformed with the implementation of social media. This year, models participating in the fashion show were able to promote themselves via facebook and twitter, thus promoting the fashion show and COM Studies Day. Staying true to our teachings, COM Studies Majors were able to plan, promote, and execute an amazing COM Studies Day effectively using social media as a source of communication. We would like to thank all alumni and students who donated their time to make this year’s event a huge success, and we remain forever in debt to those faculty members who spend countless hours and dollars ensuring that we are able to gain the most out of our major.

Leanna Marshall, Leslie Tyler, Julius Roberts, Bryce Koonts

Live Blogging at UNCW COM Studies Day!

#COMstudiesday – Click here to see what people are saying about COM Studies Day on Twitter!

Join in the action of COM Studies day and participate in our live blogging event coverage! Our first event is a panel of 5 alumni. Panel 1 starts at 10am and ends at 11am in LH 125 (TV Studio). Hope to see you there!

Morning Panel Features
Al Inman- News Photographer, News 14 Carolina, graduated May 2008
Jessie Warren Langley- Career Counselor, East Carolina University, graduated May 2003
Sean McBride- Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Charlotte District), graduated May 2009
Cliff Pyron- General Assignment Reporter, WWAY-TV3, graduated May 2009
Chris Rea- President/CEO, Top Tier Computer Services, graduated December 1999

Click Here to view the transcript of Panel 1!

Click Here to view the transcript of Panel 2!

COM Studies Day Events:

10:00-11:00am Panel presentation of 5 alumni in LH 125 (TV studio)

11:00-11:30am Networking session for afternoon panelists in LH lobby12:15-1:30pmLunch and Fashion Show coordinated by CSS in the Warwick Center Ballroom 2:00-3:00pm Panel presentation of 5 alumni in LH 125 (TV studio)3:00-3:30pm Networking session for afternoon panelists in LH lobby

4:00pm Reception and Social Gathering for panelists, guests, faculty and COM students at Fox and Hound

Light appetizers provided by Fox and Hound & the Department of Communication Studies

Find out more about UNCW’s COM Studies Department at our website!

Networking your way to the top!

The Annual Communication Studies Day is something students and faculty alike look forward to every spring.  This jam-packed day is full of expert panels and networking sessions to help communication studies students get their names out there in their potential field, and a fashion show with examples of appropriate work attire.  Networking is something that is becoming more and more important when trying to get a job in society today.

What exactly is networking? According to the UNCW Career Center website networking is, “the development of contacts and personal connections with a variety of people who might be helpful to you and your career.” Building a personal connection and relationship with people in the community will be beneficial. According to the UNCW Career Center website, 80% of jobs are filled by networking – people they know. Networking doesn’t guarantee a job, but it is a great way to gather information and get advice from people who have been in the industry for a while. It is important to network at any given opportunity. Networking can occur through various social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Social media is a powerful tool that should be utilized when networking.

COM Studies Day allows students to hear from professionals and get experience with networking. Jenna Curry, a COM major graduate and treasurer of CSS during her years at UNCW, took these days to heart. After she started her career, she noticed that she did not know many young professionals in the Wilmington Area. With this realization, she decided to create an atmosphere where young college students and graduates could meet and network with local businesses because she had learned the importance of networking at UNCW. Port City Young Professionals (PCYP) is the atmosphere she created. PCYP hosts a networking event the third Wednesday of every month in different areas of Wilmington. Curry hopes to give the members a chance to establish new personal or professional relationships, give young business people a chance to interact socially, and share ideas. “PCYP was created to help improve its members’ networking skills, expand their contact base, and provide the opportunity to promote themselves and their business in a relaxing atmosphere. The goal of the PCYP is to ultimately help its members get involved in the local business scene and to impact the current and future marketplace.”  For more information about Port City Young Professionals check them out at:

-Kelsey Bendig, Andrea Blanton, Brooke Keller, Brian Burch

Learn about Communication Studies at COM Studies Day

When Communication Studies majors share their idea with others they are often met with a variety of  questions. These questions often range from “what is Communication Studies” to “what on earth are you going to do with that?!,” and can leave the student wondering just why exactly did they pick this major in the first place. Fortunately the UNCW Communication Studies department is hosting its annual Communication Studies Day this Friday and will answer many of these questions.

The Communication Studies Day  will have panel presentations of UNCW graduates from the major discussing their careers and experiences since college. Students will be able to hear from individuals who are currently doing things with their Communication Studies degree that they are considering doing after graduating, such as marketing, graduate school, broadcasting, and public relations. Many of the panelists graduated recently and will be able to relate to the students attending the presentations as they only recently were in the same point of approaching graduation and having to decide what they wanted to do and how to go about it. There will also be networking sessions for students to speak with faculty, friends and alumni. Another aspect of Communication Studies Day is the Dress for Success fashion show, in which attendants will get to see outfits of business casual and business professional attire. Attire is an important component of a professional image and many students are unsure about how they are expected to dress for a successful career.


Communication Studies Day is not just an event that is simply put on by faculty and that students can show up to if they want to. The event is being  coordinated and marketed by UNCW Communication Studies students. Dr. Persuit’s IMC II class will be tweeting, posting photos, and sharing information about the event as it is occurring on this blog. Individuals can learn more about the event by following #DressForSuccess2012 and #COMStudiesDay on twitter.

~Molly Jacques, Josh Vester, Ashley Oliver and Hunter Wilson

What’s Your Unique Brand Style?

UNCW’s Communication Studies Day includes an informative Dress for Success Fashion show for college students of all ages and levels. The fashion show will also include skits demonstrating the importance of an elevator speech, professional attire, portfolios, and how necessary it is to be prepared for interviews. This year the theme, “Will You Make the Cut?” is based upon the Food Network show “Chopped.”

One idea about IMC manifested in this fashion show is that company image and brand management is very vital for growth and success. Individuals, as well as companies, have always had their own image and have to manage their own brand. It is sometimes hard for college students to transition from a student image that they have had for the past 13 years to a business professional image. The great part about the fashion show is that it shows students how to transition from their current image and brand to something more professional.

Whether people realize it or not, we are branding ourselves every day through the types of clothes we choose to wear in professional or unprofessional settings. Your unique brand style can be a description of who you are in a job interview setting. It is very important to make interpersonal connections with job interviewers through your developed style and authenticity that will make you stand out from others. Branding yourself when looking for a job is very similar to branding a product. Basically, you are selling yourself as a product to your potential employer with the goal of standing out amongst the rest. Are you casual business, formal business, chick, trendy, preppy, classic, or a hybrid of several?

By: Laura Simmons, Mollie Berthold, Dorothy Conley, Christina Stevenson

Banding Together for Communication Studies Day!

This week UNCW is bringing out the big guns with the 2012 Communication Studies Day. On Friday March 30th the entire Communication Studies department is banding together in Leutze Hall to put on a day full of learning and networking opportunities. Communication Studies day encourages students to show off their work and network with communication professionals through question and answer panels, an educational fashion show and multiple networking sessions.

Fashion Show and Panel

In essence, Communication Studies Day is what Integrated Marketing Communication is all about. The entire department and related student groups have all had a hand in the event this year. The COM Studies Society is hosting the 10th annual Dress For Success fashion show and in coordination with the studio production classes have created a special video to run during the event. The Communication Studies Honors Society is running a raffle and our IMC class will be live tweeting and blogging throughout the day.

The event is effectively bringing advertising, public relations, event planning, direct marketing, word of mouth marketing and social media together in a holistic fashion. When strung together all of these aspects are what make COM Studies Day an incredible IMC experience. Want to join in on the fun? Hashtag #COMStudiesDay with your tweets so we can get it trending!

-Alexis Kapczynski, Sara Kaloudis, Josh Bowman, Kacy Cox

Your Vacation Is Our Education

Every school has their own stereotype that is perceived among those outside the community.  ECU is the party school, UNC is preppy, App is a hippie school and people have the tendency to stereotype UNCW as a laid back party school: all we do is wear our bathing suits to class, surf, and hit the beach.  In the summer that may be true, but during the school year we are a motivated and involved campus that works extremely hard on our academic goals.  UNCW can be misunderstood by many outsiders who are not involved in our daily lifestyles. From the hundreds of different campus organizations to the thousands of courses that intellectually challenge us, we are anything but slackers. Additionally, because of our location near the beach, we tend to love a healthy and active lifestyle as well.  Whether it’s walking the loop, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, wake boarding, biking and many other activities, we are able to maintain a positive attitude about life.  

As a brand, UNCW has been observed as the second hardest public university to get into in North Carolina.  Its academic growth over the last few years has skyrocketed past its many competitors.  With many additions, like the McNeill School of Nursing and the latest cutting-edge technology in nursing education, we have been able to teach our students to the best of our abilities. Even with our amount of academic growth, we are still able to keep a small atmospheric feel by having smaller classes for high quality student-teacher interactions. As a coastal university we also provide a perfect environment for our multiple Marine Science programs.

UNCW was also just named one of the nation’s “Best Value” Public Colleges and Universities by The Princeton Review for the fourth year in a row. We are viewed as a school with a superb faculty that students are very fond of. It’s not often that you hear someone talking about how much they don’t like a professor; instead you hear things like, “This professor made this class so much more interesting than I thought it would be.”

As you can see, our university has many things going for it other than being on the coast and having great weather. Though we literally live on the beach, UNCW clearly goes beyond its perceived stereotype of slackers, beach bums, and surfers.

Leanna Marshall, Leslie Tyler, Bryce Koonts, Julius Roberts