Goodbye COM 495

The day has come – the last day of the 2010 spring semester.  This day is bittersweet for many as today brings the end of an academic year, the closing of a chapter, and the end of some great courses.  I speak on behalf of the IMC-Hawks team when I say we all agree this class was superb.

From day one I think we all knew this class was going to be different than many others taken previously.  I remember, before nestling into my seat, I sat next to Terry Hayes on the first day when he turned to me at the end Dr. Persuit’s opening and said, “This is the first time I feel like I am taking a real college course based on the projected workload.”  I also remember agreeing and sharing excitement with Terry.

To get an idea of what we were presented, read the following to gain minor insight to Dr. Persuit’s syllabus:

Your experience in this course will include the application of ideas in writing, presentational skills within a professional communication context, and consideration of the ethical implications of your actions.

Course Objectives:

In this course, we work from a praxis (theory-informed action) orientation to prepare you with the knowledge and skill to put what you learn into action in the marketplace.  This approach stresses that you cultivate the habit of learning.

This class will provide opportunities to:

  • Understand and engage theoretical approaches to IMC.
  • Advance your practical knowledge of IMC strategies and tactics.
  • Engage your intellectual curiosity.
  • Function in a professional organization, on a project team, as a project manager.

All fifteen of the IMC-Hawks were very excited for what the semester had in store, for we knew we had great opportunities and challenges awaiting us.  The above portion of Dr. Persuit’s syllabus generated a great deal of anticipation and expectation from the team, which I now look back and question how it went by so quickly.

Many syllabi produce agony, misery, depression, and all other synonyms pertaining there to, but not Dr. Persuit’s.  However, her syllabus did present large shoes to fill as we all were looking forward to the best.  I again speak for everyone when I say these shoes were filled, but perhaps too small as she exceeded any and all expectations we had.

From the beginning we moved at a very fast pace just as Dr. Persuit warned.  We opened with Bowling Alone and hit the ground running from there.  Dr. Persuit’s intent was to provide a classroom to resemble either a work environment with real and valid deadlines or a graduate school course with simultaneous work and loads of discussion, all while teaching us time management and stress relievers – I never said we had an easy class.

All of our assignments had genuine meaning and related directly back to Dr. Persuit’s objectives.  We were able to take what we were learning from our course textbooks and apply them to each and every project, better known as praxis, one of Dr. Persuit’s goals.

As one of Dr. P’s first intro classes, I am pleased to also be one of the first in her advanced course.  At the end of the introductory course, I wondered if the department would allow for the exploration of an advanced course.  I am so glad the department read my mind, or so I like to think, because this course has been one of my and my classmate’s favorite classes because of the application the course provided.  I hope the department hears the praise all of the IMC-Hawks team screams, and this course will have permanence and longevity.

Rachel Kaylor, another type of lucky student, was allowed to take the course based on outside experience.  Her class assessment is as follows:

Before taking advanced IMC, I learned about IMC through various internships. Bringing corporate knowledge of IMC to the theory-based classroom was an interesting but incredibly helpful experience. Though I understood IMC before taking Dr. Persuit’s class, I had not learned the academic side. Through the projects we completed all the way down to the nightly readings, the class enabled me to look back on campaign experiences I previously had and better understand what worked, what didn’t, and why! This was interesting because typically we learn in the classroom and apply it to the “real world.”

Lucky for us, Allyson and I had the opportunity to take this class together from different perspectives, but the course still enabled the same opportunities.  Advanced IMC has offered us the opportunity to rename a company and participate in activities in which we want more experience.  For example, there were three choices for groups: IMC Conference planning (Academic Planning), Cape Fear Center for Inquiry Anniversary (Event Planning) and Google-Ad Words (Marketing/Advertising).  With an interest in the academic world of IMC, we both chose to research the logistics of having an IMC Conference here at UNCW – yes people, this is really happening!  This opportunity provided us the opportunity to learn all of the aspects of planning conferences, which is incredibly important in the realm of academia, as well as how to write a proposal, and how to pitch it.  We learned about the hoops and hurdles of reserving space, working with time and budget constraints as well as the infinite amounts of research it takes to complete something of this scale.

(Back to Allyson typing) Even though we had different backgrounds coming into Advanced IMC, we are both leaving with great course experience that will help us indefinitely.  We are hopeful that IMC will become as popular in the COM Dept. as we perceive it to currently be.  We would like to send a shout out to Dr. P for all of her effort and hard work put into our awesome class.  Thank you, Dr. Persuit!!

-Rachel Kaylor & Allyson Corbin