By: Davis Upton
My experience at The University of North Carolina Wilmington has been a wild one. I arrived at the university and had the best 3 weeks of my life to all of a sudden be thrown out of school for a month due to Hurricane Florence. One year later, another hurricane “Dorian” came back to the University to kick us out of school again but this time for 2 weeks. After that, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse. The next semester a worldwide pandemic occurred that forced the world and UNCW to go with online virtual learning for the rest of the year. Nowadays, we are still dealing with a pandemic that won’t seem to go away. Through it all, I decided to become a UNCW Communication Studies major with a focus in Integrated Marketing Communications. Now I am on my way to graduating in May of 2022.
The Communication Studies Major
The Communication Studies Major offers a variety of different courses that one can take to practice, criticize, and study communication. The Communication Studies classes have helped explain the variety of contexts in which communication takes place. From interpersonal to public communication and mediated/digital communication. The major investigates numerous styles and modes of interaction within the communication studies department including rhetoric, public address, and performance studies to communication technologies, including media production and computer-assisted interaction.
The scope of communication studies as a discipline is one without boundaries that give rise to the challenge of clarifying just who we are and what we are about. While communication technologies continue to change, the basic human need for connection: to understand and be understood, remains as important as ever. The Communication Studies department seeks to work closely with students to help them think deeply about the strategic, creative, and logistical challenges of Integrated Marketing Communications. The major explores how theory, research, analytics, and digital platforms and environments can help navigate those challenges and create communication connections.
I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone within the major and I value the experience I have gained throughout the years. I think the best part about the Communication Studies department is the people. From the students to the professors, this department has helped me succeed, learn, and grow as an individual.
Memorable Moments in COM
Some of my most memorable moments as a UNCW Communication Studies major would have to be in class with other COM major students and our amazing Communication Studies professors. I have loved planning COM Studies Week with my fellow COM majors and Tammy Bulger. I have also liked taking a mediation and conflict management class with Professor Bruce McKinney. As well as Principles of Multimedia Journalism with Jeff Rivenbark (WWAY News Anchor). Furthermore, I have appreciated all the courses I took with Christopher Stuart in graphic design. All these Communication Studies classes, whether they were in person or virtual, have been memorable and helpful opportunities to grow in the application of that knowledge all the while gaining practical communication competencies.
With this being my final semester here at The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, I have set out to finish my college career on a high note. If I focus on using what I’ve learned in the Communication Studies major, I know that I will. With confidence, I can do what I set out to do, mentally, emotionally, and physically. After graduation, I plan on moving back home to Charlotte and securing a job in the marketing field. When I am not working on school or the job search, I am outdoors soaking up the sun and fresh air with my roommates.
If I could offer some words of encouragement to fellow UNCW students as they continue to push through the extremely challenging circumstances of the pandemic, it would be to never take things for granted. From my personal experience here at The University of North Carolina Wilmington, and as a Communication Studies major, anything could happen at any time, and you should always be prepared for the change to occur. From hurricanes to pandemics, always plan for the worst. Also, try to utilize all that the University has to offer from tutoring to Chick-Fil-A. You are never alone. I have been very blessed to not only call The University of North Carolina Wilmington home for 4 years but also to have shared experiences with my peers, whether they were good or bad. I am very sad to end this chapter of my life, but I am extremely excited to start another. All in all, I will always love UNCW aka “The DUB”, and the Communication Studies department forever. Go Seahawks!