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Taylor Hall

In short, the housing of COMM and VCD in one unified structure/space will help CCI move closer toward achieving the goals of its original mission in bringing the schools in related communication disciplines together. The use of shared space and benefits of the schools’ anticipated proximity to each other in one building would encourage beneficial partnerships that enhance innovation, teaching, research outreach and engagement. It will take advantage of technology synergies between the units. The new proposed structure will bring faculty members who have proven research expertise together with faculty members who have strong ties with the design professions.

The potential for collaborative research and creative activities among the units, in turn, will enhance the university’s ability to compete for extramural funding. Potential donors will be informed about, and attracted by the knowledge that disciplines are working together on integrated projects that take advantage of skill sets and theoretical grounding - resulting in increased productivity and quality of research. Having faculty across schools working side-by-side in a unified space will enhance new research and creative activity projects. Curricular collaborations will be enhanced. Research, studio and exhibition space will be created to present work of the faculty and students. It is necessary to proceed with these plans to create a more coherent college atmosphere that is less disjointed when the schools are detached.

The housing of the schools of Communication Studies and Visual Communication Design benefits both schools and the college. In the 21st century it is important to recognize that communication is a field, not just a combination of separate disciplines. The evolution of digital and electronic media has blurred the distinctions and narrowed traditional differences among communication and graphic design disciplines. The individual disciplines need to be integrated better. The housing of VCD and COMM in one building will permit the schools to retain their unique perspectives while simultaneously highlighting conceptual linkages to stimulate the pursuit of innovative scholarship, instruction, outreach and engagement of the schools. While the two schools have and will maintain their unique content foci and individual identities, they will be able to emphasize and integrate better the many and different aspects of communication and design theory, research, use and practice. This is because each focuses on elements and means of creating, managing, using and evaluating messages and on information components and processes that are central to communication interaction.

The improvements to Taylor Hall will provide a coherent and unified space for the collaborative and convergent study of human interaction and visual design, production, processing, management, exchange and evaluation. Having the college and two departments in three different locales is an impediment to such collaboration, integration and efficiencies across administrative functions. On the other hand, these proposed improvements will bring faculty members together and provide greater opportunities to collaborative endeavors. Both schools conduct research and creative activities related to media use and effects, campaign design and implementation. Having COMM and VCD under one roof will also positively impact integrated degree concentrations in global and applied communication. Having advisors of two schools in one place will give advisors a better opportunity to assist students in taking advantage of both programs to enhance these integrated degrees. This proximity will also enable advisors to work together in advising students about the value of various major/minor combinations in enhancing their post-graduation marketability in 21st century communication industries.

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Changing the Future, One Student At A Time


LaQuann Dawson Jr. LaQuann Dawson Jr., ’17, is no stranger to hard work. He’s double-majoring in two of Kent State University’s most challenging academic programs, fashion and graphic design in the School of Visual Communication Design. Also, as he’s been doing since the age of 16, he works as a freelance photographer, graphic designer and painter.

“I’m the oldest of six, and I’m paying for college on my own,” LaQuann says. “I take pride in being independent and in setting a good example for my siblings. I think it makes me well-rounded to balance work, school and extracurricular activities.” LaQuann was accepted into several well-known fashion and design schools in New York. He chose to attend Kent State based on the reputation of its programs.

LaQuann says Kent State’s impressive array of options for financial assistance also contributed to his decision to become a Golden Flash. “I’ve been lucky to earn academic scholarships, and I’m grateful for that,” he says. “Kent State would be a very different place if alumni didn’t give back in order to give students like me a chance.”

LaQuann is just one of many Kent State students who have benefitted from an endowment or other private scholarship gift. His hard work and diligence have paid off, but his scholarships have enabled him to fully immerse himself in his education and college experiences without burdening his family or his own financial future, helping ensure his future success.