Director's Note | September 2022
As I watch the calendar turn to September, I’m finding it hard to believe that the Fall 2022 semester marks the start of my third year at Kent State University. For the last two years, much of what we’ve been doing at the School of Media and Journalism could be described as moving from one urgent issue to another. Speaking with colleagues in higher education around the country, I hear the same thing. There’s been little time to focus on anything more than just the day to day. To wit: Masks or no masks? Remote or in person? Events or no events? Regular seating or limited seating? Refreshments or no refreshments? The list goes on. And on. And on. Every little thing that used to be just part of the fabric of planning for a semester was held up for examination, debate and painfully slow decision making. Until now.
Is it safe to say this? I think we’re back!
We’re not doing anything too crazy, of course, but our faculty retreat was in person in August (my first in-person faculty meeting at Kent State!); the vast majority of our classes are being offered in person; student groups are meeting in the building again; and masks are off as long as Portage County’s COVID case numbers suggest that’s safe to do so.
MDJ is planning its first Homecoming Open House in years. Mark your calendar for Friday, September 30 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you’re in town, come by to see what we’ve done with the place. Take a tour. Chat with students. Visit with faculty. Have a cool drink. We’ll be glad to see you.
We’re bringing back the Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Lecture, an event that recognizes the accomplishments of media professionals who encourage diversity. Scheduled for Wednesday, October 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., this event will be streamed live from First Energy auditorium in Franklin Hall. Students and faculty will attend in person. All others are welcome to join us remotely. More details on this soon.
MDJ’s podcast, Around the Sphere, is back for another year. Listen to stories from MDJ and elsewhere, inspired, recorded and produced by our students. It’s one of only a few podcasts on campus and it’s a wonderful complement to Jargon as we showcase the accomplishments of our students, faculty, alumni and others in our orbit.
In coming months you’ll also be invited to complete an alumni survey. It’s been a while since the School has sought feedback from alumni about their career paths, insights into the industry, recommendations for how to strengthen our programs, etc. We’re eager to get your feedback, so I hope you’ll take the time to respond when you get the invitation to participate.
There’s more on the books for the year ahead, but this is just a taste of what we’ve got planned. As for this edition of Jargon, the first of the 2022-2023 academic year, we’re delighted to welcome MDJ senior Kaitlyn Finchler to the Jargon writing staff. We’ve got stories for you about our students’ summer internship experiences; updates about our new graduates; and an impressive list of honors and recognitions earned by our students, faculty and staff. We're also welcoming Tara Conley, Ed.D, and Kathryn Cooper, Ph.D. as Assistant Professors.
It's going to be a great year and you’ll hear about it all through Jargon. As always, don’t hesitate to be in touch with your news and suggestions. We’re always glad to hear from you.