A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication develops new approach to communication studies

Outside Kedzie Hall on October 12, 2021 (Archive photo by Deborah Adeniji l Collegian Media Group)

More opportunities, more classes, more connections, more pathways. 

For months, leadership within the Department of Communication Studies and the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications worked to develop a new school to fit the needs of students, according to Jana Thomas, a professor of practice in the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication and assistant director for advertising and public relations. The result? The A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication.  

“It was established over the summer,” Thomas said. “It was a long process. [The school’s leadership team] had been working for over a year to re-envision what this new collective could look like.”

Through this vision of what communication studies at Kansas State could be, the new school provides all students with adequate resources to succeed, according to Greg Paul, professor and director of the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication. 

“I think the coursework that makes up the curriculum is top-notch. . .because the people who are teaching these courses are really thoughtful about what they teach,” Paul said. “So in the design process [there was]. . . a lot of attention to detail over what will help make students ready in their careers, in their relationships, in their communities.”

Paul said combining the coursework and the faculty to develop an advanced program has allowed for the creation of new undergraduate and graduate degree programs. These new degree programs include a bachelor of arts/science in advertising and public relations, communication studies, news and sports media, digital innovation in media, and master’s in mass communication and communication studies. 

“So we have [a new degree in] news and sports media,” Anne Bryant, communication and marketing specialist for the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication, said. “So this is what we would traditionally call journalism. This program teaches students how to write, research, communicate visually, like with photography and video, about news issues, but really about anything. It helps students learn how to create content, and then they can have some really beneficial experiences through student media that will help them with their professional careers.”

Malea Karnes, sophomore in mass communications, is discovering the benefits and opportunities included in the new school. 

“There’s more going on [in the new school],” Karnes said. “And so we’re going to become more rounded students. Not only am I learning how to do writing, I’m also learning how photo and video is also being done. I’m learning so many things, which is going to help me in the future and make me more prepared for any type of position that I’m going to go into.”

Thomas said throughout the new school and the numerous changes in this department, one thing remains the same: the goal to help every student do their best. 

“There’s so much more opportunity for our students,” Thomas said. “More classes, more courses, more thoughts about how they can take their interests and passions and maybe even career trajectory or what their career interests are. . .[it] just opens up new avenues of research and collaborating together to create new offerings for our students. So, more, more, more.”