One of the many aspects that distinguish Salem’s Communication Program is that it focuses on critical thinking, writing, and visual literacy, rather than stressing technical skills with software or hardware that will soon be outdated. You will gain a broad-based knowledge, while honing your specialized skills through writing and video assignments, research projects, internships, independent study and work on any of our student-run media outlets.
As a communication student, you want to be responsive, reflective and responsible leaders and communicators in today’s global society. You are willing to accept challenges and learn from both sides of the brain. You also embrace Salem's intimate and engaging classroom environment, and strive to become the visionary thinkers, writers and communicators of tomorrow in any number of professional settings.
Professors in the program are scholars who are intrigued by anything and everything involving human communication. They bring several years of professional experience and a passion for individualized instruction. They all hold a Ph.D., and are just as comfortable helping you and fellow students work through problems in a midnight study session as they are at the head of an afternoon class.
When you graduate with a communication degree, you are equipped with more than technical knowledge and skills. You will have a professional perspective that is both deep and broad-based—with the ability to think, interpret and communicate clearly and critically. You will join other Salem graduates in such fields as print media, electronic media, public relations, organizational communications, advertising, marketing, television production, broadcast journalism, psychology, documentary filmmaking… we even have graduates who are now successful novelists.
Communication Major (B.A.)
The major in communication requires 10 courses: four core courses, two analysis courses, one intervention course, one practice course and two elective courses from the approved course list in this section. Students must complete at least five of the eight required courses and at least one of the two elective courses at Salem College.
The communication coursework emphasizes conceptual knowledge, practical application, critical thinking skills and teamwork to provide a foundation that enables students to achieve their full potential as practitioners and scholars in their community and chosen professions. Majors analyze and interpret symbolizing activity and practice social intervention to prepare for communication careers, post-baccalaureate learning and lives as participants in a global community. Majors demonstrate accomplishment of the communication program’s learning outcomes through a senior project, senior portfolio and senior presentation.
The program offers hands-on learning opportunities – such as internships, professional and scholarly presentations, community involvement and campus media – that increase knowledge and build skills for future employment, graduate school and global life. Internships permit students to link their knowledge of communication and liberal arts with practical experiences in institutional and organizational settings. Students are strongly encouraged to pursue at least two formal departmental internships (COMM 250) during their junior and senior years to explore career possibilities, develop a resumé and make professional contacts for mentoring relationships. Students are also encouraged to use elective courses to build minors in areas that complement the communication major, such as marketing and not-for-profit management.
Overall, the communication program challenges students to strengthen their knowledge of the complexity of the human communication process while practicing mutual respect and collaboration. The program contributes to Salem’s liberal arts mission by developing students’ potential to become reflective and responsible change agents and enhancing their appreciation of communication as the force underlying social change and continuity.
The minor consists of five courses in communication.
Communication Courses (COMM)
105. Multimedia Writing One course
Introduction to media composition, style and research. Course work includes media lab requirement and reporting for campus media such as the student newspaper, campus Internet publications and departmental publications. Media portfolio required.
120. Oral Communication One course
Introduction to analyzing audiences, researching, preparing and presenting speeches and critiquing public presentations. Six to eight speeches and speech portfolio required. Fall and Spring.
170. Intercultural Communication One course
Introduction to the intercultural communication process, with emphasis on appreciating the diverse ways that different cultures communicate and critically analyzing intercultural interactions. Group final project and individual portfolio required. Fall and Spring.
180. Visual Communication One course
Introduction to principles and theories for evaluating and developing visual images and presentations. Visual and written projects required.
200. Independent Study in Communication One-quarter to one course
Independent study, under guidance of a faculty advisor, is available to students with a 2.5 cumulative average and permission of communication department chair. Independent study may be readings, research, conference, project and/or field experience. No more than one course per term. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224, or 225, or permission of instructor.
205. Advanced Media Writing and Editing One course
Discussion and practice in multimedia reporting and editing, including producing Web content. Includes copy-editing of student-written articles. Group final project and editing portfolio required. Prerequisite: COMM 105 or permission of instructor. Spring, odd years.
206. Strategic Communication Writing One course
Discussion and practice in strategic writing for organizations. Includes developing media materials such as news releases, newsletters, brochures and PSAs for campus or community organizations. Group final project and writing portfolio required. Prerequisites: COMM 105 recommended. Spring, even years.
212. Introduction to Creative Writing One course
The course is organized for the fledgling creative writer and is designed to develop creative writing skills in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Students will read contemporary poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction in order to deepen and broaden their understanding of the creative process and the craft of writing. This course must be taken at Salem College. Fall and Spring. (Cross-listed as CRWR 212.)
220. Special Topics in Communication One course
Investigation of a topic of importance in the field of communication. Topic will vary in accordance with developments in the field and needs/interests of students. Possible topics might include film criticism, mass media and society, documentary film and intercultural communication. Research paper or creative project and oral presentation generally required.
223. Gender and Communication One course
Critical exploration of the creation and performance of gender through communication in contexts such as interpersonal, family, organizational, social and media. Requires a critical essay and portfolio. Prerequisites: COMM 170; or NFPM 100; or MKTG 230; or permission of instructor. Spring.
224. Old Media / New Media Criticism One course
Introduction to media effects, theory and research on violence, attitude cultivation in news and entertainment, and stereotype promotion, including gender, race and class. Focus on analyzing “old” media privileging elite “gatekeepers” to regulate citizens’ role in civic life versus new media technology providing citizens multiple options to create content, relationships and movements. Requires portfolio and group project using social media to enact and measure professional outcomes.
225. Persuasion, Culture and Sustainability One course
Introduction to persuasive communication theory and practice, including how persuasion influences thoughts, behaviors, decisions, and relationships in cultural contexts such as race, gender, and class. A special focus on cultural, environmental, and sustainability issues. Requires a research project and portfolio.
250. Internship in Communication One course
On-site communication experience in profit and not-for-profit settings approved by internship coordinator. Weekly logs, paper, portfolio required. Students may count up to three internships in different positions/organizations as COMM major electives. Prerequisites: Four communication courses: COMM 170; COMM 120; COMM 105 or 206; and COMM 223, 224 or 225; Minimum 2.5 G.P.A. and permission of the internship coordinator.
262. Photojournalism One course
Critical analysis and practice of photo storytelling, with emphasis on composition, lighting and the law and ethics of photojournalism. Student must have access to a digital camera. Requires group project, digital portfolio and presentation. Prerequisites: COMM 180 or permission of instructor.
290. Honors Independent Study in Communication One course
An advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to junior and seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A. in communication, subject to department chair approval. Honors work may be taken for a maximum of two courses. Requires research or creative project. Prerequisite: COMM 321, 322 or 323, or permission of instructor.
321. Community Communication One course
Introduction to collaborating with a local community or not-for-profit on current social and cultural projects through effectively integrating communication theories and research. Class research project, individual portfolio and oral presentation required. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224, or 225; or MKTG 230; or NFPM 100; or permission of instructor. Fall.
322. Campaign Communication One course
Introduction to integrating theory and research to develop a strategic communication campaign for a not-for-profit, political, or advocacy organization. Class research project, individual portfolio and oral presentation required. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224, or 225; or MKTG 230; or NFPM 100; or permission of instructor. Fall.
323. Communication Research Methods One course
Introduction to communication research methodology. Research project, individual portfolio and oral presentation required. Prerequisites: COMM 223, 224 or 225; or MKTG 230; or NFPM 100; or permission of instructor. Fall.
390. Senior Seminar in Communication One course
Advanced study and discussion of contemporary problems and issues in communication. Senior portfolio, senior thesis or creative project and public presentation required. Prerequisite: Senior standing and COMM 323, or permission of instructor. Spring.
News Reporter, WFDD-NPR Radio
CBS News Intern, CBS News
HIV/AIDS Video Production, Friends Together, Inc.
Advertising, Indigo Publications
Intern, Cabin Creek Films and Killer Films
Journalism Intern, The Charlotte Observer
News Production Intern, ABC News Productions
Marketing, American Lung Association
Celebrity Publicity, Workhouse Publicity
Sports Marketing, WFU Sports Marketing
‘A Dating Story' Intern, Banyan Productions
TNT Latin America, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc
Magazine/Advertisement, Gotham Magazine
Public Relations Intern, Winston-Salem NC Convention and Visitor's Bureau
Newspaper Reporter, The News of Orange County
Advertising, CBS News
Journalism, The Village Voice
Publishing Intern, John F. Blair, Publisher
Public Relations, Brandon Advertising
Dr. Carol Dykers
What are your favorite classes to teach?Communication Senior Seminar is very special. I also love our 2 COMM Service Learning courses, when Communication majors work with non-profits using our research, video and audio storytelling skills. So I also love teaching Photojournalism, Visual Communication, and Multimedia Storytelling, and Advanced Editing. I like special topics classes that involve music or historic preservation; my special passion is oral history projects.
Tell us about your career prior to teaching.I worked in editing and reporting positions for media institutions, including the Greensboro News & Record, The Charlotte Observer, Savannah Morning News and The Longview (Texas) Morning Journal.
How do you work with students outside the classroom?I have developed and supervised student internships with organizations such as CBS News (with Dan Rather), ABC News, MTV, National Geographic, White House intern and Southern Living. But now that we require service learning, I love our work outside class in Winston-Salem neighborhoods. We also have one-on-one video and audio editing sessions that cause us to both laugh and cry!
What are your special interests?Currently I have several short documentaries in progress because of our coursework in Winston-Salem neighborhoods, working with a non-profit, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods. In summer 2011, I planned a Carolinas communication conference here in Winston-Salem and now am president of the Carolinas Communication Association for 2011-2012. I’m finishing an experimental film about restoration of the Single Sisters House. Finally, I’m editing an unusual "diet" book written by my physician husband, who is concerned about obesity.
What do you do for fun?My work at Salem is fun. However, although I live in Winston-Salem most of the time, I try to escape to our farm near Siler City, North Carolina, on weekends. On the farm my husband, Dr. John Dykers Jr., and I raise cattle. I have 2 websites: www.reesedykersideas.com and www.womencommunicate.com. I’m a Carolina basketball fanatic; I’m usually at Carolina games wherever the team is playing.
Any pets?A cat named Derringer, who is my Winston buddy. He likes people a lot and greets at the front door everyone who visits my condominium near the college. I’m trying to steal from a friend a dog named “Cupcake.” He would like our farm.
Who and what are your inspirations?
- My mother, Eleanor Reese, who, now 92, remains in good humor and curious about the world.
- My husband, John, who dreams large dreams and helps me create long dinners with people who enjoy exploring ideas and issues late into the night.
- Clouds, sunrises, sunsets, oceans, and rivers that help us appreciate how small are we and how important is taking care of Planet Earth.
- Dr. Zhivago
- Katharine Hepburn films
- Meryl Streep films