Letter from Chair (Spring 2019)

Another year older, another class graduated and we all march on with time. That march always brings changes and, as I present you with our 2019 Spring/Summer Alumni Newsletter, I plan to look at this all with a positive view. We’ll miss our recent graduates, but we’ll stay in touch with these newsletters and our various social media. We’ll also welcome a new cohort of excited new freshmen in about two months.

The news, in this edition, is personally gratifying in several ways. First the big news (in our feature article) is a new addition to our major program. Some of you heard me talk about this for some years, now, but at last, after all those fits and starts, we will offer a new Integrated Marketing Communication major within our department. The unique feature is that this is a very rare blend of courses between communication and marketing. Only a handful of colleges and universities across the country offer an organized curriculum that blends them. Usually, when they do, one side dominates the other. Here, we are planning to share, as equitably as possible, the content and courses. It should result in graduates who more completely understand the interrelated nature of communication and marketing. It all begins in August.

Related to that, only slightly, is a name change. We are now the Department of Communication, with four majors: Communication Studies, Digital Media Arts, Journalism and Integrated Marketing Communication. When some of you were here, it was simply a department of Communication Studies, with a single major: Communication Studies. As we diversified, it made sense to separate the department name from one of its principal majors.

On other happy news, we feature some dedicated and deserving alumni. John Prizner (’97) was presented with the 2019 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award, in April. Read about his journey and enviable accomplishments in this edition. As you’ll see, there are other profiles, here, of some other amazing Canisius’ Communication alums. Also, please take a minute to reflect on some of your class colleagues and friends. We always invite nominations for the annual Watt Alumni award; send them with a short note and you may be reading about someone you knew when, next year.

Last, some thanks. First to those of you who gave on Giving Day. We appreciate your generosity and kindness. It will go to help students in several ways, for travel to conferences, some scholarship money and for posters, presentation materials and more. Thank you also to our colleague and friend Dr. P.J. Moskal who has left the college and returned to Europe. Life takes funny twists and turns that we don’t or can’t always understand and his has taken him back closer to home. He is a visionary and talent that will be hard for us to replace. Finally some thanks to our two graduate assistants. Dave Goodwin and Devon Bradley were both wonderful undergraduates here. The last two years, as grad assistants, each has contributed enormously to our department, and we will surely miss them.

Have a wonderful summer and fall. We’ll catch up with you again later in the year. JD