Communication Studies

Special Topics

COM 295/495 Course Descriptions Fall 2011

COM 295-001 Family Communication
Day/Time: MWF 10:00-10:50am
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Brubaker

This course is now numbered COM 327 as of Fall 2012

Course Description: Family Communication is designed as an introduction to communication in the setting of the family. The overall goal is to help you understand how, through communication, we develop, maintain, enhance or disturb family relationships. You will learn verbal and nonverbal skills which can help promote healthy family communication. This course will foster critical analysis of the family structure and the relationships in it through an understanding of the major theoretical perspectives underlying the area of family communication.

In addition, we will address the stresses that families confront, such as violence, illness, divorce, financial struggles, and addiction. The course will also look at the role of technology in today's family structure, including email, text messaging, blogs, Skype and Facebook as well as portrayal of families in the media.

COM 295-002 Digital Audio I
Day/Time: MW 9:30-10:45am
Instructor: Professor Richard Pezzuolo

This course is now numbered COM 283 as of Fall 2012

Course Description: This course is an introduction to production techniques and programming practices relevant to today's commercial and non-commercial radio broadcast stations. Digital Audio Production also examines format and programming strategies relevant to today's broadcast image and sound. Students will gain practical digital audio production experience by using the freeware audio editing software, "Audacity." An emphasis is placed on teaching students the technique of producing broadcast quality spots, commercials, interviews and projects. Students will also gain exposure to the functions of radio station programming which includes: radio formats, clocks and demographics

COM 295-003 Performance Project
Day/Time: F 2:00-4:45pm
Instructor: Professor Frank Trimble

Course Description: Students and instructor will develop an original performance piece or re-imagine an existing script to create a public performance, possibly to benefit the Department of Communication Studies. In addition to the performance of text, the production will likely incorporate singing and movement/dance based on talent and interest of the class members. There are also opportunities for students to participate as music directors as well as digital video, digital still and digital graphic artists and with costume, scenic, lighting, sound and properties design. Others may work primarily to develop and utilize marketing/promotional materials or handle the array of duties common to a public presentation and event planning. Day/time is TBD. Late afternoon or evening rehearsals are likely for those performing in the production. Other students will meet with the instructor during the day as schedules dictate.

Are you creative, dependable, collaborative, flexible and ready/willing/able to try something different? Contact instructor Frank P. Trimble ( to discuss enrollment.

COM 295-004 Digital Photography
Day/Time: TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Instructor: Dr. Bruce McKinney

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to learn the essential skills of digital photography. Students will learn basic photographic techniques for shooting pictures of a variety of subjects: portraits, landscapes, animals, objects, etc. Students will also learn various digital imaging skills in Adobe Photoshop, and how to use this program to edit photographs for the purpose of improving image quality or for special effects. This class is for beginning photographers only, and is not for advanced photographers. Students will need a good digital camera that has manual aperture and shutter speed settings; a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera is not required but recommended.

COM 495-001 Rhetoric of Civil Rights
Day/Time: TR 12:30-1:45pm
Instructor: Dr. Pat Comeaux

Course Description: This course examines the persuasive strategies of the key events, well known leaders and ordinary citizens fighting for their civil rights during the era in American history from 1954-1985. Primary source documents of speeches, documentary film (Eyes on the Prize), biographies and autobiographies will be used to examine the most powerful mass protest movement in modern US history. This course also examines the powerful white resistance to this freedom struggle during this time period. In addition to viewing documentaries and analyzing speeches and key events for their persuasive strategies, a focus will be on a comparison/contrast of the distinctly different strategies used by the followers of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the non-violent protesters with those of the followers of Malcolm X, Stokley Carmichael, the Black Panthers and the call for forceful-violent resistance. Finally, the most recent civil rights protest occurring in Jena, LA, 2007 will be examined in conjunction with Barack Obama's speech on race relations (2008).

COM 495-003 Applying CMM to the World Around Us
Day/Time: TR 2:00-3:15pm
Instructor: Professor Vernon Cronen

Course Description: This course is based on the theory Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM). It was developed to deal with questions like these: How do people get themselves trapped into patterns of talk the participants themselves do not want? How do emotions and aesthetics function in communication practices? How does culture enter the communication picture? How do we create understandings of what we can do, must do, and must not do? How can problematic patterns of communication be changed and creative ones fostered? In this course we will address these and related questions by focusing on "joint action." That is, how persons jointly create possibilities and constraints for how they live together. CMM has a wide range of application including relationships, organizations, small groups, families, mass media and the new personal media. The emphasis on particular areas of application can follow student interests.