Communication Studies

Special Topics

COM 295/495 Course Descriptions Spring 2012

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 Social Media: Usage and Impact
Day/Time: TR 12:30-1:45pm
Instructor: Dr. Hana Noor Al-Deen

Course Description: The adoption of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others has delivered astronomical numbers of users in less than 10 years. As a consequence of this astounding phenomenon involving both the rapid emergence of this cutting-edge technology and its adoption, social media has become an integral part of the contemporary classroom, of advertising and public relations industries, of political campaigning, and of numerous other aspects of our daily existence. This course is designed to examine the emerging usage and impact of social media in various areas such as the classroom, advertising, public relations, politics, and other areas.

COM 295-003 Applied Performance & Media
Performers: evening rehearsals in second half of the Spring 2012 semester TBD
Digital & Video Media Artists & Technicians: work throughout the Spring 2012 semester and during performances TBD
Instructor: Professor Frank Trimble

Course Description: This course marks a return to a stage production as an applied extension of the Communication Studies performance studies curriculum and co-curricular activities such as Storytelling in the Community. At present, the production under consideration is the musical stage play WORKING (Stephen Schwartz, Nina Faso, & others) based on the book of collected narratives by Studs Terkel.

Invited to apply for the course/stage production are student performers, musicians, dancers, designers (scenic, lighting, audio, digital still & video artists) and A/V technicians. Auditions will be held early in the Spring 2012 semester prior to the add/drop deadline. The production will emphasize the rhetorical relevance, social messages and popular culture (then and now) embedded in WORKING's script and songs. Performance techniques will showcase those common to the performance of literature (oral interpretation) from a communication studies perspective. Production dates, TBD, will likely be in mid- or late April or early May. Four or five on-campus performances are tentatively planned. Questions? Contact instructor/production director Frank P. Trimble at

COM 295-005 International Experience: Spain
Day/Time: TBD
Instructor: Professor Kara Pike

Course Description: more information to come.

COM 295-006 International Experience: Spain
Day/Time: TBD
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Pullum

Course Description: more information to come.

COM 295-007 International Experience: England
Day/Time: TBD
Instructor: Professor William Phillips

Course Description: Literary and Cultural Landscapes of London and Southern England provides a journey for students to visit literary and cultural sites in London and southern England that have been important to the English literary rhetorical canon or that have cultural and historical significance.

Literary: Students will celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens by visiting the Charles Dickens home and museum and other sites influential to the writings of Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Shakespeare, and William Wordsworth.

Students will see a performance of a Shakespeare work at the Globe Theater in London.

Students will visit Stonehenge, Salisbury Cathedral, Winchester Cathedral, Tower of London, London's Chinatown, National Gallery, Houses of Parliament (including Big Ben), Buckingham Palace, and Westminster Abbey.

COM 295-008 Advertising I
Day/Time: 2:00-3:15pm
Instructor: Dr. Hana Noor Al-Deen

This course is now numbered COM 338 as of Fall 2012

Course Description: Advertising I is designed to enable students to explore the complex world of advertising as well as to achieve practical experience. The objective of this course is to gain knowledge about advertising and to develop professional skills in the following areas: understanding and researching a target audience; the planning process; the creative process; and placing advertisements in various channels. An emphasis will be placed on how to employ social media for advertising during this course.

COM 495-001 Applied Quantitative Research
Day/Time: TR 12:30-1:45pm
Instructor: Dr. Julie-Ann Scott

Course Description: This course will introduce students to qualitative research methods (interviewing, ethnographic, narrative and focus group) as they apply to interpreting the culture around us in daily life (the workplace, new locations, etc.)

COM 495-002 Entertainment PR
Day/Time: MW 2:00-3:15pm
Instructor: Professor Jennifer Chin

Course Description: The entertainment, sports, and tourism industries play a major part in the American economy and compete in the marketplace for the disposable income of virtually all Americans (Wilcox & Cameron, 2012). The first half of the course will focus on public relations issues in these industries and how public relations practitioners play an integral role in the success of these industries. The second half of the course will focus on event planning and how it can be used in furthering an organization's public relations objectives and goals. Students will learn how to apply public relations principles and tactics to event planning as they research, plan, and pitch an event for a nonprofit organization. COM 334 (or COM 332) is a pre-requisite for the course, and students must be a full COM major to enroll in the course.

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

COM 495-004 Critical Issues-Effective Communication
Day/Time: TR 3:30-4:45pm
Instructor: Dr. Vernon Cronen

Course Description: Nearing the end of one's college experience, it is useful to identify big issues and questions that cut across courses in the communication major. That is the purpose of this course. I want the content of the course to respond to the interests of those in the class. For that reason I do not want to determine the all the topics to be covered before the class meets. I expect some lively discussion at the start about what the big issues are. What is a "big issue?" The following questions are meant only to be suggestive: What does the study of communication tell us about morality, ethics and personal responsibility? Is an ethical life a beautiful life? What ethical considerations are raised by the new personal media? What do we mean by good communication? What roles should mystery, joy, confusion, and art have in communication whether in the work place or in our personal lives? What is universal and what is cultural/local in communication? How does power function in communication practices? When we encounter different cultural practices and unusual ideas, what resources do we have to engage with them? How can we identify an important cultural feature? What is the relationship between communication and democracy?

Some of our explorations will take the form of reading and discussion. Others will involve examining situated practices or texts. I am not interested reaching consensus or gaining assent to my own views. Rather, I want student participants to think carefully about issues in the major that cut across courses and connect with their own lives. Requirements will include class participation, 4 short papers taking a position on an important issue that will be presented to the class and be the basis for class discussion. There will also be and a final paper.

COM 495-006 Communication Rhetoric and English Literature
Day/Time: MW 3:30-4:45pm
Instructor: Professor William Phillips

Course Description: The objective of Communication Rhetoric and English Literature is to introduce students to a historical perspective of communication effectiveness of English authors in terms of literary style and genre.

A student successfully completing this course should be able to:

  • Identify and judge the effectiveness of various writing styles: satire, dramatic monologue, comedy, description, persuasion.
  • Recognize how these writing styles are utilized in literary genres: prose, poetry, drama, essay

COM 495-007 Digital Audio II
Day/Time: TR 8:00-9:15am
Instructor: Dr. Bill Bolduc

Course Description: continued development of audio production experience including project analysis, planning, script writing, recording and editing. Emphasis on audio acquisition and digital editing. Students complete a variety of mid to long productions working individually and in small groups.

COM 495-008 Storytelling in the Community
Day/Time: W 12:00-2:45pm
Instructor: Dr. Julie-Ann Scott

Course Description: In this course students will adapt real-life narratives from biographies and/or interviews with elders to perform for local elementary, middle school, and senior citizens. Students will develop skills in script writing and adaption, performance, and audience analysis. For more information, contact the instructor.

Dr. Julie-Ann Scott

Assistant Professor - Communication Studies Leutze Hall 236

Phone: 910-962-2541

COM 495-009 TV Writing & Performance
Day/Time: M 4:00-8:00pm
Instructor: Professor Frank Trimble
COM majors only & consent of instructor
Audition for performers. Script sample for writers.

Course Description: In conjunction with COM 482 Studio Television Production II, COM 495 TV Writing & Performance students will create and perform original teleplays based on conditions stipulated by the instructor. For example, the instructor may provide opening and closing lines of dialogue and student writers will create the text to bridge those bookends. Student performers, under the direction of a faculty or student director, will perform the material. Performances will be recorded in the Leutze Hall production studio (125) by COM 482 students, under faculty supervision, for possible broadcast on UNCW-TV and/or TLN.

Qualified students may apply to serve as both writers and performers. There will also be CRW, FST, and THR sections of this class, with six students per section, for a total enrollment of 24. Those COM majors with a double-major in CRW, FST, or THR may also apply for those sections of the class to maximize selection chances. This is a course for ambitious, diligent, reliable students with outstanding time-management skills who seek to be academic pioneers. Questions? Want to apply for the class? Contact Frank P. Trimble at