Coursework

Below is an outline of the courses taken throughout my two year MA journey here at Queens University of Charlotte. These courses were taken within the Knight School of Communication between August 2018 and August 2020.

Each course description has been provided according to the online curriculum pulled directly from the Master of Arts Communication program. The coursework is categorized in chronological order, and links to the blogs, along with instructor names, have been provided, in order to display the work crafted during that particular course.

Fall 2018 – 2019

COM 601 Communication Theory – 3 hrs. – Tracy Schaffer
Theories help us to make sense of the world around us. They shape how we understand reality, relationships, circumstances and decisions in our lives. Therefore, students will explore the major theories that inform the study of communication and its various contexts, such as interpersonal, group, persuasion, organization, rhetoric and media. In this course, students will learn and apply communication theories to their own lives and issues in the world to better understand communication processes and interactions. From taking this course, students will gain a better understanding of the depth and complexity of communication processes, events and interactions by applying communication theory and the research used to understand it.

COM 616 Communication Ethics – 3 hrs. – Renee L. Cowan
This course examines communication ethics in individual, organizational and societal contexts. Students will learn theoretical and practical applications of communicating ethically in a society where interactions and messages are complex, shifting and often mediated. The course increases understanding of how critical self-awareness and emotional intelligence contribute to communicating consciously and productively. Dialogue, narrative, reflection and identification are explored as tools for ethical communication in a rapidly changing world. You can read more on my initial blog post here.

Spring 2018/2019

COM 629 Communication and Leadership – 3 hrs. – Jaime E, Bochantin
This course surveys the essential relationship between leadership and communication. Examining leadership from a communication perspective, this course focuses on leadership as a means of management, namely, how to create, frame and communicate one’s own “realities” to others. Moreover, this class examines leadership as encompassing symbolic acts of creation and interpretation by drawing on communication theories (i.e., the social construction of reality and coordinated management of meaning) that illustrate the symbolic capacities, limitations and ethics of meaning making. Finally, the course focuses on practicing the skills of meaning making as it pertains to creating, using, interpreting and critically evaluating moments of leadership in “everyday” acts of communication.

COM 610 Organizational Communication – 3 hrs. – Tracy Schaffer
This course demonstrates the ways social interaction shapes and is shaped by organizing processes. Students will see how communication becomes the means by which we come to make sense of organizational life and develop strategies, structures and practices for coordinating action and meeting goals. Students explore how contemporary organizations transform individuals participating in society by examining essential topics such as identity construction, motives, motivation, effectiveness, socialization, leadership and career. Forms of analysis include organizational values, narratives, artifacts, messages, practices and structures.

Summer 2018/2019

COM 658 Creativity and Networks – 3 hrs. – Jaime E, Bochantin
This course explores both traditional and cutting-edge approaches to innovation. Creativity, collaboration and design are still essential. Yet, contemporary organizations realize the potential of new ways of thinking, such as right-brain approaches to organizing and open innovation using digital and mediated tools. By building an authentic, collaborative relationship among a community, organizations can tap into the creative potential of its members and harness the distributed knowledge of many. This course investigates how shifting communication practices have shaped knowledge, networks and innovation. The course also explores how to foster creativity and innovation through curiosity, play, passion, connection, dialogue, experience, storytelling and failure.

COM 613 Principles of Public Relations – 3 hrs. – Carole A, Isom
This course explores ways by which we construct and disseminate messages to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes, including to lead, motivate, persuade, inform and advocate. Whether targeting consumers, employees, media professionals, investors, friends, family or like-minded individuals, students will learn effective tools for creating messages that advance goals and build and engage a community. Students will explore how best to analyze audiences, craft messages, design information, choose among communication media, shape user experience and evaluate success. The course gives special attention to how digital technology impacts effective communication, including how to best consume, filter, create and critically analyze messages. Students also explore the implications of evolving communication channels on society, especially regarding opportunities for conversation, engagement, advocacy and experimentation.

Fall 2019 – 2020

COM 664 Organizational Identity and Branding – 3 hrs. – Renee Cowan
This course explores the ways organizations today craft and communicate an authentic brand identity. As the marketplace has changed, organizations have had to find ways to differentiate and gain a competitive edge. Connecting with stakeholders through a clear and consistent identity that aligns with organizational values and mission can increase profits as well as customer and employee loyalty. This course highlights the most effective ways to craft brand identity through authentic, strategic messages and visual presentation disseminated through both traditional and mediated platforms. The course also investigates how social networks have changed and challenged efforts to craft organizational identity and brand, as well as the ways employees’ identities are ultimately interdependent with organizational identity.

COM 638 Strategic Communication for Global Audience

In this course, we study communication in a mediated and globalized context as a strategic process that utilizes soft power, propaganda and technology to achieve certain goals by state and non-state actors. This process has been subject to a set of market forces, such as free trade, consolidation, deregulation and privatization that have had an impact on the political economy, management and functioning of transnational media corporations. In this course, we will adopt theoretical and pragmatic approaches to investigate the organizational strategies of transnational media corporations and their role in a globalized context. We will also look into how issues of media imperialism, international advertising, public relations, and public diplomacy affect the functioning of global media corporations.

Spring 2019- 2020

COM 624 Issues in Intercultural Communication – 3 hrs. – Renee L. Cowan
Our globalized world, with its emphasis on digital, mobile and internet technology, has revealed a greater need to communicate across cultures effectively. We might be more connected, but few know how to communicate competently in a global society. Therefore, this course examines differences in cultural values, practices and styles and how they are impacted in a digital society. This class explores intercultural theory and how it can be applied to improve and enhance intercultural communication in a global society. This course critically investigates how digital technology (i.e., blogs, video blogs, podcasts, streaming, tweeting, etc.) affects the construction of knowledge and information creation, production, transmission and censorship in a global society.

COM 655 Interpersonal Communication – 3 hrs. – Renee L. Cowan
This class investigates how specific digital and mediated platforms affect our understanding of essential interpersonal constructs such as relationship development and engagement, image management, the inevitable dialectical tensions of work-life balance and the challenges and opportunities of creating private and public identities in a mediated landscape. In this class, students will study issues of identity by addressing how we compose our multiple and sometimes conflicting digital and media selves and how the presentation of our “work” self affects conceptions of our “private” self. This class seeks to address these essential questions by exploring the creation, development and negotiation of our multiple selves (i.e., identities) across a multitude of digital platforms.

Summer 2019 – 2020

Com 680 & 681 essentially piggy-back on one another, and the result of both courses will produce an inquiry project, entitled “The Makings of A Cancel Culture”.

COM 680 Expanding Communication Boundaries – Dr. Renee Cowan

Expanding Communication Boundaries: This course kicks off a year-long process during which students reflect and integrate program learning into an articulated specialty area. First, students will reflects on the knowledge and skills gained from the program by creating a digital portfolio that showcases course projects and articulates key learning and personal and professional goals. Then, in a comprehensive exam, students will demonstrate competency and confidence in composing specific arguments related to a communication topic that solves a specific problem or meets a specific need. Finally, students will begin to integrate learning with personal interests and passions by creating a proposal for an original communication inquiry project that expands existing communication boundaries. The project will be completed in COM 681. COM 680 should be taken in the Fall term immediately prior to COM 681 in the Spring term of graduation.

COM 681 Launching Passion into Practice – Dr. Renee Cowan

Launching Passion into Practice: In this course, students complete the communication inquiry project proposed and approved in COM 680. Students will continue to harness their curiosity, program learning, and passion to create an original project related to a specific communication topic. Students will aggregate theoretical, research, and digital and media literacies with new ways of thinking to develop an innovative project that showcases their mastery of a particular area of communication.

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