Tim Russert Department of Communication (COM)

Professors: J. J. Schmidt, M. E. Beadle; Associate Professors: D. R. Bruce, B. G. Brossmann, M. O. Finucane (Chair); Assistant Professors: C. Buchanan, C. DeVoss, S. Park; Visiting Assistant Professor, M. N. Emelu  

Communication students examine how and why people create messages, and what effects those messages have. Then they put that knowledge to use as message creators.

Students focus their learning interests in one of three concentrations: Communication Advocacy, Digital Media, and Integrated Marketing Communication. Each area provides theory and praxis that will enable students to succeed in our ever-changing communication environment.

Mission: The Tim Russert Department of Communication educates students to become critical thinkers trained in advocacy, and effective communicators able to integrate theory and ethical principles in their professions while fostering awareness of diverse cultures and developing communication styles and technologies.

Vision: Inspiring individuals to create, understand, and analyze communication to become informed, effective, and ethical.

Program Learning Goals in Communication

Graduates of the Russert Department will have the knowledge and ability to:

  1. Create, present, and advocate ethical messages in a variety of communication forms for diverse audiences.
  2. Evaluate message effectiveness and ethics.
  3. Analyze how audiences receive, interpret, and react to messages.
  4. Apply communication theories and perspectives to specific contexts.
  5. Implement a research methodology appropriate to their area of study.

Communication majors develop critical thinking and excellence in writing, and speaking. Students complete foundational courses and then pursue an area of interest with the assistance of a department advisor.

The complete description of degree requirements, including concentrations within the major, can be found here. The requirements for the minor can be found here

Department facilities include FM radio station WJCU, the speech and debate lab, multimedia lab, podcasting studio, and Klein Television Studio, where students learn studio and field production/editing.

Internships and independent study opportunities provide students with experiences beyond the classroom. Students gain experience in communication industries while earning academic credit. The department has an established network of internships in the Cleveland area – one of the country’s largest communication markets. Internships are available at major media outlets, including television, radio, newspapers, and cable companies; public relations and advertising agencies; and corporate and non-profit organizations.

Recent John Carroll Communication alumni enjoy careers in broadcasting, journalism, public relations, advertising, sales and promotions, law, marketing, management, and education, as well as with foundations and nonprofit organizations. The major is an excellent foundation for those who desire to pursue graduate study in communication, management, education, public affairs, or law.

The department is named in honor of the late Tim Russert ’72. Mr. Russert was an American icon. He was a magnetic presence as the managing editor and moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, the longest running, most popular and influential of the Sunday morning political talk shows during his tenure. In 2016, his family donated a permanent display from Mr. Russert's “Meet the Press” set, and video excerpts from his historic interviews, to the University. The display, located in the O’Malley Center Atrium, keeps Mr. Russert’s memory alive on campus and is a reminder of the collaboration that resulted in the creation of the exclusive NBC/JCU Meet the Press Fellowship.

Graduates of the department are eligible to apply for the Meet the Press Fellowship, awarded to a graduating senior motivated to pursue a career in political journalism. The fellowship is a nine-month (September-May) position at Meet the Press, NBC’s leading public affairs program, and requires a broadly based background in Communication and Political Science courses. Consult the website (http://sites.jcu.edu/mtpfellowship/pages/tim-russert/) for details.

The Russert Department participates in the College of Arts and Sciences Professional Development Program. Students complete the majority of requirements in COM 205 Professional Communication.