Now celebrating its 25-year anniversary, the School of Communication is giving students more opportunities to develop practical skills than ever.Located at the northern end of campus, the school offers its students a variety of hands-on experiences in several areas of communication, from journalism to advertising, public relations to film studies.“Students at the School of Communication graduate with a solid resume of projects attractive to employers in a competitive job market,” Dean Sam L. Grogg said. “The school is committed to offering students practical and professional-level experience in their chosen field while they pursue their undergraduate and graduate degrees as part of our ‘Hands On, Early On’ programs.”The hands-on opportunities begin right away and increase as students develop more skills and expertise.“As early as their freshman year, students get more than enough exposure and work experience to tackle any opportunity in the future,” Assistant Dean Luis Herrera said.As a result, Herrera said, most students are ready to make a swift transition from college into the workforce.One of these outlets for professional experience is the Knight Center for International Media, which is focused on adapting evolving digital technologies for the easy flow of news and information across national and cultural borders. Like the rest of the school, the center offers students the chance to anchor major projects on under-reported issues of global significance, such as the world’s water challenge and the transforming cities of the world.The school also provides a popular entertainment outlet for all UM students, faculty and the Miami community. The Bill Cosford Cinema in the nearby Memorial Building shows a variety of award-winning contemporary, classic and foreign films in a classic widescreen format, which are free of charge for current students. The hall also hosts lectures from renowned actors and directors, some of who are school alumni.Students at the school have ample opportunity to practice what they learn. Among them: UM’s debate team, the advertising and public relations agency PRADUM, the Society of Professional Journalists and igKnite, which stems from the Knight Center.The School of Communication also houses its own cable television station, UMTV, and supports other student-run media outlets including The Miami Hurricane newspaper, WVUM radio, Distraction magazine and the Ibis yearbook. All of them have collected dozens of major awards that recognize them as being among the best college media outlets in the country.For example, UMTV walked away with eight first-place awards at the National Broadcasting Society AERHo National Production Competition for student work and its programs. Last year, the program “Newsvision” was nominated for a 2009 Suncoast Regional Emmy.“If your dream is to anchor the nightly news, break the news that makes headlines or run a show in a TV studio, UMTV is for you,” said Natalia Crujeiras, director of broadcast operations at the station. “UMTV gives students hands-on training in television production with state-of-the-art equipment and serves the Coral Gables community with programming that is educational and engaging.”PRADUM recently launched an innovative event called “PhilADthropy” in which students provided local non-profits with pro bono help with logo/identity design, print ad concepts, TV storyboards, radio scripts, brochures, newsletters, posters, direct mail and interactive design concepts.“The work in the agency is as close as it gets to real work experience,” said Ivette Yee, director of communications and an alumna.
Patrick H. Todd may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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