Communication (COM) 2024-2025 Edition


COM 603. Health Communication. 3 Credit Hours.

The overall goal of this class is to provide a foundation of relevant theories, research, practices, campaign processes, and current issues related to Health Communication. Health communicators, as translators, depend upon existing policy and knowledge about health and healthcare to guide activities, and identify gaps between policy and practice. The ethical dilemmas that arise in decisions about planning, implementing, and evaluating communication in health will be introduced and applied to research, and practice. Finally, community-based health campaigns/issues target multiple audiences, use multiple communication channels, and target multiple health-related outcomes. A community-based approach to health communication will also be examined to illustrate why it has come to be viewed as an integral component of health promotion and health-care activities.

COM 604. Sports Communication. 3 Credit Hours.

Athletics and the athletic industry are unique in their organization, culture, and goals/outcomes. Creating effective team structures, media relations, image creation to the public, communication about sports, sponsor coordination, and campaign creation are some of the topics that will be focused upon. Factors that impact these areas, as well as how to effectively manage and create messages surrounding successful execution, will be stressed.

COM 610. Conflict and Negotiation. 3 Credit Hours.

Conflict is an ever-present component of any decision-making environment. By surveying relevant theory and research-- as well as applying the principles of such theory and research in actual simulations and case studies--students will (a) understand the multiple roles that communication plays in the processes of conflict management, negotiation, and mediation in organizations, (b) explore the elements and processes of negotiation and mediation, and (c) develop alternative models, theories, and ways of thinking about conflict and dispute management.

COM 612. Campaign Design and Public Outreach. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the principles and practices of campaign design and marketing to various publics. Students will be provided with an understanding of the key concepts in areas such as social marketing and conceptual frameworks such as how to segment, influence and reach target audiences. As part of this course, we will focus on programs and campaigns as part of gaining an understanding of the benefits of using commercial advertising principles to create messages and materials for social behavior change initiatives.

COM 613. Persuasion, and Social Influence. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will examine research developments in persuasion and social influence, considering their implications for designing messages, as well as choosing the most effective formats and ways of distributing those messages. Special attention will be paid to understanding the impact that message design has on observable outcomes in a variety of contexts. Specifically, how theories help to explain, predict, describe, and may be used to contribute to the outcomes associated with the design of various messages, the use of particular sources, and the selection of different channels to disseminate the messages.

COM 614. Role of the Spokesperson. 3 Credit Hours.

A spokesperson serves as the connection between an organization and its public. Effectively communicating a variety of topics and goals hinges on the spokesperson’s ability to not only adapt messages effectively to specific audiences, but also to be able to deliver them professionally and appropriately. This course examines the verbal and nonverbal communication factors that can impact this process. Additionally, concepts such as emotional intelligence, message diversification, and message construction (length of message, word choice, use of humor, metaphors, etc.) will be examined.

COM 615. Designing Messages for Diverse Audiences. 3 Credit Hours.

As Martin and Nakayama (2009) note, "We live in a rapidly changing world in which intercultural contact will continue to increase, creating a heightened potential for both conflict and cooperation." This class is designed to explore the theory and research explicating the challenges and benefits of living in a multicultural world. In particular, it is concerned with cultural diversity and with understanding and identifying the problems that occur when persons from different cultures engage in face-to-face communication. Cross-cultural communication and cultural competence are becoming important skills not only in interacting with others, but also in helping to define individual identities. This course will focus on how Culture and context impact a variety of individual, relational and societal issues.

COM 618. Risk and Crisis Communication. 3 Credit Hours.

The need to assess, understand and implement an effective communication strategy following a crisis or risk event is becoming increasingly important. Whether dealing with the fallout from an environmental disaster, warning the public about a health hazard, interacting with the public on issues of terrorism, dealing with fallout from a public scandal, or addressing an organizational crisis, the need for effective communication management and its successful implementation is high. This course examines all aspects of the risk communication process, crisis planning, and public implementation.

COM 620. Message Design for Digital Media. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will focus on the digital, mobile, and social media aspects of communication. Students will examine how the technologies utilized in communities as well as industry have impacted interactions and led to a digital culture. The focus will be on humans both as consumers and creators, deciphering factors that impact both message creation and message interpretation. Understanding all of these factors will allow individuals to manage and create more effective and targeted digital communication with specific audiences to achieve desired outcomes.

COM 631. Scientific and Technical Communication. 3 Credit Hours.

This course focuses on how information from scientific and technical disciplines can be packaged and presented to the public at large. Specific focus is spent on how information that is often highly complex and reliant on very specific knowledge bases, can be translated to audiences who do not possess experience or background knowledge in these areas. Complex processes, data analytics, scientific concepts, health diagnoses, technological terminology, etc. often impact the world in which individuals operate. Making sure those individuals not only understand but can act on such information is of key importance.