As the market for video and other online communication continues to grow, the bachelor’s degree program in media communication at Lawrence Technological University is expanding to prepare students for new job opportunities.
With the rapid rise of social media and new forms of commercial and personal communication, media communication students find they have to communicate across multiple platforms – from radio and TV to Facebook and Twitter, or whatever else becomes an effective means of reaching people in the future. This challenge opens up new opportunities.
Interest in media communication has grown steadily since the major was introduced in 2006. It started with a strong emphasis on the skills and talents needed in television broadcasting. Now media communication students must learn additional skills, according to Jody Gaber, who became the program director at the beginning of the 2011–12 academic year.
Gaber has 17 years of experience in Hollywood working for Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, and Walt Disney Animation Studios, where she gained an appreciation for the range of skills and talents needed to mount a successful movie production. After she and her husband moved back to Michigan, she worked for Doner Advertising and Speedshape, a digital design company. When Michigan rolled out its film incentive program, she returned as art department coordinator for four movies, including “The Ides of March” directed by George Clooney.
In that role she worked with numerous interns, including four from Lawrence Tech on the set of the Elmore Leonard film, “Freaky Deaky,” last year. She was so impressed with their skills and capabilities that she jumped at the chance to work at the University.
Seeing students in other academic programs with skills that are valued in the media marketplace, Gaber concluded that the media communication program needs to become more interdisciplinary.
The media communications program integrates humanities, broadcasting fundamentals, and video production.