Department Fact Sheet

Department of Communication

Department Chair: Peter Lutze, Ph.D.
Schnabel Hall, Room 30 | 219-464-5271

Majors and Minors offered:
-Digital Media

-Communication Law
-Digital Media
-Public Relations


Links to Web sites:
Department of Communication (department maintained)

Valpo's Department of Communication is home to one of the most versatile majors imaginable. As a Communication major, you study a full range of media in both public and more specialized realms. You learn first-hand how to think critically about interaction and how to reach people effectively. The department focuses on teaching the process of communication. In all fields the department encourages students to become ethical, critical, and effective sources and receivers of communication; it endeavors to motivate them to serve their community. The department stresses solid preparation in the liberal arts. It seeks a balance between liberal arts and skills courses within the department, believing that this balance is essential to developing good communicators, not just technicians trained for particular jobs. The department's programs also strive to demonstrate the linkages between communication studies and the larger issues of the global community.

What Is Distinctive About Valpo's Program?

Alumni Network:
The Communication Department maintains very strong alumni relationships and sponsors alumni presentations each year. Communication majors learn the latest industry developments and job-search strategies and build networking skills through these experiences.

Beginning in the freshman year, you have access to the department’s 3-camera digital teleproduction studio, new weather studio with WSI data and graphics feed, advanced non-linear (digital) video editing lab, computer-equipped visual design and news writing labs, and state-of-the-art radio production facilities in the department and the campus radio station (WVUR).

Valpo also offers a truly flexible curriculum allowing you to tailor a major to your particular communication career interests. You might also want to individualize your study by concentrating on sports communication, graphics communication, journalism, modern media and film, information systems and public relations, or Internet communication, among many other possibilities.

Valpo’s department has been an area pioneer in the offering of courses online, where most instruction takes place via the Internet . Valpo has also been a leader in Internet instructional applications, and in preparing students for competency in this fastest growing of all communication media.

The curriculum integrates a multicultural and international perspective.

What Can You Do with a Communication Major?

Degree, Skills or Experience Needed for Beginning a Job in This Field:
B.A. degree; as much practical experience as possible (e.g., internships, WVUR, campus publications).

Kinds of Work Available to Graduates in This Major:
Video and audio production, on-camera talent, communication law, entertainment law, broadcast and print journalism, corporate communication, public relations, advertising, industrial and government publications, speech writing, publication design, public affairs, creative writing, article writing, sports broadcasting, photography, photojournalism, Internet communication (web page design), newswriting, copy writing, science writing, technical report writing, consumer relations, communications consulting, information specialist, graphics, editorial writing, commentary, review writing, magazine journalism, copy editing, reporting, news editing, feature writing,  information services, publishing house editing, journalism teaching, school publications, consumer information, political communications, specialty writing, business writing.

Potential Hiring Institutions:
Internet media, television stations, cable stations, video production companies, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, public relations agencies, advertising agencies, electronic information services, Internet service providers, and many others.

What Beyond-the-Classroom Opportunities Does Valpo Offer You in Communication?

Extracurricular Activities:
Students can gain valuable experiences through such groups as WVUR (Valpo’s campus radio station, 95.1), The Torch (Valpo’s student newspaper), The Lighter (Valpo’s student literary magazine), and The Beacon (Valpo’s yearbook). The Department also sponsors a campus chapter of Association for Women in Communications, the Speech and Debate Club, a student chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and a Lambda Pi Eta chapter (communication honor society).

These communication-related organizations not only provide enrichment in communication areas but also often provide service to the community.

Study Abroad:
You are encouraged to take part in Valpo’s study abroad programs in countries such as Mexico, England, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Namibia, China, and Japan as well as Valpo’s semester-long programs in New York, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

To get an understanding of foreign public relations, Communication major Megan Cox spent a semester working and studying in Valpo’s program in Cambridge, England. Back on campus, Megan did a research project entitled "Are Students Prepared for the Technology Challenge? – A Comparative Study of Public Relations and Business Undergraduates."

An internship is required by the Communication Department, and the Department coordinates the largest and oldest internship program in Valpo’s College of Arts and Sciences. During the academic year, you can choose an internship from nearly 100 area providers, among them WGN, the Post-Tribune, the Star Plaza Theatre, and with law offices. Approved summer internships can be completed at your hometown television or radio station, newspaper, or public relations agency. Students may participate in internships with a wide variety of employers in various areas of specialization including but not limited to broadcasting, journalism, and public relations.

Valpo students have had internships at many television studios, Fox Sports & Entertainment, CNN, Quaker Oats Company, various radio stations, MCA music, various newspapers, MCA/Decca, the American Red Cross, World Cup Soccer, and Sony, among many others. See for more information about the communication internship program.

Chicago Arts Program: The Chicago Arts Program is a 15-week semester of immersion in the Chicago artworld. The Program is designed for college students with a strong interest in the language, visual, performing, media and commercial arts, as well as arts education and community outreach.

Students live and study in Chicago, and work at a part-time internship. Participants attend events in a variety of artistic media, meet and interview guest artists and arts professionals, and write about and discuss practical and theoretical issues. Click here for more information.

Notable Alumni

Dan Ablan (VU ‘89), President, AGA Digital Studios, Chicago, IL
N. Cornell Boggs, III (VU ‘82, Law ‘85), Americas Regional Counsel, Intel, San Francisco
Ryan Burrow (VU ‘02), News Anchor-Reporter, Clear Channel Radio
Lisa Key (VU ‘94), Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Art Institute of Chicago
Chrystina Head (VU ‘01), Anchor, WTTI Fox, Milwaukee, WI
Rebecca Toczek (VU ‘95), Murphy/Knott PR Agency, Sydney, Australia
Kendra Baker (VU '05), St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
Audra Jacobs (VU'01), Bader Rutter Associates, Brookfield, IL
Holly Messick (VU '99), American Heart Association, Chicago, IL
Britt Nelson (VU '05), Promega Corporation, Madison, WI
Joy Bowker (VU '06), Bridgestone Firestone, Bloomingdale, IL
Chris Hadley (VU '06), The Hunt Corporation, Indianapolis, IN
Laura Medina (VU '06), Yahoo Sports, Chicago, IL
David Volz (VU '88), Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Cliston Brown (VU '94), Insurance Agents and Independent Brokers of  American, Washington, D.C.
Larry Mowry (VU '00), Meteorologist, WKMG, Orlando, FL