The Communication Department believes our future depends on how we communicate with one another. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are driven by the implications of this understanding.
Both individually and socially communication shapes who we are and how we move through the world. We see our mission to revolve around two central beliefs:
Belief 1: As we communicate, whether publicly, interpersonally, organizationally, or via some mass medium, we tell each other who we are, who we have been, and who we can become. It is in and through communication that we forge our lives.
Belief 2: You cannot succeed in any communication-related field without really understanding belief 1.
Our mission, then, is to produce interculturally- and globally-conscious graduates capable of:
- Ethical, critical, creative, and strategic thinking;
- Clear and eloquent speaking and writing;
- Participation in and contribution to genuine dialogue;
- Audience analysis and adaptation in the creation of messages;
- Engaged citizenship and efforts towards social justice;
- Successful transition to graduate studies, professional degrees, and/or meaningful employment applying a communication perspective to a wide range of professional pursuits and personal relationships.
- Articulate an understanding of communication as a complex, creative, constitutive, tendentious social practice;
- Demonstrate the significance of a communication perspective to understanding complex social problems. Such problems include those that arise from cross-cultural engagement in local and/or global contexts, and are influenced by the interconnectedness of political, social, cultural, and environmental systems. This implies that all students will have some cross-cultural engagement, international or domestic, during their time at Villanova as a Communication major.
- Critically interpret, analyze, and evaluate messages;
- Design and execute a research plan on a significant communication problem to make knowledge that contributes to better understanding of communication and its significance in people’s lives;
- Select modes and create messages best suited to address particular audiences, represent particular issues, speak to particular contexts, and solve particular communication problems. This could be through various modes under the broad rubric of storytelling.
- Identify the aesthetic, technical, and stylistic resources available; make effective, ethically appropriate choices in message creation; and be able to defend said choices;
- Facilitate purposive, productive, and collaborative interaction among individuals and groups/teams, with consideration and understanding of the identities of self and other.
Cultural Solidarity: Creating a culture of accelerated action
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are three foundational pillars of the Department of Communication at Villanova University. Communication is about more than crafting clever messages or defining culturally appropriate terms. To communicate is to attempt to create a just world and take action accordingly, action that recognizes inequities and that fosters solidarity and respect for all. Active, persistent, and thoughtful community engagement inside and outside of the classroom defines our commitment to challenging structural oppression in our immediate community and the global community in which we live.
People of different racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, of different countries of origin, of different religions and abilities, and of different genders and sexual orientations are encouraged to participate in our work together as learners, educators, scholars. Diversity acknowledges both the value of difference and the context of various marginalizations and structural inequities that transform difference into “otherness.” Without recognizing the importance of diversity in both of these senses, our lives, our relationships, and our democracies remain impoverished.
We are committed to increasing access to resources and opportunities for minoritized groups in an effort to create a more just world. Equity is not only an acknowledgement that racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination impact each person differently and thus require creativity, community and compassion to overcome; it is also a collective commitment to challenge and change such structures.
We promise to create and embrace a culture that fosters commitment to addressing societal and structural marginalization and oppression while honoring, appreciating, and respecting what each individual brings to our department. Inclusion reflects our commitment to create conditions in which underrepresented and minoritized groups can flourish, be supported, and be heard. In this way inclusion is our ethical embrace of the fundamental openness of the human journey that we share.
As a department, we stand together, imperfect and incomplete, with the intention of making Communication a place of welcome for all to learn and grow and better equip themselves to build a world in which justice prevails and systemic inequities are eliminated, or at least challenged. We are committed to using our privilege and insights as educators and scholars to evoke positive social change in our communities by foregrounding the importance of social justice at all levels—local, national, and global.
Each semester we offer one-credit courses as part of Intergroup Dialogue (IGR), an educational experience about issues of social justice.
We offer several courses that carry the College Core Diversity attribute: the Social Justice Documentary course sequence and courses in intercultural communication, rhetorical studies, and performance studies. These courses engage students with tools to understand self and others, use communication publicly for social change and social justice, and become creative leaders.