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Communicating With Conscience

“The means of communication are the builders of a society. In and of themselves, they are made to build, to interchange, to fraternize, to make us think, to educate.” — POPE FRANCIS

As events of the past year have demonstrated, the mass media have never been more influential in shaping our understanding of national and global affairs. Into this environment, the College of Communication and the Arts is launching a doctoral program in communication that will bring the tenets of servant leadership to bear on the most pressing communications issues of our time.

A recent $1.75 million gift from the estate of the late Henry F. Roman ’54 and his wife, Maryann, will establish an endowed professorship for a renowned communications scholar and also support doctoral students and faculty development. The new program will ultimately produce generations of teachers and researchers who possess a deep understanding of how the communications industries are evolving, how they are influencing society, and how their integrity can be strengthened.

We expect that our graduates will go on to lead major corporations, serve as government advisers and achieve success as academics at other top universities. And the program will enhance the legacy of Seton Hall’s other doctoral offerings in law, nursing, education, human services and the biological sciences.

As Pope Francis noted, the media are at their best when administered by individuals who seek to promote the common good. At the undergraduate and master’s levels, Seton Hall has a long tradition of cultivating journalists, broadcasters, media practitioners and artistic creators whose careers advanced the stature of their alma mater. A key component of this diverse tradition is WSOU-FM, which recently was named the national Noncommercial Station of the Year at the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards (page 8).

Also in this issue you can read about Matthew McCue ’04, an emerging voice in the field of financial journalism who is helping his alma mater enhance the training that helped launch his successful career (page 22).

Seton Hall graduates are capable of achieving such heights because our distinguished faculty has experience in both academic and industry settings. Acclaimed instrumental music professor Douglas Purviance is just one of the professionals who brings the latest knowledge of industry trends to Seton Hall’s classrooms (page 18). And in the coming years, the University will transform the college with leading-edge technology that will vault it to a position of preeminence among peer institutions.

Building upon these strengths, Seton Hall’s new doctoral program is set to arrive at the perfect time. Strong ethical leadership has never been more needed in the communications field than it is today. As such, the program is being designed to reflect current trends and breakthroughs in all areas of communication and to harness the knowledge and expertise of top research faculty and practitioners from around the nation and world.

It is the responsibility of a leading doctoral program to provide a strong voice in addressing emerging issues and in shaping the national conversation about the mass media and its component disciplines. I know that our new doctoral program will be a guiding light in advancing these discussions and many others.

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