Communication Studies

In the spring of 2008, with the assistance of student intern and Communication Studies major Colleen Farrell ('08), the Communication Studies Program invited alumni to look back on the value of majoring in Communication Studies. As you can see, our former majors say they have benefitted from the major in their work lives.

Jevon Whetter, 1992
"I was into Media, so majoring in Communication Studies is more of a broad range of topics in media. My communication skills enabled me to be an effective teacher and this major also makes me think outside of the box more and be creative also, I'm currently attending American Film Institute (Hollywood, CA) and working on my 2nd Master's degree in Producing. And I am planning on opening my own film production company and to Produce/Direct/Write for film and television. After those all goals I made I was able to get into best film school in the country, all thanks to the Communication Studies department."

Jennifer McLetchie, 1993
"I am working at E.C. Drury School for the Deaf, Milton, ON as a Residence Counselor. As a major in Communication Studies, it helped me with my current position; with communication issues and to be more open-minded. Also it is important to have communication in the world; there are not many people who do not know how to communicate through parents, relatives, etc. Try to be more open-minded and be more leaders."

Alaina J. Mitchell (maiden name: Drake), 1993
"Communication Studies is a valuable major, and I like to work with people so this major is a great major for me. I'm working as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Manual Communication (MC) related to the Rehabilitation Counselor for Deaf (RCD) position for Vocational & Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) under New York State Education Department in Corona, NY (in the Queens area). This position really applied to what I learned in the past when I was majoring in Communication Arts, it helps me to learn how to negotiate, develop a rapport, analyze individuals' communicate skills, and be persuasive."

Debra Pietsch (maiden: Ackerman), 1993
"As a Communication Studies major, it definitely gives you a chance to choose broad options of job offerings out there. I took a lot of courses in this department and every course helped and applied to every job I had! I'm a currently a ParaEducator and ASL Teacher at Edmonds School District, Edmonds, WA."

Mary Ruth Summers, 1994
"The Communication Studies Department helped me with leadership abilities, and with all my skills so I could move myself up the ‘ladder' and have success with many skills. I'm working as a Deaf Training/Employment Center Coordinator. My job is to oversee department operations and grants, hire staff and approve clients for employment readiness programs. And the position that I'm working currently helped me by 4 important classes - family communication, public speaking, group discussion, and business communication - all 4 blended in and they [classes] helped me with my skills."

Karl Ewan, 1995
"As a Consumer Relations Manager for Sprint Relay, Communication Studies taught me how to give a proper address to the audiences whenever I am doing a presentation and interact with individuals. This major is great for you, if you are a people person then this major is great for you. I was a major in Communication Studies because it was a supplemental major to my Political Science major, and this major helped and benefit my skills and the way I interact with consumers ranging from simple one one-to-one conversations to presenting to a group.

Colin Piotrowski, 1995
"I graduated in 1995, and worked at Ohlone College (in Fremont) for 6 years. I am currently working at California School for the Deaf, Fremont (2 ½ years). I work with 11th and 12th graders in finding part-time paying employment in the City of Fremont or nearby, I'm working as a Teacher - Job Placement Specialist. This major comes with many career possibilities compared to other major which is limited to one or two fields."

Lewis Lummer, 1996
"Communication Studies helped me to go beyond my dreams. I'm working as a Lead Teacher in middle school/high school for three years at Jean Massieu School (Salt Lake City, Utah). My position as a Leader Teacher plans learning experiences utilizing school curricula, preparing lesson plans, reports and keeping records of student progress; Integrated Studies was the course I took while majoring in Communication Arts. This was a big plus and helped me improve my abilities in my current position.

Russell West, 2000
"If you don't want to limit yourself to one type of field - Communication Studies major is the best major for you. I did not want to limit myself to one type of field as I enjoy experiencing different employment fields. Communication Studies is one of the most important majors at Gallaudet. While I was at Gallaudet University, Presentation skills and nonverbal behaviors were something I really learned a lot from and applied to my current job, Outreach Specialist at Texas School for the Deaf."

Astrid Jones, 2001
"I wanted to have a broad range of experience with communication to group discussion so this department fit me very well. Since I graduated [2001] I moved to Rochester, where I work at the Rochester Institute of Technology as the Coordinator for Student Life Programming (for 4 years). My position focuses on promoting and fostering students' growth, advising student clubs, supervising three paraprofessionals, and collaborating with key departments for students' success. All of the courses really applied to the work I'm doing now."

Jose Ovidio Velasquez "Ovi", 2004
"Since 2004, I've been working/teaching generalist for 3rd and 4th graders at South Houston Elementary School as a Deaf teacher. This major helps me to be more confident about myself. At first I was not sure what I really want to do in the future so I went ahead as a Communication Studies major. Communication Studies really helped me with learning how to organize, and develop my leadership skills."

Sarah Strauss, 2005
"If you're into more than one field, Communication Studies major is a great major for you, I picked Communication Studies as my major because it's broad. This major can apply to almost every field, and when I'm working I found that understanding of business communication helped my position."

Fallon Brizendine, 2006
"As a long term Pre-K substitute teacher at California School for the Deaf, Riverside, the Communication Studies courses that I took really helped me with my interactions with many people such as co-workers, students, parents, interpreters, and people at workshops. And I'm going back to Gallaudet University and get MA this upcoming fall (2008) in interpretation."

Jane Jonas, 2006
"I picked my major, Communication Studies because of quality faculty, and subject matter that applies in the "real world". I am self-employed and I have my own business, [Eyeth Studio LLC] and it's based in Washington, DC, and we have partners in San Francisco, CA and Austin, TX. I do the web design, publication design, writing, photography, and videography - all of the stuff I do I learned in Communication Studies courses like Business and Professional Communication - I got to learn how to deal with a variety of clients in a professional manner, running meetings, and dealing with employees with the appropriate approach."

Dominic (Nick) Vera, 2006
"When I transferred to Gallaudet University from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), I knew that Communication Studies had a broad spectrum of choices for me I transferred here with Public Relations as my former major. I took a Public Relations course, and I thought it would be an easy job, but it was really tough task, and I glad I took this course. And not only that course but many other Communication Studies courses really benefited me with my current position at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a Program Support Clerk."

Socorro Garcia, 2007
"The Communication Studies Department believes that cultural, social, and personal experiences improve through more effective understanding and practical communication. We need to have a broad understanding of fundamental communication processes to prepare for a career; I'm working at for the Federal Government, Department of Commerce -- Washington, DC as a Human Resources Assistant. There are several courses that were helpful with my career, Interpersonal Communication - developed my skills on interacting cooperatively in the workplace, public speaking - in front of a large group helped me to become an effective high-value communicator in the workplace, and leadership - have the ability to empower employees with appreciation."

Rochella Johnson, 2007
"This major prepared me very well to give a speech front of people, and communicating with different people and their different backgrounds. I'm working for my family business - Living Food Farm, Inc. (in Deer Park, MN) as an Assistant Manager. My job is to research the current health issues, working closely with the manager. Several Communication Studies courses applied to my current position such as Advanced Public Speaking - it helped me with developing PowerPoints and facing the people and also communication with my co-workers."

Jessica Valencia, 2007
"Many Communication Studies courses are general, yet address specific topics that we all face everyday in the real world. This department also has the best professors where I can learn not only from texts but from their words of wisdom, experiences and strong leadership. I'm working at California School for the Deaf, Riverside as a Pre-School Teacher. Everything that I learned in every Communication Studies course really applied to my current job such as interaction with parents and students, communicating with people of a variety of backgrounds, languages, workshops, presentations, and meetings."

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