Mission Statement

As communicators, all humans are part of an ongoing conversation. Whether professional journalists, public speakers, teachers, managers, or simply citizens, we live in a social world shaped and continually remade through communication practices. The messages we send and receive from others do far more than transmit information or express feelings. They shape attitudes, build and modify relationships, and even change the course of history. The mission of the Communication and Media Department is to empower students and faculty to develop more meaningful and effective voices in this communal conversation. A Jesuit education in communication requires intellectual understanding, practice, and a commitment to using communication skills to transform society and promote social justice. Towards that end, students and faculty work together to improve our Perception, Performance, and Passion.


Perception means being able to effectively interpret and understand communication situations and challenges. Understanding principles of communication and the role of the mass media in society help us make sense out of how communication works, and so we believe that such understanding is necessary to preparing effective messages. Such knowledge must encompass three literacies: oral, written, and visual. It must also encompass an understanding of the diverse ways different cultures in the United States and internationally communicate and have been affected by communication processes. From such knowledge comes the ability to make informed, meaningful, and ethical choices about messages.


Performance means being able to prepare and present effective, responsible messages, whether those messages take the form of media stories, speeches, comments at meetings, or casual conversations. Of course, performance requires being effective receivers of messages, as well as producers. We aim to enhance student and faculty performance in oral, written, and visual communication, with professional level performance offered to those who seek it.


Finally, Passion means being committed and willing to use communication skills to improve society. We are not satisfied with providing either intellectual enrichment or skills alone, but are dedicated to the goal of preparing students to be meaningful and valuable contributors to that ongoing conversation. We want Communication Department graduates to be advocates for what they believe and make a difference in the world through their communication abilities.

As we strive towards these goals, we intend the transdisciplinary nature of our field to be a source of strength and enrichment. Drawing from the knowledge bases and methods of inquiry of the social sciences, humanities, and practical arts, the Communication Department offers students a multi-dimensional study of communication. From the synergy of these diverse intellectual traditions and methods emerges a more complete and valuable understanding of the role, process, and practice of human communication in its various forms.

At the heart of communication is the moment of connection between communicator and audience. Whether orator, journalist, co-worker, advocate, or friend, all communicators face the challenge of constructing messages that respond effectively and ethically to the situation that confronts them. In the myriad of such moments that occur every day, our social world is continually remade. With these very real consequences of communicating in mind, and in the spirit of the Jesuit tradition, the Communication Department is ultimately committed to promoting the transformation of society. Towards that end, the Communication Department strives to help students of communication better understand and respond to these daily communication situations, and, as a result, contribute to the ongoing conversation.


Contact Us

  • Rick Malleus, PhD

    Rick Malleus, PhD


  • Verna McKinnon-Hipps

    Verna McKinnon-Hipps

    Administrative Assistant