By Yussif Kanbar and Kenya Johnson
CSUSB’s Department of Communication Studies is hosting a bilingual film screening aimed to inform communication studies students’ families about what the program has to offer.
Students often receive many questions and confused reactions when discussing their major with family members or friends outside of their area of study. This is most likely because many people don’t know what communication studies are or what kind of opportunities it can open up for students in the future. Often, people think it’s either solely focused on journalism and media, or it’s focused on the act of communicating. The answer is that it’s both, and so much more. Due to how broad the major is, many people misunderstand what kind of skills can be acquired and how they can help prepare for entering the workforce.
Professors Roberto S. Oregel and Dr. Jessica Nerren have collaborated with students and alumni to make a film that addresses the question “What is communication studies?”. This notion came from the needs of students who wanted to know how they can better explain what communication studies is to their families and friends. In a video released to CSUSB’s public relations team, Dr. Nerren presented the question “What do we do when we talk about comm studies outside our world of comm studies?”. The film is in both Spanish and English, along with subtitles in other languages, and includes participants of all ages to relate and connect with the family of communication students.
Faculty and students are hoping that this film will provide enough context and clarity to share what majoring in communication studies has to offer. Madison House, an undergraduate student at CSUSB, expressed her passion for communication studies but had often received discouraging reactions in the past whenever she mentioned her major in conversations or social settings.
“I honestly hated reactions because people would ask me if I picked the ‘right’ major. I felt discouraged because it made me feel like I was going to school for nothing,” said House.
She stressed that something like this film screening is needed since she has encountered many people in her life who misunderstand what communication studies are about. “If the parents can see all of the jobs and get a real understanding of all the careers and communication as a whole, they will feel more comfortable with their students being a communication studies student.”
This film screening provides an opportunity for students to connect with their parents and loved ones on a topic that they are most passionate about.
CSUSB graduate student, Glenys Rojo, expressed that her experience and journey with communication studies was a transformative one. She had no prior knowledge of communication studies until she took her first class at communications class in community college.
“I found out about communication studies through my public speaking class that was a requirement at my community college. I knew it was a major but never considered the details. My family didn’t know that it was an option, and they were very concerned about what types of careers came out of graduating with that degree,” said Rojo.
As a graduate student, Rojo has tailored her focus to media and strategic communication, which can open up opportunities for careers in public relations, politics, corporate consulting and more. The broadness of options available to students after graduation are vast and also depends on what students want to pursue and how they apply themselves. The interpersonal skills that Rojo learned in her classes set the foundation that she would build upon in other classes, which she then found useful upon entering the workforce.
On April 13 and 16 the film “What is Communication Studies?” will be playing in University Hall 106. The film is catered towards an intercultural audience made up of families and students, however, it is open to anyone interested in learning about communication studies.