The communication department hosted its first department-wide Student Showcase at the Apodaca Science Building on May 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Community members, alumni, university leaders, faculty and staff as well as all the communication students attended the Student Showcase event. 

The showcase was also combined with the PRSA WNC event. 

Communication and public relations professionals from WNC joined with all communication students during the event. 

“The Communication Department Student Showcase features outstanding student work from courses across our curriculum, including public relations, health communication, journalism and broadcasting,” said Dr. Betty Farmer, professor of communication and organizational consultant.

Highlights from the Student Showcase included:

  • Dr. Weathers’ students with digital health stories. 
  • Professor Matt Binford’s students with productions from TV2 and Whee-TV. 
  • Selected WordPress website portfolios from COMM 296 and COMM 496 students
  • Student organizations, SPJ, Whee-TV, Western Carolinian, Western Carolina Journalist and PRSSA sharing their work.
  • Crisis communication students launched a Crisis Communication Resources Website for the community that features hundreds of articles, books, websites, and videos that can help organizations prepare and respond effectively to crises.
  • A professional conference-style poster highlighting the ethical issues around the use of AI in public relations and communications

In addition to the Communication Student Showcase, the event also shared the communication department scholarship winners and celebrated student award winners. 

Additionally, Professor Debra Connelly and I have collaborated to create large posters of nine outstanding Communication Department alumni, which will be displayed as part of the showcase,” said Farmer. “These posters spotlight alumni serving in high-level corporate communications positions and working for major media, such as the BBC, ESPN, CBS and NBC Peacock. It was so very satisfying working on these alumni posters. You remember students from their time at Western and it is a joy to see them succeed in their careers. It is very touching when they identify work with their professors as foundational to their success.”

The Showcase is a great opportunity for students to share their outstanding work with others. 

“I am so grateful for my experiences here at WCU,” said Veronica Newsome, Spring 2024 graduate in Public Relations and Broadcasting concentration. “I think the communication department does an excellent job preparing students for the future and careers in communication”.

Newsome was an outstanding student when she was involved in many projects in the Showcase such as the Crisis Communication Resources Website, Ethical Use of AI Poster and Haywood Pathways Public Relations Campaign.

Be a team player, start early, do your research!” is a message Newsome wants to share with new communication students. 

The Showcase was so successful that the Communication Department hopes to continue to host this kind of event annually to celebrate students’ work at the end of each semester.