Graduation Year and Major:
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Media, Culture, & Society. I graduated in May 2020.
South Bend, IN
How did it feel to win the IU Grad Cap Decorating Contest and what were you given as a reward?
I was very surprised and excited to be selected among the winners. I later received an IU tumbler and a Bicentennial shirt (although, the shirt was two sizes too big).
What inspired your cap design? Particularly the phrase, “impossible is an opinion.”
Impossible is an Opinion stood out to me while looking at canvas art at the store. My original idea for the mortarboard phrase was Life’s A Pitch because I was a PR major, but the latter statement was more fitting for personal reasons. Growing up, I was primarily home-schooled, which made some people think that college would be too difficult for me or that I would not enroll at all. I never felt this way or saw home-schooling as a disadvantage: it was just a different way to learn how to look at things and solve problems.
Tell me about your IU South Bend experience! Club affiliations, passions, areas of interest.
I was sadly not closely affiliated with any particular clubs on campus. However, I joined the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) IU South Bend chapter in Fall 2019, which influenced me to think differently about leadership roles, personalities, and tactics. I genuinely loved writing media effects papers, public relations scenarios, and press releases. I also enjoyed attending musical events in one of the auditoriums or occasionally watch ensembles in the halls of EA.
How did your IU South Bend experience shape who you are today?
College shaped who I am today because of the stricter organizational and professional habits I developed through analyzing presentations, studying films, and writing for "real-life scenarios." Most importantly, my experience at Indiana University South Bend helped me focus more on my local community through class assignments and an internship. Without the trial and error atmosphere that the professors create in and out of the classroom and the experience they bring, I would not perform my job as a Brand Ambassador as effectively as I could today.
What advice would you give to current Communication Studies students at IU South Bend?
There is so much that I could say to current Comm students! The number one thing that always comes to mind is, listen in class. There is so much material from the foundational courses that I now use every single day, like creating and distributing surveys, data analysis, and writing formal reports with all the data plus research. And I have an entry-level position! I would also encourage students to take advantage of the open floor, open door, open email policies that most professors have for students to ask questions. Take advantage of the trial and error phase of your life! Finally, make a portfolio each semester full of everything you write and create. Then, make a second portfolio with "the good stuff" to use during an interview or even earn a job promotion!
Where do you want to be in 5 years? What about 10 years?
I am currently in a position that I hope to hold for many years. Beyond that, my dream employer would either be the city government or a university. My dream position would be a communications editor or administrative assistant.
For more information on the 2021 contest, please click here.
Community in the classroom: McInerney announced as FACET award winner
Written by: Cassidy Martenson
Professor Kim McInerney, M.N.A., Public Speaking Program Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in Communication Arts, won the IU-system wide Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) Award for Community Engagement in her course JOUR-J429 Public Relations Campaigns.
McInerney designed JOUR-J429 to allow students the opportunity to create a comprehensive public relations campaign for a local non-profit organization. Students research and analyze the non-profit organization to develop a campaign that they present to them at the end of the semester. This allows students the opportunity to form relationships with the non-profit, while the non-profit can implement any ideas from the campaigns.
FACET Awards are given to IU faculty who exemplify passion, creativity, and innovation within the classroom. The Community Engagement Award is presented to a faculty member that implements an effective community engagement activity in their course. McInerney’s Public Relations Campaigns course exemplifies the values of the FACET Community Engagement Award through its creativity and community ties. Award winners typically attend a faculty retreat and ceremony, but due to COVID-19 the ceremony was held virtually on February 12. All finalists received a certificate and award winners received a monetary prize as well as a crystal award.
“The Communication Studies department is thrilled that Professor McInerney’s outstanding work is being recognized,” said Kari Wilson, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Studies. “Her commitment to community engagement projects in courses like JOUR-J429 are engaging and preparing students for real-world experiences.”
McInerney began teaching at IUSB in August of 2010 after working in public relations for the American Cancer Society and the University of Notre Dame. Her passion for IUSB and the wider community inspires McInerney to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world through her community-based courses.
Communicating the Benefits of an Education at Indiana University South Bend
Written by: Cassidy Martenson
On Friday, March 6, 2020, the Communication Studies Department at Indiana University (IU) South Bend hosted a Communication Studies Day for potential students. This event allowed students to gain a better understanding of how the department functions within the university.
The event began with general staff introductions before leading into breakout sessions that focused on each major. These breakout sessions allowed the students to get to the core of the individual majors. They participated in games, case studies, and interactive discussions with the Communication Studies Department faculty to further their knowledge of the department.
Students then learned more about the admissions process at IU South Bend and asked current students questions. While questions about the department were common, students also asked questions about college life in general. One student asked the panel, “What is the most stressful part of college?” To which the panel got into a discussion regarding the stressors of a college education and ways to navigate it.
The Communication Studies Department at IU South Bend is dedicated to helping students navigate the twists and turns of a college education. As the panel discussed, college can be very stressful for students. However, the faculty in the department is always there to assist students during this time. Students have access to one on one advising, office hours, and classes led by experienced faculty.
“We are living in a very special era where everything is changing,” said Dr. Brett Labbe, Assistant Professor in the Communication Studies Department. The community at IU South Bend excitedly awaits the changes that the next generation of young scholars will bring to the field of communication.