Majors and Minors

School ofJournalism and Communication

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Why Journalism and Communication?

The School of Journalism and Communication at Southern is an academic department dedicated to the study and practice of public relations, journalism, and other forms of communication in the 21st century.

  • Prepares students for communications-related careers.
  • Students also leave with skills well suited for graduate school or other careers where communication is critical, including law, business, counseling, photography, church communication, marketing, and community development, just to name a few.
  • Internships and jobs are available with international partners just minutes from Southern, such as It Is Written and Volkswagen Group of America.
  • Students present their own communication research at national conventions and participate in collegiate chapters of professional societies. 

Interesting Facts

Students in Action

  • Opportunities are available for gaining experience in writing, editing, design, photography, audio production, and videography in these and many other venues: Southern Accent (weekly student newspaper), Southern Memories (university yearbook), The Wire (newsletter), Columns (the university magazine), Strawberry Festival (the year-end multimedia production), and the Marketing and University Relations office.
  • Upper-division students are provided the opportunity to take part in field related internships.
  • Advanced photography students are provided with a digital SLR (DSLR) camera.
  • The Communications Club plans many activities including, but never limited to, a trip to the CNN Center in Atlanta, communication-oriented community service projects, and special vespers programs.
  • Students have the option of joining and participating in active journalism and communication-based clubs and societies. 
  • Intern at national and international media organizations located near campus, such as It Is Written and Heartwise Ministries. 

Marks of Distinction

  • Faculty members are experienced professionals with backgrounds in television reporting and production, newspaper reporting, television and radio broadcasting, corporate communication, public relations, and many other communication fields.
  • The School of Journalism and Communication has distinguished clubs that are student led such as chapters of Lambda Pi Eta (the official communication studies honor society) and the Public Relations Student Society of America.
  • Students conduct undergraduate research and present it at professional conventions. 
  • Professors lead out in a Christian Media Camp during the summer, drawing high school students from several states. 

Statistics to Note

  • The School of Journalism and Communication enrolls between 100 and 120 students each year.
  • Journalism and communication majors are eligible for nine designated scholarships.


  • Rachel Williams-SmithRachel Williams-SmithDean and Professor, PhD, EdD.
  • Lorraine Ball, MSLorraine Ball, MSAssociate Professor
  • Tara Hargrove, MATara Hargrove, MAAssistant Professor
  • Pamela Harris, PhDPamela Harris, PhDProfessor
  • Andy Nash, PhDAndy Nash, PhDProfessor
  • Stephen Ruf, MSStephen Ruf, MSAssociate Professor
  • Natalia López-Thismón, MANatalia López-Thismón, MAAssistant Professor

 The professors are
worried not only
for our academic
growth, but also for
our personal growth.
 Jessica Gonzalez, ’14Mass communications major

School of Journalism media studies class


Classrooms and Labs

The School of Journalism and Communication (on the first floor of Brock Hall) is designed to facilitate team building and networking among faculty and students. An open area in the main office creates a hub for meetings and a seating area for reading the numerous periodicals and newspapers provided. Software and equipment are updated frequently to provide the latest available technology. Students gain experience with broadcast-quality digital studio cameras, our television studio with a professional news set, and live video production equipment. The Mac Lab contains more than two dozen 27" computers loaded with Adobe's Creative Suite and other industry standard software.


  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Fireworks, Flash, and more)
  • video editing software
  • audio editing software


  • The School of Journalism and Communication provides students with a focused environment geared toward choosing the right career path. They are assisted with finding internships and networking opportunities in a job-focused environment.

  • Every year the campus hosts two career fairs called Meet the Firms where students explore different career paths and introduce themselves to potential employers.

  • Southern graduates are working as

    • Advertising and marketing professionals

    • Development directors

    • Editors and publishers

    • Nonprofit managers and directors

    • Photographers

    • Public relations and media specialists

    • Reporters for newspapers, magazines, and radio stations

    • Research assistants

    • Television and video producers



Avery Botticelli, Office Manager