Majors and Minors

School ofJournalism and Communication

ContinueContinue to the School of Journalism and Communication's website

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. 
To learn more, click on "Continue to School Website" below

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 photography-focused academic summer camp, drawing 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.


  • Lorraine Ball, MSLorraine Ball, MSAssociate Professor
  • Pablo Fernandez, MAPablo Fernandez, MAAssistant Professor
  • Pamela Harris, PhDPamela Harris, PhDProfessor
  • Alva James-Johnson, MAAlva James-Johnson, MAAssistant Professor
  • Natalia López-Thismón, MANatalia López-Thismón, MAAssistant Professor
  • Stephen Ruf, MSStephen Ruf, MSAssociate Professor
  • Rachel Williams-Smith, Phd, EdDRachel Williams-Smith, Phd, EdDDean and Professor
  • Victoria JoinerVictoria JoinerAssociate Professor

 The environment is 
rich with intellectual 
professors who have 
a genuine concern for
all of their students.
  abigail soto, ’21communication studies major

School of Journalism media studies class


Classrooms and Labs

  • Newly renovated in fall 2018!
  • 75" TV, couches, and Mac work stations in main office
  • Television Studio with professional news set
  • Broadcast-quality digital studio cameras
  • Mac Lab with 24+ Mac computers, each running the Adobe Creative Suite
  • Live video production equipment available to students
  • New York Times and the Chattanooga Times Free Press delivered daily
  • Subscriptions to leading communications and photography periodicals


Adobe Creative Suite

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Lightroom
  • Dreamweaver 

Audio/Video editing software

  • Premiere Pro
  • After Effects
  • Final Cut Pro
  • Motion
  • Compressor


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 and Graduate Schools 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



Arlene Leavitt, Office Manager