Author: Jeremy Candelas
What exactly does a Communication major do? We strive to understand how the world around us is shaped by communication processes every day. From watching the news on TV, to learning about the history of TV news media in the classroom, or from browsing through Facebook, to reading a real book – every aspect of our life is influenced by the various communication forms, processes, and structures that we study.
Through the study of Communication, we strive to understand “human communication – its forms, structures, and effects – in a world that is intricately mediated, technologically sophisticated, and scientifically informed,” as Professor McComas explains.
Now, Cornell’s Communication Department finally has a new space on the fourth floor of Mann Library that reflects the values that the department strives to uphold, and the standards that it has set for itself. Gone are the days of small, dark, and cramped spaces in the 2nd and 3rd floors of Kennedy Hall. The new space on the 4th floor of Mann Library is almost the polar opposite of the former space – large, bright, and open. To celebrate the finalization of the move from Kennedy Hall to Mann Library, students, faculty, and alumni gathered for the grand opening of the new department space on April 8th.
The new space was carefully designed to reflect the interconnected world in which we live, and as Communication majors, that which we study. Walking throughout the department space, one is constantly reminded of this. Open areas such as “The Hub” fosters an interactive environment between students and faculty, while various features such as the magnetic “Words of Communication” wall, and an abundance of whiteboard-painted wall areas and portable whiteboards encourage the exchange of thoughts and ideas, allowing for individuals to collaborate with ease.
Continuing to echo the theme of “connecting people” that Professor McComas mentioned in her opening remarks, the new Communication Department space makes it a point to foster an environment in which interaction with others is actively encouraged. For example, both students and faculty are now gathered together on the same floor, as opposed to the separate floors for graduate students and faculty when in Kennedy Hall. Being in such close proximity to each other, undergraduate and graduate students are now able to develop even closer working relationships with the department’s faculty.
In her remarks at the grand opening celebration, CALS Dean Kathryn Boor praised the Communication Department’s new home. In describing the future implications for the department following the move into its new home, Dean Boor shared her belief that the “emphasis on collaborative space […] even better enables us to train the next generation of leaders and innovators in Communication,” a remark that resounded with all of the students, faculty, and alumni present.
Not only does the new space serve to further enrich the academic and research studies within the department, but it also serves to ensure that a strong community develops within the department as well. Surely, with its new and vastly improved space, the Department of Communication will be able to better provide for its students and faculty while simultaneously strengthening its place as one of the top Communication programs in the nation.
Learn more about Cornell’s Communication degree program at: https://communication.cals.cornell.edu