The Monmouth University Department of Communication hosted its annual Welcome Back event on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The event, which took place in front of the Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication, allowed students to connect with faculty members and learn more about the department’s several student organizations, including The Outlook, Hawk Interactive, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), CommWorks, 88.9 WCMX, and HawkTV.
“When we started doing this event in 2018, it was set up as a ‘meet and greet’ so new Communication students could meet other students and the professors at the beginning of the semester,” explained Lorna Schmidt, Director of Advising for the Department of Communication.
“Since then the event has evolved into a way students from across the University can meet the leaders of the student organizations, tour the facilities and understand how these organizations can be beneficial to any student in any major,” she continued, explaining how the event now spans beyond the Communication Department to encompass a larger portion of the campus community.
PRSSA was one of the many student organizations present at the welcome back event. Monmouth University’s PRSSA Chapter operates a student-run public relations firm, Shadow PR, one of only 28 PRSSA firms in the nation to be accepted with PRSSA national affiliation. According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) website, this is a highly prestigious title that recognizes the chapter’s established PRSSA/PRSA connection, high level of professionalism and effective structure as a PR firm.
“We are an active Public Relations firm, Shadow PR Firm, representing real clients within the club,” described Jessica Martin, senior communication student and president of the University’s PRSSA Chapter. “Our main goal is to inform our members of their capabilities and encourage them to grow professionally during their time here at Monmouth.”
“The Welcome Back Event was a great way for PRSSA to attract new members and spread the word about our organization,” continued Martin. “It was amazing to see so many new faces interested in getting involved at Monmouth. In addition, it was great catching up with current members and members of other communication organizations.”
HawkInteractive, the University’s interactive digital media (IDM) organization, also attended the event and gained a lot of attention from students as club members showcased their 360 camera.
“During our workshops, we teach the club members about the different technologies in the IDM research lab. Some of our previous workshops included work with Adobe Photoshop and 3D printers,” described Skylar Smith, senior communication student and president of HawkInteractive. “HawkInteractive aims to allow students to explore and experiment with technologies they might not typically have access to.”
“The organization is now in its second year, so we want to further grow the club,” she continued. “The welcome back event was a fantastic opportunity to gain some attention and showcase what HawkInteractive is about.”
HawkTV’s table also drew a lot of attention with its interactive “Spin to Win” board, which encouraged students to spin a prize wheel for a chance to win HawkTV merchandise and speak with members about the organization.
Although the Welcome Back Event was tailored to students within the communication department, many of the student organizations encourage students of any major to join and are not exclusive to any one major.
“It is so important for students to get involved in the various organizations offered by Monmouth University. Joining these organizations is an amazing way to network socially and professionally,” said Martin.
“The clubs and organizations in communication and across Monmouth University are the places that students can explore new things – no pressure. In communication they can learn new audio, video and digital technology; they can hone presentation and writing skills and build portfolios; and they can use these skills wherever their life takes them ‘after Monmouth.’ Realistically, good communication across platforms really is the key to success in today’s world,” concluded Schmidt.