Greetings from Vilas Hall! As I complete my first year as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all J-School alumni and friends who have offered their support, guidance and good wishes. It’s been a genuine pleasure receiving your letters, reading your emails and meeting many of you in person at alumni events.
The accomplishments of our students and alumni and the dedication of J-School faculty and staff are a big part of the reason UW-Madison was ranked #1 in the world in media and communication in 2014, according to the 2014 QS World University Rankings survey. We should all be truly proud of that achievement!
You’ll be happy to know that the school is healthy and thriving. We have about 600 majors, an increase of nearly 50 percent since 2008. Last year, the school awarded 229 bachelor’s degrees and gave scholarships to almost 100 students. And these students are getting internships and jobs with some of the best media companies in the world such as the New York Times, HBO, Starcom, Twitter and Discover magazine.
Equally successful are our J-School students pursuing graduate degrees. We typically have about 80 graduate students earning Ph.D. and master’s degrees. Our doctoral graduates are landing great teaching and research positions at the nation’s top universities while students earning our professional M.A. in journalism are writing for publications such as EARTH Magazine, the Voice of San Diego and the Yakima Herald.
Another point of pride for me is our J-School faculty and staff, who continue to excel on so many fronts. They are educational innovators using service-learning courses and collaborative teaching to enrich classroom experiences for students. They are cutting-edge researchers investigating the role of communication in improving quality of life for the chronically ill or in closing the academic achievement gap in public schools. They are engaged mentors assisting their students to transition into careers as professional communicators.