Course Catalog

Department of Communications


Ellen Grabiner, Associate Professor and Chair
Judith Aronson, Professor
Sidney Berger, Professor of Practice
James Corcoran, Associate Professor
Kris Erickson, Assistant Professor
Rachel Gans-Boriskin, Assistant Professor of Practice
Kristina Markos, Associate Professor of the Practice
Briana Martino, Assistant Professor
Erica Moura, Assistant Professor of Practice
Andrew Porter, Associate Professor of Practice and Internship Director
Bob White, Professor
Luke Romanak, Digital Classrooms and Labs Manager


The mission of the Department of Communications at Simmons College is to ensure that students receive a rigorous liberal arts education and the knowledge and competencies to prepare them for careers and/or graduate study. The major in communications focuses on generating meaning within and across multiple contexts, cultures, channels, and media. Meaning making and deciphering is central to the work we do, and is the tie that binds together the concentration areas within the major and the core courses required of all of our majors. Whether a student is studying journalism, graphic design, public relations and marketing communications, or media arts, they learn to intelligently create meaning and critically approach the meanings they encounter in the world. Our mission is reflected in the core values and competencies we embrace and emphasize for our students.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following is a list of Student Learning Outcomes that are appropriate to all communications majors no matter which concentration they choose to explore.

  1. Students craft clear visual, oral and written messages, in the forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences, and purposes they serve.
  2. Students think critically, creatively, and paradoxically, both collaboratively and independently.
  3. Students analyze and critique messages in the visual, oral and written arenas.
  4. Students creatively and skillfully employ the appropriate technologies and tools for the communications professions in which they work.
  5. Students demonstrate a knowledge of the laws of freedom of speech and the press.
  6. Students demonstrate an understanding of the ethical and legal responsibilities associated with being a communicator.
  7. Students demonstrate knowledge of the history of communications and its theory, as well as the role of theorists, professionals, and institutions in shaping the field.
  8. Students recognize the diversity among communications professions, audiences, and purposes and the impact of their cultural contexts within a global society.
  9. Students evaluate their own work and that of others both syntactically and semantically.

Departmental Honors

The Department of Communications offers the opportunity for majors to receive departmental honors. Students in Comm 344, Senior Seminar, which is the required capstone for the major, who have a superior record in the major and who receive an A on their senior project and an A in the seminar will receive departmental honors. Student projects will be reviewed and graded by both the faculty member teaching the seminar and at least one additional faculty member in the student’s concentration area. The designation of departmental honors will appear on the student’s transcript.

Outstanding students may be named to Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communications Association’s honor society for students in communications.