Media arts and design

Diversity Statements

SMAD 101, Introduction to Media Arts and Design

Instructors: George Johnson, Roger Soenksen

The course discusses how media have evolved in this country, the finances of the media, media stereotypes of individuals and groups, media ethics, and briefly compares international media. Students are exposed to minority voices such as Frederick Douglass (editor of the North Star), Robert Abbott (publisher of the Chicago Defender), Mary Ann Shadd Cary (the first black female newspaper publisher in North America), Helen Gurley Brown (editor of Cosmopolitan), David Goldstein (publisher of The Advocate), Margaret Cho (a prominent comedian supportive of LGBT rights), and many other media figures who have explored issues of diversity.

SMAD 201, Fundamental Skills in Media Arts & Design

Instructors: Shelly Hokanson, Yvette Shen, David Wendelken, Sabrena Deal

Emphasis is placed on the appropriate and engaging communication of messages through visual design. As such, a variety of audiences of different genders, races, religions, and sexual orientations must be considered. Attention is paid to the different interpretations of color and symbolism throughout history and across different cultures and demographics. It is important to note these differences both to enhance the effectiveness of the communicated message and to tailor the message to the target audience without inadvertently offending or confusing readers with different interpretations.

SMAD 210, News Reporting and Writing

Instructors: Ryan Parkhurst, Shaun Wright, Nan Zheng, Brad Jenkins

This course emphasizes journalism's mission to reflect, engage and inform all of society. This includes developing diversity awareness among students with wider understanding of increasing diverse local population and coverage of diverse perspectives in local issues. Specifically, this course requires students to complete a feature story that focuses on a minority group defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, disease, etc.

SMAD 220, News Editing

Instructor: Mike Grundmann

Associated Press style, and the class, prescribe equitable, nondiscriminatory and nonstereotypical treatment of story subjects in regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability. That includes leaving out mentions of these characteristics unless they are at issue in the story.

SMAD 310/311, Advanced Reporting/Feature Writing

Instructors: Mike Grundmann, David Wendelken

Same as SMAD 220, plus minorities of all types are a trove of good but untold or undertold stories. (Novelty is one important newsworthiness criterion. Conflict is another, such as underdog status.) We encourage students to reach for these stories. They often double as a mirror to dominant societal forces.

SMAD 372, Media History

Instructor: Alex Leidholdt

A large percentage of the course focuses on the American media's historical representation of the poor, labor, women, blacks, gays, Native Americans, immigrants, and other frequently marginalized and exploited groups. The class also highlights how journalists and media workers from these sectors contested these portrayals and asserted themselves.

SMAD 471, Media Ethics

Instructor: Mike Grundmann

Same as 310/311, plus we study many cases involving minorities whose treatment is just or unjust. We also examine the penetration of minorities as media practitioners and the ill effects of exclusion, such as alienation, misrepresentation, audience neglect and ignorance.