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College of Communication and The Arts

Dr. George C. Johnson, Interim Dean
Jerry E. Weaver, Assistant Dean

See page 5 for information regarding curricular changes.


Art                           Dr. Philip James, Director
Media Arts        Dr. Roger A. Soenksen, Acting Director
  and Design
Music                 Dr. Mellasenah Y. Morris, Director
Speech Communication         Dr. Philip Emmert, Director
Theatre and Dance         Dr. Thomas H. Arthur, Director
Center for            Brenda K. Pennell, General Manager
  Public Broadcasting
Media Production Center        Robert M. Starr, Director
The College of Communication and The Arts recognizes the common alliances among performance, fine arts and communication. It offers instruction in those areas concerned with the act of performing and communicating through the various visual, aural, electronic and print media, as well as instruction in the historical and cultural heritage and the creative and theoretical bases of the disciplines encompassed by the college. The college includes the schools of art, media arts and design, music, speech communication, and theatre and dance. Additionally, public radio station WMRA-FM and the Media Production Center are included in the college. More than 25 vocal and instrumental musical performing groups, the Sawhill Art Gallery, the James Madison University Theatre, the university newspaper, The Breeze, the university literary magazine, Chrysalis, the debate and forensic program, and the dance theater make up the applied activities of the college.

The College of Communication and The Arts sponsors the Festival of the Arts each spring. The university's Masterpiece Season is also managed through the college, in cooperation with other departments of the university.

Students intending to pursue a major in one of the arts (visual arts, dance, music, theater) must meet special admission requirements. Art majors must have completed the minimum academic units as required by the Virginia Department of Education for high school graduation and at least a minimum program of studies required for admission to JMU. In addition, students entering these majors must successfully complete an audition/portfolio review, a personal interview and submit letters of recommendation related to artistic ability and commitment to the arts. For more detailed information regarding these special admission requirements, students should contact the school of their intended arts major.

The School of Art is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

The School of Speech Communication offers programs in alternative dispute resolution, interpersonal communication, organizational communication and public relations. Students in the School of Media Arts and Design can choose to focus on such areas of study as journalism, electronic media production, corporate media and visual communication.

The program in music, fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, offers undergraduate and graduate concentrations in voice, piano, organ, instrumental music, theory and composition, and music management.

The theater program is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

Each of the five schools of the College of Communication and The Arts is actively involved in curricular reviews that may result in new program configurations and adjustments in total hour requirements, with some changes effective in 1994-95 and the others in 1995-96. Students are encouraged to maintain close contact with their schools and advisers to learn of curricular changes and future programmatic opportunities.

Fashion Merchandising

As of July 1, 1994, the fashion merchandising concentration will become a part of the College of Business, Department of Marketing. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the College of Business or the marketing department for additional information.

Center for Public Broadcasting/WMRA-WMRL

Brenda K. Pennell, General Manager

The Center for Public Broadcasting supports the goals of the College of Communication and The Arts in meeting the objectives of James Madison University while serving public radio listeners in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Center for Public Broadcasting encompasses WMRA-FM, a 24,500-watt non-commercial public radio station; WMRL, a 100-watt repeater station and an 80-watt Winchester translator station. All stations are licensed to the James Madison University Board of Visitors. WMRA/WMRL is an affiliate of the National Public Radio, American Public Radio, the Virginia Public Radio Association and the Associated Press. The station broadcasts 24 hours per day, year-round and also operates a radio reading service for the print-impaired.

Companies, organizations and private citizens donate more than 20 percent of the center's yearly budget. Shenandoah Valley residents and JMU students, working in all facets of the station's operation, volunteer more than 5,000 hours annually. Each semester, a broadcast team of 10-20 students is developed to carry out the center's mission in a practical and professional manner.

WMRA/WMRL offers in-depth coverage of state and local news, the NPR news programs "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered," and both classical and folk music.

Media Production Center

Robert M. Starr, Director

The Media Production Center is a professional media production complex housing a three-camera color studio. Broadcast quality electronic editing and portable electronic field production equipment are also available to students in the School of Media Arts and Design.

The primary purpose of the center is to provide a realistic training environment for students seeking careers in television stations and corporate, educational and commercial production facilities. Training and experience take the form of:

The center also supports media production activities in the college.

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Last reviewed: Sept. 10, 1994
Information Publisher: Academic Services