Historically, the master's and PhD programs in our Communication Studies program have benefited from a strong reputation and thanks to the current efforts of Graduate Director Dr. Christie Beck, continues to attract high-quality applications. Yet, more support is needed to secure top-talent, remain competitive and continue to thrive. Building momentum and ensuring the legacy for our program is now the center of our efforts building The School of Communication Studies Fund for Excellence in Graduate Studies.
Why It Matters?
PhD students teach, mentor, serve as role models, and collaborate on research. The COMS graduate students play an essential role in providing an outstanding experience for COMS majors and in recruiting students to our major. The quality of the PhD students we recruit has a direct impact on the quality of our major and on our ability to recruit top faculty to COMS.
This fund will provide students with essential funding for their research and professional development. It will assist them with activities such as collecting data, visiting archives, and engaging with community partners.
As the primary source of new global knowledge, research is at the epicenter of building our reputation within academia and beyond. The ability to conduct research fuels our reputation and ultimately drives our ability to remain competitive and improves our status as a center of excellence.
Ultimately, the success of our graduates determines the reputation and standing of our programs, along with the achievements of the faculty.
The initial goal for this fund is to provide summer research funding for every PhD student in their third year, which is a critical time for students to work on the research and scholarship necessary to be competitive in the job market.
With $21,000 secured so far thanks to generous commitments from faculty and members of the COMS Alumni Advisory Council, our goal of $5,000 to begin offering these stipends beginning in summer 2022 is within reach.
How You Can Help:
Your contribution to The School of Communication Studies Fund for Excellence in Graduate Studies builds impact in order to:
- Remain competitive and offer funding to recruit high achieving students into our PhD Program.
- Provide funds that support valuable summer and dissertation research opportunities which fuels our publication and reputation in the industry.
- Ensure our legacy as a top-caliber Communication Studies institution.
Alumni Support for COMS
Taylor Walker, PhD '21 — Assistant Professor, Augusta University
"When I think about my time at OU, one of the most important aspects of my educational journey that prepared me for my professional career was being in a department that helped me create and establish who I wanted to be as a scholar and allowed me to think about scholarship in both traditional and nontraditional ways. In the classroom, there were always opportunities to work with faculty on projects they were doing or encouragement and guidance to work on my own ideas which led to conference presentations and publications. Inside and outside of the classroom, I was offered opportunities to work with community organizations, which allowed me to see scholarship as more than just an academic exercise. I developed the capacity to collaborate and foster relationships that can lead to inclusion and social change. During my time at OU, I worked on various projects with scholars across the country, held a research assistantship within the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, was able to travel abroad to study with medical students, engaged in work with community partners, and utilized those relationships and connections for my dissertation project. Alongside the typical skills of writing, researching, and publishing, understanding on how to foster and build mutually beneficial relationships is something I use every day in my professional career."
Stephanie Pangborn, PhD '14 — Assistant Professor, Hope College
"The OU COMS doctoral program significantly shaped me as a teacher-scholar and engaged citizen; it is a season of life that left an enduring impression on the core of my being. The cornerstones of my professional pathway were so intentionally shaped by masterful teachers who invested in me, ignited my passions, and held me accountable to credible, competent, and creative work. Numerous faculty mentors invited me to join them in research endeavors, modeling the potentialities to be pursued by engaging my heart, mind, and artistic spirit in scholarship, teaching, and service. I'll be forever grateful for the education, opportunities, and relationships afforded to me as an OU COMS student, things I never could have experienced without the financial assistance our students truly need."
Mark Leeman, PhD '07 — Associate Professor, Northern Kentucky University
"My graduate study in Communication at OU changed my life. I gained the theory, language, and methods to go with my experiences in the non-profit world. That has allowed me to ethnographically enter into the lifeworlds of others to bring about better understanding, meaning management, and social cooperation - across even the most radical of differences. My PhD in Communication from OU truly has been for me a lifelong 'license to learn.'"
Thank you for helping to build up Ohio University's School of Communication Studies Fund for Excellence in Graduate Studies which will help the school ensure the program's legacy!
To support this COMS Fund for Excellence in Graduate Studies, make a gift on this page. If you prefer to give by check (payable to The Ohio University Foundation, with ' 22COMCFGEA' on the memo line), mail your gift to The Ohio University Foundation, PO Box 869, Athens, OH 45701. If you want to explore making a charitable gift to this campaign with a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA), giving via a Donor Advised Fund or stock transfer, please contact Amanda DeWees, Senior Director of Development, Major Giving (Scripps College).
To support a different fund within Scripps College or Ohio University, visit OHIO's Explore Funds page or email Amanda DeWees who can connect you to your preferred fund or area of support.