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Global Programs in Sports Communication, Political Communication, Public Diplomacy and Public Relations distinguish Communication Studies as the most global department at Emerson College.? With civic engagement opportunities from Barcelona, Iceland, Rosarito Beach, Mexico, Chile and beyond, students and faculty are provided unparalleled opportunities for collaborative engagement in grass roots campaigns, NGO's, corporate and government strategic communication efforts.?
Leadership in civic engagement is a daily endeavor for our students.? The Saudi American Exchange, the first grass roots effort organized after 9/11, began in a class at Emerson and involved students traveling to Saudi Arabia for dialogue and discussion in a public diplomacy effort aimed at "furthering understanding through communication." Since the first trip in 2002, over 1000 students from Emerson, Yale, Harvard, Illinois and other colleges and universities have traveled to Saudi Arabia an other countries in the Middle East to engage in strategic communication campaigns that have involved art, sport, food and other currencies that bring people together and invite a sharing of culture. ?
Similar types of public diplomacy campaigns have included students and faculty collaborating with their colleagues in U.S. State Department projects in Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Spain, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Jordan, Bahrain, Chile, Iceland, Thailand Lebanon, among others.?
Global Engagement Opportunities
The Barcelona Sports Communication and Global Public Relations Workshop
The Barcelona Sports Communication and Global Public Relations Workshop is offered during the Spring Break of each academic year and provides students the opportunity to engage with working professionals in sports and public relations in Barcelona. This includes immersive workshops with BARCA in sports management, special events and public affairs; as well as special meetings and dialogue with CEO’s in global public affairs and Catalan government leaders in the one week intensive experience hosted by the Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations of Ramon LLull University in Barcelona.
The Presidential Campaign Semester
The Presidential Campaign Semester is offered during the U.S. Presidential campaign. In the fall/spring/fall of the election year. Students have opportunities for immersive experiences in the presidential campaigns before the election year; students register for 8 credits of internship based on involvement in a presidential campaign in Iowa, New Hampshire, and other states. Participating juniors and seniors also register for 4 credits of directed study and an intensive 4-credit political communication practicum course designed for this semester to allow for a full focus on the campaign as a learning experience. This semester will be offered in the year of a Presidential election as part of the Washington semester (in non-Presidential campaign years, the Massachusetts gubernatorial race or other appropriate campaigns may be substituted).
The Rosarito?(Baja California Mexico) Public Diplomacy Workshop is offered in the summer?and winter intensive session and provides students the opportunity to engage in an on-going crisis communication/global public relations campaign with students, governmental and business leaders and citizens in Rosarito, Baja Mexico, located 30 miles south of San Diego.?Projects include organizing and implementing an annual film festival and public relations campaign, border and immigration issues, art, sports and gastro-diplomacy campaigns, among others.
Global Engagement Project
Emerson is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the?Global Communications Project,?an international project with 15?universities from 15 countries in 5 continents.? Students in all majors in Communication Studies participate in virtual teams in which each team provides a PR briefing and develops a presentation of a PR problem, and a pitch based on the data and analysis. Teams collaborate over the course of the spring semester, using the interactive social media tools: E-Mail, Skype, Facebook,?Twitter and other means of their choice. Students go to these trips every-year and have shared some great experience. The tasks of the project are:
- to collaborate in a multicultural team
- to persuade through a presentation
- to overcome cultural barriers
- to act together online in a virtual team
- to work as an agency solving a global PR issue
- to recognize the strength of cultural diversity presentation
- to implement?global strategies locally.
Iceland Public Diplomacy Project
Working with the Consular General, NGO's and citizens and community organizations, students collaborate on public diplomacy initiatives focusing on nation branding via food, travel, culture and other means to enhance Iceland as a travel destination for specific publics.? This immersive experience provides students access to the strategic steps required for successful strategic communication campaigns for targeted global publics.?
Bird Street Community Center
After the Sandy Hook/Newtown shootings, President Lee Pelton of Emerson College challenged students and faculty to engage in meaningful dialogue with the inner city communities to curb gun violence. Communication Studies focused on inner city youth and community leaders in this dialectical activity. The Emerson Bird Street Civic Engagement Project is a creative campaign, spearheaded by Professors Gregory Payne and Spencer Kimball. This project provides opportunities for Emerson students and faculty to conduct research and collaborative projects with students, faculty and staff of the Bird St. Community Center in Dorchester - an after school program for at risk youth.? What started as one pizza visit, turned into a seven week project in May and June 2013 and has eventually evolved into a multi-year collaboration that continues to benefit both the Emerson and Bird Street community.? Projects, which have included PSAs, advocacy campaigns, debates, forums and public speaking contests have been presented to members of the U.S. Congress, City Hall and national and international conferences and forums.?
Carleton-Emerson Summer Program
The Department of Communication Studies has opened up an exchange program with Carleton University (located in Ottawa, Canada), which is ranked as one of the best departments of communication in Canada, to Juniors across Emerson College. The brand new Canadian Exchange Program focuses on civic engagement in public relations, marketing, political communication, and journalism.