May 9, 1997
Marketing Communications Graduates First Class
Seven students at UW-River Falls have become the first to graduate from the University's new marketing communications major.
They will participate in commencement exercises on May 18.
As a prelude to their graduation, each participated in formal portfolio presentation on May 8 before the faculty marketing communications committee that guides the new interdisciplinary major.
The presentation was a graduation requirement for the major, which is in its first year. The portfolios contained the works created by the graduating seniors over the last four years and included brochures, flyers, press releases, program announcements, desktop publishing and photography, as well as various other works. The products came from a variety of activities that the graduates participated in, such as internships, campus organizations, jobs, academic classes and hobbies.
Focus groups of business communication professionals conducted by the University while developing the new major demonstrated that students entering the marketing communications work force needed greater emphasis on technology and a broader base of marketing and communication skills.
Cutting edge technology is integrated into the marketing communication coursework to address the needs sought by business employers. Desktop publishing, database manipulation, and word processing are just a few of the skills that are learned.
Another component of the major is the requirement to participate in an internship experience with real workplace experience to graduate. With the competitive nature of the marketing communications field, the goal is to prepare the students for a career by ensuring their experiences are broader than traditional academic preparation.
The marketing communications major is an interdisciplinary program that includes seven academic departments from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences. Students take courses from such departments as agriculture education, agricultural economics, art, business, English, journalism and speech communication. Among the courses they pursue are marketing, public relations, mass communications law, writing for business, advertising design, photography, radio and television production, and consumer behavior.
UW-River Falls is located in western Wisconsin within metropolitan area of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Twin Cities constitute the No. 2 market in the United States for billable services in advertising, public relations and marketing communications.
Students in the first marketing communications graduating class include:
Bayport, Minn.: Maribeth Gedatus.
Glenwood City: Melissa Johansen.
Oakdale, Minn.: Darcy Moriarity.
Prior Lake, Minn.: Angela Bauman.
River Falls: Robert Burke, Marlene Nadeau, Beata Galecka.