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Inaugural meeting of School of Communication Studies Alumni Advisory Board held April 8-9

Julia Brown | Apr 16, 2018

Members of the inaugural School of Communication Studies Alumni Advisory Board host a Bobcat to Bobcat panel discussion with current communication studies students during their meeting April 8-9, 2018. / Photo by Lynn Harter

Inaugural meeting of School of Communication Studies Alumni Advisory Board held April 8-9

By Julia Brown

ATHENS, Ohio (April 16, 2018)—The School of Communication Studies (COMS) Alumni Advisory Board held its inaugural meeting in Athens April 8-9. The general mission of the COMS Alumni Advisory Board is to enhance relationships between the School of Communication Studies and its alumni. Its members serve as ambassadors in their spheres of influence and encourage alumni engagement with faculty, students and one another.

The group is the first of its kind for the School of Communication Studies. “It is easy to lose track of students upon graduation,” said Lynn Harter, professor and co-director of the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact. “The advisory board was formed to help the School of Communication Studies develop and maintain stronger relationships with its alumni.”

Board members act as invaluable resources to the school, according to Interim Director of the School of Communication Studies Claudia Hale. “Whether we are talking with them about their memories of the program, or career tracks, or best practices for maintaining communication with the graduates of our programs, we realize that the members of our Alumni Advisory Board are in a position to provide input that can help the school to further develop its programs and outreach efforts,” she said.

Dave Abram, BSC ’89, who serves as the board’s chair, realizes the important role the board will play in helping students and improving the School of Communication Studies’ curriculum and programs. “I feel we had an impact on current students who participated in the board’s Bobcat to Bobcat panel discussion, during which we delivered an optimistic message of how a degree in communication studies will help students stand out among their competition in a highly competitive employment landscape,” Abram said.

This type of insight helps not only current students, but also potential students as well, as Claudia Hale explained. “We realize that our alumni are positioned to help us respond to a question often posed by high school students looking at our program, specifically, “What do you do with a communication major?”

“I view the role of the board as clearly advisory in nature, serving at the will and direction of the School of Communication Studies faculty, staff and students to act as advocates, advisers and cheerleaders for the entire Ohio University communication studies community,” Abram said. “With this being the 50th anniversary of the Scripps College of Communication, I cannot think of more fitting timing for the board to lay a strong foundation for an organized board that will serve the school for decades.”

To learn more about the new COMS Alumni Advisory Board and its members, visit their website at