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Department of Mass Communication

Professional education with a personal touch

The Department of Mass Communication is housed in Johnson Hall. We offer programs designed to create exceptional communicators for modern times, emphasizing multi-platform media training and team-building for the 21st century’s digital age.

Students in our majors prepare for exciting careers in a variety of communication industries and benefit from small class sizes and faculty with professional expertise and active scholarship.  Whether majoring in mass communication or integrated marketing communication, innovative integrated curricula provide real world journalism, broadcast and IMC training for the converged media and communication environment.  We also offer a digital mass media track in the interdisciplinary information design program  housed in the Department of Computer Science.

Internships and practicums are required and provide experiential learning during college education. Opportunities to study abroad and other departmental global learning activities provide cross-cultural exposure and prepare students for today’s competitive, interconnected world. Enjoy this up close look at Alisha Sweatt’s independent study in Germany, in the summer of 2016. She was awarded $2500 to study and travel in Germany. If you have a German connection, such as speaking the language, having lived in Germany, having family in Germany, or minoring in German. You can apply for this awesome scholarship from the German Language and Culture Foundation in Charlotte. Want a free trip to study and travel in Germany? See Bonnye Stuart in Johnson 212.

Our alumni are respected in industry and stay connected by visiting classes, attending events, and participating in curriculum development. They are also a strong resource for students, serving as mentors and offering guidance on job opportunities in the Carolinas and beyond.

Journalism History

The Winthrop University Mass Communication Department boasts connections to regional broadcast journalism throughout the years as well as some of the most formative moments in broadcast history. Haney Howell, our own emeritus faculty member and a prolific Vietnam War correspondent, was featured recently on PBS Charlotte/Carolina Impact about his years covering war for CBS News.

Short Term Study Abroad

Cuba Photo

Our department’s first faculty-led short-term study abroad trip went to China in May 2017! If traveling abroad with a class for a truly unique learning experience is one of your dreams—we will offer a course-related trip component to Cuba for all department students in the Spring of 2018. So as you schedule classes, plan ahead so you can have a slot to take the courses that will be involved in this trip in the spring. See any of the faculty leaders for this Cuba trip for more information: Dr. Habib, Mr. Nortz or Mrs. Stuart. Studying abroad in the exotic land of Cuba where the language, culture, and food are so different can be extremely exciting, but also overwhelming.

Here are three essential facts that you should know before studying abroad in Cuba.

  1. There is still an embargo: Although travel bans were relaxed in 2015, there is still an embargo from the U.S. on Cuban trade. While in Cuba don't expect a lot of variety in foods, spices, and personal products.
  2. U.S. credit and debit cards don't work! According to, there are three options to get money in Cuba. You can use a wire transfer from Western Union, a TransCard which allows you to draw money from an ATM with a fee, or bring enough cash for the entire trip. Be prepared and think ahead about possible expenses.
  3. There is no free Wifi: To obtain access to the internet in Cuba you must purchase a Wifi card which costs per hour of use. Don’t expect to share your amazing adventure on Snapchat until you return to American soil.

Before you travel keep these three facts in mind and enjoy your adventure to the colorful and exciting country of Cuba!

Student Work

The work below links to some of the outstanding stories and media students produce. The department strives to emulate a professional model through student media, class work and internships. Students excel at covering news, social issues, sports, human interest and more.

Domestic Terrorism
Voters with Disabilities

Department News

  • Dr. Nathaniel Frederick has been accepted into the 2018 Scripps Howard Journalism Entrepreneurship Institute at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The institute, now in its seventh year, is open to journalism instructors who are interested in infusing the concepts and practices of entrepreneurial journalism into their teaching of journalism.
  • Dr. Aimee Meader has been awarded a fellowship is part of a faculty development program offered by the National Association of Television Program Executives. The conference includes sessions on news and entertainment programing, program development, advertising and promotion, and social media. It will be held January 14th-18th in Miami.
  • The Department of Mass Communication is sponsoring the 2017 Native American Film Festival on November 7 in Dina’s Place. This year’s festival features the short films “The Corner and “I Stand: Guardians of the Water.”
  • Mass Communication week is October 2-4, 2017. Scott Melton, senior vice president and chief philanthropy officer of the National Aquarium, will headline the 27th Annual Mass Communications Week. The event includes alumni and working professionals across the communication spectrum. Other guest include alumni, Winthrop faculty, and other professionals in various fields. Here is the schedule:
    • Oct. 2: Melton is conducting sessions at 9:30 a.m. (Whitton Auditorium), 11 a.m. (Johnson 117), and 12:45 p.m. (Johnson 101). He will also be in the Johnson Hall Lobby at 4:00 p.m. for a kickoff reception.
    • Oct. 3: In conjunction with News Engagement Day Winthrop faculty and staff are speaking about media relations in Johnson 117 at 9:30 a.m.
    • Oct. 3: An Alumni Panel featuring Taylor McKenzie, Eddie Scarry and Jasmine Rutledge is in Johnson 117 at at 12:30.
    • Oct. 4: Ashley Smalls, a senior executive at CreateSpace (a subsidiary of, Inc.) is speaking in Whitton Auditorium at 9:30 a.m., and Johnson 201 at 12:30 p.m. 
    • Oct. 4: Arlecia Simmons, a Winthrop alumna who holds a doctoral degree in mass communication, will conduct sessions in Whitton Auditorium at 11 a.m. and in Johnson 218 at 4 p.m.
  • Mass communication major, Ashley Sloup has been recognized by the WGCA for her efforts in the classroom as well as the golf course. She was among 952 women’s collegiate golfers named WGCA All-American Scholars. This is the third straight year for Sloup to receive this honor.
  • Our own Professor Padmini Patwardhan accepted the Distinguished Teaching Award on Aug. 11 from the advertising division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
  • Mass communication student, Cheyenne Walsh is a recipient of the Gilman Study Abroad Award. She received $2,000 to study in Dublin Ireland this semester. Also, Kathryn Wooldridge is a recipient of the Sharif Rahman Scholarship to study in Dublin in spring 2018.
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