Winthrop University: Department of Mass Communication

Mass Communication

A group of students in a TV studio.

Preparing for the Future

What is now the Department of Mass Communication has been designing programs to develop exceptional communicators for the past 75 years. Our students are prepared to create messages that impact, inspire and influence our global society. Today, the Department of Mass Communication prepares students to meet the demands of the 21st Century. A progressive curriculum grounded in liberal arts develops critical thinkers who delve deep and communicate succinctly and creatively.

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Immersed in the world of communication, students majoring in Mass Communication experience real world and broadcast journalism, while Integrated Marketing Communication majors train for converged media and communication environments. In addition, Digital Information Design majors, housed in the Department of Computer Science, are offered a concentration in Digital Mass Media to expand skill sets to include web design and web content management.

A degree in mass communication opens doors, offering mentorship with professionals and connecting graduates with employers.

 

  

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Department News

Farewell to Dr. Bill Click, longtime chair

Dr. Bill Click Bio

A memorial service for Dr. Bill Click, longtime chair of the Department of Mass Communication, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 2115 Celanese Rd. in Rock Hill. The service is open to the public.

Dr. Click died Thursday, Sept. 15 after a brief illness. He was 86. 

J. William Click, known as Bill to his many friends and acquaintances at Winthrop, in the community, in academics and in the journalism profession, joined Winthrop as chair of the department in 1987. He retired as chair in 2013 after having led the department through many changes, including advances in technology that have revolutionized the profession and mass communication education. 

Dr. Click taught at many levels at Ohio University in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism from 1965 to 1983. He came to Winthrop from LSU, having served as director and professor of the Manship School of Journalism there.

He was charged with obtaining the Winthrop department's first national accreditation, which came in 1997. He led multiple successful re-accreditation efforts since, and the department remains nationally accredited. Dr. Click was a member of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. 

When the department celebrated its 75th anniversary in the 2021-22 academic year, Dr. Click returned to campus and recounted some of the history of the department. He noted that when he was hired, lower academic standards in the department led to large class enrollments – so large that the students weren't receiving appropriate education in the many aspects of education in journalism and broadcasting. He tightened curriculum standards, one of the first steps in helping the department obtain its first accreditation. 

Later, under Dr. Click's leadership, the department, through a partnership with the College of Business, added the Integrated Marketing Communication program to address educational needs in public relations, advertising and marketing communication. The first class under the IMC program was offered in 1999. Dr. Click also led a redesign of the curriculum to emphasize multimedia storytelling and social media.  

Before coming to Winthrop, Dr. Click was a leader in high school journalism and developed a workshop known throughout the Midwest, said his longtime colleague, Marilyn Sarow.  He was also known in the magazine industry and published a book in 1974, "Magazine Editing and Production," which was published in six editions. He also published books on the governance of college media publications and on college media and advising, with a focus on the ethics of advising. His voluminous academic and related publishing output spanned five decades, and his activities, memberships and associations across academics and the industry made him a nationally known figure in his field.

Dr. Click was inducted into the Ball State University Journalism Hall of Fame in 1987 as the third inductee, the College Media Advisers Hall of Fame in 1994 as a charter inductee, and the Central Michigan University Journalism Hall of Fame in 2005. He was a member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the journalism honor society, since 1959.

Dr. Click was a longtime teacher of media ethics at Winthrop and was known for his passionate advocacy of appropriate professional conduct in the news industry. His reading lists for the class included volumes on applications for mass communication but also on broader philosophical theories. 

Faculty lauded Dr. Click for his outstanding leadership, patience – and exceptional memory. "I don't think he ever forgot a name or a face," said Guy Reel, current chair of the department. "He set a foundation for the department that has been demonstrated over and over by the incredible success stories of the students that came here over those years."  

After his retirement, the Department of Mass Communication established a Mass Communication Scholarship in honor of Dr. Click.

Greene Funeral Home in Rock Hill is handling the arrangements. Dr. Click is survived by his wife, Dixie; two sons, Reid and Kevin; and other family members.

Prof. Patwardhan earns top Winthrop teaching award

Padmini Patwardhan

Mass communication Prof. Padmini Patwardhan has been named the 2020 Kinard Award recipient, which recognizes Winthrop faculty for outstanding teaching and significant contributions to the university. The annual award is the school's top teaching honor. Patwardhan, who has been at Winthrop since 2005, teaches classes in integrated marketing communication, advertising, public relations, and communication theory and research. Read more here.

 

Mass Comm Senior Wins Research Award

The Mass Communication Department is proud to announce that Anna Sharpe is the recipient of this year's Inez Bell Caskey Award in the humanities. The Caskey awards are given annually to students who distinguish themselves in the area of undergraduate research in the College of Arts and Sciences. Sharpe was selected for impactful-investigative journalism and co-writing a book chapter on ethics with one of her professors. Sharpe was also named the Student Journalist of the Year and the Mundy Scholar by the South Carolina Press Association in 2020.

 

Watch the 2021 Mass Communication Awards Show

 

 

Examples of 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.

Jobs and Professional Organizations

 

 

 

Last Updated: 10/13/22