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State Grant Supports Loyola's School of Mass Communication

Loyola press release - August 31, 2015

Board of Regents funding bolsters student training with cutting-edge equipment

Students at Loyola University New Orleans’ School of Mass Communication returned this fall to improved facilities and new, cutting-edge equipment thanks to a state grant totaling $189,000. Awarded in June, the grant is one of the largest given by the Louisiana Board of Regents this year.

So far, funds have gone towards supplementing the offerings and infrastructure at the School of Mass Communication’s 18-month-old multimedia newsroom and the Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communication, a unique university offering in which Loyola strategic communications students use their newly acquired public relations and advertising skills to help nonprofits in the greater New Orleans area.

“These funds help us to continue to provide our students career preparation and development opportunities,” said Sonya Duhé, who has served as director of Loyola’s School of Mass Communication since 2009. “Technology is constantly changing in our industry, and we work hard to ensure our students remain well-informed and ahead of the curve.”

Loyola’s School of Mass Communication, which trains students studying journalism, advertising and public relations to use multimedia platforms, recently celebrated a record-breaking year garnering 86 awards during the 2014-15 academic year. The school enjoys a job placement rate well above the national average. Upon graduation, last year’s job placement rate for Loyola strategic communications and journalism students was nearly 90 percent.

“Competency in the use of digital technology is a new form of literacy for the 21st century. From cell phones and computers to Twitter and Facebook, most people are learning and loving to consume digital media,” said Robert Racine, the school’s technology coordinator. “This project gives Loyola students a head start as they learn not to consume, but to create and master the language of our digital future.”

The state grant will help to purchase new broadcasting equipment, monitors, clear com, tripods, green screen and other studio and focus group equipment utilized by students in every study sequence.

“Future employers expect a digital sophistication in communications students,” said Duhé. “Loyola students are trained in broadcast, print and digital platforms, and have access to communications equipment that rivals that of top communication firms in the greater New Orleans area.”

All students in the School of Mass Communication participate in a capstone sequence – a final course which brings together all of the skills and knowledge learned throughout years of study at the university.