Communication & Social Change



Editor’s Introduction

Since launching the Communication and Social Change journal in 2007, the Center for Excellence in Communication Arts at Clark Atlanta University has convened an annual conference of the same title and focus: communication and social change. The articles in this second volume relate to the February 2008 conference theme Exchanging Teaching Strategies and Professional Practices and promote dialogue of innovative ways to apply theory to improve teaching and learning.

The articles are as follows: “Engaging Students in College Communication Classes,” by Richard Fiordo, discusses how as communication educator’s our integrating research theory to professional practice should be cumulative and continuous. In their enlightening research study “Priority Information Needs of African American Graduate Women: A Pilot Study,” Bharat Mehra and Cheryl Ann Lambert explore the women’s information needs as well as the barriers they face in the learning process. The findings show implications for developing better teaching and learning atmospheres, enhanced campus services and facilities, and overall supportive climates for African American graduate students. W. Keith Tims’ “Mask Training in Traditional Acting Classes” offers a unique perspective of integrating a limited, two-week session of mask work into an undergraduate setting while achieving the intended teaching and learning outcomes. “Defending the Inverted Pyramid Style: Advocating an Emphasis on Teaching Traditional Practices in International Journalism Education,” by Richard Shafer, Eric Freedman and Stephen Rendahl, examines the benefits of and potential obstacles to the use of the model curricula prepared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to improve international journalism education. “Social Change and Acculturation in the Adjustment of New African American Women: A Case Study,” by Charles Okigbo, Jennifer Reierson and Shelly Stowman, presents the results of an action research study of new African American women in the Fargo-Moorhead area of North Dakota and Minnesota that found ambivalent attitudes towards Americanization and Africanness, as well as barriers to successful integration. In “Mass Media, Television, and Children’s Socialization: Making Peace with TV,” Tatyana Dumova,Richard Fiordo and Stephen Rendahl revisit television’s potential function in the positive socialization of young people.

Clark Atlanta University, formed in 1988 by the consolidation of two institutions, Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), is located in the historic Atlanta University Center which includes Spelman College, Morehouse College, the Interdenominational Theological Center and Morris Brown College. The historic Civil Rights movement is philosophically tied to the continuing missions of these institutions which promote social justice and scholarship that addresses change in local, national and global communities.

Communication and Social Change continues this tradition.

Cheryl Renee Gooch

Clark Atlanta University