Areas of Emphasis
In addition to its outstanding majors and graduate programs, the Department of Communication & Journalism places particular emphasis on several areas.
Established in 1948, the University of Maine offers the only Journalism bachelor of arts in the state. For decades its alumni have staffed news organizations throughout Maine and around the world and include Pulitzer Prize winners, internationally recognized war correspondents, and news executives at national broadcast companies, among others. Its faculty helped to draft Maine’s Right-to-Know Law and continue to work closely with numerous media organizations in Maine.
Our faculty and students have expertise and conduct projects in Environmental Communication, a field that studies how communication shapes human relationships with environments, including social-environmental problem solving and justice efforts. Undergraduates take coursework in environmental, risk, and health communication and participate in the Engaged Black Bear’s Environmental Stewardship badging program. Graduate students use coursework and research to advance community-engaged projects both independently and on grant-funded teams led by faculty members. We also host an Environmental Communication Community of Practice (EC CooP), which allows any student to get involved.
Health, Communication, and Society
In our research and teaching, we consider health broadly, in human and non-human (e.g., wildlife, environments) terms, and communication at multiple scales, from the individual, to the community, to society-at-large. We are concerned with how communication theory, research methods, and practice may (re)create meaning, shape outcomes, such as policies, or influence attitudes or decision-making. With connections to UMaine’s Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant programs, and UMaine’s Engaged Black Bear Initiative, as well as to outside partners like Maine Medical Center, we are well positioned to connect graduates and undergraduates with opportunities to pursue engaged research with local impact in health communication and medical discourse.