Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 7th 2015 Contents 20 UWI TODAY – SUNDAY 7TH JUNE, 2015
It’s a common complaint that many university students
appear to be confined by the walls of theory to the point
that they fail as active participants when entering the world
beyond their classrooms.
At The UWI, St. Augustine, the Department of Literary,
Cultural and Communication Studies has been combating
this perception of university students as “ivory tower”
products for some time. Its latest salvo came in the form
of this year’s Communication Studies Research Day event,
“Third Eyes: Communication Beyond Perception.”
On April 9, final-year students of the Communication
Studies degree programme showcased what can happen
when theory and practice come together. The students
partnered with organizations and mentors in the working
world, identifying and solving communication issues within
the small businesses, NGOs and corporate sector companies
that they worked with.
One might muse in a similar fashion to the Departmental
Head, Dr. Louis Regis, that this is one of the most effective
ways to educate students.
If you walked past the Daaga Auditorium at the
beginning of the event you would have been struck by
the students’ booth displays, which represented a wide
spectrum of organizations and issues. The booths were so
well displayed that one observer remarked, “this could easily
have been mistaken for a trade expo at the Hyatt.”
The eight booths featured small and medium sized
businesses such as The Perfect Cup, a coffee shop on
Ariapita Avenue; Look Opticals, an eye-care provider; Body
By Marcus, a fitness centre; and Above Group from the
advertising industry. Also in the mix were two NGOs – FEEL
(Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life)
and the Blue Teddy Initiative, a movement that focuses on
helping child victims of sexual violence.
Each of these organizations partnered with a group of
four to five final-year students, together with a supervising
tutor from the course, and they worked together to addresses
communication challenges within the organization over a
period of eight months. Organizations wanted help on issues
as diverse as building a stronger social media presence,
increasing foot traffic in stores, lifting sales, building a
communication plan, and establishing a firmer, fresher
One partner organization, Salt Water Advertising, was
so pleased it offered a job to the five students who worked
with them during the year.
Inside the packed Daaga Auditorium, the remaining
students gave exciting group presentations on stage. One
group transformed the stage into a Sunday market scene
as they made their case for greater support of the Green
Market in Santa Cruz. Vicki Assevero, founder and manager
of the Green Market, said that she was totally pleased with
the presentation and the collaboration with the students.
The Green Market was followed by a presentation on
gender representation in the media, which so impressed and
moved the Master of Ceremonies, Errol Fabien of Gayelle,
that he announced his television channel’s intention to
A presentation on gender representation in the media.
Communication Studies students go into action
BY ARIANA HERBERT
Ariana Herbert is a student of the Communication Studies programme.
contribute five hours of programming time per week to the
Communication Studies programme.
The audience was then informed by another student
presentation of the importance of certification in the field
of journalism as The UWI gets ready to launch its BA in
Journalism degree. The final presentation discussed the
clash between millennial culture and traditional corporate
Course coordinator, Dr. Tia Smith, was brimming with
pride as she noted that thinking beyond the sometimes
confining walls of the classroom is an important step for
students becoming socially responsible individuals.
The keynote speaker, Retired Supreme Court Justice of
New York, Judge Laura Blackburne, offered some critical
insight into the importance of effective communication
No stranger to engaging the people, she acknowledged
the presence of social injustice and the necessity of tactical,
collaborative communication in overturning inequality. She
asserted that the great Martin Luther King Jr. used excellent
communication strategies to successfully allow many voices
to be heard through nonviolent strategies.
Her advice was that while it is easy to retaliate, an act of
outrage remains a mere act of outrage if the accompanying
message is not effectively delivered. What’s not easy is
staying in the battle and strategically organizing unified
action through becoming focused on communicating in
This particular academic year students were able to
move beyond the classroom and engage with the world in
a greater capacity. An unfounded perception still lingers
that university students lack the skills to participate in the
working world, but that narrative is being transformed, just
ask anyone who attended the 2015 Communication Studies
Destination Fitness offered lots of tips.
SUNDAY 7TH JUNE, 2015 – UWI TODAY 5
Last month, The Journal of Human Communication
Studies in the Caribbean (JHCSC) was launched at the St.
Augustine Campus, making it the first journal of human
communication studies in the English-speaking Caribbean.
The JHCSC is led by a team from three of The UWI’s
campuses and is supported throughout the Caribbean and
Discussion on the formal establishment of the journal
began in March 2014 and the first issue was completed in
March 2015. The theme of the first issue is derived from the
inaugural conference: “Celebrating the Caribbean in Culture
Communication and Community.” Selected invited essays,
original research articles, a reflective essay by Professor
Lawrence R. Frey, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA, the
2013 keynote speaker, and reports, reflections and notices
provide the journal content
The journal website was built using the Online Journal
Service (OJS) platform which is hosted by the Alma
Jordan Library, UWI. This platform facilitated the online
submission, and auto-replies and correspondence, review
and editing, revision, copyediting, proofreading and layout
of content. Other UWI journals use this platform, but the
JHCSC is the first to create an online subscription service
to give access to its online and print versions.
The JHCSC aims to promote the study, teaching and
research of human communication studies in the Caribbean
and beyond by publishing peer-reviewed original research
essays and articles on subjects and themes related to human
An earlier attempt to create a journal was made many
years ago but it was not sustained. This version appears
after 40 years of teaching and research in media and
communication at CARIMAC at The UWI, Mona, over 15
years of communication studies at The UWI St. Augustine
and four years of communication studies at The UWI Cave
The journal invites scholars and other contributors
with an interest in human communication studies in the
Caribbean to submit original academic research papers. As
the focus and content of the journal evolves, in addition to
the call for academic original research articles, proposals for
shorter and alternative, imaginative pieces such as reader
responses, book reviews, interviews, research in progress,
and concept papers will be invited by the editorial board.
The online subscription service is based on the
TouchNet platform. Subscribers will pay to access the full
content of the journal and thus contribute toward making
it sustainable. Some content is free. See: http://journals.
sta.uwi.edu/jhcsc/index.asp?action=currentIssue . A
subscription entitles the holder to a reduced conference fee
and membership in the AHCSC.
The JHCSC aims to publish at least one volume
consisting of at least two issues per year, but there may be
periodic special thematic calls for papers that necessitate
a deviation. Interested authors should submit original
research papers on human communication studies in the
Caribbean for double-blind international peer review.
The JHCSC received start-up funding from the 2013
Human Communication Studies International Conference
and the Campus Research and Publication Fund. Another
issue is planned for later in 2015.
The Editorial Board consists of three officers, Drs.
Godfrey A. Steele, Editor, Livingston A. White, Associate
Editor and Korah L. Belgrave, Associate Editor, who
represent three campuses and are supported by 25 other
reviewers from the Caribbean, USA, UK and Australia.
These reviewers come from a wide range of interests in
human communication studies and a variety of other
disciplines including cultural studies, gender, literature,
linguistics, history, management, psychology, information
technology and education. The JHCSC has benefitted from
interdisciplinary linkages and support from many partners
and the Association for Human Communication Studies
Also launched at the same time was a conference being
hosted by the Human Communication Studies Postgraduate
Programme in the Department of Literary, Cultural and
This conference takes place on September 24 and 25,
2015 and focuses on “Identity, Context and Interdisciplinarity
in Human Communication Studies in the Caribbean.”
(Dr Godfrey Steele)
Human Communication Studies Journal launched
The journal invites
scholars and other
contributors with an
interest in human
in the Caribbean to
submit original academic
Dr Godfrey Steele
at the launch of
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