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Communication

You will explore the principles of communication across contexts — interpersonal, social, political, economic, cultural and beyond place and time — and by means of various technologies. Through theory and practice, you will prepare for civic engagement beyond the classroom.

Note: Hamilton's faculty voted on March 4, 2014 to discontinue offering a concentration in Communication effective with the students who graduate in 2016. Students may still opt to minor in Communication.


Sabrina Yurkofsky '15

Communication, psychology and an alumna’s path to the TV industry

As a Hamilton College student Sabrina Yurkofsky ’15 wanted to pursue a career in the television industry, and she majored in two subjects she thought would help her get there: communication and psychology. With help from the College Career Center, she did internships related to the field. And she received a prestigious Hamilton fellowship that allowed her to spend her senior year doing a research project to evaluate sexism on television and its effects on viewers. The work combined both disciplines. (Note: communication is now offered only as a minor at Hamilton.)

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Now Yurkofsky is pursuing an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business as a recipient of the William R. Berkley Scholarship. She’s concentrating in entertainment, media and technology and intends to enter the television and film industries.

Both her Hamilton majors helped her understand the relationship between people and the media they consume, she says. Her communication studies focused on the messages themselves. “The study made me think more critically about the messages we receive, which led to my interest in media effects from the psychology perspective,” she says.

In psychology she explored the impact of media messages on the viewer. “I learned how to conduct a quantitative experiment examining this impact. As someone who wants to go into television production, I consider it an obligation to understand the potential positive and negative impacts of such media on viewers,” she says.


Meredith Kennedy '09, right, on the set with her boss, Katie Couric.

A graduate’s progress: grad school and a job with a veteran

Meredith Kennedy ’09 earned a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she concentrated in digital media. She works as the executive assistant to broadcast journalist Katie Couric, where Kennedy is honing her skills and her determination to stay at the cusp of ever-changing digital media.

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Kennedy is constantly consuming information.  She brainstorms with Couric and a digital team about how Couric can connect with more viewers and fans. “A typical day might include everything from researching upcoming show topics to editing remarks for a public appearance and planning social events outside the office,” Kennedy says.

At Hamilton College she majored in communication and worked for The Spectator student newspaper. Coming out of Hamilton, where writing is of utmost concern, Kennedy is shocked when she gets a request or letter rife with grammatical errors and run-on sentences.

“It’s a shame we can’t have a writing center for adults,” she says.

That’s a reference to the Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center at Hamilton College, where peer tutors work with students of all levels of writing ability to improve their work.