Article by Mary Schoals, student and department assistant I, Marketing and Public Information Office
With a new year and a new term upon us, the Courtyard Chatter staff would like to highlight the positive efforts of employees that add value to the student experience. To do this, we’ll be running the Student Value Series over the next few issues, focusing on the different divisions of Brookhaven College and their amazing team members.
The Communications Division
For a student, added value comes in many forms.
Daniel Rodrigue, photography and journalism professor, has found a way to incorporate real-world connections into his repertoire. Through his working relationships with The Dallas Observer, Central Track, The Granada Theatre, The Dallas Voice and Eater Dallas, Daniel has no trouble landing internships for his students.
To ensure student success in his courses, Daniel packs the semester with award-winning guest speakers (a few examples being Dallas photographer Mike Brooks, Central Track founder Pete Freedman and international photographer Phil Huber), Dallas “gallery crawls,” field trips with prominent photographers (Dallas photographer Hal Samples and Justin Goode from the Instant Film Society), and mandatory trips to local camera suppliers.
Along with a few additions to the set curriculum, such as the introduction of a pinhole camera assignment, Daniel installed a recurring end-of-semester exhibit in the Brookhaven College library that showcases the talent of students during that particular term.
Due to all his above-and-beyond efforts, enrollment in Daniel’s courses has tripled in the past years.
Also understanding the value of real-world experiences, Julie Perez, speech professor, integrates service-learning into her courses to enhance students’ interpersonal and leadership skills. In partnership with Andy Mangum, Leslie Jackson and Patsy Totusek, Julie prepares her class for the workforce by staging a mock interview and asking students to develop a résumé as well as dress for the occasion.
Others adding value to their courses in the Communications Division include Cheryl Dyer Vargas in the Speech Department, as well as Hurshel Burton and Nancy Barlow in the English Department, according to Kendra Vaglienti, executive dean of the Communications Division.
Cheryl coordinates the annual speech contest with awards funded by Phi Theta Kappa, Nancy organizes several field trips throughout the semester and Hurshel offers his students real-world writing experience, Kendra said.
Though these examples are only the tip of the iceberg, the Communications Division is clearly brimming with the above-and-beyond attitude. Tune in next week when we explore the efforts of the Mathematics and Science Division.
If you know of anyone in your division adding value to the Brookhaven College student experience, please email Mary Catherine Schoals in the Marketing and Public Information Office.