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Editorial: Civic engagement efforts polish Emerson’s reputation

by Editorial Board / Beacon Staff • February 9, 2012

At issue: 

Communication gurus at Emerson making strides left and right. 

Our take: 

Thank you for making us look so good

______________________________

Hosting a member of President Obama’s cabinet and a former Democratic presidential nominee is no small accomplishment for a school Emerson’s size in a city full of colleges. When Senator Kerry spoke about the richness of Massachusetts’ educational resources, he did so in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theater. 

While much of the conversation was monopolized by discussion of K-12 reform, we commend the efforts of the Department of Communication Studies for bringing such a prestigious event to our campus. In addition to gaining media attention for a constructive and enlightening forum, the town-hall meeting gave Emerson students the opportunity to engage firsthand in a conversation about major issues our generation faces in the area of education reform. 

The discussion echoed the esteem of the Massachusetts gubernatorial debate Emerson hosted last year, which involved the Commonwealth’s top four candidates. These events burnish Emerson’s reputation as a leader in the field of political communication. 

Often, Emerson’s profile is associated with theater, media production, and the entertainment industry. We pride ourselves on an extensive Los Angeles network and a host of connections to benefit students in those programs. Recent campus events and initiatives, however, shed light on Emerson’s commitment to engaging in and enhancing political conversations domestically and abroad. 

Last month, Dr. Richard West, the chair of the communication studies department, became the first Emerson professor to preside over the NCA, an international communication organization. At the end of last semester, the journalism department brought in Andy Carvin, National Public Radio’s Twitter guru who curates 140-character dispatches from the Arab Spring. 

Today, a delegation of Communication, Politics, and Law Association members will embark on a weekend trip to Iceland, where they will meet with leaders to discuss the rebranding the country faces moving on from economic collapse. The effort to realize this trip came through no shortage of passion and dedication from student leaders. 

As the semester unfolds, we hope to see the college continue making impressive endeavors toward engagement.