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01-19-2011

New Clarkson University Major Combines Media Technology and Analysis of Social Issues


A new Clarkson University double major will allow students to combine their interests in the social sciences or humanities with skills in communication and media technologies to document social change and chronicle past and present events for future generations.

Social documentation (SD) integrates a social science, humanities, or liberal studies major with a communication & media major. Students will receive one diploma listing the two majors.

SD majors may be interested in historical preservation of the creative arts or in creating oral and video histories of people. Or they may be social or political activists who want to create sound and video recordings that put their ideas before contemporary audiences.

Though there are a growing number of graduate programs in social documentation, Clarkson’s integrated SD double major is unique among undergraduate programs. The innovative major is for students who want to combine social, political or creative interests with the mastery and use of sophisticated communication and recording technologies.

The two majors will provide students both a knowledge base in a social science or humanities discipline, and the media and rhetorical expertise of the communication program. Together, they will empower students to more effectively create products that can influence, entertain, or educate.

After graduation, students may choose careers in radio or television broadcasting, new media-oriented firms, or in public agencies charged with handling electronic data sets. Some may pursue independent work as filmmakers and writers.

SD graduates can also continue their education in creative arts programs leading to a master of fine arts (MFA) degree or in social science, humanities or communication programs -- or even in one of the many graduate programs in social documentation.

Depending on a student’s interests, social documentation could also be an excellent preparation for a graduate degree in law, the biological and physical sciences, and business.

For more information, contact Prof. Frances Bailey at fbailey@clarkson.edu or 315-268-3969.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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