Excerpted from the spring 2014 issue of the North Greenville University Magazine:
Mass Communication has long been a staple of the academic program at North Greenville University. When the institution began granting four-year degrees in 1994, the Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication was among the original degrees being offered. The Department has steadily grown and increased its scope over the decades since. Beginning in the fall of 2015, the University will establish the College of Communication. The existing Department of Mass Communication and its programs will operate within this new College. The potential for growth for this college is significant, given the demand for Communication expertise in many fields, and the wide variety of existing Communication-relevant majors, minors and concentrations already in existence at North Greenville.
The success of Mass Communication, like most success stories at NGU, is the result of a team effort dedicated to the task of pursuing vocational excellence for the glory of God. Naturally, through the leadership of faculty like Dr. Cathy Sepko, Dean of the College of Humanities, under which Mass Communcation has been a Department, the direction of the major programs has been streamlined and improved. Additionally, through the dedicated effort of Department Chair Dr. Linwood Hagin, Mass Comm has become a powerhouse of student achievement gathering national and international renown.
Hagin became Chair of the department in the fall of 1999 after responding to a posting in the Chronicle of Higher Education. He set to work right away developing the base curriculum and focusing the structure of the degree, making the ‘flow’ of coursework progress in a logical fashion in order to maximize student success. His longer-range goal was to expand program offerings.
In 2001, the BA in Mass Communication was split into separate degrees in Broadcast Media and Print Media. Hagin hired new faculty, continued to improve and expand curriculum, and added new media facilities to campus, such as WNGR FM, to serve the campus and Mass Comm students as a practical laboratory. In 2003, the Department added the BA in Media Ministry degree, to meet the needs of seminary-bound students interested in worship-related media production.
Hagin also had a goal of expanding the Mass Comm faculty with individuals who had expertise in relevant fields and, whenever possible, who had earned PhDs. For the sake of student development, field experience among Mass Comm faculty has always been a leading priority. NGU’s nine full-time Mass Communication faculty have backgrounds in Radio & Television Broadcasting, Film & Video Production, Public Relations, Journalism, Marketing & Advertising, and Communication Theory.
In August, Dr. Hagin will become the first Dean of the College of Communication. For the first year of its development as a College, Hagin will also remain as Chair of the Department of Mass Communication, with an aim of hiring a replacement Department Chair for the start of its second academic year. In the meantime, Hagin and others within Communication and Academic Affairs will be making plans to grow the College and its programs. Hagin has no shortage of goals for the program. Among these are traditional degrees, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, as well as a hope for a Graduate-level degree, possibly with a tie-in from the Media Ministry program.
For those that know of Dr. Hagin, all of these developments may seem to be a culmination of a career well-spent, given that these big changes have happened right alongside this year’s award of the SCICU Excellence in Teaching Award, which Dr. Hagin has brought home to NGU. Quite an impressive year for Mass Communication and Dr. Hagin – but like many on campus are known for declaring: “It’s only the beginning!”
In the full magazine article, you’ll meet some of NGU’s Mass Communication faculty, learn about some of their many accomplishments, and you’ll also see some impressive stats regarding our students’ work.
Most impressive of all is how much of these national-level successes have been achieved on a relatively small budget (compared to larger schools), with elbow grease, dedication and know-how.
It’s incredible to think what else, what more could be accomplished for NGU and for the Kingdom with the generous support of interested benefactors.