A department to talk about at Gwynedd

Gwynedd-Mercy College's TV production class is just one of the communications program’s new offerings.

The head of Gwynedd-Mercy College’s new communications program is a punk. Well, a punk-rocker, anyway — Janis Chakars plays guitar for the recently reunited band Citizens Arrest, which at least one critic has called “the best New York hard-core band ever.”

These days, though, Chakars is putting most of his energy into his day job: creating the communications program at Gwynedd-Mercy.

Building on classes already offered at the university — such as  journalism, digital photography, marketing and Web design — they’ve added TV production, broadcast journalism, public speaking, magazine writing, public relations and visual communications. Students are also required to take a class in media ethics, reflecting Gwynedd-Mercy’s mission of social responsibility.

The program isn’t just theoretical, though. Students will be learning hands-on skills in the new TV studio and multimedia lab at the school. They’ll also be learning through off-campus internships, volunteer opportunities and service learning. 

“It’s really important that students not be confined to the classroom,” Chakars says. “We want them to engage with the wider world.”

One way they’ll engage is through the requirement that they have at least one piece published in a community newspaper before they graduate.

Gwynedd-Mercy has what Chakars calls a “Goldilocks location.” He explains: “[It’s] close enough to Philly to benefit from what a big city has to offer, but giving students a quiet oasis in which to learn.”­

Why study communications?

Whether you’re planning to major in it or not, Chakars thinks it makes sense to take at least a couple of communications courses.

“Almost every job today requires strong communication skills, so there’s a strong practical reason,” he says. “In addition, though, regardless of your major — liberal arts, hard science, whatever —     you’ll benefit from     understanding how we communicate.” 


Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…


Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…


Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.


Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…


'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…


The Handsome Family on 'True Detective' Emmy and…

When asked to describe The Handsome Family’s latest album, Rennie Sparks channels Rust Cohle of “True Detective.” “A strange problem that humans have is that…


Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.


Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.


Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.


When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.


Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…


Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…


The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…


Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.