Meet Your Student Instagram Team!

Chances are that you’ve been on Instagram right? If not we’ve got a great reason for you to get on it, you can follow Shepherd U Communication @sucomm.

Similar to how our blog is backed by an awesome team of students, so too is our Instagram! They are helping you #makeyourmark while you are here at Shepherd and then never stop. We also thought that you would want to meet these people so here’s another secret, meet your Insta team!

Charlotte Bellotte – Comm Major

Why Communication? Charlotte decided IMG_20141006_125535to pursue communication because it’s a broad degree and there’s so many things you can do with it.

What’s next after Shepherd? She plans to go to graduate school and obtain a master’s degree in either the communications or political science field, possibly public administration. One day she would like to live and work in Washington DC.

youtube_profileNoah Howlett – Comm Major

Fun Fact! Next year Noah is going to be racing motorcycles at road-race circuits up and down the east coast!

Why Communication? Noah ended up in the communication department because the material studied is useful in all walks of life.

Jordan Lohr – Comm Major1236590_544120178975894_1371400337_n

Advice for younger students? Jordan says to try anything, everything, and talk to classmates. You never know who you might have ALL your classes with 🙂

Fun Fact! She manages the Shepherd Rams Volleyball Team and coaches 13 year old girls in the spring.

Now that you know the people behind the content, go follow @sucomm on Instagram and discover the secret to #makeyourmark!


Introducing… me.

Monica Larson

Monica Larson

Hey there. I’m Monica Larson, and I’m an Associate Professor in Shepherd University’s Department of Communication, specializing in New Media. I get to teach the really fun courses… things like Graphic Novel, Advertising & Imagery and Advanced Internet Media. This semester I’m even teaching a course on Special Effects in Film. Continue reading

Meet Your Student Blog Team

If you didn’t hear, over the next few months students from our Shepherd University Social Media Class will be taking over part of the Communication Department’s social media outlets. What’s their goal for the semester? It is to create an effect (and simply awesome) campaign to share the secret of our department.

Behind this campaign will be a team of students for each outlet including the blog, Instagram, and Twitter. We thought you might like to meet some of these awesome students, so the secret’s out! Meet your blog team!

Ryan McFarland – Junior, Comm MajorWedding -161 - Version 2

Why Communication? Ryan joined the communication department because he believes that communication is life and he doesn’t want to just survive, but thrive in it.

Any advice for younger students? He wants you to know that college isn’t a step closer to “real” life, it is REAL life so take advantage and get involved!

988725_10202142626189275_170388605_nTaylor Hicks – Junior, Rec and Leisure Major

Where are you headed after Shepherd? After she graduates from Shepherd Taylor wants to go to every music festival in the United States and then she wants to be able to make people smile with music.

Why Communication? She said it’s really awesome because everyone knows everyone down in the “basement” and no one judges anyone for what they want to do with their lives.

10411311_10204017928661350_398089652581269308_nSam Romine – Junior, Comm Major

Why Communication? Sam chose communication because he could see himself enjoying the classes and having more creative freedom than in another major. (Check that picture over there ->)

What’s your concentration? Sam is in the Media Studies concentration which gives him the chance to take a wider variety of classes and see where he finds his niche.

10153999_10203911023162800_7779797934236032518_nHaley Greene – Senior, Comm Major

What’s next after Shepherd? Following graduation, she hopes to become an event planner and start her own company.

Fun Fact! She can’t see anything in 3D! (Isn’t life in 3D!?)

This group of students will be helping you to discover everything that this secret has to offer and soon you’ll be wondering just how it was kept a secret so long!

Hi Folks!

I’m Joyce Orlando and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Mass Communication* with a minor in Print Journalism in August of 2012. For the past two years I have worked as a reporter in Indiana, and now in North Carolina. My time at Shepherd University’s Communication Department was littered with experiences that have helped in my field and also in my personal hobbies. Continue reading

Juice Boxes & Barbies: My degree in Communications



Communications alum, Alexandra Lemley ’10, kayaking the Potomac River in front of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Most of my friends at Shepherd changed their major at least once, took the five to six year route when graduating. Me? I never once listed myself as undecided or changed programs. My four years flew by faster than any other period in my life. And why is that? Three reasons- the people, the culture, and the communications department.

I remember scrappy 17- year- old me shuffling into White Hall, that back classroom by the first floor ladies room? Ya, I remember the day that well. Rocking my American Eagle best- so high school- and watching as my freshman orientation peers thought aloud and openly discussed what major they should declare and weighed the pros and cons of the different curriculums.

I sat in the back room and scrawled out Mass Communications- Print Journalism faster than as if I was writing out my first name. (P.S.- that may date me. Print journalism was still a minor my freshman year.)

I knew what I wanted and my love for the communications and media world had only just begun.

There were the classes with Kevin where we discussed how Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz were the same plot (mind blown!) and the mock ad campaigns with Monica where, as a born and raised West Virginian, I actually learned for the first time the horrors of mountaintop removal.

Sure, I learned how to build a website, I got to create some awesome artwork when developing my own graphic novel, and I was able to work with an entire staff as managing editor of The Picket but what I took away from the communications department went deeper than that. I learned to never pigeon hole myself. I thought of writing as my forte and I’d never get into the design or technology side of media but the blessing and a curse of small liberal arts school- sometimes the only classes available that semester are ones that make you uncomfortable.

And how uncomfortable I was. I didn’t have any intention of learning single cam film editing, I didn’t need to know about demographics for advertising pitches, but thank God the communication department knew what I needed to be a well-rounded media professional.

Now I sit as Chief Operating Officer of a start-up media platform, Sweet Lemon Magazine, since 2011, and I am nearing the three year anniversary of me working at POLITICO, the #1 read newspaper on Capitol Hill, as an advertising professional.

I will say though, the best thing about being a Shepherd “Comm Kid” is running down to the Knutti basement during finals week to collaborate with your classmates, who I found, in my case, were always far more brilliant than I. And while the accounting students and business departments were taking cumulative multiple choice exams, we were creating real life, applicable projects that not only entertained us but expanded our thought process.

Let’s not forget the professors though. The personal  lengths the communications professors took to teach us: Monica- bringing us juice boxes and snacks when trying to reach an looming deadline or another professor offering up his own home as a movie set for single cam production.

The department was a community where everyone was on a first name basis and if your radio show started at two, you went to the studio at noon to hang out and catch up with everyone beforehand.

Living and working in Washington, DC, at a major news outlet, there are a lot of zombies around. People who think that their cause and their job is the most important because, I mean really, we all came to Washington to “do good”. But these people with the stuffy demeanor and all too serious mentality, I feel bad for them. They see the world in black and white and that everyone has a specific place. Because of Shepherd and my communications background, I learned the world is mine to soak up and learn every ounce of whatever I want; be it creating a graphic novel with Barbie dolls or writing the next great American classic.

Maybe the Barbies can BE in the next great American classic.

By Alexandra Lemley class of 2010


Rex Barkdoll, from Shepherd to 2014

Hi all,

Rex Barkdoll, Entrepreneur

I graduated from Shepherd with a BS in Mass Communications in 2010 and started working for a small website hosting company in Reston VA. I liked the startup feel and the owner liked that I had enough smarts and skills to build a good team-driven workplace with the others there, while I was still fresh enough not to have learned bad habits from other companies. I worked there for 2 years until I moved to Denver Colorado to pursue new opportunities. I’m now working for PAE Inc, creating websites and coding most of the day and I’ve also started my own business on the side because I realized that I have the ability to make a much bigger impact on the world.

I’ve definitely appreciated the education I received from the Comm department, because, unlike a few of the other departments I was a part of, the professors in the department all had real-world experience. They’d actually been out there in the field, seeing what the technology and expectations are and helped to bring those things into the classroom instead of just regurgitating theory. I’ve been back to visit once or twice and have seen the massive improvements the department now has at its fingertips and am envious of those of you coming after me. If you feel cheated by your education in some way – don’t. I can tell you that you’re getting a better education than I did because  the department is continually improving and I know how much the professors care. It’s up to you to raise the bar for yourself both in the classroom and in the real world.

One of my favorite memories was sitting in my Game Design class. Monica was asking me really tough questions on a game I’d created and was asking about things I hadn’t even begun to think of. I hated that moment. I felt like I was backed into a corner in front of the whole class with no way out, but looking back its one of my favorite memories. Monica wouldn’t let me slide like most of my other professors. She challenged me and didn’t think that just because I was an A/B student I should be allowed to slide through her class. She challenged me and forced me to think about the mundane and the complex. I grew a tougher skin and the rest of the class respected me when I came back with well-thought-out replies later on.

If I could pass on a few things I’ve learned briefly, both in college and post graduation I would share the following. The Law of Association says that the 6 people you spend the most time with will determine what your life will look like. Do you spend your time with those who push you and better you? I choose to surround myself with Mentors who have experience and success with where I want to go. They say the person who stops learning may already be dead. I choose to develop habits around learning and stretching my comfort zone just a little every day. Even after graduating, I am a student who is continually learning. How will you change yourself and how will you change the world?

2010 Graduates

2010 graduates Jessica Muth, Julianna Hawthorne and Rex Barkdoll.