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- SFU Publishing Launches the Greg Younging Publishing Award Endowment
- Resources and readings to start National Indigenous History Month
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- FCAT faculty members receive tri-council grants to support their research
- Spring 2021
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- Alex Krilow receives first Greg Younging Undergraduate Award in Publishing
- FCAT Student Photo Contest Spring 2021
- Skoden Indigenous Film Festival co-founder and SCA alumnus returns to teach Skoden course
- Communication professor Martin Laba shares what he's learning about remote teaching
- In the rush for coronavirus information, unreviewed scientific papers are being publicized
- Film alumnus Kelvin Redvers receives Governor General’s Meritorious Service Medal
- Fall 2020
- Announcing the winners of the Fall 2020 FCAT Photo Contest
- Announcing the 2020 FCAT Research Excellence Award recipients
- COVID-19 vaccine delivery project draws on SFU health tech expertise
- The one and only: Jo-Anne Ray recognized for 25 years of service to SFU publishing program
- Stephen Collis receives $20,000 grant to host geopoetics symposium and residency
- FCAT Student Photo Contest
- SFU’s Digital Democracies Institute led by Wendy Chun works to advance new technology and cultural democracy
- Interdisciplinary degree sets dance grad on unique artistic path
- Carman Neustaedter named dean of Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology
- Chantal Gibson's Senate artwork raises social awareness for Black Canadian voices
- Bernhard Riecke works with SFU PhD students to launch their VR installation Body RemiXer
- SIAT professor Carman Neustaedter shares what he has learned about online teaching during the pandemic
- Steve DiPaola of SIAT collaborates with an International team to develop VR training simulations
- Teaching in a digital world: Introducing FCAT’s new Teaching Fellow, Hannah McGregor
- SIAT alumnus partners with Mechatronic Systems Engineering professor to produce 3D-printed ventilators
- Untold internet histories: A research partnership between SFU and the London School of Economics
- Wendy Chun receives $200,000 research grant to combat fake news
- SIAT MA student Meta Vaughan receives the 2020 Terry Fox Gold Medal
- Summer 2020
- Graduating during a pandemic: words of wisdom from 7 FCAT students
- Communication professors developing tools to tackle online abuse
- 2020 Convocation Medal winners
- SFU students launch initiative to share the stories of those lost to COVID-19
- Printing for good: SFU staff, students and alumni volunteer with the B.C. COVID-19 3D Printing Group
- Building community in online lectures and labs
- SFU students feed healthcare heroes and boost the local economy, one meal at a time
- Going above and beyond to build community: Marion Walter wins Work Performance Award
- Peer-reviewed podcasts: Amplify Podcast Network produces podcasts as scholarly communication
- Announcing the Greg Younging Undergraduate Award in Publishing
- FCAT faculty members awarded SSHRC Insight Development Grants for research and innovations in digital media
- Spring 2020
- New hands-on course has SFU students organizing second annual Skoden Indigenous Film Festival
- SFU alum Michael Cheng's venture Sniply acquired in multi-million dollar deal
- Inspired, magical, connected: How virtual reality can make you well
- #Fakenews is being used to discredit mainstream media coverage of the Canadian election
- Scant evidence of active Twitter bots as Canadian election kicks off
- Russian Twitter trolls stoke anti-immigrant lies ahead of Canadian election
- Medical crowdfunding supports the wealthy and endangers privacy – here’s how to make it more ethical
- How journalists can rebut Trump’s ‘fake news’ claims
- The counter-intuitive solution to getting people to care about climate change
- Drop the doom and gloom: Climate journalism is about empowerment
- Celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science
- Communications professor Adel Iskandar embraces storytelling and active dialogue
- Social media during a crisis and how we stay connected
- SFU alumni contributing to the fight against COVID-19
- Four tips for enriching your long-distance connection with family and friends
- Amanda’s adventures in academia yield first PhD in publishing in North America
- Fall 2019
- Yuezhi Zhao, professor and Canada Research Chair, receives Canada's highest academic honour
- SFU students to create solutions for a more sustainable, local textile industry
- In Memoriam: Ker Wells
- Art as education: Kitty Walker shares her love of art with the next generation
- New perspectives and fresh angles: journalist gains international experience in Global Communication MA program
- Graduate takes New Media to new creative levels with Artificial Intelligence
- SFU researchers’ innovative software key to choreographer Merce Cunningham’s dance legacy
- Musical memories refreshed: Olo Radio gives Last FM users a new way to interact with their music-streaming history
- Research excellence celebrated at second annual FCAT Research Awards
- Summer 2019
- Denise Quesnel receives a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her PhD research
- Master of Digital Media grad founds augmented reality company
- SFU film students create new platform for B.C.’s Indigenous filmmakers
- SFU students develop interactive AI design concept that could help teach children empathy
- Five FCAT faculty members receive SSHRC Insight Development Grants
- SFU partners with Kwantlen Park Secondary for summer school film course
- University Highlands Elementary partners with SFU for "Short Filmmaking Adventures" summer course
- FCAT Undergraduate Research Fellow Rachel Wong makes the most of her time at SFU
- Four FCAT faculty members receive Dewey Fellowships to investigate innovative teaching and learning methods
- Spring 2019
- Lighthouse Labs Prize propels Master of Digital Media grad’s career
- Professor Robert Hackett receives Warren Gill Award for Community Impact
- FCAT welcomes Canada 150 Research Chair in New Media Wendy Chun
- Semester in Alternate Realities students teach people to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes
- CBC's Connie Walker discusses reporting Indigenous stories at SFU's Emerging Leaders in Publishing Summit [Video]
- First annual Demo Day at the Centre for Digital Media saw grad students mingle with alumni startups
- SIAT professors adjust teaching style for SFU’s ground-breaking Semester in Alternate Realities
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- SFU becomes first Canadian university to offer Jamaican Dancehall courses to students
- SIAT wins big at the Vancouver UX awards for the second year in a row
- A board game to inspire decolonial practices
- Broadcast journalist Simi Sara returns to SFU to complete communication degree
- Spring 2017
- SCA theatre professor Ker Wells and alumna create community pageant in New Glasgow PEI
- Peter Anderson Receives 2017 Chis Dagg Award for International Impact
- Grads Headed to Jobs at Facebook, Google
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- Fall 2016
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Reflecting back on a degree in Communication
By Mack Stannard
Shirin has recently graduated from SFU with a major in Communication and a minor in Print and Digital Publishing. She talks about why communication was the right fit for her and provides advice on how to make the most of your degree as an FCAT student.
What made you choose a Communication Major?
As someone always fascinated by media forms, trends, and culture, Communication seemed like a great fit for me. I ultimately chose SFU’s Communication program due to the testimonials I had read about the Co-op program. I truly knew that the program was perfect for me when a senior Communication student told me that she had written a final paper on the academic value of Jay-Z’s lyrics for a popular music class. I wanted to do the same for K-pop! Looking back, completing a Communication degree was the right decision.
What personal characteristics do you see as someone having in order to make a good fit for the Communication program?
Curiosity and alertness. With curiosity we are able to critically analyze the messages we encounter and assess the way they are being delivered. The many ways this can be done grow each day through the emergence of new social platforms and innovative combinations of traditional and digital media. We also need to stay alert regarding up and coming mediums and challenge ourselves to visualize how these mediums will add value or devalue the messages.
What was your favorite course during your undergrad degree and why?
I can’t pick one, so here are four that really stand out for me:
Introduction to Communication Studies: Looking back, I can categorize all the upper-level Communication courses I took through the different weeks of this one first year course. If you are unsure of what course to take next, look back at this class and the weeks you enjoyed most. I guarantee that a few courses will align with the topics for those weeks.
Applied Communication for Social Issues: Think of a social issue you are immensely passionate about; can you imagine doing something about it and being provided suggestions and resources for improvement from other brilliant communicators? This class offers just that. As a new professional in the world of Communication, I can tell you that if you put the work in, this class is a good simulation of the workforce. I have to thank the fantastic and eloquent Martin Laba who taught my group in Spring 2015.
Evaluation Methods for Applied Communication Research: This 6-credit course tested me intellectually and physically. I discovered a deep interest in the grueling, but ultimately rewarding, world of research. I recommend the course to anyone considering honours or grad school.
Cultural Production of Popular Music: This class allowed me to academically and critically analyze my favorite music genre, K-pop, and revealed many social factors about the production of music that I hadn’t thought of before.
Outside of the classroom what opportunities added to your University experience?
I kept myself very occupied outside of the classroom. I was involved in the Canadianized Asian Club in numerous capacities, honing my skills in event planning, print and web design, and internal administration. Concurrently, I worked at SFU Residence Life as a Community Advisor and eventually a Program Coordinator. As a Program Coordinator, I supervised event planning processes, served as residence’s liaison to partners, and assisted in the development of staff training programs. I also joined SFU Miracle Network Dance Marathon’s organizing crew in its second year, focusing on recruiting more attendees for the fundraiser.
In my fourth and final year at SFU, I was privileged to represent FCAT in multiple government roles. I was elected as the Faculty Representative for FCAT in the Simon Fraser Student Society and the Faculty Student Senator on the SFU Senate. I wore a variety of hats in these roles and was exposed to different situations that contributed greatly to my personal and professional development.
What did you learn from these?
Time management, transit productivity (especially when you’re at Surrey, Vancouver, and Burnaby in a single day), the importance of humility, and to pat myself on the back every once in a while.
What advice can you give to students just starting their university career?
I can’t stress enough the importance of taking initiative. You will never know if you are ready for the seemingly out of reach Co-op job if you never apply. I recommend seeing “rejection” as a pro-active response. After all, it gives you the next steps you need to succeed: figuring out how to get accepted the next time or the chance to search for another opportunity.
Was there anyone who really helped you through a tough spot in your degree?
Yes, and I am immensely grateful to the support system I gained at SFU through friends, colleagues, mentors, and instructors for believing in me so much. Within Communication, the advisors were my rock through and through. My credit count and Co-op check-ins became life check-ins too as the advisors made sure that I was taking my holistic wellness into consideration.
What advantages has the Communication degree given you as you leave University?
Communication transcends all things. You can work anywhere and everywhere as all organizations, no matter the size or industry, require people who are able to effectively reach a target audience. Tangible work related to communication ranges from journalism to event planning to digital marketing and much more—and at equally diverse places from academia to tech to health care and beyond. The Communication degree gives you a way of thinking that is valuable to all of these organizations and opens many doors.
Can you talk about your current position?
I work as the Communications and Events Coordinator at SFU Venture Connection. Among many projects I have on the go right now is The Fifth Annual Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize — the department’s flagship business competition. This competition invites SFU students, faculty, and alumni to compete for over $15 000 in cash and in-kind prizes to grow their current business.
How can FCAT students benefit from the programs you and your team offer?
We help students who want to see their idea grow! SFU Venture Connection offers support through workshops, speaker series, and drop in consultation sessions for students to connect with industry leaders. We also have a business incubator where entrepreneurs are provided direct mentorship. To learn more about us, drop by our Surrey office (Room 5355, from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM) or any of our upcoming events and workshops to say hello. You can also visit our website at sfu.ca/vc for more information.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Knowing the field of communication, I could be working a job that does not yet exist and, to me, this is very exciting! I hope that in the future I will be considered a thought leader in strategic communication and working collaboratively with a passionate, talented, growth-receptive team.
If you could go back and tell your first year self one thing what would it be?
I would tell myself to save some money in order to travel during my degree. My one regret is not doing some sort of International Co-op in Korea.
If people want to get in touch with you, how can they?
I can be reached through email at email@example.com or send me a message on LinkedIn. Once again, don’t be afraid to take the initiative!
Follow me on Twitter @shirinescarcha for some exciting news about a blog I’ll be launching January 2016 on tips, tools, and hacks I gathered from university.