Communications Department Expands, Settles into New Home

After years of classes and offices being scattered throughout campus, the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences has started to settle into Loomis Hall, its newfound home. 

With the addition of a recent change in curriculum that integrates students within all concentrations in the field, faculty and students await the opportunity to make Loomis more suitable for the growing department.  


Prior to the summer of 2020, the communications department did not have a building of their own. The lack of physical unification among faculty and students continued to be an issue until the former Math and Computer Science building became available after the Austin E. Knowlton Center was built. 


Loomis, formerly known as MACS, is the new home of the communications department as well as the nursing program. However, the building move is not the only thing that has changed, according to department chair and associate professor Andrew Dohanos. 


“Before the move occurred, we had a major overhaul of our curriculum” he said.  


Both the move to Loomis and change in curriculum are helping the department focus on several priorities, including integration, student success, expansion, and community building. The development of a core curriculum is a major contributor to these goals by providing students a study foundation to grow into their desired concentrations.  


“[The core curriculum] introduces students to theory in each of the major contexts in concentration,” Dohanos said. “There is an emphasis on research and [developing] skills that you draw from each of the concentration areas.” 


Aside from the curriculum, modifications have been made to Loomis to accommodate the department. One of the most notable modifications being the recent installation of a flat screen television and speakers in the main hallway of the building. The flatscreen updates students on communication-related events and news, while the speakers play 88.3, The Sting.  


The department is not done with the upgrades; it plans to expand even further to provide the students with more opportunities to gain real-world experience. A part of this expansion includes additional changes to Loomis which are still in the making.  


“We want to help better prepare students for the steps after they pick up their diploma on stage,” Dohanos said. “We are working really hard to provide experiences for students that set them up for whatever the next stage is.”  


This year marks the first time in the past 10 years that the department has a communal space for all faculty and students to meet. What was once a displaced study is now a community of students and faculty who are working together to find ways the department can not only help itself but be an outlet for the entire community.  


“For the foreseeable future, we are here,” Dohanos said.  

Disclosure: The Exponent is editorially independent and funded by the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences.