Why WPU’s Comm Department is One of the Best in the Nation



Alex Evans, Opinions Editor

When a professional or collegiate sports team wins four championships in seven years, it is widely considered a dynasty. The Alabama Crimson Tide, for example, have won five football national championships in the past nine seasons, and are considered to be the top college football program in the country on almost a yearly basis.

When applying this logic to an academic setting, specifically the communications department at William Paterson, a strong case can be made that William Paterson is one of the best universities for communication that the United States has to offer.

For the past decade alone, the William Paterson University Communications Department has seen its own period of constant success. Brave New Radio just won back-to-back IBS awards for the “Best College Radio Station (More Than 10,000 Students),” its fourth win in the last seven years. Members of the station also took home eight first-place awards, ranging from “Best Sports Play-By-Play for Baseball/Softball” and “Best Use of Social Media,” along with seven finalist awards.

The department’s success doesn’t just end with Brave New Radio. William Paterson Television (WPTV-6) had three first-place finishes at last month’s IBS Conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City. WP Sports Desk won “Best Sports Program,” while Press Start WP won “Best Variety Program” and “Best Use of Graphics.”

It’s not as if William Paterson faced easy competition. It often beats out larger, nationally-known schools¬†for these awards, such as Arizona State and DePaul for “Best Sports Play-By-Play, Baseball/Softball,” Oklahoma State and Temple for “Best Sports Program (Video/TV)” or Kansas State for “Best College Radio Station (More Than 10,000 Students).”

While winning trophies is incredibly important when comparing different communications departments across the country, facilities and faculty have to be considered as well. The TV and radio stations have state-of-the-art equipment that allow students to hone their skills as broadcasters, writers, camera operators and more.

The college’s esteemed list of faculty boasts a variety of professors who have seen success in the communications industry. Dr. Nicholas Hirshon is an ex-Daily News reporter. Professor Elizabeth Birge has had content published in newspapers ranging from The Chicago Tribune to The New York Times. Professor John Rhodes was a producer at CNN for 10 years and spent another two at MSNBC. These three are a few of the talented industry professionals that students at William Paterson are lucky enough to learn from and have access to on a daily basis.

Awards and trophies are great, but it’s the true fabric of the communications department–the students and faculty–whose efforts lead to these awards. The William Paterson Communications Department is one of the best communication schools in the country, and, as long as all of the people involved continue to work hard, it’s only a matter of time until it receives the proper recognition it deserves.