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Chair's Corner: Spring 2022

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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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Welcome to Spring Quarter! 

For those of you I have not had the pleasure to meet, my name is Derigan Silver, Ph.D., and I am the new Chair of the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies. I have been a faculty member in the Department since September 2008. I primarily teach undergraduate and graduate courses in media law, First Amendment law and internet law. For the last two years, I have been working in the Office of the Provost as the Deputy COVID Response Coordinator. Some of you may recognize my name from emails you received about COVID testing and your access to campus.

There is a lot going on this spring, and this edition of the newsletter tries to cover just a few of the things we are proud of in the Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies. The department is pleased to share that between funds provided by our own department and funds made available to us by the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences we were able to purchase over $110,000 in new technology this year. We are pleased to share details of these upgrades in this newsletter. In this edition you’ll also be able to read a faculty profile on me as well as an alumni profile on Allie Eliot (MA IIC ’20). Allie was a terrific addition to our program and has gone on to do amazing things in government communications. There is also information about our end of the year student showcase, InShort. The InShort showcase is a great opportunity to both see works by our talented undergraduate students and honor our students award winners. You’ll be able to read about our student award winners in the newsletter. Finally, there is an exciting update about the department’s new Professional Media Capstone Experiences. These experiences will allow a level of integration between students in different majors that is unique to DU. After extensive research, we were not able to find a program quite like it anywhere in the country.

As we enter the end of the COVID pandemic and enter an endemic period, I am reminded of the amazing work so many faculty and staff did at DU to make sure we could have as many classes in person as possible starting in Fall 2020. This massive effort was the work of dedicated individuals who believed in DU’s mission to be a great private university dedicated to the public good. While online education has its place, COVID was a reminder to all of us that a college campus is a special place where students from all backgrounds can come to learn, grow and be mentored in person. A university is more than simply attending classes via Zoom. Walking the halls of the MFJS building, it is great to hear movies being watched and analyzed, lectures being delivered and lively academic discussions happening all around me. This is all in addition to hearing students work on their own creative projects! 

It’s been a long two years since DU first responded to the COVID virus and went online for Spring Quarter 2020. Now that we are finally entering the endemic stage of the virus, it’s time to remember why we spent so much time, effort and money to respond to the virus. It’s because DU knew that meeting face-to-face as a community is one of the things that makes us special. Online universities serve their purpose, but the last two years have reminded us how important it is that we are a special place—a place where students, faculty and staff can gather, learn, grow and explore