The John Carroll Communications Department is a land of opportunity. When I first arrived in 1999, I didn’t have a clue where I wanted to specialize. I just knew the best way to figure it out was to get involved. I starred in two One-Act plays my sophomore and junior years and ended up winning a $500 scholarship for acting silly on stage. There are four One-Acts and two main stage plays per year to audition. Even if you don’t get a part, there are crew positions that allow you to work with lighting, sound, props, set design, and other possibilities. If you stay eagerly involved you might get to see your own production on stage. My senior year, I received the chance to write and direct my own play, Strange Condition.

The class selection is excellent. During my four years, I took classes such as Playwriting, Screenwriting, Broadcast Writing, Debate, Interviewing Principles, Journalism, Directing for the Stage, Television Production, and Audio Production. Most teachers strive to get their students to apply the knowledge in the courses through the use of presentations and projects. You can even get credit to intern! I interned at Q104 and WEWS News Channel 5.

If you love college radio, John Carroll has one of the best college stations in the U.S. according to Rolling Stone magazine. Talk about the coolest thing in the world, you have almost unlimited freedom to express yourself as you please! With only five minutes of news and announcements, you have creative control to play any song you want (local artists, b-sides, rare stuff), do comedy bits, talk whenever you want, and even sing along with a song (although that might get annoying after awhile). But you get the point. Not only that, but there are always giveaways to pass out and local artists will gladly come to the show to play live. I even had Matt Sharp, the ex-bassist of Weezer, call my show and I interviewed him for over twenty minutes.

There are other exciting surprises in the Russert Department at John Carroll, but I don’t want to spoil all of them. To top it off, the class sizes average are small, leaving you a ton of one-on-one attention. The Russert Department is a great thing because it shapes well-rounded individuals who are prepared to tackle the real world, and you have a ton of fun in the process.