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Student Engagement


We are excited about the possibilities a major in the Department of Communication can bring to your life! All of our major programs offer opportunities to take learning out of the classroom and into the world to prepare you for a good living and a good life. To make the most of your education, plan to pursue an internship, study abroad course, join a student organization, or connect with our alumni network. 


Internships

The Department of Communication is committed to enhancing the employability of its graduates through internships. All of our major programs offer internships as recommended or required courses. Internships build specific “real world” skill sets that build on in-class learning. Each internship course engages students in significant professional experience, appropriate to their major. Interns typically work 200 or more hours at their internship sites, depending on their major’s requirements. Typically, students find their own internships but may certainly seek guidance when necessary. Please consult with your major professors or the appropriate internship coordinator listed below if you need ideas for potential internship sites.  

Internship Courses and Prerequisites:  

  • AD 489 (AD major;18 hours in the major; Permission of Advertising Internship Coordinator) 

  • COMM 489 (Corp. and Org. Communication or Communication Studies major; COMM 200 and 362 with a C or better; Junior standing) 

  • PR 489 (PR Major; Permission of Public Relations Internship Coordinator) 

  • COMM, PR, AD Internships with Imagewest (see below) 

Internship Coordinators Contact Info

Recent research shows that, all things being equal between job candidates, those with internship experience with the organization or in its industry are more likely to be offered a job with that company (National Association of Colleges and Employers, Job Outlook 2018).  

Within the Department of Communication, Imagewest, an award-winning student-run Advertising + Public Relations agency, trains interns. Interns works with real-world clients to learn to work in an agency environment at the same pace as industry professionals. Collaboration and relentless self-improvement are core to the Imagewest work ethic.

To apply for the competitive internship at Imagewest, apply online at  www.wkuimagewest.com. When the interns are chosen, Imagewest’s manager will release students for registration. 

Examples of Recent Communication Internships:

Advertising, Public Relations, & Marketing

Doe Anderson, Louisville, KY  

Creative Alliance, Louisville, KY 

Hangout Creative LLC, Bowling Green, KY  

Leadership Strategies International, Bowling Green, KY 

McNulty Communications, Nashville, TN 

Red Pepper Marketing and Ad Agency, Nashville, TN 

Triple 7 Public Relations, Nashville, TN  

WKU Imagewest, Bowling Green, KY  

Yonts + Co Creative Marketing, Bowling Green, KY

Business

All Creatures Animal Hospital, Bowling Green, KY  

Back Down South, Bowling Green, KY   

BE the Travel, Franklin, TN  

Briar Rose Hill, Bethpage, TN  

Bowling Green/Warren County Chamber of Commerce, Bowling Green, KY   

Clear Defense Pest Control, Greer, SC  

Club at Olde Stone, Bowling Green, KY  

Commerce Lexington (Chamber of Commerce), Lexington, KY 

Corken Steel Products, Florence, KY  

DSP Home of Fix into Crossfit, Nashville, TN  

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Bowling Green, KY 

Franklin Precision, Bowling Green, KY  

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow, KY  

Glover Park Group, Washington, DC  

Henderson Produce, Hendersonville, KY  

Highland Stables Event Venue, Bowling Green, KY  

Hilltopper IMS Sports Marketing, Bowling Green, KY  

Homeland, Inc, Bowling Green, KY  

Hyatt Place, Bowling Green, KY  

Jim Beam American Stillhouse, Clermont, KY   

Kentucky Castle, Versailles, KY  

Rivercreek Farms, Milton, KY  

The Registry, Bowling Green, KY  

Sandy’s Contracting and Design, Scottsville, KY  

York Solutions, Franklin, TN  


Consulting & Communications

Leadership Strategies International, Bowling Green, KY

McNulty Communications, Nashville, TN

Velba Cell Wireless Communications, Newburgh, IN

Creative Alliance, Louisville, KY

Rivera Consulting Group, Sellersburg, IN

Duke Consulting Unlimited, Portland, TN

Cap City Communications, Frankfort, KY

New Field Communication, Vancouver, BC

Thortons Support Center, Louisville, KY


Education

Daviess County High School, Owensboro, KY

TN-KY Student Training, Dyersburg, TN


Entertainment

Allegro Dance Project, Inc., Lexington, KY  

Beech Bend Park, Bowling Green, KY  

Bowling Green Hot Rods, Bowling Green, KY   

Cheer Derby, Glasgow, KY  

Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), Cincinnati, OH  

Churchill Downs, Louisville, KY  

Disney Human Resources, Lake Buena Visat, FL  

Disney World, Orlando, FLA  

Gaylord Entertainment, Nashville, TN  

Holiday World and Splashing Safari, Santa Claus, IN  

Lost River Cave, Bowling Green, KY  

Piano Festival, Dublin, Ireland  

Red River Farms Zipline, Campton, KY  

SKYPAC, Bowling Green, KY  


Event Planning

Lasting Impressions, Bowling Green, KY  

Rocketown, Nashville, TN  

Knicely Conference Center, Bowling Green, KY  

Essential Details, Louisville, KY  

The Wagner Group, Louisville, KY  

Werner Rose Events, Bowling Green, KY  


Federal Government

Federal Reserve Bank, St Louis, MO  

Mammoth Cave National Park, Mammoth Cave, KY  

Office of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, Washington, D.C.  

Office of Congressman Brett Guthrie, Washington, D.C.  

U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C. 


Financial

US Bank Home Mortgage, Bowling Green, KY 

Citizens First Bank, Bowling Green, KY 

Capital Financial Group, Nashville, TN 

Edmonton State Bank, Edmonton, KY 

Third Avenue Auto, Owensboro, KY 


Food Industry

Arby's Foundation, Atlanta, GA  

Linzie's Exceptional Sandwiches, Bowling Green, KY  

Longhorn Steakhouse, Bowling Green, KY  

Mariah's, Bowling Green, KY  

Mellow Mushroom, Bowling Green, KY  

Oryx Nashville, Nashville, TN  

Vette City Catering, Bowling Green, KY  


Insurance

State Farm Insurance, Murfreesboro, TN

Van Meter Insurance, Bowling Green, KY

Neace-Lukens, Bowling Green, KY

AIG American General

Mark Reid Insurance, White House, TN

Northwestern Mutual, Bowling Green, KY

The Hockensmith Agency, Georgetown, KY


Healthcare

Amedisys Home Health Care, Bowling Green, KY  

Greenview Regional Hospital, Bowling Green, KY  

Center Care - Medical Center, Bowling Green, KY  

YMCA, Nashville, TN  

Commonwealth Health Corporation, Bowling Green, KY  

Sumner Regional Medical Center, Gallatin, TN  

Humana, Louisville, KY  

Massey Springs Senior Living, Bowling Green, KY  

Marketing Services Group, Princeton, IL  

Methodist Hospital, Henderson, KY  

Music City Nuclear Pharmacy, Nashville, TN  

Jewish Hospital, Shelbyville, KY  

Shyne Labs, Simpson Cty, KY  


Higher Education

SKYCTC/Student Life, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Men's Basketball Program, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Athletics (Media Relations), Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Alumni Relations, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Eva and Jim Martens Alumni Center, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU College Heights Foundation, Bowling Green, KY   

WKU Student Affairs Office, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU ESLI, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Gordon Ford College, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Office of Institutional Advancement, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Upward Bound, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Student Donor Experience, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Center for Professional Development, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU ROTC, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Academic Complex, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Advising and Career Development Center, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Choral Society, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Human Resources, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Office of Admissions, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Accounts Payable/Purchasing, Bowling Green, KY  

WKU Sisterhood, Bowling Green, KY  

University of Louisville, Student Activities - Campus/Greek Advisor, Louisville, KY  

University of Louisville, Athletic Department, Louisville, KY  

University Directories, Chapel Hill, NC 


Insurance

State Farm Insurance, Murfreesboro, TN  

Van Meter Insurance, Bowling Green, KY  

Neace-Lukens, Bowling Green, KY  

Jackson National Life Insurance, Franklin, TN  

Northwestern Mutual, Bowling Green, KY 


Legal

Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, Bowling Green, KY

KY 13th Circuit, Lexington, KY


Local Government

Housing Authority of Bowling Green, KY  

Downtown Redevelopment, Bowling Green, KY  

KY Democratic Party, Bowling Green, KY  

Hispanic Resource Center, Bowling Green, KY  

The District - Downtown Redevelopment Authority, Bowling Green, KY  

Mayor's Office, Greensburg, KY  

Kentucky Department of Transportation, Frankfort, KY  

Ohio Governor’s Office, Columbus, OH  

Owensboro Daviess Country Convention & Visitors Bureau, Owensboro, KY  


Manufacturing

American Audio Visuals, Atlanta, GA  

General Motors Corvette Plant, Bowling Green, KY  

Hopkins Co. Coal Inc.  

Logan Aluminum, Inc., Russellville, KY  

Sumitomo Electrical Wiring, Bowling Green, KY  

Western Kentucky Precision Balance, Wingo, KY  


Non-Profit

American Cancer Society, Bowling Green, KY  

American Diabetes Association, Nashville, TN  

American Heart Association, Louisville, KY  

Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Bowling Green, KY   

Center for Courageous Kids, Scottsville, KY  

Family Enrichment Center, Bowling Green, KY  

Foundry Christian Community, Bowling Green, KY  

Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, Louisville, KY  

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Bowling Green, KY  

Hope House, Bowling Green, KY  

International Center of Kentucky, Bowling Green, KY  

The Junction, Londonderry, Northern Ireland  

Owensboro Symphony Academy, Owensboro, KY  

Special Olympics, Lombard, IL  

United Way of Southern Kentucky, Bowling Green, KY  

YMCA Camp Piamingo, Brandenburg, KY  

Young Life, Bowling Green, KY  

Youth Frontiers, Edina, MN  


Radio/Television

Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation, Bowling Green, KY  

NBC40, Bowling Green, KY  

WAVE3 TV, Louisville, KY  

Forever Communications, Bowling Green, KY  

Cromwell Radio, Bowling Green, KY  

Fox29 - WFLX, Palm Beach, FL  

PLA Media, Nashville, TN  

Summit Media Group, Louisville, KY  

Today’s Woman, Louisville, KY  

Townsquare Media Owensboro, Owensboro, KY  


Real Estate

Franklin-Simpson Realty, Franklin, KY  

First Choice Realty, Bowling Green, KY  

Bowling Green Home Hub, Bowling Green, KY  

Walnut Valley Properties, Bowling Green, KY  


Retail

Wal-Mart, Bowling Green, KY 

Dillard's, Bowling Green, KY 

Book Fool, Nashville, TN 

Lowe's, Franklin, KY 

Home Depot, Bowling Green, KY 

Bath and Body Works, Greenwood Mall, Bowling Green, KY 

Old Navy, Greenwood Mall, Bowling Green, KY 

Tom James Custom Men's Clothes, Franklin, TN 

For all internships other than with Imagewest (see Imagewest above), make an appointment to discuss your plans with the appropriate internship coordinator listed below. After the review, you will submit the application form and provide your unofficial transcript from TopNet. In addition, you will need your internship supervisor to submit the learning contract. Once all three pieces are approved, you will be released to register for the class. 

Internship Standards  

The Department of Communication Internship Program defines an internship experience as one that meets the following criteria: 

  • The student works a minimum of 200 hours;  
  • The student assists in and/or performs the majority of work in a professional setting, preferably not remotely or in a home office setting – virtual positions will be evaluated and approved on a case-by-case basis; 
  • The main purpose of the work is both educational AND contributing to organizational goals, thus benefiting both the student AND the employer;   
  • The student engages in meaningful communication-related activities in which s/he contributes to organizational processes and outcomes; 
  • The student’s position is a temporary placement or entails new responsibilities (i.e., it is not the student’s regular job); 
  • The student reports to a site supervisor (may not report directly to a close relative, such as a mother/father, brother/sister, aunt/uncle, or grandparent);  
  • The student may or may not receive a salary or other compensation; and 
  • The student completes all COMM 489 course requirements in a timely manner, including the submission of periodic reports in which s/he analyzes, reflects on, and makes sense of his/her work experiences. 

 

In addition, have your supervisor submit the learning contract. Once all three pieces are approved, you will be released to register for the class.

Employer Commitment 

Be certain that you share with your prospective employer the following terms of the commitment. To ensure a successful internship experience the host organization and site supervisor should agree to the following:

  • Offer a professional work environment in which the intern can participate and interact with other organizational members; if working virtually, the site supervisor must ensure the intern is integrated into working teams and is actively involved and supervised while participating in daily operations; 
  • Offer opportunities for the intern to engage in substantive work that contributes to organizational goals (i.e., not just clerical work); 
  • Provide the appropriate workspace, tools, and any other resources necessary for the intern to complete assigned tasks; 
  • Provide direct supervision and offer regular feedback to help the intern understand expectations and make improvements;  
  • Formally evaluate the intern’s performance by completing the midterm and final evaluation forms, and 
  • Carry business and liability insurance that covers student interns while working both on organizational premises and off-site on behalf of the host organization. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Mize Smith, Ph.D.
Jennifer Mize Smith, Ph.D.
- Professor / Communication Programs Internship Coordinator - Fall 2022

Cliff Shaluta, M.A.
Cliff Shaluta, M.A.
- Professor of Advertising / Advertising Program Coordinator

Kenneth D. Payne, M.A.
Kenneth D. Payne, M.A.
- Associate Professor / Public Relations Program Coordinator / PRSSA Faculty Advisor

 


Study Abroad

As you think about the bigger world out there, consider going to Study Abroad for a few weeks or a semester. Look for more Communication Study Abroad opportunities through KIIS and CCSA. Visit the department to inquire about possible scholarships.

Study Abroad Photo
Imagewest interns in London, England
Study Abroad Photo
COMM 263 Students in Argentina

 


Student Organizations

Outside of class, we create the feeling of family through organizations where our students work and hang out together. Each organization has its own culture and ‘feel.’ You will find a place to belong here.

The American Advertising Federation protects and promotes the well-being of advertising. We accomplish this through a unique, nationally-coordinated grassroots network of advertisers, agencies, media companies, local advertising associations and college chapters.

Here's what the AAF does:

  • Brings members together to yield creative business solutions.

  • Protects and promotes advertising at all levels of government through grassroots activities.

  • Educates members on the latest trends in technology, creativity and marketing.

  • Provides programs to assist local association volunteer leadership.

  • Encourages young people to enter the advertising business.

  • Honors advertising excellence.

  • Promotes diversity in advertising by encouraging the recruitment of people of diverse cultures.

  • Applies the communication skills of its members to help solve community concerns.


Contact

Mark Simpson, M.A.
Mark Simpson, M.A.
- Associate Professor
  • mark.simpson@wku.edu
  • FAC 253
  • 270-745-5838
  • Advertising Interactive/Digital Advertising, Print Design
  • UX AR/VR, Coding for Designers

Lambda Pi Eta is the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). Lambda Pi Eta was founded in 1985 at the University of Arkansas. We became a part of the NCA in 1988, and the official honor society of the NCA in July 1995. We represent what Aristotle described in his book, Rhetoric, as the three ingredients of persuasion: Logos meaning logic, Pathos relating to emotion, and Ethos defined as character credibility and ethics. 

We have nearly 420 active chapters at colleges and universities worldwide. The Rho Nu chapter was founded by Katie Breiwa and Dr. Ellen Bonaguro in 2004. The first members were inducted on October 20, 2004. The class included 22 students and one honorary faculty member, Dr. Sally Hastings.

Rho Nu Chapter Officers - 2019-2020 (WKU Chapter)

  • President - Kathryn Kirkpatrick

  • Vice President - Kimber Morris

  • Scholarship Officers - Jamie Jordan & Gabrielle Short

  • Treasurer/Public Relations - Rachel Tidwell

  • Advisor - Dr. Helen Sterk


Activities

  • LPH Induction Ceremony

  • Communication Department Internship Fair

  • Faculty Research Panel

  • Travel to the National Communication Association convention

  • Life After Graduation Seminar

  • Etiquette Dinner


Benefits

  • Honors Commencement Stole

  • Participation in Departmental events

  • Interaction with Visiting Communication Scholars

  • Service opportunities

  • Networking

  • Recognition Research opportunities


Goals

  • To recognize, foster and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in communication studies

  • To stimulate interest in the field of communication

  • To promote and encourage professional development among communication majors

  • To provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas in the field of communication

  • To establish and maintain closer relationships between faculty and students

  • To explore options for graduate education in communication studies


10 Reasons to Join LPH

  1. LPH members enjoy the privilege of working with other outstanding students in the Communication Dept.

  2. LPH encourages the collaboration of faculty and students.

  3. Chapters advisers and student members frequently receive national recognition and prestigious awards for their scholarship.

  4. Students enjoy access to graduate school information.

  5. Chapter advisers and members are encouraged to participate and exhibit leadership in annual conferences and conventions.

  6. Chapter events and activities frequently gain local recognition from their college or university.

  7. Students are creative, resourceful and enthusiastic about planning educational and social activities frequently attracting local and university attention.

  8. Joining LPH is a great way to promote and foster pride for your communication department.

  9. LPH makes important contributions to the department.

  10. The process for becoming a member is quick and easy!


Awards

  • Undergraduate Research Award - And Undergraduate Research Award can be given at any time during the academic year to any student who completes an outstanding research project that contributes to a richer dialogue in the discipline. Each award recipient receives a plaque, letter of recommendation from the NCA, and his or her name and the title of the research project published on the NCA website.

  • Lambda Pi Eta Chapter of the Year - How chapters demonstrate and facilitate the Lambda Pi Eta goals is what makes each chapter unique. The six goals are all important as is raising enough funds to take action. The chapters that best exemplifies each of these goals is awarded the Chapter of the Year Award. The chapter honored with this distinction in turn serves as an example to the other chapters throughout the United States.

  • Stephen A. Smith Award - Many undergraduates are presenting at national conferences both at the professional and undergraduate levels. Lambda Pi Eta recognizes this new found excellence in undergraduate research by sponsoring a Lambda Pi Eta program at the annual National Communication Association convention. All papers selected for the convention go through a rigorous selection process. Out of the papers selected for presentation at the NCA Annual Convention, two awards will be given to the undergraduate student (or students, if co-authored) presenting the top-ranked papers. The winner must be a member in good standing of LPH.


Contact

Tony Harkins
Tony Harkins
- Professor; Interim Department Chair, Dept. of Communication, 2022-2023

PRSSA is a student society that provides opportunities for extended classroom and professional leadership and development experience at the local, district and national level. The Kelly Thompson Chapter sponsors regular meetings, with area and national professionals as guest speakers and seminars and workshops.

Why join PRSSA?

Meet people in your major, network with PR professionals.

Membership Dues

The annual dues are $65 and are collected in October and March. The majority of the dues are paid to the national PRSSA chapter.


Contact

Kenneth D. Payne, M.A.
Kenneth D. Payne, M.A.
- Associate Professor / Public Relations Program Coordinator / PRSSA Faculty Advisor

 

Mentorship:

The Communication Advisory Council is a group of active and engaged alumni of the WKU Communications department. Each of these hand-picked individuals are proud members of the Hilltopper family and hope to help enrich student opportunities with their expertise.  

Communication Advisory Council

 


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 Last Modified 10/26/22