The Communication Council serves as an advisory board for the Department of Communication, creating a vital dialogue between faculty, students and professionals in the fields of broadcasting, print journalism, public relations, theater, film, political communication, corporate communication and other related fields.
The Council’s main objectives are to increase recognition of and appreciation for the department; to advocate for the department in its goal to become the School of Communication at Monmouth University; to support students pursuing a degree in communication; and to raise scholarship, grant, research and supporting funding for the department’s efforts.
The Council began in 2004 through the efforts of Don Swanson, Maureen Bay, Marilyn Rocky, Jim Hickey and Maiya Furgason, who shared the goal of transforming the department into a school of communication. The question they faced: How could they draw attention to the department and its outstanding achievements? To do this, the Council created the MACE award —the Monmouth Award for Communication Excellence—which recognized outstanding achievement in the field.
An award needed to be created.
Maiya Furgason explains: “Maureen Bay researched the MACE name and came up with several designs for the actual award. She put a great deal of time, effort, and creativity into the design—and the implementation. And everyone who sees it is impressed.”
The first award went to senior White House correspondent Helen Thomas, and set the bar for the caliber of recipients to follow. Those honorees include Jules L. Plangere, Jr., former publisher of the Asbury Park Press; Myron Kandel, founding financial editor for CNN; Jim Nantz, CBS Sports commentator; and NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Brian Williams.
The Communication Council has expanded over the years, gaining in diversity of experience in the field, and bringing an abundance of enthusiasm and talent. Still, the goal of the Communication Council remains the same: to gain recognition for the department and the university, and to transform the department into a school.