The Association for Women in Communications at Youngstown State University formed when adviser Mary Beth Earnheardt, an associate professor of English, approached a group of communication majors.
“I wanted to start with a manageable group of dedicated students to make sure the project got off the ground. Sometimes, if things start big, they become hard to manage,” Earnheardt said.
Rachel Lundberg, a senior journalism major, is president of the Association for Women in Communications.
“Everybody in the group appreciates the honor of being asked to be a founding member,” she said.
Earnheardt said the organization will encourage networking among communication majors.
“I think that YSU students need more interdisciplinary networking,” she said. “It’s important for the communication, telecommunication, professional writing and editing, and journalism students to get to know each other now, because they are separated here, but after graduation, they will be part of the same professional community.”
In the long term, the organization aims to become a presence in the YSU community and to promote the advancement of women in communications. However, members said their short-term goal is simply to increase participation.
“We absolutely welcome anybody who wants to join the group. Men can join, too, but the focus is on women,” Lundberg said.
Alanna McBride, a senior professional writing and editing major, helps to organize events for the group.
“We have volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank in Youngstown, hosted several bake sales and helped promote Bob Woodward’s visit to YSU,” McBride said.
Lundberg said the group also hopes to raise enough money to begin a scholarship.
“We are starting fundraising for a scholarship, so we can eventually help a woman in the field of communication,” she said.
Lundberg remains positive about the group’s longevity.
“I think the women who take over Women in Communications will do great things,” Lundberg said. “I think the kind of women who are motivated to join this kind of group are very driven.”
Alycia Pixley, a senior communications major, works as the group’s coordinator. She concluded that the organization is “great.”
“I love the idea of being in a group that promotes excellence [and] leadership in women. I believe this organization has a great future ahead,” she said.
Editor’s Note: Mary Beth Earnheardt is also adviser of The Jambar. Rachel Lundberg was an assistant news editor for The Jambar last semester.