The Social Media & Digital Communication major was created to give our graduates the skills that they need to be successful in this quickly-evolving field.
Contact the Office of Admissions
Contact the Office of Admissions
Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
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He is an expert in crisis communication and communicating using social media.   John worked with students to form Ascension336, a student-run communication agency that works with non-profit clients. He believes strongly in experiential learning and creates assignments that give students a realistic look at strategic communication.   John has a bachelor of arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Pfeiffer University. He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and served on the board of the local chapter. He and his wife Laura have three children. 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I earned my PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in Strategic Communications, and my M.A. also from UNC-CH in Interdisciplinary Health Communications.   My area of research focus is qualitative analysis of communication about health care, looking at written and spoken language pertaining to issues of how healthcare services are provided, the legislative policies that affect access to healthcare, and communication between providers (physicians, advocates, etc.) and patients. I’ve published papers looking at the politicization of health coverage during debate over the Affordable Care Act, at news coverage of medical research in the news outlets and on social media, and at physician-patient communication about domestic violence.   My hope for my work with HPU students is to help them learn how they can influence others through public relations and health communication to advocate for patients and for positive change in how health care is provided. At the very least, I draw inspiration from seeing students’ motivation when they gain new skills and understanding of how communication works. It’s also rewarding to watch students grow and gain confidence in their own talents and abilities.   My prior experience is both professional and academic. The start of my career was as a broadcast journalist, in radio and television; after several years doing that, I became a public relations executive in health care–at Kaiser Permanente and with Medicare and Medicaid agencies. My husband and I moved here to North Carolina to build a house (his lifelong dream) and for me to return to school to earn my PhD, which I did at UNC Chapel Hill.   In addition to my graduate degrees, I have a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism, an Emmy nomination for my television journalism, an award from the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD for fair coverage of issues affecting the community while reporting in Atlanta, and several best-paper awards at academic conferences. [post_title] => Laura Marshall [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => laura-marshall [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-08-05 09:47:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-08-05 13:47:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.highpoint.edu/?p=97893 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => faculty-staff [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 97971 [post_author] => 53 [post_date] => 2021-06-03 16:20:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-06-03 20:20:31 [post_content] => Matt Ritter, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication, joined the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication in 2013 first as an adjunct instructor and later as a strategic communication professor.   Dr. Ritter is a career professional-turned academic with more than 15 years of combined experience in digital media, public relations and advertising, teaching, and research.   An expert in media relations, Dr. Ritter tries to bring that expertise to the classroom. He is passionate about ensuring that students enter their careers prepared for the changing industry landscape. His research analyzes current media trends exploring the diminishing role of elite news media outlets.  In 2016 he published his master’s thesis, which analyzes whether or not public tornado warnings actually work. Other research includes an historical analysis of the development of the NBC Peacock logo pieced together from archive material found in industry magazines published in the 1960s and 1970s.   Dr. Ritter sees it as his duty to teach students to approach public relations as an ever-evolving industry where it often feels like cutting-edge can become obsolete almost overnight. He believes students learn best when they are told how to do something, given the tools to succeed, and are then set loose to explore for themselves.   Dr. Ritter returns to his alma mater, having completed his M.A. in Strategic Communication at High Point University. 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Chair, and Assistant Professor of Communication
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication
Director of Communication Fellows, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication

The Social Media & Digital Communication major was created to give our graduates the skills that they need to be successful in this quickly-evolving field. As social media has grown from a curiosity to a powerful way to communicate, businesses and entrepreneurs value the skills needed to leverage the power of digital communication. The courses within the major build expertise in written communication, video production, and graphic design—all invaluable skills in the digital age. In addition, our graduates will have experience in creating far reaching campaigns that will persuade and build brands.

Course Requirements 2021/2022
Bachelor of Arts in Social Media & Digital Communication
Bachelor of Arts in Social Media & Digital Communication
Degree Requirements Credits
Major Requirements 58
University Core Requirements 50
Electives 20
Total 128
Requirements for B.A. in Social Media & Digital Communication
Requirements for B.A. in Social Media & Digital Communication
Course Course Title Credits
COM 1110 Human Communication 4
COM 1450 Media Law and Literacy 2
COM 2001 Techniques in Media Production 4
COM 3450 Media Law and Ethics 2
JOU 2201 Infographics 2
JOU 3323 Copy Editing 4
MPE 2261 Podcasting Workshop 2
POP 3414 Advertising and Consumer Culture 4
SME 4345 Social Media and Analytics 4
SME 4545 Applied Social Media 4
STC 2225 Foundations of Strategic Communication 4
STC 2260 Agency Practicum 2
ART 1150 Digital Art and Design 4
ART 3680 Digital Photography 4
ENG 2140 Digital Writing for Social Action 4
MKT 4100 Social Media Marketing 4
Select one course from the following list:
GDS 3540 Interactive Environments 4
MPE 2011 Multicamera Production 4
MPE 2221 Audio Production 4
MPE 3010 Drone Pilot Certification 4
MPE/GDS 3361 Motion Graphics 4
CSC 1210 Web Development 4
CSC 1610 Introduction to Programming for Data Analytics 4
Course Descriptions
200 Hours of Certified Client Work

Students enrolled in the Social Media and Digital Communication major will be required to work with an organization to provide 200 hours of social media management.
Career Opportunities
Armed with the skills learned in the social media and digital communication major, our students can:
Student Outcomes

  With another Commencement quickly approaching, High Point University graduates will be commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary member from…

  READ MORE INTERNSHIP PROFILES Name: Jason Stateham Hometown: Oxford, Massachusetts Year: Class of 2022 Major: Sport management Internship: Stateham interned with the Boston Red Sox in event operations. His position changed frequently upon certain assignments, game night responsibilities and special event tasks. Stateham mostly interacted with fans upon arrival to Fenway Park and throughout events…

  With another Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates will be commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from…

  READ MORE INTERNSHIP PROFILES Name: Meredith Haddock Hometown: Davidson, North Carolina Year: Class of 2022 Major: Media production entrepreneurship with a minor in sales Internship: Haddock joins Walt Disney World Company for the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida where she works in the Magic Kingdom. How HPU helped you get there: “High Point…

Leah Hershberger
Walt Disney

  With another Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates will be commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from…

  READ MORE INTERNSHIP PROFILES Name: Peyton Carrington Hometown: Wake Forest, North Carolina Year: Class of 2021 Major: Event management with a minor in marketing Internship: Carrington joined the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals (CBYX), which is a fellowship funded by the German Bundestag and U.S. Department of State that annually provides 75 American…

Natalie Geriot
QVC

Name: Natalie Geriot Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Year: Class of 2022 Major: Double major in media production and entrepreneurship, and graphic design Internship: Geriot joins the QVC Network as a broadcast intern. QVC is one of the highest-grossing television networks in the world, broadcasting items to purchase. Geriot’s role is to assist with the lighting on set…

Dylan Linn
Gastonia Honey Hunters

With another Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates will be commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Madison Ryan
Mercedes-Benz Stadium

With another Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates will be commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Joseph Maronski
ABC News

Name: Joseph Maronski Hometown: Miller Place, New York Year: Class of 2023 Major: Double majoring in Journalism and political science with a concentration in broadcasting and a minor in Italian studies Internship: Maronski joins ABC News as a Nightline intern. As a Nightline intern, he will be exposed to the inner-workings of a network broadcast…

Study Abroad
At High Point University, our emphasis on global perspectives is designed to provide students with opportunities to enhance their international awareness and to develop their cross-cultural communication skills. Study abroad is strongly encouraged as a part of this emphasis on global studies. With a variety of extraordinary options at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, students at High Point University are encouraged to study abroad as early as the summer after their freshman year. Employers are looking for more than just a degree; they want well-rounded individuals who have familiarity with diverse cultures, special skills, and knowledge of the world around them.
School of Communication Gallery
School of Communication Gallery
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