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School of Communication and Journalism

Welcome to COJO

The School of Communication and Journalism, otherwise known as COJO, provides students with opportunity, experience and a high-quality education. We offer a variety of courses between our six undergraduate programs and our two graduate programs. Anywhere from advertising, to public relations, to journalism, our COJO faculty and staff are here to help you succeed in whatever area you feel passionate in.

With COJO, you will be able to receive hands-on practice in the communication and journalism industries. Our students have accessible opportunities in recording studios, newspaper, radio, television production and more!

Dr. Dailey with students in COJO studio

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Elise Heesch

Student Spotlight: Elise Heesch

What is your major?

I am currently a junior advertising major with a management minor.

What made you choose that major?

I chose an advertising major because of the creative aspect, mixed with a business atmosphere. I had originally wanted to go into sports medicine, but when I sat down and thought about it, I could not picture myself doing that in the future. I didn’t necessarily want to have a set uniform every day for work, like scrubs! I pictured myself communicating with a team of people and working either directly or indirectly with clients.

What is your most memorable experience at SDSU?

My most memorable experience at SDSU thus far has been joining Alpha Xi Delta. Going through the recruitment process has been one of the most exciting times of my life. Besides joining a sisterhood full of sisters, I have met so many lifelong friends, not just in Greek life but on the campus as a whole. My whole time here at SDSU has been one big experience divided up into thousands of meaningful ones.

What has been your favorite class so far?

My favorite class so far has been here in COJO: advertising principles. The class was more than just memorizing facts and terms for the next test. I was able to put my industry skills to the test and apply what I learned not just in class but from outside as well.

What internship(s) have you completed?

I was able to work at Swiftel Communications. There I learned how to carry out research on potential and existing clients. My role was to identify where they could improve their advertising as a company. Additionally, I started a small business over the summer in regards to helping other small business start their social media platforms and branding content.

What do you love most about being a COJO student?

The part I love most about being a COJO student is that I know all of my professors on a personal level. The fact that we know each other on a name to name basis, is comforting to know when you go to a school with 12,000 other people. I am working with people who know me not just by name, but my personal story as well. My professors always have their door open to talk- not just about classwork, but life in general. Additionally, I love that I can go anywhere on campus and know five or six people there!

What clubs/organizations are you involved in?

At SDSU, I am involved in Advertising Club, South Dakota Advertising Federation Student Liaison, Alpha Xi Delta, Honors College and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Previously, I was in Schultz Hall Government as well.

What advice would you give to prospective COJO students?

Advice that I would give to a prospective COJO student is to not let anyone dull their flame. It is important to know what you want and go get it. Just because we are not a scientific or mathematics college, does not mean we cannot accomplish important projects. COJO is just as important as any other department. Anyone interested in COJO should take the opportunity and go with it! I might be a little biased, but everyone here is pretty awesome.

School of Communication and Journalism News

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Josh Westwick, 2020 Don Yoder Distinguished Faculty Award

Westwick receives 2020 Don Yoder Distinguished Faculty Award

Joshua Westwick ’01/M.S. ’03, associate director of South Dakota State University’s School of Communication and Journalism, recently received the Don Yoder Distinguished Faculty Award at the National Communication Association’s annual Basic Course Division business meeting.

SDSU Parent Survey Results Now Available

The goal of the SDSU Parent Survey was to determine the childcare/schooling needs facing working parents at SDSU, especially

Brookings tackling diversity issues through focus groups gathering multiple points of view

A collaborative grant partnership taking a comprehensive look at workplace diversity and inclusion in the community of Brookings has launched the first of many focus groups aimed at gathering multiple viewpoints on the issues.