The International Media program at American University isn’t just about the classes; it is also about the people who are connected to the program.
The International Media program is a multi-disciplinary joint degree program taught by faculty in both the School of Communication and the School of International Service. Both schools share administration of the program.
With that in mind, students, faculty and staff connected to the program enjoy the annual fall picnic each year. It’s a time to step away from the classroom and enjoy some grilled food, and good company.
The International Media picnic is held annually at the Leonard Hall picnic area which borders the university’s community garden and the university tennis courts on the west side of the campus.
“I really appreciated the chance to talk to the other students about their experience,” said Chenwu Violet Jiang, one of the new students in the program who hails from the People’s Republic of China. She felt it was a good day of camaraderie with her cohort, and also students in the second year of the program. She said such “experience is very important. I hope it happens more frequently.”
Jesselle Macatiag, a new student from California, also felt hearing about the experiences of other students was the best part of the picnic. She said it was “a great opportunity” for the newest students “to get advice” about how to meet to the demands of graduate school. “Also, for someone who moved from the other end of the country,” Macatiag added, “the picnic made me feel like I have a home here at AU. Cheesy, I know, but it’s the truth.”
“Half of your time in the International Media degree program should be in establishing and growing your network,” recommended Prof. Christine Chin, the director of the program for the School of International Service.
The annual picnic provided the beginning of that networking for the new students, said Prof. Rick Rockwell, the director of the program for the School of Communication. Rockwell and his wife Amy again served as the chief cooks for the annual event—grilling up chicken and preparing salads for the students. “You’d be surprised at how lasting bonds between students start at events just like this one. We really enjoy introducing students to one of the nicer spots on campus with the annual picnic.”