Curious about the pandemic? Liberal Arts offers classes this summer

Starting May 18, two departments will be offering classes about our current pandemic. Registration is open on RamWeb

JTC 320 Special Topics Reporting: Pandemic. People. Politics. 

Map of COVID-19 outbreak
Map of COVID-19 infected countries and territories in the world

Students will hear from local and national journalists while they examine and report on the coronavirus pandemic. Topics include virus frequency, local, national, and global politics, jobs, economic concerns, and social impacts on diverse populations and communities.  

Reporting will include interviews, computer-assisted data reporting, and online research to produce locally relevant, publication quality content ideal for professional portfolios. 

“I’m really looking forward to this course because it gives us the opportunity to report on the biggest story of our lifetimes in real time while developing important reporting skills like interviewing, working with data, and fact-checking,” says Sherlock. “We’ll also analyze media coverage of the pandemic and examine how it has impacted at-risk communities as well as the media industry itself.”

Jake Sherlock, JMC instructor and news advisor for the Rocky Mountain Collegian is the instructor. The class runs for four weeks, June 15–July 12. 

SPCM 381-A5: Social Support and Communication During Pandemics 

Girl facetiming with friends
People are turning to technology to find social support during the pandemic.

During a global pandemic, how do people use communication to respond and build their resilience? In this class, students will explore the role of social support in promoting healthy, satisfying relationships and building strong communities during a global pandemic.  

Topics include social support through mediated channels, the role of communication in managing uncertainty, the connection of social support to mental and physical health, and strategies for effectively communicating support across diverse networks and in flexible ways. 

Meara Faw, assistant professor of Communication Studies and an expert of social support and relationship communication, will teach this fourweek course online from May 18-June 14. 

This pandemic has created a really challenging paradox for us as human beings. With COVID-19, we’ve become so aware of how important our relationships are just at the moment when we have to social distance from one another,” says Dr. Faw. “In this class, we’ll unpack what makes our relationships so valuable and look at how communication builds resilient and strong communities. Through examining their own relationships as well as macro-level structures that influence our pandemic response, students will propose and create new tools to promote communication and social support during a pandemic.