College of Communication Arts and Sciences offers unique courses to expand student skill sets
By: Tori VanSlambrouck
As the days get shorter and the evenings get darker, Michigan State University students feel the creeping pressure of scheduling spring and summer classes. Between waitlists, pre-requisites and over-lapping times, scheduling can be a nightmare. To help, we’ve highlighted some of MSU’s many courses open to all majors that offer unique experiences for AD+PR students.
For those interested in entrepreneurship, innovation and creative thinking, CAS 114 Creativity and Innovative Entrepreneurship is a great opportunity to learn more. CAS 114 is taught by AD+PR professor of practice, Ross Chowles.
“The underlying intent of the course is to find out if you are an entrepreneur/creative thinker, or, if you are a person who needs to be told what to do,” said Chowles.
Chowles has been a professor at MSU for six years, often teaching creative-oriented courses. With his own entrepreneurial experience in the industry, including co-founding- The Jupiter Drawing Room, South Africa’s most awarded independent advertising agency, he was approached to run this course for the first time fall semester 2022.
“If I can light a fire in 30 of the 400 students in the course, then I’ve done my job,” said Chowles.
He says the course’s intent is to provide guidance for student’s future endeavors, while inspiring them to think creatively about solving current issues. Students are given opportunities to “think like a five-year old again” by creating their own products and business pitches.
For AD+PR students looking to network and gain insight into the current industry, ADV 492: Special Topics in Advertising All Things Digital, taught by AD+PR instructor, Mike Vasas, is an asynchronous course that offers an enriching student experience. The six-week, one-credit course has two sections offered each fall semester, which Vasas has led since October 2021.
“The idea is that rather than sharing stories of the good old days, class is positioned as: here are the working professionals, they are going to speak to MSU students directly about their experiences and what the landscape is right now in 2022,” said Vasas. “It offers a direct professional-to-student relationship.”
In collaboration with MediaCom Worldwide, an innovative global media agency, Vasas holds weekly presentations from professionals in the field. Held on ZOOM, students have the option to join live and communicate with professionals, creating new networking opportunities for students.
“Within a three-week span we had someone ZOOM from South America, someone from New York, Chicago and here in Michigan,” said Vasas.
Based in New York, MediaCom is a fully remote/hybrid global media agency with employees located worldwide. An MSU advertising and PR alumna and associate director of Kinetic, a subsidiary of Mediacom, Megan Reed, spoke to students enrolled in the course in fall 2022.
”I wish it was around when I was in school…just to understand what my opportunities after college are, where my connections are, and where I should be branching out after,” said Reed.
Reed graduated from MSU in 2013 with a degree in advertising, and specializations in public relations and digital humanities. She has been a professional in the industry for nearly 10 years.
“I just kind of saw myself on one path in school,” said Reed. “I’m hoping that students can understand that there is more than one route to take in this industry.”
Students can discover more opportunities and experiences via other non-traditional courses online at https://reg.msu.edu/Courses/Search.aspx.