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Stories We Tell Course Pairing

Introduction to Communication: Finding Ways to Document and Tell Our Stories (CM203T)

The focus of this course is a broad overview of the mass media and an analysis from the viewpoints of practitioner, critic, and consumer.  Students will explore the media through readings, written exercises, self-reflective essays, field experiences and a student project that researches and analyzes an aspect of the mass media.From poetry to journal writing, students will find ways to document, analyze, and critique their stories.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Whitehead is Associate Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies at Loyola University Maryland; the Founding Executive Director of The Emilie Frances Davis Center for Education, Research, and Culture; a K-12 Master Teacher in African American History; an award-winning curriculum writer and lesson plan developer; an award-winning former Baltimore City middle school teacher; and, a three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program, her M.A. from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana in International Peace Studies, her graduate degree in Advanced Documentary and Narrative Filmmaking from the New York Film Academy, and her B.A. from Lincoln University, PA. From 2013-2015, Whitehead was selected to participate in the White House's Black History Month Panel co-sponsored by President Obama and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History ASALH. Her most recent book, Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis (USC Press, 2014), received the 2015 Darlene Clark Hine Book Award 2. She is the Letters to My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America (Apprentice House, 2015). Her forthcoming book, The Emancipation Proclamation: Race Relations on the Eve of Reconstruction (Routledge) is due out January 2017. For more information, please visit

Effective Writing: Moving the World with Your Words (WR100DT)

In small-group workshops and through writing exercises designed to make you a self-sufficient thinker, you will examine how writers gain their authority; how they try to move you with their written words (their stories); and how you can move others with words of your own.  You will read essays on provocative topics—especially about gender and racial issues--that will complicate your thinking and help strengthen your ability to uncover the codes, cues, and clues that are embedded in everything from advertisements to sophisticated arguments.

Through such readings, our in-class discussions, and your writing assignments, you will develop an awareness of, sensitivity toward, and respect for the differences of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, culture, sexual orientation, religion, age, and disabilities.  By the end of the course you will surprise yourself not only by how well—and how much—you write but also by how well you can analyze the many assumptions and misdirections that manipulate most people. There will be no exams, no easy answers, no tidy lessons.

Faculty Biography

Dr. Ron Tanner is an award-winning writer who has taught at Loyola for 24 years. He and his wife live in a Victorian house that was once a fraternity. They run, a DIY website with a national readership. In his spare time, Ron travels the country in his camper van, giving talks on old house restoration. Also, he leads Jazz Caravan, a local jazz band, and directs two on-going documentary projects: the Marshall Island Story Project and Preservation America.

Mentor Biography

Colleen is entering her 14th year at Loyola University Maryland in Student-Athlete Support Services.  She previous worked at Temple University as an Academic Coordinator for the Athletic Department and prior to that she was a graduate student mentor for the Villanova University Athletic Department.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Community Health Education from Purdue University, where she was a member of the swim team.  She has a Master's degree from Villanova University in Counseling and Human Services and she is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University.