As our world becomes more connected and diverse, the need to understand how we interact and communicate with each others is increasingly important. What should we say? How should we say it? How might others interpret our messages? How can I get my point across with the greatest chance of success? These are just some of the issues you will examine as part of the Interpersonal Communication interest area.
Understanding how we relate to each other - on the job, in romantic relationships, among family members, and in various social interactions - is an important skill in today's society. Through the Interpersonal Communication interest area, you will learn how to effectively communicate, interpret facial expressions and body cues, resolve conflicts, and understand persuasion, in a variety of contexts. Furthermore, you will learn how to interact and relate to people from different cultures, genders, personalities, and backgrounds.
Future careers, post-grad opportunities
Communication skills are fundamental to any successful career. Many of our graduates go on to work in areas specific to facilitating communication or engaging in interactions with others, such as human resource management, public relations, labor relations, and nonprofits.
PASSIONATE ABOUT TEACHING
Wendy Samter, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Samter, who holds a Ph.D. in Interpersonal Communication from Purdue, was instrumental in developing Bryant’s communication program. She is the editor of Communication Research Reports. Her recent studies explore communication strategies for youngsters in the local foster care system as they are adopted or reunified with their families.
Samter has received awards for excellence in teaching as well as for her work with campus media organizations and Hillel.
“My students would say that I’m passionate about the subjects I teach and that I challenge them to see the world of communication from different perspectives,” she says.
THE PERFECT FIT
Delia Glover ’09
Product Manager, New Balance
In 2009, Glover parlayed her classroom skills and leadership abilities as captain of the volleyball and lacrosse teams into a job at Hanover Insurance. With a professor’s help, she also landed a gig as a field reporter for Nike.
Today, she’s an assistant product manager for Warrior Apparel at New Balance.
“Once you’re an athlete, you’re always an athlete, and the successful ones continue to compete in new ways, in new sports, and in life,” blogged Glover. “Maybe I’m not CEO material just yet, but all the values I learned over the years at Bryant have prepared me for life.”
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Steven Proulx ’05
Research Analyst, Travelers
Proulx was recently appointed senior market research analyst at Travelers in Hartford, CT. Prior to that, he was a research associate at MIT’s AgeLab, which designs technologies to improve people’s health and quality of life as they age. Proulx conducted qualitative and quantitative market research and created marketing materials for digital space and print. He also interacted daily with researchers, business partners, universities, and the aging community.
“Interpersonal communication is critical in today's work environment,” he says. “Understanding how people behave and relate to one another helps you to successfully communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings to target audiences.”