The Department of Communications offers a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with two majors: public relations and mass communications. All communications students take core classes to develop key skills necessary in corporate environments and media newsrooms and production houses. From graphic design and public speaking, to writing for all types of media and learning theory that frames human communication, you’ll gain skill sets that will prepare you for success after graduation. As a senior you will produce a project for a client in the community to showcase your communications knowledge and skills.

Each student compiles a portfolio of work samples from class assignments and professional work. The professional samples are culled from internships and membership in student media and organizations such as JayFirm, the student-run public relations organization. This portfolio is a valuable tool students use as they interview for communications jobs.

Our knowledgeable and engaging professors, who all have professional experience working in the areas in which they teach, are willing to help you in and out of the classroom to help maximize your experience at Elizabethtown College.

Student Work


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Department of Interest

From the Department of Communications

Kelly and Jax

Communications class cuddles with service pup-in-training

Students help professor teach commands

When Kelly Poniatowski, department chair and associate professor of communications, brought Jax to class as part of his training, her students cuddled with him on the floor and helped him learn proper behavior for a workplace or school environment. His visits also taught the students appropriate conduct around a service dog and his means of communication. Jax, a standard poodle, was training for United Disability Services, learning about 25 social voice commands: sit, stay, get it, give it, carry it, tug ... . The latter had him pulling on ropes to open refrigerator doors and cabinets. After a year and a half, Jax said goodbye and returned to UDS for additional training.

“All the way back to second grade, when I saw a family with seeing-eye puppies, I knew I wanted to do this.”

From the Department of Communications

video production

Real-world learning brings together communications classes

Associate Professor of Communications and Department Chair Kelly Poniatowski and Professor of Communications Kirsten Johnson provide Hands-On Project work

Kelly Poniatowski, who teaches Advanced Public Relations, and Kirsten Johnson, who teaches Advanced Video Production, have combined their classes to simulate real-world learning. Their collaboration focuses on public relations and project management, particularly when pairing up managers and video production specialists to create storyboards, shoot video and complete post-production for WebstaurantStore, a division of Clark Associates Inc. This large project stems from past students’ requests to complete projects that included crossover between communications disciplines.

“We both complete client projects each year and realized it was a great opportunity to create some synergy between the two majors.” - Kirsten Johnson

From the Department of Communications

Miranda Fedor

First-year communications student is photo contest finalist

Miranda Fedor ’21 appreciates campus support.

Miranda Fedor, who submitted a favorite picture to the "Photographer’s Forum" 2018 Best of High School & College Photography Contest, was selected as a finalist and honorable mention from more than 12,000 entries. Fedor entered the contest after Assistant Professor of Communications Katherine Hughes encouraged her to do so. The student’s photograph, a mirror contrasting the sky and a bright sunset, was taken the day before she came to E-town. Her photo will be published in the latest edition of "Photographer’s Forum."

“I took the picture before coming to college … but [College] resources have given me more skills and confidence.”

From the Department of Communications

Nate Smeltz

Nate Smeltz earns Distinguished Alumni Award

Class of 2000 grad is Vice President of Public Relations at Turner Sports

While studying communications at Elizabethtown, Nate Smeltz knew sports was in his future. After graduation, he began his career at ESPN, as a publicist, working his way up to director of public relations. After 12 years, Smeltz transitioned into a new role as vice president of public relations for Turner Sports. Throughout his various roles at ESPN and Turner Sports, Smeltz was able to apply the industry and interpersonal skills he learned while at E-town. His success in the communications industry earned him the 2018 Department of Communications Distinguished Alumni Award.

“Throughout my career, I’ve learned the importance of building strong relationships. They’re not only essential in the public relations industry but throughout all walks of business. E-town offered an opportunity to truly engage and cultivate meaningful relationships, all of which remain very special to me.”

Hear from our Alumni:

Ruth Miller '98

"When I started at Elizabethtown, there was no limit to what I could do; I was never discouraged from doing something...and I think that was a good opportunity for me to realize all of the opportunities out there for me."

Jake Keeler '09

"There are several things that I learned at E-town that I apply daily: writing skills, the ability to take an idea and create something tangible, but the thing that stands out is being able to present well to clients."


Real-world Experiences are everywhere:

Mac lab
video editing
wwec radio network
TV Control room

With recently renovated facilities, you'll be able to practice the skills and theories you are learning in a practical hands-on environment. Opportunities to gain real-world experience are everywhere at Elizabethtown College:

  • Host and produce your own weekly radio show at WWEC 88.3 FM, the College's radio station.
  • Fulfill a client’s requirements through strategic communications plans with the Jay Firm, the student-run public relations organization.
  • Report on community events as a news reporter with ECTV Channel 40 in the studio or on the road in the mobile production unit.
  • Write and report stories for the College’s award-winning newspaper, The Etownian.
  • Serve as an intern with a local company or nonprofit organization.