MIAMI, FL – The School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) at Florida International University (FIU) today announced it has created a program of Hispanic Communication Studies to address communications trends and issues relevant to the U.S. Hispanic community. The school plans to continue upgrading the program in the future in order to position itself a premier thought-leadership institute on issues relevant to the U.S. Hispanic community.
The new program builds upon an already existing set of courses taught at the FIU SJMC covering Hispanic market communications and Spanish language journalism. It will be headed by the SJMC Department Chairs: Teresa Ponte, chair of the Department of Journalism and Broadcasting, and Fernando Figueredo, chair of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations. The SJMC is led by Dean Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver and Associate Dean Allan Richards.
“It makes sense to establish this program at FIU, since Miami is home to the most important Hispanic broadcast-media outlets as well as a large and diverse Hispanic community,” Ponte said. “We have become a feeder school to the news media as well as to public relations and advertising agencies recruiting Hispanics to address the fastest growing minority segment in the U.S.,” she added.
“Our location as well as the significant number of award-winning Hispanic professors in our faculty places us in a unique position to establish such a program,” added Figueredo. “Seventy percent of the students we graduate from the SJMC are of Hispanic heritage, and university-wide at FIU, we graduate more Hispanic students than any other university in the country,” he added.
The SJMC is already making plans to upgrade this initiative into an institute focused on the analysis of communications issues and trends impacting the U.S. Hispanic community. It will include projects such as an ongoing series of seminars with highly distinguished speakers from around the country as well as hosting an annual conference to discuss the most relevant issues on the continuing evolution of the
Hispanic media. In addition, it plans to further the current Hispanic-market-driven research agenda at FIU on critical issues affecting the U.S.
Hispanic community, with a special focus on how Hispanics consume and interpret news and information.