The Catholic University of America

Aug. 29, 2006

Catholic University's Media Studies Program Is Now a Department

Catholic University's media studies program opens the 2006-2007 academic year as the Department of Media Studies within CUA's School of Arts and Sciences.

The creation of the media studies department - formerly an interdisciplinary program housed in the Department of English - was the result of a motion approved June 6, 2006, by the CUA Board of Trustees. Formerly media studies faculty members were appointed as English professors.

L.R. Poos, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, says, "Creating the new department is a mark of recognition that the media studies degree program has established itself as one of the most innovative and largest-enrollment majors on campus.

"By separating media studies from the Department of English, which has housed it since its inception more than 12 years ago, we'll allow both departments to plan their future development independently, better serving our students and the university," he adds. "It's a very positive move for both."

The Program in Media Studies was founded in 1993 and graduated its first 13 majors in 1997. Today the Department of Media Studies has 140 majors and expects to graduate a class of 35 in May. Enrollment in the Introduction to Media Studies course increased more than 7 percent this year over last year.

Lisa Gitelman, chair of media studies, says the department "wants to continue to put media studies at CUA on the map, both in terms of the competitiveness of the diverse career paths its students pursue and excel at, and in terms of the competitiveness of our national academic profile in research and pedagogy.

"We also hope to grow," she adds. "We anticipate a continued increase in demand for media studies courses as young people continue to grow as self-conscious users (rather than just consumers) of emergent media forms like YouTube, Facebook and the blogosphere. The study of media has never been as important as it is today."

The Department of Media Studies offers internship opportunities for students at a number of Washington, D.C.-area media outlets including CNN and Fox News. Students take production classes in the department's newly renovated media lab in the basement of O'Boyle Hall. For more information on the lab, visit

This fall, filmmaker Rachael Storey joins the department faculty as clinical assistant professor. For a complete list of the media studies faculty, visit

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Media contact(s):
· Chris Harrison, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,
· Katie Lee, CUA Office of Public Affairs, 202-319-5600,