I hope that during these trying times this email finds you well. As we prepare for the fall semester, I wanted to share some updates about our campus, as well as a few stories about the outstanding creative work and research our CMCI community continues to produce. 

Many of you have probably heard that in a few weeks students will return to campus for a mixture of in-person, remote and hybrid classes. We all know these aren’t typical times and this won’t be a typical semester. Our campus’ leadership team spent the summer consulting with epidemiologists and other health officials, facilities managers, professors and staff to ensure that, as we return to campus, we do it the right way––in a way that prioritizes safety, and our ability to continue delivering an excellent education. They have my confidence, and if you’d like to learn more about their plans, you can visit the Roadmap to Fall 2020 as well as the Protect Our Herd public health campaign. 

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot this summer––and I’ve spoken to CMCI professors who are thinking about this, too. Although the situation we’re in presents challenges, this is also an incredible time to be doing the work that we do. 

We’re experiencing an historic moment, and the lessons our students learn will position them to emerge as adaptable leaders when the world needs them most. So many of you have demonstrated this––as local reporters providing the information we need to stay safe, as national storytellers amplifying the voices of those who are often underheard, as business leaders pivoting to meet the moment, as strategic communicators promoting public safety, and as information scientists turning complex data into messages that ring true. Thank you for this important work, and for showing our students what’s possible. 

It may be apropos that during this time of change we marked five years since the official launch of the College of Media, Communication and Information. When the college officially launched on July 1, 2015, it was created as a place to break out of the mold of traditional media schools and instead bring together entrepreneurial and innovative faculty and students from across disciplines to learn, create and analyze media and technology content in all its many forms. 

Shamika Goddard, who is earning her PhD in CMCI’s Department of Information Science with a focus on technology, social justice and spirituality, is one of the many CMCI students and faculty who exemplify these qualities. Read the story of how she launched the Tech Chaplaincy Institute on June 19, 2020, a day to choose to commemorate both Juneteenth and her grandmother’s 71st birthday. “We use the best practices of pastoral care and chaplaincy to usher people through technological crises with dignity and grace,” she says.

Also in this issue, read about students reporting from the field on COVID in their communities and others creating 3D models for the CU Museum that can be integrated into virtual and augmented reality experiences, a Q&A with the faculty member creating a new online master’s in corporate communication and a roundup of news stories about our faculty.

I hope you and your family are safe and well,

Lori Bergen, PhD
Founding Dean
College of Media, Communication and Information