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New Kensington adjunct faculty member selected for pilot program

11/14/2011 —


Students to use iPod Touch for Public Relations class

A coursework proposal by an adjunct faculty member at Penn State New Kensington was accepted as a Mobile Media Pilot project for the spring 2012 semester.

Camille Downing, adjunct instructor in communications, will utilize the iPod Touch tablet in her upper-level "Public Relations Media and Methods" class during the spring 2012 semester. Also known as iTouch, the Wi-Fi mobile device is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, and handheld game console. According to Downing, a communications consultant and owner of Downing Communications, the tablet is a tool for students to research, develop and create the materials for the interactive course. The students will study and research public relations theories as related to current events.

"Students will be able to learn public relations theories and apply them to real life public relations plans," said Downing, who joined the campus faculty in January. "The students will work with an actual client to do research and develop the plan, as well as create the creative materials for that plan."

Downing earned a master's in journalism/communications with a public relations concentration from Point Park University. She has worked in a wide variety of public relations and communications positions and has taught communications courses at Point Park.

 The Mobile Media Pilot project is an initiative by Penn State's Media Commons to integrate emerging mobile and social media into the current curriculum. Selecting courses where mobile media can make the most immediate and profound impact is the first step of the project.

Jennifer Wood, associate professor of arts and communications at the campus, is a strong advocate of the media project for communications classes.

"Camille's project is very exciting for a number of reasons," said Wood, who teaches courses in rhetorical theory and conflict resolution. "It gives students hands-on experience with current technological tools, and it is being implemented by a consummate public relations professional."

Media Commons is a University-wide initiative to provide a variety of services to help students, faculty and staff produce and publish multimedia projects. The open house will include tours of the studio and presentations on how the studio supports teaching, learning and research.

For more about the communications program at the New Kensington campus, visit

For more about the project, visit http://mediacommons.psu.edu/mobilemedia

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