Mercyhurst to offer new integrated marketing, film studies programs

The Mercyhurst College Faculty Senate recently approved the addition of two new programs, a major in integrated marketing and a minor in film studies.

The integrated marketing program is a change from the former business concentration in marketing and stands as a separate major.

The change in the program spawned from major changes in the industry.

Integrated marketing incorporates concepts from a variety of disciplines to include all the areas and ways that companies reach out to consumers.

Companies have begun to rely more on integrated marketing professionals to reach consumers in new and more efficient ways, which is accomplished by combining all of these disciplines into one.

Moving away from a program that is strictly focused on marketing to one with a wide range of disciplines is intended to benefit students entering a changing industry.

Students will be required to take courses from accounting, art, business, business administration, communication, graphic design, economics and marketing, which will open doors to jobs in each area.

Currently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that work in this field will continue to increase through 2018, which provides demand in this industry in the coming years.

Walker School of Business Dean Jim Breckenridge formed a committee to start looking into the idea two years ago, including committee chairperson and Associate Dean Meredith Schultz, Assistant Professor Shelly Freyn, graphic design Program Director Jodi Staniunas-Hopper, Communication Department Chair Anne Zaphiris, Ph.D., and Kimberly Zacherl, assistant professor in the Walker School of Business.

This committee developed the major and was responsible for getting it voted through Faculty Senate.

Since the approval, the Walker School of Business is now seeking a qualified candidate to head the program, and hopes to attract many students.

“Upon the approval of new programs, marketing and admissions work to build interest. The number of expected incoming students will depend on when in the recruitment cycle the program gets approved; if it’s later in the cycle like in the case of several of our newest programs we will expect a smaller number of new students for the first year and will expect to see undecideds and internal major changes among students who are already enrolled or who are planning to come to Mercyhurst. Regardless of the timing though, we’ll leverage traditional and e-marketing tactics to garner interest,” Director of Marketing and Public Relations Meghan Corbin said.

The new film studies minor represents an interdisciplinary effort provided by the history, communication, English, world languages, psychology and philosophy departments.

According to the formal rationale for the minor, the program is developed “to enable students to understand and critically engage the images that pervade their lives.”

The program was developed around the understanding of how important film is to art during the 20th and 21st centuries.

“Students need to develop literacy in the visual media that surrounds them, gain an appreciation for the aesthetic quality of film, and become savvier about decoding the images saturating our culture,” said Jeffrey Roessner, Ph.D., dean of the School of Arts and Humanities and chair of the English department.

The program will maintain an interdisciplinary focus because it will be conducted between the communication and English departments, operating from mostly pre-existing courses.

“Most of the courses already exist and count for other degree requirements,” Roessner said. “Students can take a number of interdisciplinary courses that combine history and film, philosophy and film, world languages and film, and psychology and film.”

Both the integrated marketing major and film studies minor will be offered this fall.