KINGSTON, R.I. – September 30, 2016 – If you ask Adam Roth what separates the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communication and Media from other schools of communication and media, be prepared for a spirited, fast-paced and lengthy response.
“When you look at our faculty and our students, they are from all over the world, and they are conducting research and projects on some of the biggest issues in communication,” said Roth, who is in his third year as interim director of the school that is home to the departments of communication studies, film/media, journalism, public relations, writing and rhetoric and library and information studies.
“We are also fortunate to have an advisory board made up of communication professionals from such prominent companies as CBS, IBM, HBO, NBC Universal, The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, USA Today and Warner Bros., to name a few,” Roth said. “Many of them are URI alumni and they are invested in helping our students succeed by serving as mentors and providing career assistance and internship and job opportunities. They make regular appearances as guest speakers in our classes.”
Combine the strength of the faculty and involvement of media professionals from around the country with the opening of the new Harrington Hub for Global Leadership in Communication and Media on Friday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m., and you have one excited director. The $6.5 million renovation of Ranger Hall has transformed its first floor into a center of state-of-the-art media technologies and learning spaces and included infrastructure, fire safety, accessibility and technology upgrades throughout the building. The Harrington Hub includes a media screening amphitheater, collaborative teaching and learning spaces, audio and video editing suites, a digital innovation lab, media equipment center, and onsite advising areas.
Among the distinguished guests will be Meredith Vieira, journalist, talk show and game show host, of NBC Universal, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Kirby.
The Harrington Hub speaking program will be held on the Kingston Campus’ historic Quadrangle, followed by a ceremonial film-cutting at Ranger Hall. Students will then offer tours of the new center.
The Harrington School and Hub are named after Richard J. Harrington, ‘73, Hon. ’02, chairman and general partner of Cue Ball, a venture capital firm and former president and chief executive officer of the Thomson Reuters Corp. He and his wife, Jean, donated $5 million to support the School. Harrington remains a member of the Harrington advisory board. A portion of the Harringtons’ gift was earmarked for the renovation project, with the remaining funding coming from a variety of state and University sources, as well as other donors.
“So now we not only have a global, world-class faculty and advisory board, but we have a media and communications center that rivals any in the country to give our students an outstanding route to success that includes experiential learning inside and outside the classroom and a constant focus on innovation and trends in the world of communication and media,” Roth said.
Add to all of that the Harrington School’s unique collaborative structure and human scale, and you have a program that can give students one-on-one attention with faculty, advisory board members and even fellow students across disciplines, Roth said.
Getting back to the faculty, Roth quickly listed professors working in China, Belize, Russia, India, Ghana, Morocco and Greece. He also listed a pioneer in media literacy who conducts workshops around the world, a renowned filmmaker from India, an expert on Muslims in French cinema and a specialist in intercultural communication.
“So we invite the University community and our friends from around Rhode Island and beyond to join us on Oct. 21 to experience not only our wonderful new center, but to meet our outstanding faculty, students, and advisory board members, mingle with special guests, and hear about how URI is becoming a global leader in communication and media research and education,” Roth said.