Schieffer School kicks off "Disruption Project"

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Photo of David Cohn courtesy of Digital Journal. Photo of Phil Gomes courtesy of the Edelman Digital website.

The Schieffer School of Journalism is kicking off its year-long revamp titled "The Disruption Project" with lectures this week by founder and director of Spot.Us David Cohn and senior vice president of Edelman Digital Phil Gomes.

Cohn, an expert in citizen journalism, spoke Tuesday night in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center. Gomes, who is passionate about the emerging forms of communication, is speaking Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

"The Disruption Project" is an attempt by the Schieffer School to modernize the school and prompt further developments in its curriculum. According to the press release for the speaker events, Schieffer faculty were approached by Provost Nowell Donovan and Chancellor Victor Boschini last year and asked about the future of media education as a part of a university initiative called "The Academy of Tomorrow."

The initiative's goal is to ensure that TCU remains up to date and that all programs within the university are changed to better prepare students for the constantly evolving demands of the workplace. The press release states that originally the initiative was called the "Future of Media Education Study" but was later renamed "The Disruption Project" as it aims to prepare students to lead in the disrupted and decentralized media environment of today.

This week's speakers were a part of the project's focus to bring in media professionals regularly to talk to students.

The press release also stated that a major innovation within the project will be to create a website that offers career advice from 500 leading professionals, such as Cohn and Gomes, who would provide the top five characteristics they look for when hiring graduates.

In addition to making internal changes, Jacqueline Lambiase, associate professor of journalism and strategic communication division chair, said that faculty and staff have already begun visiting campuses, businesses and non-profits to learn about new and different advertising, public relations and journalism practices that might benefit Schieffer School students.

"Each faculty member tracks changes and disruptions already and integrates new ideas into our curriculum," Lambiase said. "But 'The Disruption Project' will help us make program-wide changes and recommendations."

Although most faculty and staff from the Schieffer School are involved, the official "Disruption Project" committee is comprised of Lambiase, Daxton Stewart, Aaron Chimbel, Andrew Chavez, Stephen Levering and Wendy Macias.

The committee, along with professor and director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism at TCU Tommy Thomason, will be making their first trip together to San Francisco, Calif. The group will be visiting, among other places, the Macworld/iWorld event on Jan. 31. Others such as instructor Kent Chapline will be visiting locations including New York City later in the semester.

Cohn's and Gomes's lectures are the first of many new events and programs yet to come to the Schieffer School under "The Disruption Project."

For more information on Gomes's lecture see ROXO's page on Facebook.

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