Research opportunities and student-faculty relationships spark communication professor

Now an associate professor of communication at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, Jill Weber ’02 received an A.A. degree from McHenry County College, a community college in Crystal Lake, Illinois. She chose Ripon College to complete her B.A. degree because of the strong reputation and program of the Department of Communication.

“I knew I wanted a small college with close student-faculty relationships,” she says. “The comm department’s awesomeness and great job and graduate school placement record made Ripon stand out from the pack.”

She says the transfer process was easy. “Because I had completed nearly all of my general education classes, I was able to fill my schedule with communication classes. This allowed me to dig deeper and wider in the field. This was excellent preparation for graduate school.”

At Ripon, she was a student employee for the vice president of academic affairs for two years, completed two independent studies and helped develop curricula for local organizations. Through this work, Weber was able to see how her communication skills translated into the nonprofit and educational world; how research can increase safety within a community; and how what is learned in the classroom can be applied to real-world problems.

She also presented work at several conferences and published a class essay in CTAM: Communication & Theater Association of Minnesota journal. “So, I went into graduate school with a publication and several conference presentations on my resumé. It was easy to make the case that I had ‘strong written and oral communication skills’ on my cover letter,” she says.

She completed a Ph.D. from Penn State. “My decision to transfer to Ripon paved my way to a full ride at graduate school,” Weber says. “I now teach at a small, liberal arts women’s college and will be starting a business helping students improve their academic well-being and progress. My next adventure is a testament to the value of a liberal arts degree.”

Find your spark at Ripon College.


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