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Mass Communications, Visual and Performing Arts

Welcome to DSU and the Department of Mass Communications, Visual and Performing Arts!

By Dr. Charlisa Edelin,
Interim Chair, Department of Mass Communications, Visual and Performing Arts
Co-Director, Law Studies Program

I was in your shoes a few years ago. I was faced with a decision in August 2019 whether I wanted to stay within the close-knit community at Wesley College and give up my job as chair of the Department of Law and Justice to move to what I thought was a much larger place and take a role as an associate professor and co-director of the University’s Law Studies program.

I understand the uncertainty some of you may be facing, but let me tell you it’s going to work out just great. Larger schools mean more opportunities – in addition to my role with the Law Studies Program, I am now the interim chair of the University’s Department of Mass Communications, Visual, and Performing Arts (MCVPA).

I worried about the size of the classes and whether I’d be able to engage with my students to the same degree that I did then. I worried about navigating a larger campus, about whether I’d lose some of the intimacy I valued so much.

The truth is that I didn’t fully appreciate the “Great Things Await” tagline. Class sizes here average 18 students. I haven’t visited every building on campus, but that’s just because I’ve been focused more on the job and less on exploring. And even though I was very familiar with every nook and cranny on Wesley’s campus, I’ve found that Delaware State University isn’t so big that I get lost.

I think you’ll find that you like the larger selection of classes and additional diversity of experiences that we have with more professors. It surprised me that, like Wesley, most classes have fewer than 25 students.

For those of you who may be considering alternate or additional career paths, I think you’ll find a greater opportunity to network, try different electives, and be exposed to successful professionals – and alumni – from every department and program on campus. You’ll be able to check out a 3-D printing laboratory run by the Computer & Information Sciences Program and the Innovation Café hosted by the College of Business.

You probably already know we have a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor athletic courts, and (most important to me!) various food options with several cafeterias and different commercial food vendors. 

Looking back, everyone here worked hard to make my transition smooth and welcoming, and I can tell you that they’re meeting regularly to talk about how they can do the same for you and make sure that you graduate on time.

In my MCVPA corner of the world, we will offer you some amazing opportunities. Mass Communications students can work in an in-house TV studio that rivals local TV stations. Our WDSU radio station features-up-and-coming DJs and student artists. Thanks to these facilities, we’re a popular target for TV and Radio recruiters who have hired our graduates into major TV and Radio markets across the country.

Our Music Program has a robust marching band – the Approaching Storm – that has performed nationally for presidents and governors. In fact, we have more performance requests than we could ever fulfill.

We recently added a Music Industry major within our Music Program that enables students to create and produce their own music, manage artists, and run the DSU record label! You can hear many of our artists on SoundCloud or Spotify.

Our internal Arts Center/Gallery lets our students showcase and sell their work. We have multiple shows each year, and they attract attention not only on campus, but from the larger Dover community.

I am just as excited about the future of the Law Studies Program. Here it has traditionally been a minor, but we are now implementing a Law Studies major that will align with what we offered at Wesley, including recognition by the American Bar Association. We are partnering with local law firms and the Delaware Judiciary to increase internship and post-graduation opportunities, as well as having a cooperative agreement with the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Minnesota.

So, don’t worry. Many of you chose Wesley for its small size and you may be feeling a bit intimidated. But you’re not going to be swallowed up by Delaware State University as you might be at a much larger school. It’s the best of both worlds, and I suspect you’ll love it as much as I do.

For more information about any of these programs, you can contact me at cedelin [at] desu.edu. You can also visit the Department of Mass Communications, Visual and Performing Arts and/or the Law Studies Program online.