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St. Bonaventure University

St. Bonaventure offering new major in Communication, Social Justice and Advocacy ​

Feb 07, 2022

St. Bonaventure University is offering a new major rooted in the university’s core values.

Approved this week by the New York State Education Department, the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, Social Justice and Advocacy is grounded in the Franciscan principles that define St. Bonaventure while being married to the pragmatic coursework of its renowned Jandoli School of Communication.

“This innovative new program is a testament to the ingenuity of our faculty,” said Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli School. “We have a long tradition of producing communicators who make a positive difference in the world. Couple that with the university’s timeless values and commitment to bettering society and I’m confident graduates of this program will come out of St. Bonaventure ready to change the world.”

The program was the brainchild of Dr. Denny Wilkins, longtime professor in the Jandoli School.

“I had been considering this for a few years because I had seen examples of activism by young people — some in their early teens — who were ardent but flawed in terms of their communications skills,” Wilkins said. “I believe combining skills common to journalism, advertising, public relations, and social media would serve those who wish to spend a life in activism.”

Wilkins is quick to point out that the “major is not social cause specific. It would benefit anyone of any ideological persuasion.”

The major is grounded in the university’s principle values of nurturing compassion, seeking wisdom and building integrity, while its focus on public service messaging underscores St. Bonaventure’s commitment to community, Chimbel said.

While having the same writing-intensive foundation of most Jandoli School programs, the CSJA program requires introductory courses in advertising and public relations and has a large suite of electives in many arts and business courses that support cause-specific learning. The capstone 400-level course is Writing for Advocacy.

CSJA majors are required to complete a minor or second major in an academic program outside of the Jandoli School and, like all Jandoli students, complete 400 hours of on- or off-campus internships under the guidance of the school’s internship coordinator.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.