Advisory Council

Communication majors, minors, and master's students at the College of Charleston have a rare and distinguishing opportunity to directly access top-level national executives and leaders in the field of marketing and corporate communications through the Department of Communication’s Advisory Council. The Council consists of an outstanding and nationally prominent group of communication professionals who actively support the department in creating and improving COMM programs, providing co-curricular opportunities, mentoring students, and encouraging the many accomplishments of the department's students and faculty.

About the Council

The current chair of the Advisory Council is Mr. T.R. Straub. A Council veteran, Mr. Straub is an Executive Search and Assessment Consultant for Russell Reynolds Associates, based in Washington, D.C. (read more about Mr. Straub). The Council began in 2006 and has featured an impressive and diverse team of more than 50 professionals volunteering their time, lending their talent, sharing their knowledge, and preparing CofC communication students for a career in Communications and life after graduation.

Engagement with Students

Council members have been integral in creating opportunities for communication students. For instance, the Council established a scholarship called the John Palmer Communication AwardThis legacy award supports opportunities for CofC communication students to continue their education beyond the classroom and engage in real world learning experiences. Given John’s commitment to experiential education, this award is a wonderful way to honor John’s life, while creating new and unique opportunities for the next generation of communication professionals. John Palmer, a longtime NBC White House Correspondent as well as an NBC Today Show anchor, was a founding member of the Council. Read more on (or give to) the John Palmer Communication Award.

All current Council members, and select Executive Advisors, participate in the Mentor-Protégé Program. Communication students (majors, minors, and master's) in the program are assigned a communication professional as a mentor from the Advisory Council. Mentors guide their protégé through frequent meetings, setting goals, providing advice, coaching, and more. Read more on the Mentor-Protégé program.

Another opportunity created for students is the Martin Scholars Program, founded by Council member and executive-in-residence, Mr. Tom Martin, and his wife Wanda. Intended to inspire future generations of leaders and mentors among outstanding undergraduate communication majors and minors at CofC, the Martin Scholars Program provides invaluable networking opportunities for students to meet with leaders in the communication profession. Read more on the Martin Scholars program.

Bi-Annual Meetings and Campus Visits

The department hosts bi-annual conferences with the Advisory Council during the fall and spring semesters. During these conferences, Council members engage directly with students (in-person and virtually) in the COMM classrooms answering student questions about their successful careers and delving into relevant Communications topics from a real world perspective. Council members also lead panel discussions with their peers and provide students a candid view inside their respective fields, making lasting connections with students, faculty, staff, and the community at these conferences. Furthermore, access to all Council members is available and encouraged throughout the year for all CofC communication undergraduate and graduate students.

The Department of Communication is especially thankful for the Advisory Council’s time and commitment to communication students at the College of Charleston.