Communication is Key for Communication Scholars Society

Four people posing in front of a wall.
L to R: Dr. John Perlich; Kendra Horn; Chloe Bean-Robillard; Dr. Donna Pawlowski, professor of communication studies

Students searching for an on-campus club that provides social, educational and professional benefits can look to one of Bemidji State University’s newest student organizations, the Communication Scholars Society.

Dr. John Perlich, associate professor of communication studies and one of the club’s co-advisors, says there are many perks for students who may be interested in the club.

“We enjoy getting together each month with students who share interest in the study of human communication,” he said. “Our members learn a lot about both the discipline and scholarship opportunities, internships, work study jobs and leadership opportunities at BSU.”

Perlich said the club also helps address one of the most-feared experiences for most Americans — public speaking.

“If you are engaged with our groups, it shows your commitment to honing a skill most people avoid — and the job opportunities are obvious,” he said.

Kendra Horn, from St. Cloud, Minn., and Chloe Bean-Robillard, from Anoka, Minn. — both third-year seniors majoring in communication studies — were elected club co-presidents this fall.

“We try to create a safe space for all students to join and feel welcome,” Bean-Robillard said. “Our members are so determined and driven; it makes me want to be a better person and a better group leader for them.”

A portrait of Dr. Tim Baird
Dr. Timothy Baird

Dr. Timothy Baird, associate professor of communication studies, is also a club co-advisor. He said the club is open to students from any background or major and is a good way for students to make connections across campus.

“We are open to anyone who wants to join,” he said. “This means we can attract students with a wide variety of knowledge, skills and experience, which enriches our group. Students get to work on things that interest them — like social media campaigns, recruitment or events — and also have a wide variety of viewpoints to make those activities and events more successful and inclusive.”

Bean-Robillard says her leadership in the group has helped her to make meaningful connections with faculty and other students, as well.

“The relationships that Communication Scholars Society members create with other students and faculty members are long-lasting,” she said. “These bonds are different than any other — all of us enjoy the study of human connection, and being in this group allows us to create a deeper friendship with each other.”

Joining the Communication Scholars Society

Seeing the club’s importance and the variety of opportunities that it can offer to any BSU student, leaders of the Communication Scholars Society place an emphasis on recruiting new members.

“I would encourage others to become a member of CSS because it is a chance to make connections and learn more about the importance of communication,” Horn said.

Students who may be interested in joining the society are invited to attend meetings or events. In addition, the club’s leaders seek opportunities to collaborate with other student organizations — reinforcing the club’s role in helping members meet friends, develop relationships and build their networks.

Examples of partnerships with other clubs include a December 6 collaboration with The Phoenix on a holiday trivia night for students, complete with food and prizes. In early January, the club will partner with Campus Activities Board and Black Student Union to co-sponsor Rock & Rows Bingo and will be supporting Beaver Hockey by selling concessions at the Sanford Center in February.

Perlich reinforced the club’s nature as providing social, educational and professional benefits to its members.

“You will never find a more friendly, engaged and committed group of students on our campus,” he said.