Department of Communication celebrates 25 years

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 19, 2006 – The department of Communication at Virginia Tech is celebrating its 25th anniversary this weekend with a full slate of events.

Three key lectures headline the festivities on Friday, along with student exhibitions in cyberarts and film, and an alumni gala on Saturday evening at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.

On Friday, April 21, at 2 p.m., MTV producer/director Ross Breitenbach will discuss “The Changing Landscape of Entertainment Media” at The Lyric Theater. A 1992 alumnus of Virginia Tech, Breitenbach has worked on various television projects including "Yo Momma" (MTV), "Brat Camp" (ABC), "The Simple Life 2 & 3" (FOX), "The Bachelor" (ABC), "Big Brother" (CBS), and "The Surreal Life 2" (WB). Breitenbach was honored in 2005 as a Directors Guild Nominee for Excellence in Directing for his work on "Brat Camp."

Also at 2 p.m. on Friday in Torgersen 2150, communication alumni Jim McDonald (class of ’77) and Craig Nesbit (’81) will share their experiences as corporate communications directors in the nuclear power industry. Two representatives of the Board of Directors of the Society of Environmental Journalists will offer a response focused on the importance of scientific literacy for media professionals and the public.

Immediately following, at 3:30 p.m. on Friday in Torgersen 2150, Rebecca Brittain, a 1997 communication graduate, will discuss “A View from Behind-the-Scenes: The White House Beat.” Brittain will share her experiences covering the White House for CNN during the last year, including President Bush’s trips to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Brittain will go over the development and decision-making process behind CNN’s broadcasts.

On Saturday morning, the department will host tours of its Shanks Hall facilities and the state-of-the-art Shultz Media Center. Student cyberarts exhibitions will be held at four locations on both Friday and Saturday from noon- 5 p.m. The year-long CyberArts course is a program of the Collaborative for Creative Technologies in Art and Design (CCTAD), a university initiative bringing together the research and teaching of faculty and students in communication, computer science, music, and art/art history. The students have worked in teams to find their own interpretations of this year's project theme, "Elemental." These four semester-long projects will be exhibited as a part of ArtsFusion 2006 (

CyberArt headquarters is located at 239 North Main Street in Blacksburg. Animation projects can be viewed at 125 North Main (Suite 2000). There is also the Window Gallery at the corner of Roanoke and Draper Road, and the Plasma Screen Gallery at the Art Armory at 201 Draper Road. From 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, the student-run Progeny Festival of Motion Pictures will be held at the Lyric Theater.

For more information, contact the Department of Communication at 540-231-7136.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences embraces the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The College nurtures intellect and spirit, enlightens decision-making, inspires positive change, and improves the quality of life for people of all ages. It is home to the departments of Apparel, Housing & Resource Management; Communication; English; Foreign Languages & Literatures; History; Human Development; Interdisciplinary Studies; Music; Philosophy; Political Science; ROTC; Science and Technology in Society; Sociology; Theatre Arts; and the School of Education.