Latoya Binford

Latoya Binford

My first introduction to UAH’s Communication Arts Department was when I took Intro to Rhetorical Communication in the Summer 16 semester. It was at that time that my love for the discipline would develop. I was a Secondary Education major looking to teach English at the high school level. I faced a dilemma. My favorite classes were being taught by the Communication Arts Department, but I knew that teaching was my passion. I struggled with decision to change my major throughout the next semester until Dr. Pavica Sheldon assured me that my passions could be combined. It was the best decision for me.

The skills and knowledge gained through communication arts classes have proved invaluable in and out of the classroom. Often as undergrads, students sum up the college experience as memorizing and regurgitating information only. While that makes up a significant portion of college responsibility, it is not the greatest takeaway. The ability to seek and obtain information not previously known is the most important skill developed during a student’s collegiate career. Comm Arts taught me how to do that; it taught me how to be a researcher. It also taught me that research is not limited to careers in the science field. Research is used in virtually every career field including retail, entertainment, healthcare, technology, and education. For this reason, I’d encourage any student to major or minor in Communication Arts. It truly prepares students for any career path.

Armed with my researching skills and my love for interpersonal communication, I entered the JUMP (joint undergraduate masters program) during the Fall 17 semester. Being able to take both masters and undergraduate coursework afforded me with an opportunity upon graduation that brought my Communication Arts journey full circle. I graduated in Spring 18 and was awarded the department’s Graduate Teaching Assistant position for the Fall 18 semester. I will begin teaching the class that started it all for me, Intro to Rhetorical Communication, hopefully passing on my love, expertise, and example that following your passions are always worth it!