Malia Waltman ’19 is a digital communications and international business double major. As an Allwein Scholar, Malia was able to travel abroad to immerse herself in multinational affairs.
About The Program
LVC’s Digital Communications Program (digiCOM) offers an innovative, interdisciplinary approach to emerging media and technology in which students can select concentrations in business technology, communications, design, programming, user experience, or audio/video production. You’ll gain hands-on experience using industry-standard software and a range of tablets and mobile devices, as well as use of the department’s 3D printer.
Students collaborate with faculty, serve as project managers, and work with real clients. They design mobile apps, develop advertising campaigns, create branded identities, and develop start-ups and e-business plans. Recent graduates have been hired as graphic artists, interactive media specialists, and marketing coordinators throughout the globe, including in Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, London, New York City, Orlando, Richmond, and San Diego.
Human-Centered Design: What is it?
Have you ever pushed a door instead of pulled it? Clicked on a tab on a website and found information that you didn’t expect to find? How about flipped the wrong light switch? These issues occur because the designer did not center their design around the humans who use these objects.
Human-centered design (HCD) is an innovative and creative approach to problem solving. By understanding the wants and needs of individuals, digital communications (DigiCOM) and interaction and experience design (I.Ex.D.) students are able to create ideas that are embraced by users. Whether it’s designing a new app, creating an experiential advertising campaign, designing a smart object or wearable, or building a new website—everything starts with learning about the user.
As the foundation of both digital communications and interaction and experience design, human-centered design plays a key role in all eight of the concentrations that DigiCOM and I.Ex.D offer. The hands-on majors combine HCD with prototyping and interactivity to give students insights on how to create solutions for the many problems in the digital world.
- Our digital communications majors combine business, communications, computer & data science, design, and user experience to be involved in hands-on projects where they get to make things; it’s truly an applied major with concrete projects students can share with prospective employers.
- Majors in the Digital Communications Program benefit from low student-to-faculty ratio through smaller classes and greater interaction with faculty than at larger schools.
- Digital communications majors are required to identify areas in which they would like to work, research requirements of that field, and develop the required skills to be successful in that field.
- Digital communications majors work closely with faculty to develop career plans, create portfolios and résumés, and develop and showcase course assignments to find internships and prepare for the job market.
- The Digital Communications Program requires all majors to gain professional experience. Class projects often involve working with and solving problems for local and regional clients, such as The Hershey Company and Armstrong World Industries.
- The Digital Communications Program explores the interrelated elements of communication, business, design, and computer & data science in a setting that emphasizes design-thinking to solve communications problems. Students learn human-centered design and usability testing methods to create more effective communications programs and projects. Digital communications majors gain real-world experience working collaboratively with the student-run Kalo Creative ad agency, VALE Music Group, and annual Dutchmen Ale project, among other innovative student initiatives.
The uniqueness of the major has proved to be a guaranteed conversation starter throughout my career, and when explaining that my background is in computer science, business, communications, and design, the response is always the same—wow—it’s impressive.