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Communication & Leadership
COML 504: Organizational Communication and Leadership - 3 credits
All organizations — from Microsoft, to churches, social clubs, and universities — rely on communication. Being able to communicate strategically is crucial to meaningful participation. This course will explore contemporary concepts about the meanings and functions of communication in organizations. Organizational communication encompasses not only communication within businesses, but also within large private or nonprofit associations, larger community groups, and governments both large and small. We will cover selected topics in organizational communication research such as culture, socialization, systems theory, communication and technology and globalization.
COML 505: Digital Storytelling - 3 credits
The digital age has changed the way we tell stories. Current technology allows users access to a range of digital tools to not only create their own stories, but share them widely through social media. But how do stories make an impact on audiences, given that there is so much more information available? This course teaches you different forms of storytelling using digital media tools. Readings will help you better understand different narrative and persuasive styles of storytelling as well as understand the major theoretical and policy-related issues. Through hands-on assignments, you will acquire technical skills that will help you become a more effective communicator in the digital age.
COML 507: Mindful Leadership and Communication - 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus
This course is a multi-sensory, hands-on introduction to mindfulness undergirded by empirical research in neuroscience and outcome research. The course includes; readings, audio files, and mindfulness practices, discussion board postings, and a final paper. Content and learning activities are selected in the service of educating the whole person and nurturing the personal and professional qualities aligned with the mission of Gonzaga University.
COML 509: Social Media Engagement and Analysis - 3 credits
This course will explore, examine and analyze the ways in which communication technology influences our shared fundamental assumptions about the nature of communication, and the manner in which we interact with one another on a daily basis, as well as our socially shared values, beliefs and attitudes.
COML 510: Communication Teaching and Pedagogy - 3 credits
This course is designed for those considering teaching communication at the college level. You will learn teaching strategies, develop your teaching philosophy and observe college classroom environments. You will also increase your skills in assessing verbal and nonverbal behaviors to create an engaging classroom experience.
COML 511: Communication Consulting & Training - 3 credits
In a global economy, it is increasingly important to have the training and consulting skills that will allow you to interact effectively with many different cultures. Understanding and creating effective training programs is vital to you and your organization’s success. This course will explore the unique application of communication skills and models for training and offer practice in consulting in a variety of settings, developing resources, marketing, workshop development, training, skill building, and evaluation.
COML 512: Strategic & Crisis Communication - 3 credits
Gone are the days when organizations can afford to just "wait it out" during a crisis or while their competition moves ahead. Whether you lead or work for an organization, or are in charge of strategic planning or communication, it is critical to understand how to develop, implement and evaluate effective integrated communication plans. New ideas, trends, issues, projects, and services in our workplaces are all opportunities to plan, strategize, and communicate with stakeholders. You will learn from real-life examples as well as your colleagues to fully understand and implement campaigns, media relations strategies, and social media tactics.
COML 513: Leadership and Innovation - 3 credits
6-day Immersion: 3.5-days in Spokane and 2.5-days in Seattle
This course is designed to give you the tools to serve effectively as a “leader in innovation” within an organization. You will learn how to cultivate an “innovation” mindset and communicate in a way that focuses on the potential of change and innovation, rather than the anxiety that sometimes surrounds it. Course work will also center on the role communication plays in sustaining and promoting processes of innovation. We will visit innovative companies like Starbucks, Boeing and Amazon, and connect with alumni at the participating companies who have taken what they have learned in the Communication and Leadership and Organizational Leadership masters’ programs, and applied it in their work.
COML 513: Advanced Topics - 3 credits
This seminar explores cutting-edge technologies, theory, and issues. The specific theme of this course varies each time it is offered because communication is constantly evolving.
COML 514: Strategic and Applied Public Relations - 3 credits
This course will explore current public relations practices and give you a solid grounding in the most important thing for a successful public relations practitioner – judgment. All major companies, well-known personalities, non-profits and many others rely on public relations to influence how they are regarded by the audiences that matter to them. As Warren Buffet said “A good reputation takes years to build and a moment to ruin.” The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines it as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” We will cover selected topics to help you understand the science and the art of this discipline including audience research, strategic planning, how to become a valued counselor, and sell your ideas and plans.
COML 515: Relational Communication- 3 credits
This course will enhance your ability to assess the dynamics occurring during conversations, whether one-on-one or in a group, and in different contexts including organizations, families, and in personal relationships. You will study relevant theory, equipping you with the knowledge and skills needed to successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities related to human communication. Students will also explore group dynamics and the specific communication actions that can lead to positive social change.
COML 516: Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship - 3 credits
Despite our awareness that we live in an age of communication, we are often unaware of how we contribute, define, make, use and are used by various forms of communication media. Communication in our society takes place in many forms, including mass electronic media, telecommunications, transportation, publishing and even our educational system. This course examines the implications of several forms of communication for how we live and what we believe, including the impact of mass media on modern societies, conflicting social interests and the needs of different groups in society, the formation of public opinion, and the diffusion of innovations. Attention will be directed throughout the course to the processes of developing action plans for communication that incorporates principles of media literacy.
COML 518: Online Course Design & Teaching - 3 credits
With a focus on the college classroom and corporate and organizational training setting, this course develops skills for online course design. Topics explored include instructional techniques, syllabus creation, assessment, grading, presence and engagement matters, strategies for building inclusive classroom culture and climate, and navigating student performance and engagement issues. The course will consider how real-time or simultaneous and non-simultaneous teaching modes may be incorporated and combined into effective online instructional design strategies.
COML 520: Internship - 3 credits
You will complete an approximately 240-hour internship under the supervision of a communication professor at a local college or university for one semester or quarter. The internship includes the development of a portfolio and evaluations from internship supervisors. With guidance from COML faculty you will work to arrange your internship.
COML 530: Women, Communication and Leadership - 3 credits
This course will look at gender differences in leadership styles and efficacy as well as specific communication issues women face in attaining and retaining leadership positions. Through readings, discussions, videos, and projects that critically examine images and gender stereotypes of women leaders, the course is designed to give you practical skills you can use to become better communicators and leaders.
COML 540: Digital Media Analysis - 3 credits
In this course you will learn how to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of digital communication, including website traffic and social media. You will gain specific tools for analysis and presentation of data in meaningful ways and develop media strategies based on data insights. This class will use case studies and practical exercises to help you understand analytic techniques.
COML 541: Advanced Digital Media Analysis - 3 credits
Prerequisite: COML 540
In this course, you will build upon fundamental concepts of how to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of digital communication and apply those principles more fully in the realm of digital marketing. Part of the class includes preparing a portfolio campaign proposal. The class is grounded in best practices behind the strategy, execution, measurement and analysis of multichannel campaigns.
COML 545: Digital Surveillance, Algorithms & Ethics - 3 credits
The internet plays a large role in our lives, but what really happens when you log into social media or search for a job, news, a political issue or even a restaurant online? In this course we will raise the curtain on what is really happening behind the scenes in these digital spaces. Who is collecting your data, how is it being used and stored, should it be used and stored, and how do algorithms really work? We will cover the issues surrounding privacy and surveillance and the ethical questions facing organizations and individuals. Some of the other topics we will study include, algorithmic bias, network neutrality, accessibility, content moderators, intellectual property and surveillance capitalism.
“This class has definitely been one of the most interesting and relevant courses that I have taken throughout the COML program.” Student Fall 2020
COML 550: Visual Data Communication - 3 credits
There is a vast quantity of data out there and it is not neutral, so how do you communicate important information gathered from data clearly and efficiently? In this course you will learn how to visualize information in a way that is easier for your audience to use and understand. You will strategize how to move beyond the written word and traditional presentations in order to create engaging graphic representations, that are accessible and ethical and send a clear message. One of the best examples on how data is used today is the visual representations surrounding the COVD-19 pandemic. Part of your course work includes using data visualization, graphic and analytic tools
COML 570: Globalization and Its Impacts - 3 credits
In this course you will become familiar with a variety of global issues tied to organizational performance and to analyze those issues using systems-thinking concepts and tools. You will gain a deeper understanding of social relationships of interdependence and accountability, as well as skills to integrate diverse ideas and perspectives from a variety of sources.
COML 572: Communication, Leadership and Community Development - 3 credits
Includes short-term study abroad in Cali, Colombia
You will contribute to the work undertaken by the Social Responsibility Office at Javeriana University in partnership with various community media and communication organizations active in the Ladera and Aguablanca districts in Cali to learn about and participate in community development projects geared to empowering disadvantaged young people.
COML 690: Directed Study - 3 credits
Arranged with faculty
You may also choose electives from our Master's in Organizational Leadership program.
ORGL 510: Renaissance Leadership for the 21st Century - 3 credits
Includes short-term study abroad in Florence, Italy
This course will help emerging leaders develop new perspectives and strategies and bring healthy creativity and energy to their organizations. Drawing upon the creative processes of artists, painters, architects, musicians, and writers, students will apply the same dynamics of creative thinking to the practical work of leaders. An interdisciplinary approach explores the power of Renaissance thinking as it applies to renewal, rediscovery, invention, and creativity.
ORGL 515: Leadership and Human Potential - 3 Credits
Continuous innovation is critical to organizational health and happens when we find the keys to unlocking human potential. In this course, you will learn how to reframe attitudes and unlock creativity to find solutions to challenges in whole new way. Tap into your own ability to facilitate change and engage those around you to come up with new ideas. You will learn tools to address the frustrations sometimes present in group dynamics in any organization, including school groups, community organizations and fortune 500 companies. You will become familiar with the following strategies and interventions: design thinking, growth mindset, appreciative inquiry summit, future search, open space, and world café that will help you create a healthy interactions and organizational culture focused on growth.
ORGL 516: Organizational Development - 3 credits
Change is a messy affair. In this course you will learn how Organization Development consultants (both internal employees and external consultants) can support leaders and all members of an organization to achieve their goals for change through a human centric approach. Coursework focuses on ways to balance organizational and workforce needs, with tools for research, identifying problems, and giving feedback that will be well received. You will become aware of biases, learn from resistors to change and develop your own learning agenda as a master change agent. You will also explore every step of the Organization Development process, including entry, discovery and data gathering, diagnosis and feedback, intervention planning and implementation, and evaluation.
ORGL 517: Organizational Change and Transformation - 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus
Managing change is a critical skill to support organizations in achieving their goals, mission, and vision. Building on theories from the field of change management, the experiential learning in Spokane will introduce multiple interventions, reinforcing that different situations require different approaches. The course is appropriate for people in various levels and types of organizations, providing the tools to support effective change leadership.
ORGL 518: Transforming Leadership - 3 credits
How do contemporary leaders go beyond the social exchange theory to convert followers into leaders and leaders into moral agents? This course offers a comparison of transactional and transforming leadership by examining past leaders and events. An examination of the dynamics of transformation and how leadership can facilitate it within individuals and organizations will help students develop new insights into the theory and practice of transforming leadership.
ORGL 520: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution - 3 credits
This course provides an overview of conflict on different levels, from micros through mezzo, macros to violent international conflict. Using real-life situations and case studies, students will practice skills and strategies for dialogue, decision-making, and ultimately conflict transformation and system change. This application is generic and therefore appropriate for all professions whether formally or informally involved in resolving conflict.
ORGL 522: Leadership, Community, Empowerment, Collaboration, and Dialogue - 3 credits
Includes 5-days at St. Andrews Abbey in Valyermo, CA
What is the meaning and purpose of life and activity? How is need for such meaning and purpose encountered in community? How does the leader develop community to facilitate individual growth and collective flourishing? Through study, experience, and scholarship students explore and practice the leadership processes of empowerment, collaboration, and dialogue in the context of creating structures and processes for sustaining and transforming community. At the Benedictine Abbey students become participant observers in a five day immersion designed to explore, practice, and come to an expanded understanding of the role and purpose of the leader’s involvement and commitment to building and sustaining meaningful and purposeful community.
ORGL 523: Psychology of Leadership - 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus
This course offers an introduction to the field of psychological issues in leadership. While the field is considered relatively new and growing, this course focuses on three popular and often discussed themes in this area: personality development, emotional intelligence and dimensions of a psychologically healthy workplace. Through the use of lecture, discussion, class exercises, film and readings students will begin with a look at leadership success and failure from the lens of psychology. Importance will be placed on the student understanding the psychological challenges of being in a leadership role and how to interact effectively with those who behave in ways that are less than productive for the organization. The middle section of the course offers an in-depth exploration of those psychological capacities necessary for effective leadership. Finally, characteristics of a psychologically healthy work environment will be explored.
ORGL 530: Servant Leadership - 3 credits
The foundations of Servant-leadership are explored with an emphasis on reviewing the original writings, and on conceptualizing and articulating the philosophy through a clarification of what it is, and why Servant-leadership is relevant. Human development theories are used as theoretical frameworks for identifying criteria to assess servant-leaders and servant-organizations, and for understanding how they develop and function. Dialogue is encouraged as a way of integrating aspects of the philosophy with applied experience and gain insights into the students own leadership approach.
ORGL 532: Leadership, Justice, and Forgiveness - 3 credits
Emotional discipline based in love calls a person toward meaningful responses to human suffering. Such responses are grounded in discernment regarding human conflict, oppression, power, and harm, and the opportunities—personal, familial, societal, and global—that rise from the crucible of potential that is our humanity. The course engages you toward self-responsibility in the context of reconciliation, and the depth of heart, mind, and spirit that leads to healing and growth in community with others. You will work to apply the interior leadership necessary for discernment and action within oppressive systems.
ORGL 535: Listen, Discern, Decide - 3 credits
In this class, you will learn more in-depth concepts of Servant-leadership by learning approaches and practices of listening and discernment as a way of enhancing decision-making capacity. The course begins with a focus on interior and exterior listening. Listening and awareness techniques are then integrated with the principles and practices of discernment. The course progresses from a focus on the individual, to group, to listening and discerning and decision making in organizations and communities.
ORGL 537: Foresight & Strategy - 3 credits
Includes 4-days on campus; Prerequisite - ORGL 530
In this course you will integrate more of the servant-leader characteristics, and further develop the disposition of a servant-leader. The course explores the art, science and methods leaders use to acknowledge, stimulate, and further develop their capacity of foresight. You will engage macro-system perspectives in applying strategy and stewardship as you consider introducing vision into the reality of complex organizational and community systems.
ORGL 550: Team Building and Leadership - 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus
This three-day intensive program is designed to increase your knowledge and understanding of leadership and team development through a combination of information sessions and active participation in cooperative, challenge activities. Challenge activities are designed to enhance your critical thinking skills, creativity, problem-solving ability, and ability to work effectively within a team. These activities present opportunities to taking leadership roles, recognize leadership styles, identify what works and what doesn’t work in given situations, and apply lessons to real life situations. Topics include the communication process, leadership models and styles, stages of team development, ethics, diversity, and visionary or principle-centered and creative leadership.
ORGL 551: Advanced Team Building and Leadership Intensive - 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus; Prerequisite: ORGL 550
This 3-day intensive program is designed to be taken along with ORGL 550, building on key concepts learned. The advanced session shifts the focus from group participation to group facilitation through team building and leadership development activities.
ORGL 570: Introduction to Global Systems - 3 credits
We exist in a rapidly shrinking world of intensifying technological, economic, social, cultural, and political interconnections. Organizations across a range of fields and industries are increasingly more diverse and international, and leaders have to address this complex work environment both domestically and globally. This course engages students to become familiar with a variety of global issues tied to organizational performance and to analyze those issues using systems-thinking concepts and tools. You will gain a deeper understanding of social relationships of interdependence and accountability, as well as skills to integrate diverse ideas and perspectives from a variety of sources. Further through case studies, simulations and discussions of current issues you will be able to refine global leadership skills such as self-awareness, inquisitiveness, open-mindedness, and cultural sensitivity.
ORGL 577: Methods of Inquiry and Strategy for Contemporary Global Issues: A Brussels European Forum Simulation- 3 credits
Includes short-term study abroad in Brussels, Belgium
Acquire the fundamentals of leading in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous global contexts while practicing strategic leadership integrating multinational perspectives. Develop the leadership capacity to examine contemporary global issues, comprehensively analyze policies, negotiate towards bilateral agreement, and work in multinational contexts to create viable and sustainable solutions. Competencies are gained from class instruction, mentorship, and coaching from an international simulation at the epicenter of the European Community, NATO, and the home of various multinational institutions in Brussels, Belgium.
ORGL 660: Reading in Social Systems - 1 to 3 credits
This individualized study course is based on readings in a specific topic designed in consultation with the instructor. You will discuss the selected readings on a tutorial basis with the instructor and prepare an annotated bibliography or bibliographical essay. Although individualized, this course is treated as a seminar in which you share your work with other students and the faculty member assigned to the course.
ORGL 670: Projects in Organizational Leadership - 1 to 3 credits
This independent study course consists of a formal research project investigating a problem in applied organizational or social research conducted under the tutelage of the instructor Although individualized, this course is treated as a seminar in which you share your work with other students and the faculty member assigned to the course.
ORGL 671: Projects in Group Behavior - 1 to 3 credits
This independent study course consists of a formal project of original research in a topic of group behavior that proceeds from a research design approved and monitored by the instructor. Although individualized, this course is treated as a seminar in which you share your work with other students and the faculty member assigned to the course.
ORGL 681: Leadership and Storytelling - 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus
Stories permeate virtually every dimension of our existence as noted in the familiar quote: “Civilizations have existed without the wheel, but no society has ever existed without story.” With groundwork in narrative, the class focuses on the kind of leadership that is demanded by the current world situation: Leaders who lead from their real selves or, Authentic Leaders. After exploring an understanding of authentic leadership, the course will shift focus to a key tool for leaders: the leadership story.
ORGL 689: Leadership and Hardiness - 3 credits
Includes 4-days at Mt. Adams, WA
This course will introduce you to existential psychology and psychological hardiness in the context of organizational leadership. You will gain an understanding of existentialism through a personal exploration of meaning and how meaning informs psychological attitudes and existential courage during personal and organizational adversity. Partnering with an organization, you will engage various sources of feedback related to culture, climate, structure, and workforce and provide the organization a tangible plan for developing and/or sustaining a resilient organization. You will learn to deconstruct and operationalize psychological hardiness through scholarly literature, classroom exercises, simulations, and a climb at Mt. Adams, WA.
ORGL 689: Contemporary Strategies to Counter Hate- 3 credits
Includes 3-days on campus
You will research the leadership strategies used to create cultures of justice and human flourishing in communities and organizations targeted by hate. This class engages you to discover the success stories from the past in order to provide insights for today’s challenges. You will discover models for action, study lessons learned and discover the tools that worked. The class is aligned with a class from our doctoral program in leadership studies, and outcomes will be a part of a publication effort to share this knowledge with others interested in combating hate.
ORGL 689: Understanding Europe in the Age of Uncertainty
Includes short-term study abroad in Prague, Czech Republic
You may attend Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, for an intensive immersion. This program provides you with a broad understanding of the most significant recent political and social issues in Europe and analyzes the current challenges for the future of European development.
ORGL 689: Global Citizenship - 3 credits
In 2016, GlobeScan found that 51% of people surveyed across 18 countries viewed themselves primarily as global citizens, rather than as citizens of their own nation. Considering the many issues currently facing ‘citizenship,’ such as the international migration crisis, Brexit, and the 2016 US Presidential election, how do we transcend political and state borders to assume the rights and responsibilities of our world? As an individual, we are ethical consumers, engaging actively in global issues. As a group, we must acknowledge our diverse global workforce through inclusivity, alongside the dedicated commitment to the well-being of those in our organizations, as well as our interconnected industries, communities, and world. This course will assist you in developing the personal and professional competencies required to responsibly address our increasingly globalized industries and society. You will gain a deeper understanding of how global citizenship can successful exist in micro-levels of organizational teams and small groups. This course offers an integrated, transdisciplinary, practical, and dynamic framework for you to learn how global citizens must think, act, and communicate among diverse, intercultural populations.
Students may tailor their elective choices or choose from formal concentrations.