Correction: In a previous version of this article, Professor of Strategic Communications Michele Lashley's name was spelled incorrectly. Elon News Network regrets this error.

Senior Grace Tiedge watched her sister-in-law have a successful career after graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in strategic communications from Elon University. The major in Elon’s School of Communications that explores the process and techniques for how organizations communicate with the public through different forms of communication such as public relations and advertising, was voted “Best Major.” 

“I knew what she did in the future with strat comm and getting a job and getting internships,” Tiedge said. “She talked about how much she loved it and told me how much she thought that I would enjoy it.”

According to the 2021 fall registrar report, 474 students are enrolled in the strategic communications major — the major with the highest number of students in the School of Communications. 

Hal Vincent, senior lecturer in strategic communications, said that he loves strategic communications because it involves both theory and practice, along with being both creative and business oriented results. 

“It calls upon both the business analytic world of thinking and also on the entrepreneurial in creative thinking to try to create something … that can help change the way people think,” Vincent said. “I feel like it's such a blend of so many things.”

Vincent also serves as the faculty director of Live Oak Communications, a student-run strategic communications and design agency. 

Professor of communications Michele Lashley worked in corporate communications before arriving at Elon University to teach in 2001. An Elon alumna, Lashley said what she loves most about the major and the School of Communications is the students who make up the school. 

“I still work in the industry and you know, after you've been in it for a long time, it's easy to sort of lose sight of the magic of the industry,” Lashley said. “But when you're working with students, who are often seeing things or experiencing things for the first time, it gives a whole new perspective to the work.”

Since taking her first strategic communications class her sophomore year, Tiedge said that every course has segued into the next one, making the major interactive and enjoyable overall. 

“It's more than just communicating,” Tiedge said. “All of the teachers I've had, the classes that I've had, have given me real world experiences and real things that I've been able to use.”