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In demand skillsAccording to Linked In, at left are the top in-demand skills for the workplace. Notice that nearly all of them are directly applicable to the curriculum in the Business Communication and Comm Studies majors!

But according to a July article in Techwell by Owen Gotimer, we must stop referring to these skills as "soft." These soft skills really aren’t so soft after all. Why not?

1. "Soft skills are hard to learn.

2. Soft skills require continuous improvement.

3. Soft skills are transferable. 

4. Soft skills will distinguish man from machine.

5. Soft skills are the focal point of agile."

These are important human skills that are demanded of the successful employee - so let's stop calling them "soft."

An excerpt from the letter sent to members from Eastern Communication president Katherine Thweatt:

Logo of 2020 ECAOnce again, I am reaching out to you with a heavy heart. We have heard from many members inquiring about whether our beloved convention will take place this year. These messages have steadily increased in number since yesterday. During the past 24 hours, the Executive Board has met several times about COVID-19 to determine the best approach for our association and membership. While we initially believed that we could carry on, it has become apparent that we must cancel the 111th Eastern Communication Association (ECA) convention, Harboring Innovation, in Baltimore, Maryland, Wednesday, April 1 –  Sunday, April 5, 2020.

Before addressing the rationale for this decision, I want to extend my deepest appreciation and compassion to our Primary Planner and ECA First Vice President, Jennifer Waldeck. As you know, she planned an innovative conference with programming to educate ourselves not only on current research, but with opportunities to learn how to conduct rigorous research. Her innovative planning also included changing our approach to our business meeting and the announcement of awards and recognitions.

Headshot, Jennifer WaldeckThe passion, dedication, and action Jennifer showed in the year leading up to her conference provides a blueprint for future planners on how to plan and how to conference differently from the status quo. I am devastated that we will not reap the benefits of Jennifer’s conference planning prowess during the expected timeframe of 04/01/2020 - 04/05/2020. However, the Executive Board is working to implement a plan to honor our election of Jennifer to plan a conference for us. Working out the details of this plan may require a few weeks’ work, but we will make every effort to announce the specifics of our next steps as soon as possible. Thank you, Jennifer, for your hard work. We will not let you down in finding a way to allow your hard work to pay off.

Stevenson University Communication students and faculty join in acknowledging the amazing work accomplished by Jennifer Waldeck, first vice president of the ECA and convention planner. The help she received from Stevenson's own Dr. Leeanne Bell McManus and her Advanced Event Planning class must also be commended. Thanks to all who spent an enormous amount of time, energy and creativity on this event.

Hoem page of The VillagerWhen Stevenson classes were canceled for March 11-13, the resourceful Villager staff found a way to collaborate from a variety of sites off campus and get new articles published on the online site,

Through the use of chat on GroupMe, and the remarkable versatility of WordPress, the staff was able to meet their deadline with professionalism and cooperation. Congrats to Jess Lewis, editor-in-chief; senior editors Andrew Nagel and Derek Tangorra, and staffers Marriah Boyd, Tyler Burton, Annie Smyth-Hammond, Jevan Leyh, Joseph Mauler, Liam Walsh, and Brittany Whitley.

Maura Winebrenner with marketing bannerIf you've ever wondered what a "brand marketing manager" does, here's a good example! Stevenson Business Communication alum Maura Kovalcik Winebrenner, '13, who is the brand marketing manager for the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, stands beside one of her products on display. She works to develop and implement integrated marketing strategies for the Scouting organization, whose council "was established in 1962 and serves 20,000 girls in 2,000 troops and groups in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties with the help of nearly 9,000 dedicated and committed adult volunteers," according to the GSCM website. (Photo from LinkedIn)

Katie Vogel as a Woman to WatchStevenson Business Communication alum Katie Wagner Vogel has been named one of the "Marketing Women to Watch" as the Traffic & Conversion Summit 2020 convenes in San Diego at the end of March for its annual convention.

Katie is currently the Chief Marketing Officer for Agora Financial in Baltimore. A 2010 graduate of Stevenson University, Katie received her Master's degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2013 in Digital Communication and Media.

The 2020 Summit is billed as the year's premier marketing gathering of marketing professionals. Congratulations, Katie!

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