Jen Eden is an associate professor in the School of Communication and the Arts. She brings her extensive experience in the Communication research field to the classroom, where students can learn from her successes and setbacks in order to become better Communication students.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background in Communication.
I went to Arizona State University where they have one of the only programs in the country that’s an interdisciplinary Ph.D. so I have this really unique background of having a degree in Communications as well as multifarious statistics. I tried to find programs where I can continue research and human communication and interpersonal communication and that’s what brought to me Marist. The really small class sizes and being able to work with students one-on-one, it’s kind of nice and refreshing to have those one-on-one interactions.
What classes do you teach on campus?
I teach a pretty wide variety of classes. In particular, because of my background and expertise, I love teaching Research Methods. Currently, I am teaching two sections of Capping. I’ve taught the Introduction to Communication class and then some of the areas that I love and am passionate about are Interpersonal Communication and Persuasion. I’ve taught classes in special topics on the topics of the dark sides of communications, and I’ve taught Honors seminars and First-Year Seminars.
What is your favorite thing about teaching at Marist?
My favorite thing about teaching at Marist is that when we have class discussions about a topic, there is a huge discussion that happens and I love that we can sit around and have a type of seminar and have a conversation. It’s not a one-sided lecture where I am giving information and students are writing but we’re having a discussion.
How do you bring your professional experience into the classroom?
When I teach Research Methods and Capping, I try to talk a little bit about my own research because I think students need a little bit of a spark of interest. Sometimes they don’t realize that there are whole different areas of research out there that they didn’t know they could look at. I try to include my own examples of things and talk about the issues I’ve had in my own research and I try to walk them through some of the processes that I’ve been going through as well to reflect my experiences for them.
What makes Communication different from any other major here at Marist?
I think that what makes Communication impactful is that we are perfectly suited to solve problems. Communication is a social science, kind of the cousin of psychology. But Communication takes psychology one step further, so Communication studies affect how I speak to other people and how that impacts how I build relationships, how I interact with them, whether or not I become close with them. It shapes how we interact and how we see the world around us. Along those lines, we solve problems. I can use Communication to put together a cyber-bullying intervention, decrease victimization and put that into practice.
What is the best piece of advice that you give to students?
So there are two pieces of advice that I love to give. For those students that are my students or advisees that are just starting out in college, the advice I give to them is to get involved as much as you can. Not in terms of joining clubs, but in being disciplined in your own education. I know it feels awkward to pop into a professor’s office and ask to talk for a couple minutes but if you are going to be a journalist, then you should be speaking with the journalism faculty and learning what they do and talking about what you want to do, and making those connections. Find that mentor that can write you letters of recommendation after graduation or recommend programs, so that as you start to go out in the world you have someone who has your back academically speaking. The other piece of advice is more global, and that is you should never take yourself out of the running, you should always let someone else do it for you. So what that means is don’t not apply for something because you don’t think you’d get it, or you’re not qualified. Instead, throw in your application, sign up and get involved and if you’re not qualified, let someone else tell you that you’re not. Never personally limit your opportunities.
Written by Caroline Wolf '19
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Faculty
Academic School: Communication and the Arts
Campus: New York