UNCW adds two new minors

Joe Lowe | Staff Writer

Have an interest in campaigning or becoming an entrepreneur but aren’t in the major to pursue it? That is no longer an issue at UNC Wilmington.

Starting this fall, UNCW will be offering two new minors: campaign management and entrepreneurship. Both minors were approved by the faculty senate in January and were created to coincide for both majors and non-majors.

Rebecca Porterfield, associate dean of the Cameron School of Business, was the committee chair who gathered faculty around campus to back the entrepreneurship minor.

There is already an entrepreneurship program through the Cameron School of Business, but this new minor is specifically for non-majors wanting to take their craft to the business world, according to associate professor of management, David Glew.

“The minor aims at students in the arts and the sciences who would love to have their own production studio, run a lab, to make whatever ‘it’ is a more efficient and more effective product. It’s about being creative and innovative in whatever organization you are in,” Glew said.

The minor requires 18 credits to complete. The three core classes of the minor were all created specifically for it. Students who pursue this minor will take courses in creativity innovation, accounting and finance and human resources marketing. Electives for the minor can come from a variety of areas, such as the business of film course, a Spanish business course and a clinical research course.

The campaigning minor was inspired by Jennifer Brubaker, a UNCW associate professor, and Earl Sheridan, chair of the Department of Public and International Affairs.

“It started with conversations between Dr. Brubaker and I about the possibilities of doing something with campaigning. We then decided to bring the rest of our department in on it,” Sheridan said.

The minor was largely influenced by a trial course taught by Brubaker in 2007, Election Campaign Management. To pass the class, students were required to volunteer on actual mayoral campaigns.

Students put together a campaign meet and greet between the two candidates, which several media outlets and other students and faculty attended. When the class was taught again in 2012, the students participated in the presidential campaigns by helping with local campaigning affiliates.

“The class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays as a class, while Friday was allotted time to assist in their campaigns. It really showed students how to put on a campaign event, see how the local media perceived it, who did and did not show, and so on,” Brubaker said.

The campaigning minor is a part of both the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Public and International Affairs, and includes several courses from both areas. Each department created a new course for the minor; the Department of Communication Studies created COM 352: Election Campaign Management, and the Department of Public and International Affairs created PLS 404: Campaign Strategies. The 18-credit minor must be accompanied by elective classes in persuasion or media politics to complete.

After eight years of pushing political communication and developing many classes on the subject, her area of expertise, Brubaker hopes this minor will prove helpful to non-majors who have an interest in politics.

“This minor be a nice way for people in history, business, psychology or any other discipline to work on their major without having to have a specific focus on their major,” Brubaker said.