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Digital Communication

As the world of digital communication continues its rapid expanse, there will be a need for sharp, knowledgable professionals with a high level of acumen in technology and communication. New communication platforms are being developed and launched every day, and the field of electronic media is rapidly evolving and being reshaped to keep up with the audiences the program intends to reach.

The Digital Communication Program

The digital communication program at William Penn is designed to equip and empower students with the skills they’ll need to stay at the forefront of a digital world that truly is global in nature. You can choose from one of three concentrations—video production, journalism, or public relations. You’ll gain hands-on training with state-of-the-art technology at facilities like the Musco Technology Center, as well as through William Penn’s partnership with KYOU Fox-15 in Ottumwa, Iowa, in which students can produce a nightly news broadcast.

2018 Student Crystal Pillar Nomination

William Penn Digital Communication students received a nomination for a 2018 Student Crystal Pillar Award from the Upper Midwest Emmy® Chapter. William Penn submitted an entry in the Sports: Live Events category that highlights their football productions out at Lacey Stadium, see video submission below. The Upper Midwest Student Crystal Pillar competition recognizes excellence in media productions from college students in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and western Wisconsin.

Dino Landucci IV, Producer/Director/Graphics
Alyssa Kerry, Producer/Technical Director/Graphics
Markesha Yarbrough, Media/Replay Operator
Jimmy Ott, Technical Director/Photographer
Cheyenne Jaquez, Photographer/Replay Operator
Mason Shrader, Photographer/Replay Operator
Wade Votroubek, Photographer
Jared Buckallew, Photographer
Jennifer Hugins, Photographer
Doug Hoskins, Faculty Advisor
Adam Chown, Faculty Advisor

2017 Iowa College Media Association Awards

William Penn Digital Communication students received five awards from the 2017 Better Student News Media and 2017 Better Student Television contests.  The students were honored at the yearly Iowa College Media Association (ICMA)  convention held in Des Moines, IA.

2017 Better Student News Media Contest

Third Place: Best Page 1 (Print)
The Chronicle April 2017 edition by Chronicle Staff

First Place: Best Sports Feature (Print)
Hidden Injuries by Sabrina Bryant

Third Place: Best Sports Story (Print)
Statesmen basketball makes a statement at NAIA national championship by Miranda Keeler

2017 Better Student Television Contest

Second Place: Best Corporate Video

#WPDay 2017 – How Far We’ve Come
Produced by Markesha Yarbrough, Courtney Bottorff, Mason Shrader, Arthur Luz, Dino Landucci IV

Third Place: Best Newscast

William Penn News Now (March 24, 2017)
Produced by Miranda Keeler, Alyssa Kerry, Sabrina Bryant, Kadeem Ellington, Jasmin Sonnenschein, Becky Kopp


The mission of the program is to prepare students for a broad range of career opportunities that are out there in today’s digitally oriented world. Careers that are common for those with a degree in digital communication include:

  • Television Production
  • Directing Audio
  • Editing
  • News Producer
  • Film Producer
  • Studio Lighting Positions
  • Reporting
  • Public Relations
  • Media Relations
  • Social Media Management
  • Corporate Communications
  • Corporate Video Production
  • Writing: Journalism, Blogs, Magazines
  • Web Design


To succeed in these fields takes a serious depth of knowledge and experience working with the latest and most modern resources. That’s why all students in the program complete at least one internship, during which they sharpen their skills in production, technology, and other areas essential for success. Our students recently have completed internships at:

  • Mahaska Communications Group (MCG)
  • Communication Research Institute (CRI)
  • Iowa Cubs
  • Prairie Meadows Race Track
  • Mahaska Health Partnership
  • KBOE 104.9FM/KMZN 99.5FM 740AM
  • Musco Sports Lighting, LLC.
  • George Daily Auditorium
  • United Way of Mahaska County

One of the strengths of our Digital Communication program is the mentoring we provide our students. We have faculty, but also a staff of media professionals who all know that student development is our number one priority.

Matt Wagner, Director of Digital Communication and Assistant Teaching Professor


Jessica Willett, M.B.A.

Instructor of Communications 641-673-1116 Email

Matt Wagner, M.S.

Director of the Digital Communication Program, Assistant Teaching Professor of Communications 641-673-2170 Email


Students in the program benefit from a variety of opportunities to develop their interest and abilities in digital communication outside of the classroom. The student-led Media Club offers outstanding opportunities to work with William Penn’s KIGC radio station where they lead all aspects of the radio’s production. Students can also be involved with the Chronicle, Penn’s campus newspaper, and the Statesmen Status online blog, along with other digital production projects.


Musco Technology Center (MTC)

WPU opened the doors of the Musco Technology Center in 2008. Within the building, students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and machinery, giving them practical experience for after graduation. The Applied Technology Division holds most of its classes here, along with the Digital Communication program.

  • Digital Communication studios
  • Computer Labs
  • Classrooms
  • 88.7 KIGC FM Studio
  • Industrial Technology Labs
  • Faculty Offices
  • Student Lounge
  • Mechanical Engineering Labs


You’ll take the following courses as a student in the digital communication program:

Digital Communication Core Classes

  • COMM 102 Media Writing
  • COMM 123 Media’s Past and Digital Future
  • COMM 125 Introduction to Public Relations Principles
  • COMM 126 Video Production I
  • COMM 141 Live Events and Sports Practicum (1 credit x 4 semesters)
  • COMM 226 Video Production II
  • COMM 235 Journalism Practicum
  • COMM 238 Communication Theory and Ethics
  • COMM 250 TV News I
  • COMM 268 Social Media
  • COMM 319 Media Law
  • COMM 357 Internship
  • COMM 360 Media Entrepreneur
  • COMM 390 Applied Communications Seminar
  • APCS 112 Computer Applications for Communications
  • ART 134 2-Dimensional Design
  • ENGL 220 Introduction to Literature
  • ENGL 200+ Any Literature Course 200-level or above
  • ART/COMM 211 Digital Photography


Journalism Emphasis
  • COMM 220 Principles of Journalism and Reporting
  • COMM 320 Advanced Reporting
  • COMM 350 TV News II
Public Relations Emphasis
  • COMM 225 Writing for Public Relations
  • COMM 316 Public Relations Research and Campaigns
  • COMM 345 Public Relations Practicum 2
Video Production Emphasis
  • COMM 128 Audio Production and Radio
  • COMM 203 Media Writing Toward Video
  • COMM 350 TV News II