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School of
Communications and
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412-397-6461 phone
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Wheatley Center 307

Foundations for Success

The school offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in a broad range of fields. Underlying them all is a focus on designing information in a way that makes an impact -- whether on a Web page, through a well-designed computer network, on TV, or in a CEO's speech.

Students can take advantage of our top-notch facilities and laboratories and get their creativity flowing at Colonial Theatre, RMU-TV, the student newspaper or poetry anthology, and even on an overseas shoot with the Center for Documentary Production and Study.

The university’s focus on communication and business skills gives graduates an advantage in the job market. Internships and co-ops with Bayer, ESPN, Questec and many others prepare our students for professional life. And each student enjoys the small class sizes and personal attention that make RMU a special place to learn.

What else makes us special?

  • BS Information Sciences and Computer Information Systems degrees accredited by the ABET Computing Accreditation Commission
  • Fully equipped TV studio, converged newsroom, digital editing bays, and campus radio station
  • The country's first IT project management master's degree
  • A dedicated living-learning facility for professional visiting artists, filmmakers, designers, and photographers
  • Exec-friendly doctorate in information systems and communications
  • Six integrated 5-year B.A./B.S. and M.S. programs in computer information systems and communication fields
  • Full access to an IBM zEnterprise EC-12 mainframe server

SCIS News and Updates

SCIS Senior Honored as "Rising Star Award" Recipient
RMU President Christopher Howard presents the Rising Star Award to SCIS student
Megan DeArmit, on Sept. 15, 2017.

RMU senior Megan DeArmit, a student in the School of Communications and Information Systems, has received the university's "Rising Star Award."

The award is presented to a graduating senior who demonstrates academic success, individuality, determination, passion, and potential in his or her field of study.

DeArmit is studying public relations, and also pursuing a minor in political science.

DeArmit's accomplishments at RMU are numerous. A partial list is included here:

-Class of 2018 president
-Panhellenic Council president
-Student Program Board vice-president
-Women's Leadership and Mentorship Program mentor
-Lambda Phi Eta Communication Honor Society member

"I am grateful to the university for the ways it has changed my life," DeArmit noted. "I've made lifelong friends, traveled the world, and grown both professionally and personally. 

"This award allowed me to thank university donors for their generosity and tell them about the incredible opportunities so many students like me have been given because of their support." 

DeArmit, who is from McCandless, PA., is planning a career in political communication and media law.

RMU President Christopher Howard Congratulates Students Honored at Recent Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards
RMU President Christopher Howard speaks to students in the Sentry Media
newsroom, on Sept. 19, 2017. Photo: Anthony Moretti

RMU President Christoper Howard visited the Sentry Media news room to recognize the students honored at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.

The group, led by program producer Dylan McKenna, was recognized for live coverage of the RMU-Bryant men’s basketball game, The students were nominated in the "Sports: Live Event" category. 

The president reminded the students that their achievement is another example of the university's commitment to ensuring students succeed inside and outside the classroom. 

L to R; Morgan Torchia, Sam Anthony, RMU President Christopher Howard,
Dakota Lamb and Zach Laufer celebrate the production award won at the recent MId-Atlantic
Emmy Awards, on Sept. 19, 2017. Photo: Anthony Moretti.

He also noted that a separate group of students won awards last year for their coverage of his induction as the university's 8th president. "I wasn't going to do another inauguration so you could win again!' he joked.

Top Secret Colonials' Hurricane Relief Effort a Big Success

RMU students Brian Wright and Victoria Clark were two of the Top Secret Colonials helping
to deliver non-perishable items to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, on Sept. 12. Photo: Dr. Karen Paullet

The Top Secret Colonials' public mission is complete.

The student club, which highlights the importance of cyber security, kept loading one item after another into a U-Haul truck outside the Wheatley Center, on Sept. 12. 

They then delivered all of it to the Chartiers Valley Fire Dept, which is transporting the items to Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

"The generosity of the RMU and surrounding community was unbelievable," Dr. Karen Paullet said. She is an associate professor in the School of Communications and Information Systems and the faculty adviser for the club.

"We were able to see people come together to support people in need," she added. "Students, faculty, alumni, and local businesses contributed to the efforts."

The items collected by the Top Secret Colonials are prepared to be loaded to a tractor-trailer
for delivery to Texas, on Sept. 12: Photo: Dr. Karen Paullet

The Top Secret Colonials collection began soon after RMU faculty and students returned to campus at the end of August. The organization holds at least three charity events during the academic year, Paullet noted. 

And as for trying to repeat this humanitarian effort for the victims of Hurricane Irma throughout the Caribbean and Florida?

"We'll wait to see the need for the Irma victims before making a decision," Paullet said.

Ten Robert Morris University students honored at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.

Ten Robert Morris University students were winners at the 2017 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards, which took place Saturday night in Hershey, PA.

The group, led by program producer Dylan McKenna, was recognized for live coverage of the RMU-Bryant men’s basketball game, which was played on Jan. 21, 2017, at the Sewall Center.The students were nominated in the "Sports: Live Event" category.

“It was amazing to win for the second year in a row,” McKenna said. “We’ve come so far since we released the program two years ago, but none of it would be possible without the great people that make up our team.”

The award recipients include:
  • Dylan McKenna, Producer
  • Dakota Lamb, Director
  • Zach Laufer, Technical Director
  • Morgan Torchia, Replay
  • Alex Balenciaga, Graphic Designer
  • Tori Flick, Graphics Operator
  • Nick Milliron, Close Follow
  • Vince Russo, Play-by-Play
  • Dontae Pearson, Color Commentary
  • Sam Anthony, Sideline Reporter
RMU also was nominated in two other categories. A total of 22 current or former students were up for awards.

“I’m so proud of all the students that we work with. They’re exceptionally good, and they deserve all the honors that they get,” Carrie Moniot, student media advisor, told RMU Sentry Media.

Left to right: Dakota Lamb, Dylan McKenna, Tori Flick, Nick Milliron, Morgan Torchia, Zach Laufer, Sam Anthony.
Photo courtesy of RMU Sentry Media

SCIS Faculty Member Interviewed About Equifax Hack

SCIS faculty member Dr. Karen Paullet was interviewed by KDKA-TV on Sept. 7, 2017, about the the need for consumers to be ever vigilant about their credit cards and other personal information.

Paullet's remarks stemmed from the recent announcement by Equifax that it had been hacked. The company estimates that the data of more than 140-million Americans might have been breached.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker to spend fall semester at RMU

Rick Minnich, in center with white shirt, will spend the fall semester at RMU as a visiting documentary filmmaker
Dr. Helena Vanhala, chair of the Department of Media Arts at RMU, led a group of faculty, staff and students in welcoming to campus Fall 2017 visiting documentary filmmaker Rick Minnich. The welcoming reception took place on Sept. 5, 2017, in the SCIS Atrium of the Wheatley Center.

Minnich will spend the fall semester at RMU sharing his knowledge of the documentary filmmaking process with RMU students and the community.

Minnich is a California native who moved to Germany more than 25 years ago. There, “I fell in love with a beautiful German woman and we had lots of beautiful babies, and I never left,” Minnich said. But the chance to return to the U.S. and to undertake this visiting documentary filmmaker role at the Center for Documentary Production & Study and the Media Arts Department was too good to pass up, he added.

Dr. Helena Vanhala welcomes visiting documentary filmmaker Rick Minnich to campus; photo: Anthony MorettiMinnich discussed several of his previous and current works, including “Forgetting Dad”, a 2008 film that explored how Minnich’s father lost his memory at age 45. “It’s a lot like a medical crime drama,” Minnich told the audience.

Along with his teaching and documentary plans this semester, Minnich also will host a “Films You’ve Gotta See” series on campus. The programs will be held on Thursdays, beginning this week on Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the basement level screening room at the Snee Reinhardt House for the Media Arts, in Colonial Village. 

To learn more about Minnich and his work, visit his website. To contact him for class visits or other campus engagement activities, please email