Seton Hall launches College of Human Development, Culture and Media

CHDCM aims to reframe education and communication to prepare students to be leaders of social change in a multimedia world

New times call for new ways of thinking — and new ways of learning. At Seton Hall University, that means a new college to better prepare its students for a changing world.

On Thursday, Seton Hall formally announced the launch of the College of Human Development, Culture and Media — an effort that aims to reframe education and communication in a way that gives students the multimedia skills they need to be leaders in the effort to improve the human condition in society.

School officials said expression underpins all facets of the new college’s portfolio — media as a form of education and artistic expression; teaching and learning as modes of creative expression; self-expression as a vehicle of social agency.

From law enforcement to educators to counseling to leadership, Seton Hall officials said CHDCM graduates will be grounded firmly in their chosen discipline while expanding their perspectives through collaboration — setting them apart in their ability to lead in a variety of fields and solve pressing problems in society.

The goal for graduates

Seton Hall University’s new College of Human Development, Culture and Media aims to create leaders who will use their knowledge and experience to create positive change in their communities and beyond, including:

  • A teacher grounded in interactive media (video games and virtual reality programs) who can enhance classroom experiences;
  • A school counselor trained in the performing arts who can foster deeper connections with students;
  • A journalist trained in sound production and engineering with the ability to excel as a multimedia storyteller; and
  • An artist trained in trauma therapy.

Integrating exceptional faculty and dynamic, cross-disciplinary curricula, CHDCM will prepare its graduates to practice in a multimedia world, thanks to cutting-edge tools and unparalleled studio-based learning opportunities — including:

  • WSOU-FM 89.5, a Marconi Award-winning “Best Non-Commercial Radio Station”;
  • The recently upgraded 4K television studio;
  • The Center for Sports Media;
  • The Institute for Communication and Religion.

As part of the first Adobe Creative Campus in New Jersey, Seton Hall’s CHDCM will train students in tools and technologies that make them more nimble, relevant and digitally savvy communicators.

The aim is to create leaders who will use their knowledge and experience to create positive change in their communities and beyond.

Seton Hall interim President Katia Passerini said the CHDCM is an example of how the university always is thinking one step ahead.

“The new college epitomizes one of the hallmarks of a Seton Hall education: An interdisciplinary approach to learning that grounds students firmly in their chosen disciplines while expanding their perspectives through collaboration and interprofessional development — setting them apart in their ability to lead in a wide variety of fields and solve society’s most-pressing problems,” she said.

The college was created after more than a year of thoughtful planning and collaborative work among a range of Seton Hall community members, including students, faculty, alumni, staff and administrators. School officials said each step was developed in accordance with the university’s “Harvest Our Treasures” strategic goals and reframes education and communication as engines of innovation that intersect with each other to drive human development.

Bryan Crable.

Bryan Crable, a distinguished scholar in communication and rhetoric, has been named the founding dean.

Crable served at Villanova University as professor of communication/rhetorical studies since 2012 and founding director of the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society since 2010. In this role, he received two Presidential Citations from the National Communication Association, including a citation for his work in diversity, equity & inclusion in 2018 and a citation for service in 2022.

Among other recent awards and honors, he received Villanova’s Outstanding Faculty Mentor Teaching Award for 2021.

“I am excited to join the Seton Hall community, and honored to serve the students, faculty, staff and alumni of CHDCM,” Crable said. “This new college represents an unparalleled opportunity, first because it will give Seton Hall students a truly unique education, combining mastery in their fields of study with the added power of interdisciplinary tools and perspectives. Further, I believe CHDCM can and will become an intellectual and pedagogical leader in the region and nation — known as the place for cutting-edge, transdisciplinary engagement with the most pressing problems of our time.”

Crable received a dual Ph.D. in communication and philosophy from Purdue University.

His scholarship examines the idea that language — and communication more generally — lies at the heart of human existence and must be accounted for in any attempt to create social change. His most recent work has focused specifically upon these efforts in the context of racial justice.

Crable has numerous published works, including “Ralph Ellison and Kenneth Burke: At the Roots of the Racial Divide,” a book included in the Mellon Foundation’s American Literatures Initiative. He is also editor of the collection “Transcendence by Perspective: Meditations on and with Kenneth Burke” and the author of the forthcoming book, “White Sacraments.”

All of this makes him the right person to be the college’s first leader, Seton Hall interim Provost Erik Lillquist said.

“The unique interdisciplinary nature of the CHDCM requires a dean who is at the forefront of scholarship and can move nimbly across disciplinary boundaries to lead innovation in teaching and research,” he said. “With Dean Crable at the helm, I am enthusiastic about the college’s potential to grow in stature and benefit our students, the university and society.”