Kara Fort, a junior at KU, is double majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Arabic. Participating in the Legal Education Accelerated Degree Program (LEAD), she intends to start law school a year early, with the goal of going into environmental or military law. Kara is also a member of the KU debate team.
Kara says that her time in the Communication Studies major has been instrumental in preparing her for law school and for a future legal career, as it requires her to “think critically and write often.” While other students may shy away from majors where they have to write several papers a semester, Kara loves it: “While I often write multiple papers a week, I never find myself frustrated because I truly enjoy the content, and I have the opportunity to work with experts in the field, both in the classroom and on the debate team.”
As a result, her time in Communication Studies has been transformative. “COMS has helped me transform my understanding of effective communication,” says Kara, “Previous to starting my degree, my idea of communicating effectively revolved around debate, where I spoke 300 words a minute. COMS has taught me that the quality of a message and its presentation matters much more than how many arguments you can squeeze into a confined amount of time.”
Unsurprisingly, given her interest in a legal career and involvement with the debate team, Kara said her favorite COMS class has been COMS 607: Political Communication with Dr. Ashley Muddiman. Kara recalled “The class was centered around a campaign simulation, in which we were able to apply the concepts we were learning in the course to our campaigns. This helped to contextualize the theories of political communication in real experiences.”
When she’s not writing for class or doing research for debate, Kara is working as the secretary for Lambda Pi Eta, the Communication Studies Honors Society. This gives her the opportunity to focus on service and to help other current COMS students get the resources they need to succeed after college, “including, but not limited to, expert career panels, professional and graduate school panels, and networking opportunities.” Kara hopes that more COMS students take advantage of this organization, “not only for the resources, but also to meet other students in the major and to help serve our community.”