The Siegel Fellowship | John Jay College of Criminal Justice
The Siegel Fellowship

The Siegel Fellowship

The Siegel Fellowship in Strategic and Non-Profit Communication

The Siegel Fellowship is an academic program designed to teach best practices in public and strategic communications. This five-semester program focuses on communication competencies such as effective writing and creative message analysis and design, which are essential for working in sectors that use public relations, marketing, advertising, persuasion, and mass campaigns. The program immerses fellows in the world of strategic thinking and teaches them how to improve communication within and between organizations and their audiences.

Program Structure

The program admits ten fellows per year. Siegel Fellows will take five 3-credit courses beginning in the spring semester of their sophomore year. These 3-credit courses scaffold strategic thinking from theory and analysis through to design and implementation. In the final year of the program, Siegel Fellows take the Non-Profit and Strategic Communication Internship course wherein they work in the communications division of an organization. They will collaborate with professionals on a public communication issue or campaign. All seniors will present their research and/or creative work at the Siegel Symposium in the spring semester in which they graduate.

Siegel Fellows will also participate in a workshop series each semester. The Fellows Workshop Series is comprised of short courses in specialized areas of communications. Fellows will learn in-depth strategic communication techniques by studying the portfolios of experts in the field. Each mini course is a one hour enhanced workshop that presents a case study of a communication challenge. Case studies will explore a cross-section of public communication issues such as advertising, persuasion, corporate identity, image repair, crisis communication, and public relations advocacy.




Persuasion: Methods and Strategies
This course introduces students to classic and contemporary theories of persuasion in order to better understand how communication is used to affect human behavior. Students will examine the nature of persuasive messages in everyday life, learn how to manipulate the formal elements of language to deliver effective persuasive messages, discover how persuasion influences behavior, learn to assess a range of persuasive strategies, and understand how to use persuasion in an ethical manner. This course utilizes the critical method to evaluate persuasion. Special attention is given to the use of persuasion in the justice system, politics, and the media.


Impact of Mass Media and the Administration of Justice
This course examines the influence of various types of media, from traditional print to the Internet, on the real life administration of justice in the United States. The course follows the influence of a constitutionally established guaranteed free press on our society as well as the challenges of modern communication messaging. Students will explore the risks and benefits of mass media to the dissemination of public information, the development of policy and the guarantee of due process. Readings and assignments also examine socially constructed messages, including claims made by reporters, activists, attorneys, public agencies, and police.


Managerial Communication
This course focuses on clarity and simplicity in written communication. Students learn the writing workshop format, where they will read and critique each other’s original work. The course will begin with a discussion of the structural building blocks of plain English, supplemented with a close reading of published examples of this form of writing in public communications contexts. From here, students will begin to write and revise texts for various purposes and audiences. Their writing will be workshopped in class. After receiving constructive, hands-on criticism, students will revise their work into fuller, more complete and polished pieces. At the end of the course students will create a portfolio of their revised work.



Strategic Communication Principles

This course advances students’ understanding of fundamental theories, concepts, and applications of strategic communication. It provides an overview of practices in communication analysis and design, as well as organizational communications. The course teaches students how to create integrative messages that affect various audiences. Students also study contemporary communication challenges by exploring case studies, conducting analyses, and researching solutions. Professionals who work in the field of strategic and non-profit communication will teach this course.


Strategic and Non-profit Communication Internship

This course reinforces the connection between coursework and real world application by providing Fellows with an opportunity to intern in the media/communication division of an organization or non-profit engaged in a public interest issue. Though not required, all Siegel Fellows are encouraged to connect their internship to their discipline’s capstone requirement to the extent possible.


There is no 3-credit course requirement. However, graduating students must take three Fellows Workshop courses. Students will spend this semester working on their final presentation for the Siegel Symposium. They will be expected to meet individually with the Fellows Advisor to discuss their progress throughout the semester.

Benefits to Fellows

Siegel Fellows receive a $3000 scholarship, an iPad, priority registration each semester, and access to the Fellows Advisor. The Siegel Fellowship Office is applying for certification status with the New York State Department of Education. When granted, students will receive special notation upon completion of the program, in addition to an official certificate.


Students must meet ALL eligibility requirements to be considered.

To be considered for this fellowship opportunity students must have:

  • An interest in communication and/or non-profit work.
  • Sophomore standing in the semester they apply (credit range 30-44.9).
  • Full or part-time status.
  • 3.3 GPA or higher.


Application Deadline

The deadline is October 17th 2016. Students who are accepted into the program will be informed by email on November 8th, 2016.

Application Requirements
  • Completed application form.
  • Two letters of recommendation: at least one must be from a John Jay faculty member. (Transfer students need at least one letter from a faculty member at their previous institution).
  • Writing Samples: See the online application for specific essay prompts.
  • Resume (include honors, awards, and other recognitions).
  • Two page biographical essay, including an explanation of your interest in this particular program. (Approximately 500 words).
  • Applicants will be interviewed by a Siegel Fellows faculty member.

Interested Sophomores must apply online through the portal of the John Jay Center for Career and Professional Development. Click here to log in and apply.

If you have any questions  please email, or call (212) 484-1122.