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. 

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 three 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.

The Alan Siegel Writing Center at John Jay

On September 18, John Jay dedicated The Alan Siegel Writing Center in recognition of Siegel’s generosity and his commitment to building a world-class communications program for the College. Siegel, who developed the College’s brand identity keyed to the theme of “Fierce Advocates for Justice,” was praised by President Jeremy Travis as one whose “dedication and vision have helped to communicate and solidify John Jay’s position as the preeminent leader in educating for justice.”

The Writing Center has three main components:

  • The Siegel Fellowship, a five-semester program run by Professor Dara Byrne and focusing on strategic communications both private and public, made possible by a transformative gift by Mr. Siegel. The program will address strategic internal and external communications issues, developing effective presentations, clear writing techniques and measuring impact of their work. Fellows will present their creative work to a panel of experts at the end of each semester.

  • The Alan Siegel Writing Center provides tutoring and writing consultation to all undergraduate and graduate students. Trained tutors work with students on conceptual and sentence level skills, rules of grammar and style. The Center emphasizes formulating a thesis, organizing and developing ideas, documenting American Psychological Association (APA) style, evaluating evidence and revising a paper, and content specific to various disciplines. State-of-the-art computers, grammar/writing software and a small, specialized library of books on writing are available. The Center offers numerous writing-oriented workshops as well as intensive CUNY Proficiency Exam (CPE/ACT) preparation. All activities are conducted by faculty and staff and will be open to all students.

  • The Center will produce an annual symposium for all John Jay students and the public featuring distinguished academics, communicators, corporate and government executives, and researchers to explore strategic communications issues, developing a unique voice, and connecting with key academics.