The Department of Communication's undergraduate and graduate academic programs embrace a common mission: to fortify the intellectual and social skills necessary for effective human communication. The focus is on oral, written, and mediated communication skills that are essential in both professional and personal lives.


Molly Devanney '00: VP of Public Relations

Molly Devanney ’00 is a third-generation owner of a popular and respected independent grocery chain in Connecticut. Highland Park Markets has stores in Manchester, Glastonbury, and Farmington. As the Vice President of Public Relations, Devanney is the public face of the family enterprise and has earned accolades for the company’s corporate commitment to local organizations as well as her personal volunteerism.

Devanney’s success is grounded in her dedication to work hard.

If Devanney had wanted to eschew the family business after years of summer vacations spent stacking produce, ringing up sales, and operating the customer service desk, it wouldn’t have been a surprise. But after earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications at Bryant and a master’s degree in food marketing at St. Joseph University in Philadelphia, she knew her passion was calling her home.

Devanney devotes most of her working hours out in the towns where Highland Park Markets have a presence. She leads community relations and fundraising efforts for the Highland Park Families Foundation, which has invested over $150,000 in nonprofit organizations serving its host communities. Earlier this year, Manchester Unico, a fraternal organization, selected Devanney as the first recipient of its Volunteer of the Year Award, in recognition of her outstanding service to a multitude of civic, educational, and charitable organizations in the region.

Devanney’s success is grounded in her dedication to work hard – and in her father’s sage counsel to always “be nice.”  “Come in early, stay late and don’t forget how special a handwritten note is,” she advises. “When you meet people, remember names. Keep a notebook and write down special things about people. If they are going on a trip, be interested. Ask them how their children are and, if you have a horrible memory, write it down. Sending a note or asking someone about a previous conversation you had goes such a long way. When people know you are personally interested in them, you will build long-lasting friendships.”

Her final ingredient for professional success: “Don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes the greatest things in life come when you take great risks to make them happen.”