In The News
Communication Studies Hosts “Diversity & Inclusion” Events
The event, entitled, “After Diversity: Notes on Language, Identity, and Politics,” featured topics such as: Equity and inclusion, privilege vs. power, the failure to act, social justice as a pillar for learning, and operationalizing advocacy. Faculty and students were also invited to engage in discussion to reflect on their own teaching practices to determine their commitment to diversity and inclusion in the classroom and providing mentoring for marginalized students.
The event featured two guest speakers, M.A. alum Goyland Williams and Dillon Nettles.
Goyland Williams is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he is a R.E.A.L Fellow (Research Enhancement And Leadership Fellowship) and a recipient of the W.E.B. Du Bois Graduate Fellowship at the Du Bois Center. Specializing in Rhetoric and Performance Studies, his research is situated in Black studies, social movement rhetoric, Africana critical theory, cultural criticism and performance theory|(auto)ethnography. Bridging these seemingly disparate ideas and schools of thought,
Dillon Nettles is a Deep Southerner organizer, policy strategist, and legislative analyst based in Montgomery, Alabama, currently serving as Policy & Advocacy Director of the ACLU of Alabama. In this role he manages the ACLU’s policy and advocacy staff, legislative portfolio, campaigns, and policy initiatives, in addition to conducting routine engagement with state lawmakers and other public officials. Dillon has been recognized as a Clinton Global Initiative alumnus, New Profit Millennial Impact Fellow, and Digital Leaders Fellow by Students for Education Reform.
TEDx 2021 Talks are Now Available
The talks from the fifth annual TEDx Texas State University conference are now available to view on the official TEDx YouTube channel. This year’s virtual event focused on the theme: AMPLIFY. The TEDx Team recognized that this last year has been filled with lots of noise and unfortunately, through all the noise, some ideas and voices are not heard. The goal of this year’s TEDx was to AMPLIFY these voices. The 2021 speakers came from diverse backgrounds and are people who are driven to create change, solve problems, and question current standards. Their talks represented a variety of fields and perspectives including technology, health, the arts, media, social science, the humanities, and the hard sciences.
Career Readiness Program Hosts Virtual Events
The first Career Readiness event of the semester focused on Financial Health and was led by M.A. alum Patrick Hale.
The Alumni Mentor Networking Event was the final event of the semester. This event featured alumni meeting and talking with students to help them understand what is possible post-graduation with a degree in Communication Studies. The event featured alums Brad Palmisano, Renee Rudloff-Baker, Jonathan Alba, Taela Bragg, Patrick Hale, Victoria Locke, Joey Kuykendall, Trevlyn Trevino Carson, Shanna Schultz, Tianna Cobb, Adeyinka Yarbough, Rob Patterson, Kuro Tawil, Susan Cunningham, Christine Kirsch, and Angel Armijo.
M.A. Students Complete Unique Internship
Two M.A. students, Riki Van Meter and Daniel Galindo, successfully completed their internship experience with Austin-based public health and safety firm Code 4 Emergency Services. Dr. Michael Burns and M.A. alumnus and Code 4 Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Alba created the partnership through the Communication Studies Career Readiness program. Riki and Daniel started the internship in January 2021.
Riki and Daniel have gotten a rare and unique glimpse into working for a rapidly-growing startup. Code 4 established itself as a powerhouse in event management and safety before the pandemic forced them to adapt. They founded their biohazard division in the Spring of 2020 and began offering testing, decontamination services, and eventually vaccination operations for the local community.
Riki and Daniel have leveraged their communication background assisting with operations, marketing, PR, and other communication-based projects. Riki and Daniel were granted rare access and collaboration opportunities with the organization. They drafted social media posts, job postings, and internal documents alongside Jonathan Alba and CEO Scott Davidson. Riki and Daniel also have helped organize and execute various operations themselves. On one occasion, Riki coordinated an impromptu vaccination clinic for patients who missed their original appointment for their second dose. Daniel was trained as a decontamination technician within the biohazard division and has helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 working on several film production sets.
Riki and Daniel’s diverse experiences with Code 4 have proven invaluable for their personal and professional development. Rarely do interns get the access and opportunity to work so closely with executives responding to a global pandemic. Riki plans to remain with the company full-time and expand her career in public health and safety. Daniel continues to assist as a biohazard technician and aspires to get into training and development post-graduation.
CSGA Holds Professional Development Events
The Communication Studies Graduate Association (CSGA) is a departmental organization dedicated to unifying the graduate students in Communication Studies at Texas State. CSGA members come together for official and unofficial events including professional development, research seminars, social and philanthropic events.
The first event was entitled "Jumpstarting Your Career with Your Master’s in Communication Studies" and featured two guest presenters: Natalie Nelson and Marsha Burney. Natalie Nelson is a Diversity Initiatives Coordinator and Communication Studies Instructor at the College of Southern Nevada. Marsha Burney is a graduate of our MA program and former faculty member who is now a Senior Consultant/Workforce Management Business Partner at CGI Federal.
The second event was called "So You Want a PhD?". Five panelists provided students with advice about deciding if attending a Ph.D. program is right for them. Dr. Hilary Rasmussen is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Dr. Megan Orcholski recently completed her dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dr. Terra Rasmussen Lenox is a faculty member of communication at Lake Michigan College, Lauren Johnsen is an instructor at the University of Memphis, and Bailey Benedict is a doctoral candidate at Purdue University.
Jasmine Austin was a Texas State University Translational Health Scholar Showcase Poster Presenter. Her poster was entitled: "Implementing care into pre-entry conversations with Black women graduate students to better support their mental health needs". Jasmine worked with M.A. student Andronica Owens to organize the written materials for the Texas State University “Tunnel of Oppression”.
Tricia Burke presented “An Exploratory Study of Communicative Resilience in Parental Caregivers of Children with Medically Complex Conditions (MCCs)” at the Health Scholar Showcase at Texas State University. The project was co-authored with Kristen Farris, Shailen Singh (OWLS), and Katie Warber (Wittenberg University). In addition, thirteen guest scholars were interviewed for Tricia’s graduate seminar in Relational Health Communication, including Kristen Farris, Maureen Keeley, Melinda Villagran, and other top relational health communication scholars.
Michael Burns was invited to work his 6th Olympic Games with NBC's Today Show. Michael will join the Today Show at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics this summer on their production management and logistics team, helping to lead a group of production runners who will ensure a successful broadcast. His team helps with production needs such as initial set up, story research, production and talent/guest transportation, and teardown.
Stephanie Dailey’s paper, "Social comparisons, social media addiction, and social interaction: An examination of specific social media behaviors related to major depressive disorder in a millennial population" was recognized as a "top cited article 2019-2020" in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research.
Kristen Farris published a book chapter entitled "Student perceptions of instructor communication amid class disruption: Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic" in COVID and Higher Education: Teaching and Learning from Lexington Books. It is co-authored by M.A. student Luke Dye and Communication Studies faculty members Marian Houser and Erik Timmerman. Kristen also presented "An Exploratory Study of Communicative Resilience in Parental Caregivers of Children with Medically Complex Conditions" with Tricia Burke, Shailen Singh, and Katie Warber at the 5th Annual Texas State University Health Scholar Showcase through the Translational Health Research Center. Kristen also welcomed guest speakers Dr. Jasmine Austin and Dr. Marian Houser to her graduate Instructional Communication seminar about prepare to analyze qualitative data collected from student focus groups and scholarship related to the topic of “helicopter teaching”.
Rebekah Fox was promoted from Associate Professor to full Professor.
Josh Miller published “Coalitional fronting and shared ethos cultivation in the case of the Council on Religion and the Homosexual in Women's Studies in Communication.
Undergraduate student Isi Imoisi successfully landed a competitive paid internship with IBM as a Content Designer. She will work and learn with two other interns for three months over the summer.
M.A. student Andronica Owens worked with Dr. Jasmine Austin to organize the written materials for the Texas State University “Tunnel of Oppression”. The Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive program put on by multiple colleges and universities across the country. The experience is meant to place focus on issues related to diversity, while disrupting the stereotypes and frameworks that perpetuate them in society. Student and faculty contributors from the Department of Communication Studies included: Tyshee Sonnier, Sidney Murray, Miguel Porfirio, Maya Edwin, Maya Blitch, Mary Katie Tigert, Madeleine Martinson, Jovana Anjdelkovic, Johnny Vasallo, Joel Brantley- Gearhart, Jake Crandall, Emily Counts, Cassandra Chapa, Andronica Owens Alley Henrici, Leela Schooler, Bruce Taylor, Grace Morton, Ifeoluwatobi Odunsi, Curtis Goins, Dr. Josh Miller, Dr. Elizabeth K. Eger, Dr. Cassandra LeClair, and Dr. Jasmine Austin.
Patrick Hale (M.A., 2012) led a Financial Health virtual workshop for the Communication Studies Career Readiness Students. He has worked as an instructional designer and program manager at CPS Energy in San Antonio and currently serves as the Power Generation Training Manager. He is passionate helping people reach their full potential in their career and achieve their personal aspirations.
Kory Kelly (M.A., 2015) enjoyed a stint as a public analyst at Quantified Communications where he contributed to coaching for F100 CEOs at Facebook, Ford, Target, and many more. Quickly after, he tested his entrepreneurial chops by starting two trade organizations for F500 brand leaders across the US in marketing and CSR both totally $4M of annual revenue. Today, Kory is busy building his first software company, Legal Karma, that is disrupting the way law firms interact with clients across the U.S. “Huge changes are coming to the legal industry as 80% of Americans can’t afford access to justice. At Legal Karma, we’re tapping into that need by automating and productizing legal services to pull the complexities of law down for anyone to understand. I never saw myself as an entrepreneur… but the skills I learned in Comm Studies separate me from every MBA I’ve met during a pitch competition. If I could talk to myself in 2014 when I started my master’s in Comm Studies, I’d tell myself to do it again.”
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