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Communication Studies Hosts “Diversity & Inclusion” Events

The Department of Communication Studies hosted the first three faculty-led events in an ongoing series that focuses upon scholarship and practice addressing Diversity and Inclusion.

The first event was called, “The Three I’s of Privilege: Identify, Impact, and Internalize.” Participants engaged in active discussion of these issues to better understand different experiences of all members of our university community.

The second event, entitled “AccessABILITY: Confronting Assumptions About Difference.” The event featured facilitated exercises and conversations centered on deconstructing assumptions about disability, accessibility at Texas State, and how we can take concrete steps towards inclusivity.

The third event was Communicating (In)Justice: Native American Transgender and Non-binary Experiences of Discrimination, Violence, and Resistance.” During this presentation, faculty and students learned about the institutional discrimination and violence faced by indigenous transgender and non-binary people in their communication in personal, professional, and civic lives. The event featured national advocate and expert, Mattee Jim (Dineh, Is of the Zuni People Clan and born for the Towering House People Clan), who shared examples of Native American trans and non-binary experiences, organizing, outreach, and resilience.

Career Readiness Hosts Engaging Virtual Events for Students

Michael Burns
Michael Burns

The Career Readiness Program, led by Dr. Michael Burns, hosted several seven events this semester, all featuring Texas State Alumni. For more information on the Career Readiness Program, click here.

 

The first event was entitled “Make Your LinkedIn Stand Out,” featuring M.A. alum Shanna Schultz. She is the corporate communication specialist for international legal services provider, Epiq. In this capacity, she manages Epiq’s corporate social media presence and content development alongside media relations. Internally, Shanna consults with all departments (from IT to HR to Real Estate) to craft business-wide employee messages that help streamline information sharing.

 

The second event was a Time Management Workshop led by M.A. alum Elizabeth Miller. Elizabeth is currently the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Training for DHI Mortgage, the financial services arm of D.R. Horton, the largest homebuilder in America. She manages a team of 12 trainers to deliver industry-leading training curriculum covering new hire orientation, role-specific education, communication and sales skills, professional development, new technologies, regulatory obligations, mortgage products, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

 

 

The third event was a Resume Workshop featuring alumna Annie Breaux. Annie is a Talent Acquisition Consultant for Sthree (Specialist Staffing Solutions) where she places the top graduates, recruiters, and sales talent across Progressive and Sthree's brands: Computer Futures (IT), Real Staffing (Pharma & Biotech), Madison Black (Creative), Progressive (Global Energy and Natural Resources) and Huxley (Banking & Finance).

 

The fourth event was a Virtual Networking Event featuring faculty and alumni. During this session, alumni and students met and developed their professional and personal networks.  These relationships form reciprocal connections between our students and the alumni who can share advice about strategies for quickly advancing in professional and academic endeavors.  

 

The fifth event focused on Non-Governmental Organizations and Nonprofits and featured B.A. alum Rob Patterson. Dr. Patterson is an Associate Professor in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia where he has taught for the past 16 years. Professor Patterson’s professional experiences in the for-profit sector included advertising and business development and in the nonprofit sector his experiences include nonprofit [501(c)(3)] executive management and leadership and postsecondary accreditation/compliance in Washington, DC.

 

The sixth event was entitledHow to Stand Out at Your First Job or Internship and was led by alumnus Justin Garcia. Justin currently works at Amazon Web Services and he discussed best practices, lessons learned and how to get started on the right foot when starting a career.

 

The seventh event was a workshop entitled "How to Leverage Your COMM Degree” featuring M.A. alum Seth Weiss. Seth began his professional career as consultant/business analyst focused on helping organizations implement and adopt large scale technology change. He is now a software engineer at YETI in Austin, Texas.

Faculty Accolades

Susie Bannon
Susie Bannon

Susannah Bannon was selected as one of four Star Storytellers by the University Star. “Star Stories: True Stories of Life at TXST” features true personal narratives that reveal something about our community’s greatest challenges and greatest opportunities.

Ann Burnette
Ann Burnette

Ann Burnette delivered a Dean's Seminar presentation entitled "From the Bully Pulpit to the Tweeter-in-Chief: One Hundred Years of the Rhetorical Presidency." The Dean's Seminar was conducted via Zoom.

Michael Burns
Michael Burns

Michael Burns was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremonies for the South West Affiliate of College and University Resident Halls. He spoke about the value of relational leadership and how it can help us thrive in 2020. Over 200 students from four states and Mexico attended the event.

Elizabeth Eger
Elizabeth Eger

Elizabeth K. Eger published "Reimagining qualitative analysis and writing via a comparative constructed focus group method" in Departures in Critical Qualitative Research. The article compares research addressing youth organizations and work-life using a newly-developed method of qualitative data analysis and writing based around retrospectively constructed focus groups and researcher dialogue.

Kristen Farris
Kristen Farris

Kristen Farris published, “The road to hel(l)icopter teaching: How do instructors make sense of their helicopter teaching behaviors and student effects?” in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. The paper was co-authored with Marian Houser and M.A. alums Trevor Kauer and Logan Carpenter Kennedy. Kristen presented “'Parties happen a lot less than what the movies say they do': Expectancy violations of First-Generation College Students" to the Instructional Development Division of the National Communication Association convention. The paper was co-authored with Stephanie Dailey and M.A. alum, Jorlanditha Austin. She also presented research surrounding faculty and student interactions during the transition to virtual learning due to the novel coronavirus pandemic on a spotlight panel at the National Communication Association convention entitled, “Communication at the Crossroads Series: COVID-19 and Implications for the Instruction of Communication.” The piece was co-authored with Marian Houser and Erik Timmerman. Kristen presented to a group of Ph.D students at the University of Texas at Austin on an alumni panel entitled, “The Academic Job Search.”

 

Cassandra LeClair

Cassandra LeClair provided relational communication advice that was cited across several popular press outlets, such as Women’s HealthYahooMSNBustle, and Best Life.

She also presented a workshop on establishing boundaries and interpersonal needs to Austin Professional Women in Building. Cassandra was featured as a communication expert on the podcasts FemmeRadio and The Death of a Dream.

Roseann Mandziuk
Roseann Mandziuk

Roseann Mandziuk received the 2020 T. Earle Johnson-Edwin Paget Distinguished Service Award from the Southern States Communication Association. The award honors SSCA members who, through their service and leadership to the Association and the profession, have made significant contributions. Roseann participated in the Leadership Development, Legislative Assembly, and Executive Committee meetings during the virtual 2020 National Communication Association Annual Convention. She also served as a panelist in the "Raise Your Voice: How to Become a Leader in NCA" session, and served as a respondent for the panel "At the Crossroads: Work-Life Balance of Faculty Administrators."

M.A. students Luke Dye and Daniel Galindo presented their research paper entitled, “The Emotional Impact of Computer-Mediated Communication: Using Emotional Response Theory to Explain Emojis as Emotion Evoking Lexicons" in a Scholar-to-Scholar session of the National Communication Association's annual convention.

M.A. students Madeline Martinson and Jovana Andelkovic presented their research paper entitled, “Assessing Students’ Perceptions of Instructor Requests for Forms of Address and Likelihood of Future Interaction” to the Instructional Development Division of the National Communication Association's annual convention.

M.A. students Yifan XuMichael Cavanagh, and Toni Yrlas presented their research paper entitled, “The Influence of Leadership Styles and Supervisor Communication on Employee Burnout” to the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association's annual convention.

Alumni Accolades

Megan Pope
Megan Pope

Megan Pope (B.A., 2006 & M.A. 2008)Is currently a Lecturer at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She recently launched my speechwriting website, The Communication Revolution, which provides customized speechwriting and public speaking coaching.