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Communication Studies Boasts Two More Presidential Award Winners

Michael Burns
Michael Burns

Michael Burns received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service at the Assistant Professor/Lecturer rank. Michael is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Career Readiness in the Department of Communication Studies. He also serves as the Co-Director for the College of Fine Arts and Communication's research program, CoSearch and is one of the co-curators for TEDxTexasStateUniversity. Michael also works for NBC’s Today Show on the production management and logistics team covering the Olympic Games, as well as coordinating their intern program. He has worked the 2006 Torino, 2008 Beijing, 2012 London, 2016 Rio de Janeiro, and 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games.

Kristen Farris
Kristen Farris

Kristen Farris received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Assistant Professor rank. Kristen is an Assistant Professor and previously served as one of the course directors for the Fundamentals of Human communication Course (COMM 1310) for the past ten years. Under her leadership, the Basic Course was honored with the Program of Distinction Award in 2010 and the Program of Excellence Award in 2011 from the National Communication Association. Kristen’s research focuses on interpersonal communication at the intersections of health and instructional communication. Her scholarship centers on the ways in which individuals use communication to cope with chronic illnesses or life stressors and how interactants' communication influences their psychosocial outcomes. She is also interested in investigating instructor-student communication in the classroom, student adjustment to college, and assessment of student communication competency.

Ann Burnette Honored by Board of Regents

Ann Burnette
Ann Burnette

The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved a resolution honoring Ann Burnette with the Regents’ Teacher Award. This award is given to exceptional teachers for their outstanding performance as educators, contributions to the development of courses, and use of innovative teaching methods.  

 

She adds this designation to a list of prestigious accolades including Piper Professor for 2020, the Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award in 2019 and 2020, the Southern States Communication Association John I. Sisco Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016, and Texas State Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

 

Dr. Burnette’s scholarship and teaching focus on the ways that public communication is used to define notions of citizenship, democracy, national security, and leadership. She teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Political Communication, American Speeches, Persuasion, and the Rhetoric of Women’s Rights. She serves as a graduate thesis supervisor and committee member, and co-founded the Texas State chapter of Lambda Pi Eta National Communication Honor Society, which promotes the intellectual development and service contributions of communication students.

Faculty Accolades

Susie Bannon
Susie Bannon

Susannah Bannon successfully defended her Doctoral Dissertation, “The Rhetoric of Second Chances: Formerly Incarcerated Activists and the Reentry Movement in the US South.” The dissertation explores the reentry movement, a social movement aimed at restoring the civil and social rights of formerly incarcerated people. The project makes theoretical contributions to the study of rhetoric and social movement and has practical utility for activists and organizers. 

 

Michael Burns received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service at the Assistant Professor/Lecturer rank. He led a Career Readiness workshop for Lasell University in Newton, Massachusetts. Based on the success of the Career Readiness Program he founded at Texas State, he served as consultant for them to help them start a University-wide program. In addition, “Thriving Instead of Surviving: The Role of the Reasoned Action Model in Assessing the Basic Course” was accepted for publication in the Basic Communication Course Annual. The piece was co-authored with Kristen Farris, Mark Paz, and recent M.A. graduate, Sean Dyhre.

Stephanie Dailey
Stephanie Dailey

Stephanie Dailey received the Linda L. Putnam Early Career Scholar Award, given by the International Communication Association. This award honors a scholar no more than six years past receipt of the doctoral degree for a body of work that has made a significant contribution to the field of organizational communication and shows promise for continued development. 

Elizabeth Eger
Elizabeth Eger

Elizabeth K. Eger continued her service with Austin Pets Alive! this summer. She is currently helping to relaunch an emergency boarding program that supports pet guardians experiencing temporary crises so that they do not have to relinquish their pets to an animal shelter, such as hospitalization, intimate partner violence, homelessness, rehab, and more.

 

Kristen Farris received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at the Assistant Professor rank. In addition, “Thriving Instead of Surviving: The Role of the Reasoned Action Model in Assessing the Basic Course” was accepted for publication in the Basic Communication Course Annual. The piece was co-authored with Michael Burns, Mark Paz, and recent M.A. graduate, Sean Dyhre. Kristen also co-presented with M.A. alum Laura Mallonee to the new and returning graduate instructional and teaching assistants at the Teaching and Learning Academy about "Best Practices for Teaching Online." They discussed ways to cultivate community in online classes, logistics for communicating with students, and engaged the participants in a grade norming exercise for online discussions.

Marian Houser
Marian Houser

Marian Houser was quoted in a recent article in The Guardian entitled, “I Desperately Miss Human Touch. Science May Explain Why.” For people who live alone, lockdown means 'touch starvation' as we go days without hugs, handshakes or other contact.
 

"'There are no substitutes,' said Marian Houser, a communication studies professor at Texas State University and co-found of Living Mental Wellness, 'but we have to do what we can right now to stimulate the reward center in the brain. If we don't feel rewarded, we don't release serotonin. Without serotonin, we feel unhappy, even depressed.'"
 

The article can be found here.

Maureen Keeley
Maureen Keeley

Maureen Keeley published “End of life and coping” in Qualitative Research Reports. The article was co-authored with M.A. alum Mark Generous. She published “Exploring the connection between end-of-life relational growth and personal growth after the death of a loved one” in the journal Omega, also with Mark Generous. Maureen published “An effective approach for difficult, end-of-life communication” in the journal Reflections on Nursing Leadership. She published a book chapter entitled “Families Interacting in the Health Care Context that will appear in Health Communication Theory. Maureen published a book chapter in the Handbook of Thanatology entitled “Dying process: An examination of theory, communication, culture, and ethics.” She was also interviewed for an article featured on Insider.com entitled “What are the stages of grief? How to process and deal with grief or loss.” The article can be found here.

Mandziuk webinar flyer

Roseann Mandziuk presented "Online Learning Paradigms in the US: A Brief Overview" as part of the International Webinar "Introduction to Multimedia and Mass Communication Tools: From Theory to Practice," organized by Indraprastha College for Women in Delhi, India.

Josh Miller
Josh Miller

Josh Miller published “Seeding subversion and the Christian Reformed Church's study report on homosexuality” in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies.

Man Pokharel
Man Pokharel

Manusheela Pokharel received the Gerald R. Miller Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award for “The Impact of Visual Message Features in Cancer Risk Communication.” The dissertation launched three studies employing multiple methodological perspectives to initiate a research program that investigated the persuasive impact of visual message features in the context of cancer prevention and control. One of the studies of the dissertation was recently published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine. The Miller Award is presented to most outstanding dissertations completed in the field, with only three awards given per year.

Jorlanditha Austin (M.A., 2020) recently began a PhD program at Rutgers University.

 

Phillip G. Clampitt (M.A., 1976) currently serves as Blair Endowed Chair of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  He just released his e-book, Clear Thinking in Age of Hype, Nonsense, and Anxiety. The book proposes a simple but dynamic tool to spark better thinking in a world filled with hype, nonsense, and anxiety.

 

Alan Grant (M.A., 2020) recently began a PhD program at Texas A&M University.

 

Kory Kelly (B.A., 2014, M.A., 2016) recently founded Legal Karma, a company that provides unique technological solutions to law firms so they can focus more energy on their clients. The company also set up the Legal Karma Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing their products free of charge to other non-profits and attorneys that focus on social justice, racial justice, and criminal justice reform.

 

Lauren Lee (M.A., 2020) recently began a PhD program at Rutgers University.


Toni Morgan (M.A., 2016) completed her PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and began her new position as an Assistant Professor in the Communication and Media Studies discipline at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI.

Michael Tahmoressi (M.A., 2020) recently began a PhD program at Rutgers University.

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  • Steven Beebe published Communicating in Small Groups: Principles and Practices, (12th edition). He presented "The Search for the Core of the Communication Discipline: A Resource Survival Kit" to the National Communication Association Conference in Baltimore. Steven presented “A Leader's Skill in Listening" to the Governor of Texas Executive Development Program in Galveston, Texas. He also presented "We've Got To Stop Meeting Like This!" to the staff of the Office of Student Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin.

    Ann Burnette presented “Current Issues in Freedom of Expression” to the Freedom of Expression Division at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She also presented “Rhetorical Histories and the Frames of Politics” to the American Society for the History of Rhetoric.

    Michael Burns hosted the first “Communication Studies Career Readiness Networking Event.” This event was part of the new COMM Career Readiness program for both undergraduate and graduate students who receive specialized career advising and are also paired with an Alumni Mentor. Over 40 people attended the event, including 15 Alumni Mentors. He also presented research focused on using theory in Basic Course Assessment at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. Michael hosted a CoSearch competition at North Dakota State University, guiding 25 faculty through the CoSearch process. Research ideas proposed focused on the theme, “The Farm of the Future.” The event was featured in Agriculture Week, a weekly agricultural and food science research newspaper reporting on the latest developments in agriculture and food production.

    Stephanie Dailey published “Upward Social Comparisons and Posting Under the Influence: Investigating Social Media Behaviors of U.S. Adults with Generalized Anxiety Disorder” in Spotlight on Mental Health Research. The paper has been featured on KVUE news, the Texas State Newsroom, and Bobcat Update. She also presented “Surviving Scrutiny: Incorporating Research & Practice Into T&D Programs” to the Training and Development Division Top Paper Panel at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore.

    Elizabeth K. Eger published, “Pushing Beyond Positionalities and Through ‘Failures’ in Qualitative Organizational Communication: Experiences and Lessons on Identities in Ethnographic Praxis” in Management Communication Quarterly. This piece explores vignettes of ethnography in organizational communication and creates collective lessons for future ethnography research. Elizabeth presented “Examining University Leaders’ Applied Communication About Faculty Diversity and Inclusion” to the Applied Communication Division at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She presented “LGBTQIAP+ Peer Advocates’ Health Communication for Student Health Outreach and Intersectional Identities” to the Health Communication Division. Elizabeth also presented “Representation Matters: Negotiating Intersectionality via a Critical Cultural Textual Analysis of NBC’s ‘Superstore’” to the Critical and Cultural Studies Division. She presented “Surviving the Binary? Teaching Gender Communication in a Gender Fluid World” to the Women's Caucus.

    Kristen Farris presented “Interpersonal Communication and Coping with Cancer: A Preliminary Systematic Integrative Review” to the Interpersonal Communication Division at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She also presented “Thriving Instead of Surviving? The Role of Theory of Planned Behavior in Assessing the Basic Course.” Kristen participated on a panel entitled “More Than Survival: Using Basic Course Retention Research to Strengthen the Role of the Basic Course for Colleges and Universities.” She also served as a respondent on a panel in the Instructional Development Division entitled, “Communication Predictors and Processes that Influence Academic Outcomes and Success: Exploring Cognitive, Psychological, and Behavioral Links.”

    Rebekah Fox presented “Current Issues in Freedom of Expression” to the Freedom of Expression Division at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She chaired a panel entitled “Environmental Risks and Ecological Futures: Visual Representations of Human-Nature Crises in Horror Films” sponsored by the Environmental Communication Division. Rebekah also presented “Fifty Years of Student Speech: Student Activism from Tinker to Parkland” to the Freedom of Expression Division.

    Marian Houser presented “Communication for Survival and Instruction” to the Instructional Development Division Top Paper Panel at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. 

    Roseann Mandziuk presented “Survive or Thrive? Workshop on Gender and Race in Commercials” to the Visual Communication Division at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She presented “Womentoring: Navigating the Emotional Labor of Committee and Service Work” and “What’s a Wife to do? Communication to Survive Scandal” to the Women's Caucus. Roseann also presented “ Pursuing Fulbright grants” to the International and Intercultural Communication Division. She served as a respondent on the “Making Sense of the #MeToo Movement” panel sponsored by the Feminist and Women Studies Division. At the International Research Conference for Graduate Students at Texas State University, Roseann was one of three featured faculty panelists in the opening session, "Finding Truth in Research."

    Mark Paz presented “Thriving Instead of Surviving? The Role of Theory of Planned Behavior in Assessing the Basic Course” at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore.

    M.A. student Luke Dye presented, “The Hero’s Journey of T’Challa: Marvel’s Black Panther as Contemporary Mythmaking” to the National Communication Association annual convention in Baltimore. He also presented “The Language of Truth: An Exploration of Metaphors in The Abolition of Man” to the Religious Communication Association annual conference in Baltimore.

    M.A. student Sean Dyhre presented "Thriving Instead of Surviving? The Role of Theory of Planned Behavior in Assessing the Basic Course" at the National Communication Association Conference in Baltimore.

    M.A. student Katherine Head presented “Surviving scrutiny: Incorporating research & practice into T&D programs” to the Training and Development Division Top Paper Panel at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She also presented “Say what you meme: How memes communicate emotion in status updates” at the conference.

    M.A. student Alan Grant presented “Taking the field: A rhetorical analysis of how Black athletes at San Jose State College used a football game as a means of protest” at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore.

    M.A. student Victoria Miller presented "Survival After Hurricane Maria: Myth and Narrative in Trump's Crisis Response" at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore. She also presented "Representation Matters: Negotiating Intersectionality via a Critical Cultural Textual Analysis of NBC's 'Superstore'" at the conference.

    M.A. student Jaysen Sneed presented “Surviving communication education: The Black male perspective” at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore.

    Logan Carpenter (M.A. 2018) completed her HASTAC Scholar fellowship for 2017-2019. Focusing on sexual violence in universities and organizations, her final blog addressed the need for trauma informed university instruction entitled, “The Price to Pay for being a Survivor: The Need for Trauma-Informed Universities.”

     

    Marsha Catron Espinosa (M.A. 2007) was recently named Chief of Staff for U.S. Representative Linda T. Sánchez. She previously served as Chief of Staff for Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to that, she worked for Senator Dianne Feinstein and former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

     

    Kara Holsinger (B.A. 2005) currently practices Administrative Law in the Texas State Attorney General’s Office. She recently presented a talk to the Honors College describing her journey from her first year at Texas State to the Attorney General’s Office.

     

    Lauren Lee (M.A. 2019) completed her HASTAC Scholar fellowship for 2017-2019. Focusing on disability and inclusion in teaching, work, and life, her final blog was co-written with M.A. alumna Jacqui

     

    Parchois called, “AcCOMModating Disabilities: Best Practices for Organizational Communication about Disability Accommodation at Work.” She also presented “Communication about sexual histories between MSM and WSW: An exploration of heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals” at the National Communication Association conference in Baltimore.

     

    Megan Pope (M.A. 2008) is a Lecturer with Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She was recently honored with a Cicero Award, a national speechwriting award, for writing a TEDx Talk entitled “#MenToo: Breaking the Silence of Male Trauma Survivors.” She also served as a TEDx coach for the event.

  • Welcoming New Faculty

    The Department of Communication studies is pleased to introduce three new faculty members to the Texas State community.
     

    Dr. Kristen Farris will begin a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies. Dr. Farris completed her PhD in Communication Studies at the University of Texas-Austin in May 2017, MA from Texas State University in 2009, and BA from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2006. Currently a Senior Lecturer and Basic Course Director for the Department of Communication Studies, Dr. Farris trains and supervises approximately 30 graduate assistants each semester in the department’s award-winning General Education Core course, Fundamentals of Human Communication. Kristen’s instructional communication expertise focuses upon techniques for assessing student's learning and communication skill development, teacher/student interpersonal relationships, and students’ transition to college. Recent publications appear in the Journal of Family CommunicationHigher Education, and the Basic Communication Course Annual as well as chapters in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication and the Handbook of Instructional Communication.

     

    Dr. Manusheela Pokharel will join as an Assistant Professor in the department. Dr. Pokharel completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Purwanchal University in Nepal and an M.A. in Health Promotion & Education from the University of Utah. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Communication with an emphasis in health communication at the University of Utah. Prior to attending graduate school, she developed her clinical knowledge and experience working as a Registered Nurse, both as a Nursing Instructor at the ANPC College of Health Sciences and as a Field Officer for the non-governmental organization, Youth for World Nepal (YWN). Her primary research program investigates the persuasive impact of visual message features on knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in the context of cancer prevention and control. Dr. Pokharel’s published research appears in Addiction Research & TheoryJournal of Dermatological ScienceJournal of Health Communication, and Risk Analysis.

     

    Ms. Jasmine Austin will join the department in the spring of 2020 as an Assistant Professor. Ms. Austin completed her B.A. at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor and her M.A. at the University of Wyoming. She is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Oklahoma and will complete her Ph.D. in fall of 2019. Her research focuses upon organizational socialization and interethnic communication, with a particular interest in the socialization experiences of historically underserved and systematically marginalized communities. Ms. Austin’s published research appears in Counselor Self-Care, Health Communication, and Prejudice, Stigma, Privilege, and Oppression: A Behavioral Health Handbook.

     

    Ann Burnette was selected as a recipient of the 2019 Everette Swinney Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is given annually by the faculty senate in honor of former senator and longtime senate chair Dr. Everette Swinney. She and Wayne Kraemer presented the paper “Representing or Hispandering?: Beto O’Rourke, political identity, and identification” to the Alta Conference on Argumentation in Alta, Utah.

     

    Michael Burns accompanied 40 undergraduate students, 4 graduate students, and 4 other faculty from the College of Fine Arts and Communication to London and Paris for a study abroad in May. The undergraduate students took COMM 1310: Fundamentals of Human Communication course, while the graduate students enrolled in an instructional communication seminar course. Michael presented two mock-lectures for the Bobcat Preview note taking sessions, speaking to 800 freshmen about technology's impact on relationships and also provided them with advice for a successful freshmen year. He was also a keynote speaker at the Ecosystems conference in Fargo, North Dakota. He spoke with faculty and staff running entrepreneur programs and centers from around the country about CoSearch and the value of interdisciplinary research in community development.

     

    Michael Burns accompanied 40 undergraduate students, 4 graduate students, and 4 other faculty from the College of Fine Arts and Communication to London and Paris for a study abroad in May. The undergraduate students took COMM 1310: Fundamentals of Human Communication course, while the graduate students enrolled in an instructional communication seminar course. Michael presented two mock-lectures for the Bobcat Preview note taking sessions, speaking to 800 freshmen about technology's impact on relationships and also provided them with advice for a successful freshmen year. He was also a keynote speaker at the Ecosystems conference in Fargo, North Dakota. He spoke with faculty and staff running entrepreneur programs and centers from around the country about CoSearch and the value of interdisciplinary research in community development.

     

    Stephanie Dailey manuscript “Personal-organizational processes in workplace health promotion: Understanding wellness program participation in China” was published in the International Journal of Communication. She also published “An examination of psychosocial factors associated with malicious online trolling behaviors” in Personality and Individual Differences. Stephanie also shared some of her social media research on the Super Awesome Science Show, an award-winning Canadian podcast. 

     

    Elizabeth Eger as featured by Austin Pets Alive! in their video about their volunteer dog walking program. For the past year, Dr. Eger has volunteered with APA! the country's largest no-kill animal shelter, at both locations supporting rescue dogs. 

     

    Kristen Farris accompanied 40 undergraduate students, 4 graduate students, and 4 other faculty from the College of Fine Arts and Communication to London and Paris for a study abroad in May. The undergraduate students took COMM 1310: Fundamentals of Human Communication course, while the graduate students enrolled in an instructional communication seminar course. 

    She recently had “Nursing assistant perceptions of their role in the resident experience” accepted for publication in Nursing and Health Sciences.

     

    Rebekah Fox was the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service, recognizing her superior service to the University, profession, and the community. She also had “Nursing assistant perceptions of their role in the resident experience” accepted for publication in Nursing and Health Sciences.

     

    Maureen Keeley published a book chapter entitled “Mothers and daughters end of life communication” in Constructing Motherhood and Daughterhood: Communicating Across Generations with M.A. alums Mark Generous and Lauren Lee. She recently submitted a chapter co-authored with M.A. alum Hannah Jones entitled “Families interacting in the health care context” for the book Health Communication Theory. She published an article entitled “Final conversations” in the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Intimate and Family Relationships: An Interdisciplinary Approach. Maureen recently had “A Critical Book Review of Health and Illness in Close Relationships” accepted for publication in the journal Health Communication. She also had “Conversations about death with those who experience it the most” accepted for publication in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication. The article was co-authored with M.A. alum Trevor Kauer.

     

    Wayne Kraemer and Ann Burnette presented the paper “Representing or Hispandering?: Beto O’Rourke, political identity, and identification” to the Alta Conference on Argumentation in Alta, Utah.

     

    Philip Salem published the second edition of his book, Human Communication Technology.

     

    Melinda Villagran was a finalist selected to present a “Big Idea” proposal to upper administration and external guests. Her presentation focused on the need for the establishment of a permanent Center for Translational Health Research and Innovation. Her proposal, entitled “Creating a Healthy Future U,” was ultimately one of those chosen for the next comprehensive fundraising campaign.