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Communication Studies brings first Virtual TEDx to Texas State

TEDx 2021
Melodie Graves speaks at TEDx

The Department of Communication Studies proudly hosted its 5th TEDx event on February 13th. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events around the world that bring people together to celebrate ideas worth spreading.

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. This virtual event featured innovative ideas from a variety of speakers who’s talks embraced and amplified underrepresented voices, under-served communities, or ideas that we now take for granted. 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.

TEDx 2021 Speakers

Melodie Graves is the 2nd Vice President of the Amarillo Branch NAACP, also serving as the ACT-SO and Youth Chairwoman, Scholarship Committee Chair, and plans community engagement events for the Branch. Melodie also serves as the Vice-President of Solidarity isn't Silent. Melodie also serves as a community advocate helping children and their parents find important resources and working to eradicate poverty through educational programs and community unity building events.

Sean Huiet took over as head coach for the Bobcat volleyball program during 2020 season after spending 14 seasons as the assistant coach/associate head. Since joining the staff in 2006, Huiet has helped guide Texas State to 10 total championship titles, half with the Southland Conference and the other half with the Sun Belt Conference. Huiet spoke about his journey as an openly gay father of an adopted black son and how he is navigating those roles as a Division I head coach.

Jennifer Johnson is a Content Creator for the IT Assistance Center at Texas State University. Online, Jennifer openly shares her experiences of what it is like to be an Autistic BIPOC, and how her late diagnosis helped her to truly understand herself.

Qy’Darrius McEachern is a DEI speaker, consultant, and content creator who has committed himself to researching and educating people on the systemic oppressions impacting us every single day through an antiracist lens. He is the founder of McEachernSpeaks, which specializes in providing an IMPACTFUL experience through consultations, workshops, and conversations aimed at leading organizations to analyze unjust systems and create equitable spaces.

Marcus Peoples published a children’s book called “Proud to Be In Between”, which helps children embrace their cultural identity and empowers parents to normalize the difficult conversations of race and ethnicity. He has been an advocate for his community rooted in humble beginnings and strives to become a vessel of opportunity for all those he encounters.

Shailen Singh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational, Workforce & Leadership Studies at Texas State University with a research focus on issues affecting parents of children with disabilities. Dr. Singh has spent several years working with faculty, staff, and outside constituents to create intentional and thoughtful structures designed to provide underrepresented students with the best opportunities for success.

Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez is the founder of two of Texas' largest voting and civil rights organizations: Jolt and Workers Defense Project. She is an author on issues of race, gender and immigration, and she is the co-author of “Presente! Latino Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice”. She was named “Hero of the New South” by Southern Living Magazine and her work has been featured on NPR, Vogue, and The New York Times, among others.

The Department of Communication Studies thanks the TEDx Committee for their hard work in putting together the first virtual TEDxTexasStateUniversity. The committee members are: Michael Burns, Kristen Farris, Cassandra LeClair, Mark Paz and Ann Burnette. Student interns are Riki Van Meter (graduate), Justin Murphy (graduate), Claudia Rodriguez (undergraduate), and Isi Imoisi (undergraduate).

All of our speakers’ talks will be available on the TEDx Talks YouTube channel hosted by TED Headquarters later this semester.

TEDxTexasStateUniversity by the Numbers

  • 171 tickets to the virtual event were sold and additional 60 VIPs were invited.
  • An additional $5100 in outside sponsorship was secured to help cover the costs of the event.
  • 7 amazing presenters spoke about various topics related to the theme AMPLIFY.
  • 4 past speakers were interviewed for past speaker update videos to play during intermissions.
  • 4 additional videos were created efaturing VocaLibre, the TXST Cheer Team, and The TXST Volley Ball team to play during intermissions.
  • President Denise Trauth was tuned in and tweeted about the event.
  • 31 sound speakers (not human speakers) were donated by community members and School of Music to help create the set.

Faculty Accolades

Jasmine Austin was recently featured by Office of Sponsored research programs at Texas State. The piece explores her scholarly work on bringing together people with marginalized identities from underrepresented groups, her experience organizing the first African American Communication & Culture (AACC) #ScholarStrike Conference in 2020, the creation of the Faculty Research and Productivity (FRAP) Network, and a forthcoming textbook.

Ann Burnette was elected 2nd Vice President of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA). Next year, she will serve as 1st Vice President and will then ascend to the Presidency of SSCA in 2023.

Stephanie Dailey was interviewed by Ring Central, a cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions provider, to share evidence-based advice about using instant messaging for internal business communication. She also attended SXSW Edu online to learn more about innovative teaching techniques and trends to foster student success in higher education.

Elizabeth Eger received the College Achievement Award for Teaching for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Marian Houser received the Presidential Distinction Award for Service for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Maureen Keeley received the College Achievement Award for Research for the College of Fine Arts and Communication. She was also interviewed and quoted in the New York Times for an article entitledThere Is No Vaccine for Grief” in which she shared insights from her ongoing “Final Conversations” research.

Cassandra LeClair received the Presidential Distinction Award for Teaching for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Roseann Mandziuk received the College Achievement Award for Teaching for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Josh Miller received the College/Department Achievement Award for Research for the College of Fine Arts and Communication. He also published “Coalitional fronting and shared ethos

Mark Paz II received the College Achievement Award for Service for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

Alumni Accolades

Donte Mathis (B.A., 2018) was inducted into the Texas State Hall of Honor for his accomplishments as a member of the Texas State Bobcats Mens' Basketball team (for more information, see https://txstatebobcats.com/honors/hall-of-honor). Mr. Mathis played for Texas State from 1995-1999 and is the school's 4th highest all-time scorer, the only men's basketball player named as a Southland Conference MVP, and played in the 1997 NCAA Tournament. After a 13-year professional basketball career, Donte returned to Texas State to graduate in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. He is currently the head men’s basketball coach at Brentwood Christian High School in Austin and the Executive Director/Founder of Elevation Skills Sports and Achievement Academy in Houston.

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  • 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 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.

     

    Dr. Ann Burnette honored by Board of Regents. 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.

     

    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 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 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 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 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.

     

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

     

    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.

     

    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.

     

    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.

    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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

     

    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. 

  • 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.