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Career Readiness Hosts Engaging Events for Students

Ali Cross HR 101 poster

The Career Readiness Program, led by Dr. Michael Burns, hosted two events this semester, all featuring Texas State Alumni. For additional information, please visit the website for the Career Readiness Program.

The first workshop featured M.A. alumna Ali Cross, presenting “Human Resources 101: COMM Jobs in HR.” The event was held in-person and via Zoom. Ali is currently the Executive Assistant for the People Operations (HR) Director at Samsung Austin Semiconductor. She spoke about the ins and outs of HR based on her experience.

The second workshop featured M.A. alumna Shanna Schultz. She presented, “Rhetoric is Not Dead: How I Use Rhetorical Methods in Corporate Communications.” Shanna is a marketing and communication professional (MarComm) with expertise in social media execution, content marketing, and B2B marketing strategy. She currently works for Genuent, an IT staffing company, as a writer and marketing partner. She is also an adjunct professor of speech and communication at San Jacinto College.


Forensics and Debate Continue Tradition of Excellence

The LBJ Debate Society and Elton Abernathy Forensics Society, Texas State’s competitive speech and forensics team, competed in two virtual tournaments over Spring Break: The International Forensics Association (IFA) Championship Tournament, and the National Online Championships (NOC).

More than 70 schools participated in the International Forensics Association tournament. Texas State finished second in the nation at the for the overall sweepstakes award. 

  • Abby Robertson was the 3rd place overall student in the competition. She took 2nd place in Communication Analysis and 2nd place in Program Oral Interpretation.
  • Johnny Vasallo and Abby Robertson took 3rd place in Duo Interpretation, and Johnny Vasallo finished in 3rd place for Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Haley Bass took 3rd place for Informative Speaking.
  • Theo Januski finished in 7th place for Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Hector Manriquez took 6th place in Dramatic Interpretation.
  • Ashton Rios finished in 5th place for Poetry Interpretation.
  • Christian Cisneros was a Semi-finalist in IPDA Debate.
  • Jake Graybill was an Octa-finalist for IPDA Debate.

The National Online Forensics Championships saw 37 schools from 15 states compete. Texas State finished second in the nation at the NOC.

  • Johnny Vasallo was the second place overall speaker and Abby Robertson was the 5th overall speaker in the tournament.
  • Johnny Vasallo took a gold medal in Dramatic Interpretation and a gold medal in Prose Interpretation.

Silver Medalists included:

  • Abby Robertson for Communication Analysis and Poetry Interpretation
  • Hector Manriquez for After Dinner Speaking
  • Haley Bass for Informative Speaking

Bronze Medalists were:

  • Abby Robertson for Program Oral Interpretation
  • Johnny Vasallo for Poetry Interpretation. 

The LBJ Debate Society and Elton Abernathy Forensics Society are coached by two faculty from the Department of Communication Studies: Mr. Wayne Kraemer, Director of Forensics and Mr. Jeremy Hutchins, Associate Director.


Faculty Accolades

Ann Burnette became Vice President of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) during its Annual Convention in Greenville, S.C. She will plan next year’s Annual Convention in St. Petersburg, FL. She and Rebekah Fox received a Top Paper Award from the SSCA Freedom of Speech Division for their paper "The Politicization of Protests and Protection: The Major Free Speech Issues During the COVID-19 Pandemic." Ann was also interviewed for the Podcast, "The Medium is the Message," about the Southern States Communication Association Conference in Greenville, South Carolina.

Michael Burns delivered a three-day training program on executive presence and public speaking for London-based engineering firm Smiths, working with the organization's emerging leaders. He also delivered a two-part training on organizational change and value setting for the Campus Recreation staff at Texas State.

Elizabeth Eger was invited for a virtual presentation for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on ethnographic research, positionality, and reimagining "failures" in fieldwork. Her graduate organizational communication seminar welcomed four visiting scholars who shared findings from their research and discussed graduate students' questions about theories, methods, and praxis. Visitors included Dr. Heewon Kim of Arizona State University, Dr. Shawna Malvini Redden of Sacramento State University, Dr. Josh Barbour of UT Austin, and Dr. Kirstie McAllum of Université de Montréal. 

Kristen Farris received the top paper award from the Instructional Development Division of the Southern States Communication Association for "Faculty Resilience and Uncertainty Management Amidst Pandemic Pedagogy." She also presented on a panel entitled, "Building College Students' Resilience through Family Communication" through the Interpersonal Communication Division of SSCA.

Marian Houser received the top paper award from the Instructional Development Division of the Southern States Communication Association for "Faculty Resilience and Uncertainty Management Amidst Pandemic Pedagogy."

Josh Miller’s Rhetoric, Race, and Memory class visited and toured the Calaboose African American History Museum in March. The students learned about local San Marcos history and how people communicate about the past in ways that inform our present and collective future. For pictures, visit the museum’s Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/CbdHAHCl5Io/

Manu Pokharel presented “Stories of Regret and Death: A Social Media Experiment” at Texas State’s Translational Health Scholar Showcase. Manu also published “Death Narratives, Negative Emotion, and Counterarguing: Testing Fear, Anger, and Sadness as Mechanisms of Effect” in the Journal of Health Communication.

Lindsay Timmerman published “Stigmatized Disclosure in Close Relationships," a chapter in the Handbook of Research on Communication Strategies for Taboo Topics.

 

Student Accolades

Undergraduate student Alexandria Blott presented the paper “Shame Switches Sides: The Resurgence of the #MeToo Movement in France to Combat Incestual Abuse” at the Undergraduate Honors Conference during the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention in Greenville, S.C.

M.A. student Kyle Chitwood presented “Magic Mushrooms and Magical Arguments: Exploring the Claims of "Fantastic Fungi" at the 13th annual International Research Conference for graduate students sponsored by Texas State.

M.A. student Madeleine Field presented “Taking the bi out of Invisibility: Advocating for the Bisexual Community through Consciousness-Raising” at the 13th annual International Research Conference for graduate students sponsored by Texas State.

M.A. student Gabby Garza presented “Handle with Scare: Re-defining the Final Girl in Horror: A Training for Horror Writers” at the 13th annual International Research Conference for graduate students sponsored by Texas State.

Undergraduate student Rasika Gasti presented “The Women's Temperance Crusade: A Persuasive Evaluation of Its Functions, Strategies, and Tactics” at the Undergraduate Honors Conference during the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention in Greenville, S.C.

M.A. student Kirara Nagatsuka presented “Stories of Regret and Death: A Social Media Experiment” to the Translational Health Scholar Showcase at Texas State.

M.A. student Mary Katie Tigert presented the “Dudley's Dixie Night: A Rhetorical Analysis of Anne Dudley's Speech at the National American Woman Suffrage Convention” at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention in Greenville, S.C..

M.A. student Elizabeth Yanas presented “Altering Public Memory: Contemporary Efforts to Transform the Aesthetics of Concentration Camps” at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention in Greenville, S.C.

The Communication Studies Graduate Association (CSGA) held an event about local advocacy and activism. The organization invited Bobcat Alum, Sam Benavides, to talk about how she uses what she learned in her Communication Studies classes at her job, which centers on local advocacy. Community organizing and local activism rely on a wide array of communication skills, including much of what students have been learning about in their courses.


Alumni Accolades

M.A. alum Luke Dye received the top paper award from the Instructional Development Division of the Southern States Communication Association for "Faculty Resilience and Uncertainty Management Amidst Pandemic Pedagogy."

M.A. alum Nancy Heise presented “Nora Ephron and Hope for Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Was 2021 the New 1996?” at the Southern States Communication Association Annual Convention in Greenville, S.C.

M. A. alum Ifeoluwatobi Odunsi received the top paper award from the Instructional Development Division of the Southern States Communication Association for "Faculty Resilience and Uncertainty Management Amidst Pandemic Pedagogy."