Department News & Updates

TEDx Tickets on Sale Now!

Forensics Team
TEDx 2021

TEDx Texas State is proud to announce the lineup of speakers for its 6th annual event, taking place on Saturday, February 12 from 1:00-4:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall at the Performing Arts Center. This year’s theme is “Green”, and will be a half-day event featuring six talented speakers in an effort to make the event as “green” and sustainable as possible, reduce cost, and streamline the workload. Here is the link to the ticketing website: https://txstatepresents.universitytickets.com/w/?cid=166

Speakers:

David Yeomans is a three-time Emmy Award-winning Meteorologist and is the Chief Meteorologist at KXAN in Austin. He is a registered storm spotter and has kept climate records for the National Weather Service office. David has also researched hurricane formation for his Master’s thesis and was a guest scientist aboard a NOAA Hurricane Hunter flight. Currently, David serves on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Advisory Council.

Larry Fulton earned his Ph.D. in Management Science and Information Systems as well as his M.S. Statistics from the University of Texas at Austin. A professor in the College of Health Professions at Texas State University, Dr. Fulton’s research areas are sustainability and healthcare. The sustainable construction of his residence (once the highest scoring sustainable residence as verified by the National Association of Homebuilders) was featured on KSAT News in San Antonio.

Jaz Burgress is a Texas State alumna and the Founder and Executive Director of Hustle Meets Grace, an online Wellness Consulting Company specializing in integrating yoga, meditation and mindfulness-based practices. After attaining her professional counseling license, Jaz is looking forward to expanding their offerings to include a counseling private practice and yoga studio to help clients find healing through mindful movement and relaxation. In addition, Jaz is a life coach for first generation college students UTSA, where she facilitates leadership experiences focusing on personal development, financial literacy and emotional intelligence.

Jayairus Bryant is a free-spirited 2nd grader at Cooper Elementary in Houston, Texas who possesses a unique combination of grit and wit. He enjoys reading, playing video games, and learning about space. He will discuss mistakes that adults have made regarding environmental issues and how those mistakes have impacted children. He may just prove to you that when it comes to preserving the Earth, you may not be “smarter than a Second Grader!"

Wren Vogel is a graduate student pursuing an M.S. in Sustainability Studies at Texas State University and works as a research assistant for the Ingram School of Engineering. She is a member of the Hwang Eco-friendly Development for Green Environment (HEDGE) research team and is actively researching upcycling applications of invasive flora found in the San Marcos area.

Ian McKenna, 17 years old, is from Austin, TX. Ian is a youth hunger advocate who has grown and donated over 20,000 pounds of organic produce to help reduce food insecurity in his community. In addition to developing Ian’s Giving Garden, he works with No Kid Hungry as a youth ambassador and Katie’s Krops where he serves on their Board of Directors. Most recently, he was named as a Top 5 Finalist for Time’s Kid of the Year. Ian is currently a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Environmental Engineering. 


Career Readiness Hosts In-person and Virtual Events for Students

Career-Readiness-Mingle-Img
Career Readiness Students Mingle. In Person Event.

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

Rob Patterson (B.A., 1986) presented “An Ear to the Ground: What Top Companies Have Said to Me About the Value of Communication Skills in the Workplace”, sharing what he has learned working with some of the nation’s top companies and business leaders. Dr. Patterson is an Associate Professor in the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and his professional experiences in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors include advertising and business development, executive management and leadership, and postsecondary accreditation/compliance in Washington, DC.

Justin Garcia (B.A., 2010) presented “Rapport Building at Work: What Executive Presence Really Means”. Justin works for Amazon Web Services as a Lead on their Latin America, Canada, and Caribbean development team. His presentation included walking the audience through parts of trainings he facilitates for AWS’ Sales University.

Felipe Romero (B.A., 2013) presented “Leading Through Crisis” as part of a two-part event co-sponsored by the Career Services office at Texas State. Felipe serves as Director of Communications and Marketing for the City of Brownsville, and he shared his experiences in leading the City of Brownsville through crises including hurricanes, the pandemic, and the February 2021 winter storm. Crisis communication and planning are parts of many industries and an expectation for many career paths. Mr. Romero also talked about the value of soft skills, or what he calls “Power Skills,” when leading groups and teams. The second part of the event featured a preview of the Career & Coffee Expo that took place in the Rio Grande Valley on November 15th. This career expo featured more than 1,500 job opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley in many fields including: communication, healthcare, engineering, transportation, human resources, government, and skilled trades. Organizations such as SpaceX, the City of Brownsville, SteelCoast, Southwest Key, and many others were represented at the career expo.

Cara Gustafson (B.A., 2016) presented, “It’s Not Me, It’s You: Political Communication in the Legislature, Governmental Affairs, and Being a Spokesperson”. Cara served as the Communications Director for State Representative Garnet Coleman in the Texas House of Representatives from 2017-2019 and is currently the Communications Specialist at Public Blueprint, a Texas-based public affairs firm specializing in government relations, communications, digital and grassroots advocacy.
 
Finally, the Communication Studies Career Readiness program hosted its Fall Networking Event, where students met with alumni from several industries to learn what they do and ask for advice.


CSGA Hosts Development Events

CSGA Costume & Pumpkin Carving Contests

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.

CSGA hosted the “Communication 1310 Diversity Event” in response to the many requests to have an event focused on discussing Comm 1310’s diversity activity over the past year. The workshop began with a presentation by Dr. Josh Miller highlighting some introductory rhetoric of diversity concepts then moved to a group discussion about how to best conduct the diversity activity and integrate diversity and inclusion in Comm 1310.

CSGA also hosted a “National Communication Association Practice Session”, giving students and faculty members the opportunity to practice their presentations for the annual conference and receive supportive feedback.

During the week of Halloween, CSGA sponsored a costume contest and a pumpkin carving contest with a panel of judges and prizes for the best costumes and pumpkins.

CSGA closed out the semester by sponsoring a Clothing and Canned Food Drive for the holidays. Donated supplies and food will be distributed to: the Hays County Food Bank, TXST Career Closet, and Hays County Women’s Shelter


Faculty Accolades

Jasmine Austin presented “They Said What? Understanding and Decoding Microaggressions” with M.A. alum Andronica Owens. She also presented “The Hashtag Heard Around the World: Social Media Users’ Perceptions and Responses to the #MeToo Hashtag” with Andronica Owens.

Steven Beebe presented “A Class in Tune: Lessons from Music to Transform and Renew Instructional Communication” and “Communicating Truth in C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity: Applying Communication Transposition Theory” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association. Steven presented “Transforming the Training and Development Course: Renewing the Needs Centered Training Model for the Virtual Trainee” with Kristen Farris and Michael Burns. He also presented “Getting Hired and Securing Employment Post-Graduate School: Exploring On-Ramps to Jobs and Careers Beyond Faculty Positions” with M.A. alum William Jordan Wagner.

Tricia Burke delivered the Dean’s Seminar for the College of Fine Arts and Communication. Her presentation was entitled “Finding Our Way: Navigating Family Communication Transitions and Challenges”. She presented “Goals and Frames Associated with Weight-Related Support Marshaling in Couples” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association. Tricia also presented “Family Communication Patterns and Social Control: Exploring Emerging Adults’ Weight-Related Outcomes” and “Transforming our Understanding of Interpersonal Health Communication Processes” at the conference.

Ann Burnette presented "Every Idea is an Incitement:' Holmes and Brandeis Struggle Over the Events Surrounding January 6, 2021 and the 'Big (Easy)' Lie” and “Current Issues in Freedom of Expression” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association with Rebekah Fox.

Michael Burns authored, "Integrating University Value Messages into the Basic Communication Course: Implications for Student Recall and Adjustment to College” with Kristen Farris that was accepted for publication at the Basic Communication Course Annual. Michael presented “Transforming the Training and Development Course: Renewing the Needs Centered Training Model for the Virtual Trainee” with Kristen Farris and Steve Beebe to the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

Stephanie Dailey delivered a webinar entitled, "Strategic Interview Preparation for Landing Your Next Job or Internship" to students and young alumni of Southwestern University. She spoke at the University of Texas Communication Council's meeting on a panel titled, "Taking the Spookiness out of Grad School: Tricks and Treats for Exploring the Post-Graduate Education." Stephanie published “Do you dare to compare?: The key characteristics of social media users who frequently make online upward social comparisons” in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. She also chaired a panel entitled “Renewing Research on Cybersecurity Training and Developing Adaptive Organizational Cultures” at the annual conference of the National Communication Association

Elizabeth Eger presented “’They sent them to stop violence and instead they’re the ones causing the violence’: Analyzing UN Peacekeepers’ Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Through Feminist and Postcolonial Organizational Communication Theory and Praxis” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association. The paper was co-authored with M.A. alumnae Sierra Kane and Logan Kennedy. She also presented “Renewal and Transformation in Nonprofit Communication: Envisioning Research and Teaching in the Post-COVID Era” and “Organizing Difference: Queer Theory, Trans and Gender Non- Binary Identity and Affirmative Action” to the Organizational Communication Division of NCA. Elizabeth served as a respondent on a panel entitled “Transforming GLBTQ+ Identities through the Examination of Movies” at the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

Kristen Farris authored, "Integrating University Value Messages into the Basic Communication Course: Implications for Student Recall and Adjustment to College” with “Michael Burns that was accepted for publication at the Basic Communication Course Annual. Kristen presented “Enacting Preventative Behavior during a Pandemic: The Role of Health Belief Model, Perceived Credibility and Health Literacy” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association. The paper was co-authored with M.A. alum Ifeoluwatobi A. Odunsi. Kristen presented “Transforming the Training and Development Course: Renewing the Needs Centered Training Model for the Virtual Trainee” with Steven Beebe and Michael Burns. Kristen presented Exploring Students’ Perceptions of Instructor Requests for Forms of Address and Students’ Appraisals of the Instructor” with M.A. alums Madeline Martinson and Jovana Andelkovic. She presented “Renewing and Transforming the Student-Teacher Interpersonal Relationship in the Era of COVID-19” with Marian Houser. Kristen also presented “Restoring the Teacher-Student Relationship amidst Turbulence” with Marian Houser and Erik Timmerman as a Top Paper in the Instructional Communication Division.

Rebekah Fox presented "Every Idea is an Incitement:' Holmes and Brandeis Struggle Over the Events Surrounding January 6, 2021 and the 'Big (Easy)' Lie” and “Current Issues in Freedom of Expression” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association with Ann Burnette.

Marian Houser presented “Transforming the Future for Military-Affiliated Learners (MALs): Fostering Intersections between Military and Instructional Communication Research and Practice” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association. She presented “Exploring the Impact of Memorable Messages and Self-Disclosure in the Classroom” to the Instructional Communication Division of NCA. She also delivered a presentation entitled "The Transition is Difficult": Student-Veteran Academic Needs & Implications for Instructional Communication Training.” Marian presented “Renewing and Transforming the Student-Teacher Interpersonal Relationship in the Era of COVID-19” with Kristen Farris. Marian also presented “Restoring the Teacher-Student Relationship amidst Turbulence” with Kristen Farris and Erik Timmerman as a Top Paper in the Instructional Communication Division.

Maureen Keeley presented “Communicating Health in Personal Relationships” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

Roseann Mandziuk served as Vice President of the National Communication Association, which included planning the 107th Annual Convention in Seattle, with over 900 programs and 3000 attendees. Roseann received the ceremonial gavel and will serve as President of NCA in 2022.

Josh Miller published "Bolstering Bayard Rustin: Collaborative apologia, heteronormativity, and the 1963 March on Washington" in the Southern Communication Journal.

Manu Pokharel published “Death narratives, negative emotion, and counterarguing: Testing fear, anger, and sadness as mechanisms of effect” in Journal of Health Communication. She presented “Visual Tailoring and Skin Cancer Prevention: Comparing Personalized, Stock, and Non-Ultraviolet Images” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association with M.A. alum Sophia Taylor-Burton.

C. Erik Timmerman presented “Restoring the Teacher-Student Relationship amidst Turbulence” with Marian Houser and Kristen Farris as a Top Paper in the Instructional Communication Division.


Student Accolades

M.A. student Kirara Nagatsuka presented “Objects that Spark Joy in the U.S. and Japan” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association.

M.A. student Tyshee Sonnier presented “Free Churros and Epideictic Rhetoric” to the annual conference of the National Communication Association.


Alumni Accolades

M.A. alum Luke Dye presented "Anchors Aweigh: Organizational Communication in the United States Navy" to the National Communication Association annual conference.

M.A. alum Livia Hendrickson and M.A. student Carlissia Hamilton presented “Is the NBA Strictly for Profit, Progressive, or Both? An Applied Analysis of the NBA's Organizational Communication about Black Lives Matter" to the National Communication Association annual conference.