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Department News & Updates

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.

Bringing C.S. Lewis to Texas State

The Texas State University Department of Communication presented a public lecture series on author C. S. Lewis featuring two prominent Lewis scholars who approach “Lewis as Communicator.” Both lectures were free and open to the public.

Dr. Michael Ward, from Oxford University, spoke on the topic: “C. S. Lewis on Mercury: The God of Communication.”  Dr. Ward has published and edited several award-winning books about Lewis, including his ground breaking Planet Narnia in which he documents Lewis’s role as an implicit communicator by embedding a secret “Narnia Code” in the Chronicles of Narnia. 

Andrew Lazo, who recently transcribed and published an early draft of C. S. Lewis’s autobiography, presented: “C. S. Lewis: An ‘Introduction.” Lazo explored how Lewis, as an audience-centered communicator, intentionally connects with his readers in the introductions of several of his books, lectures, and essays.

Faculty Accolades

Steven Beebe gave a presentation on C.S. Lewis to the Department of Communication Studies at Eastern Washington State University.

Tricia Burke had “Indirect effects of family cohesion on emerging adult perfectionism through anxious rearing and social expectations” accepted for publication in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. This article was co-authored with M.A. student Trevor Kauer.

Michael Burns presented two research papers at the Central States Communication Association conference. The first paper focused on parent communication during the transition to college and was co-authored with Tricia Burke and former M.A. students Nathan Donahue and Jonathan Davis. The second paper detailed findings from an assessment project in collaboration with the Department of Residence Life’s Living Learning Communities. This paper was co-authored with Marian Houser and former M.A. students Emma Carberry, Seleste Mills, and Adam Tristan. Michael, Cassandra LeClair, and M.A. student David Beadle also presented a short course at CSCA for other universities interested in hosting a TEDx event

Elizabeth K. Eger received the “Registered Student Organization Advisor of the Year” award at the annual Boko Awards for Texas State's student organization and leadership. Elizabeth serves as faculty advisor to the Communication Studies Graduate Association (CSGA), a departmental organization dedicated to unifying the graduate students in Communication Studies at Texas State University. CSGA members come together for official events and unofficial events, including professional development and research seminars.

Roseann Mandziuk presented a workshop about applying for international study and research grants at Indraprastha College for Women in Delhi. She then travelled to Kolkata to deliver a lecture at the U.S. Consulate about critical media studies, and to Kathmandu, Nepal to provide a week-long Communication Studies program for scholars and community activists.

Josh Miller published “Collaborative Leadership in Senate Democrats’ Opposition to Affordable Care Act Repeal Eefforts” in the Journal of Contemporary Rhetoric.

Student Accolades

The Eastern Communication Association named M.A. student Trevor Kauer this year's Master's level recipient of the Centennial Scholarship. The award is given annually to only one Ph.D. student and one Master’s student. Trevor and Tricia Burke also had “Indirect effects of family cohesion on emerging adult perfectionism through anxious rearing and social expectations” accepted for publication  in the Journal of Child and Family Studies.

M.A. student Hannah Jones received the graduate-student level “Student Organization Leader of the Year” award at the annual Boko Awards for Texas State's student organization and leadership. Hannah serves as President of the Communication Studies Graduate Association (CSGA), a departmental organization dedicated to unifying the graduate students in Communication Studies at Texas State University.

The Delta Beta chapter of Lambda Pi Eta inducted 10 new members this semester. Lambda Pi Eta is the honor society of the National Communication Association, offering undergraduate students the opportunity to expand knowledge of current issues in the discipline, explore employment options, and provide service to the department and the Texas State community. From left to right in the picture, new members are: (Back Row) Katherine Telford, Jacqueline Moreno, Gabby Tijerina, Emily Greene, Katherine Haar, Gabriella Rodriguez (Front Row) Tyshee Sonnier, Amanda Carvallo, Sophia Balfour, Julianne Castillo. In addition, the chapter corded six graduates at the induction ceremony. From left to right, the Spring 2019 graduates from Lambda Pi Eta are: Genevieve McNeil, Jacy Canfield, Emily Greene, Gabby Tijerina, Katherine Telford and Joyana Richer.

The Communication Studies Graduate Association (CSGA) held a session entitled “Communication Conferencing 101.” This session was geared toward undergraduate and graduate students interested in presenting their research at conferences. CSGA Professional Development chair Sean Dyhre coordinated the event, and Ann Burnette, Elizabeth K. Eger, and Kristen Farris presented and led Q&A about applying to conferences, presentation norms, and networking tips.

CSGA Vice President Michael Tahmoressi led a garden revitalization in East Austin in his continued community service with Green Corn Project, which helps low income people sustainably grow their own food. 

Alumni Accolades

Seleste Mills (M.A., 2017) recently started as a Research Project Manager at Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, the largest research and measurement group in the Public Relations industry.

Talan Tyminski (M.A., 2016) is a Communication Specialist for Texas Workforce Commission and will be married in October.

Christopher Wernecke (M.A., 2016) is a doctoral student at Georgia State University. He recently won the Robert Bostrom Young Scholar Award at the Southern States Communication Association Conference, an award given to the graduate student with the most outstanding paper submitted to the conference. He plans to submit the paper, “Through this sign, you shall conquer: The warrior-priest archetype in American cancer rhetoric” for publication.