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March 2019 Updates

Roseann Mandziuk
Roseann Mandziuk

Roseann Mandziuk Selected for Prestigious Post

The Department of Communication Studies is proud to announce that Roseann Mandziuk was elected Second Vice President of the National Communication Association in February. She will serve as President of the organization in two years after fulfilling the duties of First Vice President next year.

The National Communication Association (NCA) is the largest professional organization dedicated specifically to the research and teaching of Communication. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.

NCA publishes academic journals that provide the latest research in the discipline and showcase diverse perspectives on a range of scholarly topics, organizes programs that serve to engage public audiences with current and emerging communication topics, and helps disseminate Communication scholarship broadly through regular media outreach, and a robust social media presence.

Roseann is an award-winning teacher and scholar, currently teaching in New Delhi, India on her second Fulbright Fellowship. Her research appears in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Women’s Studies Quarterly International, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Southern Communication Journal, and Critical Studies in Mass Communication, among others. She has been very active in NCA over her career, serving on various committees such as the Finance Board and Executive Committee, a member of the Legislative Assembly and Nominating Committee, Chair of the Feminist and Women Studies Division, and the Diversity Council and Affirmative Action/Intercaucus Committee. Roseann also served as President of the Southern States Communication Association for the 2017 academic year.

Roseann will devote much of her time to two specific initiatives to advance NCA. The first will be to further explore opportunities to enhance diversity and inclusion, particularly with regard to leadership positions and student recruitment and support. The second goal involves increased public engagement to increase the visibility of Communication scholarship and enhance the practice of informed critique and deliberative public discussion.

Faculty Accolades

Michael Burns recently presented at the Leadership Institute, working with 40 students on how to improve their listening skills to become better leaders. Michael also facilitated the first CoSearch Targeted Event with the College of Science and Engineering. He and Marian Houser planned and hosted a mini-version of CoSearch around the theme of “Materials with Intelligence.” Twenty-six faculty members participated in the event and are now working to submit external funding applications within the year.

Elizabeth K. Eger presented “Examining University Health Communication Outreach by LGBTQIAP+ Student Peer Advocates” to the Texas State Health Scholar Showcase.

Roseann Mandziuk recently presented three lectures and a grant writing workshop on three different campuses in India, including Stella Maris College in Chennai, Vellore Institute of Technology in Vellore, and Indraprastha College for Women.

Student Accolades

M.A. student Lauren Lee was selected as the Department of Communication Studies representative for the 2019 College of Fine Arts and Communication Outstanding Graduate Student Award. Hannah Jones, Trevor Kauer, and David Beadle were also nominated for the award.

M.A. students Trevor Kauer and Hannah Jones were each nominated for the Eastern Communication Association Centennial Scholarship.

M.A. students David Beadle, Sean Dhyre, Miguel Munoz, and Luis Vasquez assisted as presentation coaches at the “Materials with Intelligence” Co-Search targeted event workshop.

Alumni Accolades

Kevin Kline (M.A., 2010) is a Channel Account Manager in the technology partnership program at ShipStation, the leading application in e-commerce fulfillment.

Melissa Barnett Kocian (M.A., 2005) currently serves as an Academic Dean at East Central High School in New Braunfels.

Joey Kuykendall (B.A., 2018) is the Coordinator of Partnership Services for Learfield IMG College, managing the corporate sponsorship & multi-media rights for Texas State University Athletics.

Shanna Schultz (M.A., 2015) is the Program Director for the University Interscholastic League (UIL) at Houston ISD, as well as an adjunct faculty member for San Jacinto College in the Department of Speech. She was recently elected to serve on the District Advisory Committee to the Board of Trustees for Houston ISD.

Reyna Vasquez (B.A., 2015) is an Events and Volunteer Manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio.

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  • Department Accolades

    TEDx is Live!

    The Department of Communication Studies hosted the third annual TEDx Texas State University conference on November 3rd at The Marc in downtown San Marcos. Over 300 people attended, worked, and participated in the event. The 2018 TEDx event featured 12 speakers and six entertainment sessions focused on the theme “reXamine.” The theme featured ideas that push the status quo, ask why, make the old new again, and challenge norms. The talks are now available to view online.

    Faculty Accolades

    Tricia Burke was selected as a runner-up for the 2019 Online Teaching Award.  She is receiving the award for COMM 4326: Health Communication. The award recognizes and rewards superior online teaching, provides models of excellence for fellow faculty, and encourages all faculty to continue to improve and advance their online teaching pedagogy.

    Ann Burnette and Rebekah Fox appeared on the Philosophy Mixed Podcast: “The Return of Analytic Reasoning to the Public Square.” The podcast also featured Daniel Carter from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Ivan Marquez from the Department of Philosophy.

    Stephanie Dailey published “Social comparisons, social media addiction, and social interaction: An examination of specific social media behaviors related to major depressive disorder in a millennial population” in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research. This study sparked several news outlets' attention, including ABC's Good Morning America, Yahoo!, and The Daily Mail. She also published “Collegiate binge drinking and social media use among Hispanics and Non-Hispanics” in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. This study has also received media attention, including stories in U.S. News & World Report, Psychology Today, and the Economic Times. Stephanie and Kristen Farris were awarded a Research Enhancement Program grant for $14,900 to focus on “Memorable messages of first-generation college students.” Students in Stephanie’s “Social Media in Organizations” course wrapped up the fall semester by completing social media audits for 17 for-profit and non-profit organizations across the U.S. Each organization received a 60+ page report detailing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization's social media posts. Students' social media audits also offered suggestions for improvement, grounded in scholarly theory and research.

    Kristen Farris and Stephanie Dailey were awarded a Research Enhancement Program grant for $14,900 to focus on “Memorable messages of first-generation college students.”

    Roseann Mandziuk received a Fulbright-Nehru Professional Excellence Award, and is currently teaching three courses at Indraprastha College for Women in Delhi, India. She also has been invited to deliver guest lectures in Chennai, Vellore, and Guwahati later in the spring, including consulting with the organization Women in Security and Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP).

    Josh Miller and Lindsay Timmerman were awarded a Research Enhancement Program grant for $16,000. Their research will focus on “Managing disclosure of marginalized identities: Examining disclosure decisions of LGBTQ immigrants.”

    Forensics Accolades

    Battle of Flowers

    Three members of the Elton Abernathy Forensics Society have been selected to compete in the 94th annual Oratorical Contest of the Battle of Flowers Association in San Antonio. Held every year ahead of Fiesta, this oratorical contest is the oldest university and college-level competition in the state of Texas. The event awards generous monetary prizes to its five top finalists.

    Under the guidance of Forensics Director, Wayne Kraemer, Texas State students have enjoyed a great deal of success in the competition, boasting several champions from past years and many Top-Five finalists.

    This year, Tyler Cole, Jordan Drake, and Lily Montemayor will represent Texas State. This year’s theme is, “The Lone Star Story: An Epic Saga of the Events that Changed Texas Forever.”

    TIFA Championship

    The LBJ Debate Society and The Elton Abernathy Forensics Society hosted the Spring Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) Championship Tournament on the Texas State University campus.  The tournament featured 18 schools from around the state including The University of Texas, Rice, SMU and Texas A&M.

    Texas State won the first place overall school sweepstakes trophy, first place in debate school sweepstakes, and second place individual events sweepstakes. Texas State was also awarded the hosting spot for the Spring 2020 Championships.

    Tyra Williams was named the tournament’s outstanding speaker. She was named Top Novice in Dramatic Interpretation, took first place for Dramatic Interpretation, and first place in Duo Dramatic Interpretation with Shaelyn Handy. Tyra also took first place in Poetry Interpretation and was a semifinalist in Prose Interpretation.

    Jonathan Wagner won the Parliamentary debate title, qualified as an International Parliamentary Debate Association (IPDA) finalist, and was named to the TIFA All-State Forensics Squad. He was also designated the Top IPDA Novice and the second place National Parliamentary Debate Association (NPDA) speaker.

    Nate Sauve won the Parliamentary debate title, was fifth place NPDA speaker, and was named to the TIFA All-State Forensics Squad.

    Tyshee Sonnier was named to the TIFA All-State Forensics Squad and took third place in Informative Speaking.

    Jordan Drake was a NPDA semi-finalist and IPDA quarterfinalist.

    Lily Montemayor was a NPDA semi-finalist, took sixth place in Extemporaneous Speaking, and placed sixth in Informative Speaking.

    Justin Vineyard was an IPDA semi-finalist.

    Shaelyn Handy placed first Duo Dramatic Interpretation with Tyra Williams and was a semifinalist in Prose Interpretation.

    Tyler Cole took seventh place in Communication Analysis.

    Christian Cisneros placed fifth in Impromptu Speaking

    Enrique Urdiales was a semifinalist in Prose Interpretation.

    Dillon McCoy took fifth place in Prose Interpretation.

    Student Accolades

    Three Communication Studies students were featured experts in videos for the Texas OnCourse website.  Texas OnCourse is a set of resources that are designed to help high school students prepare for and succeed at the university level.  The project is a collaborative effort developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).

    Three Texas State Communication Studies students were interviewed about topics that include factors that junior high school students should consider when preparing for high school, choosing courses in high school to prepare for college, developing a college support network, and paying for college, among others.  

    Featured students are:

    Sydney Wilson, Communication Studies Major
    Joey Kuykendall, Communication Studies Major
    Alisha Mohammed, Communication Studies Minor

    Alumni Accolades

    Maria Jose Holguin Cruz (B.A., 2015) currently serves as an Academic Advisor with the University of Texas at San Antonio.

    Shelby DeWitt (B.A., 2018) works as a recruiter for the Marbridge Foundation. Marbridge provides an alternative to group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities, offering a full range of services tailored to individual needs and abilities.

    Joey Kuykendall (B.A., 2017) accepted a position as the Coordinator of Partnership in the Texas State Sports Properties team of Learfield Communications. In this new role, he maintains relationships between the Texas State Bobcats corporate partners, property staff, and the Athletic department. Learfield Communications administers Texas State University’s athletic multimedia.

  • Department Accolades

    The Department of Communication Studies is hosting its second TEDx event on Saturday, November 3 at The Marc. This full-day event will feature innovative ideas from a variety of speakers, wonderful entertainment from Texas State students and community members, and the chance to discuss and share with others in the community. Revolving around the theme of “reXamine,” speakers will challenge the status quo and embrace the question “Why?” Topics will focus on innovation in technology, science, the arts, humanities, and our daily lives. The TEDx Leadership team consists of Communication Studies faculty members Marsha Burney, Michael Burns, Kristen Farris, and Cassandra LeClair, and M.A. students David Beadle and Hannah Jones. Communication Faculty members Ann Burnette and Mark Paz are serving as speaker coaches along with alumnus Jonathan Alba. The team is also excited to announce they have secured external funding for the event from the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce and Main Street City of San Marcos.

    Melinda Villagran continues to lead the Translational Health Research Initiative at Texas State, announcing the 2019 Health Scholar Showcase to be held on Wednesday, February 27th. The theme will be “Smart, Connected Health,” a focus that allows participants to share and examine innovative tools and relationships that may change the nature of health and healthcare.

    This event connects faculty and community partners so they may engage in collaborative research efforts. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about health-focused research being completed by faculty from Departments, Schools, Centers, and Colleges across Texas State University. Additional information and a call for presentations will be shared in the coming months. The Translational Health Research Initiative supports faculty seeking to attract new grant funding, build their research teams, develop research tools, or move forward on multidisciplinary programs.

    Michael Burns, Kristen Farris, and Marian Houser, working with Daris Hale, Ian Davidson, and Nico Schuler from the Department of Music were approved for a new joint study abroad program to London and Paris where students will earn credit for Fundamentals of Human Communication and Introduction to Fine Arts. This program will be the first study abroad course marketed and endorsed by the Texas International Education Consortium. As a pilot project, the details of the program will be distributed to 31 public universities in Texas.

    The Graduate Faculty Committee from the Department of Communication Studies held the annual “Graduate Day of Dialogue.” This day-long meeting focuses upon continued progress and planning to maintain status as a top-level Master’s program. Among the many agenda items that were addressed, the faculty developed the planned course offerings for the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters.

    The department also hosted the annual “Welcome and Welcome Back!” reception. The event allows faculty and graduate students to (re-)establish relationships, catch up on projects, and develop the coordination needed to lead into a productive academic year.

    The Department of Communication Studies’ Graduate Instructional Assistants and Graduate Teaching Assistants are hard at work balancing the dual goals of excellence in teaching and research. A recent stroll through their offices provides evidence of their simultaneous dedication to teaching and research.

    The COMM Lab is Texas State’s only resource for enhancing the delivery of presentations and oral communication. The Lab has temporarily relocated to the second floor of the Alkek Library, with plans for permanent housing on the fourth floor once renovations are complete. Communication Studies faculty member (MA, Texas State University) Casey Chilton is the Director of the Comm Lab and provides training for up to 7 staff members, coordinates technology and infrastructure requirements, and serves as a liaison between Comm Lab and a wide range of campus units that utilize his team’s services.  Recently, the university approved Student Service Fee funding for the Lab for the second year, which allowed additional staff to be hired and more students will be served. The COMM Lab is open to all students, regardless of major.

    Faculty Accolades

    Michael Burns traveled with the Undergraduate Admissions Office to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to serve as keynote speaker at two Counselor Updates. He spoke to over 200 high school guidance counselors and community college advisors about why their students should consider Texas State while highlighting the culture of the university. Susan Hazzard, the Director of Public Relations for USA Track and Field, spoke to Michael’s Sport Communication class about the value of communication skills in the sports and provided advice on ways to break into the sports industry.

    Elizabeth K. Eger gave an invited public lecture for the Texas State Society of Women Engineers on “Unconscious Bias in STEM Education.” Her “Qualitative Research Methods and Communication” graduate students practiced participant observation methods by visiting local organizations at LBJ and Sessom to learn qualitative methods in the community.

    Marian Houser completed Texas State University’s 40-hour Foundations of Online Course Design and Development program. Completing the course is a prerequisite for being approved to teach in the online format and meets SACSCOC requirements for online instructors. She will teach “Communication 2315: Interpersonal Communication” in an online format during the spring 2019 semester.

    Jeremy Hutchins was honored with the Educator of the Year Award by the Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA). The award was presented at the Texas Speech Communication Association (TSCA) annual convention in Corpus Christi. Pictured with Jeremy are Texas State Forensics Director Wayne Kraemer and M.A. alum Sarah Mohumdro Contreras.

    Maureen Keeley served as the representative for the Department of Communication Studies at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s “Field of Studies” planning process. This set of meetings is a means for developing collaborative agreements about the courses that will transfer from Texas Community Colleges into 4-year university curricula. By working with the committee, Dr. Keeley helped identify courses that students can complete at a community college that will serve to meet lower-division degree requirements for the Bachelor’s degree at a 4-year university.

    Melinda Villagran has been working closely with Walt Horton and Eric Algoe to move the Translational Health Research Initiative onto the list of legislative appropriation items for the upcoming legislative session. This request, which is one of only a small number of legislative budget requests submitted by Texas State University, would create a continued source of state-level funding for the Translational Health Research Initiative.

    Forensics Accolades

    The Elton Abernathy Forensics Society won second place at the 30th Annual Hill Country Swing hosted by Texas State and the University of Texas. Eleven universities, including Arizona State, LSU, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Rice, and the University of Texas competed in the tournament.

    Jaelyn Ashford won 1st in Prose Interpretation.

    Tyra Williams won 1st in Dramatic Interpretation.

    Dillon McCoy won 1st in Program Oral Interpretation and 4th in Prose Interpretation.

    Enrique Urdiales took 2nd place in Program Oral Interpretation.

    Shaelyn Handy took  5th place in Program Oral Interpretation and 6th in Prose Interpretation.

    Lily Montemayor was 4th in Extemporaneous Speaking.

    Tyshee Sonnier was 4th in Informative Speaking.

    The following weekend, the team competed at the Storm Classic at Southeastern Oklahoma.

    Nate Sauve and Jonathan Wagner were semi-finalists in Parliamentary Debate.

    Lily Montemayor and Jordan Drake were Quarterfinalists in Parliamentary Debate.

    Lily Montemayor took 3rd in Extemporaneous Speaking and 3rd in Informative Speaking.

    Jordan Drake took 3rd in Informative Speaking and was a semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking.

    Tyshee Sonnier took 1st in Informative Speaking and was a semifinalist in Impromptu Speaking.

    Dillon McCoy placed 2nd in Program Oral Interpretation.

    Student Accolades

    M.A. student Trevor Kauer was co-author of a published chapter in The Palgrave Handbook of Deceptive Communication entitled “Effects of deception on the deceiver: An interdisciplinary view.”

    M.A. student Brad Palmisano was a featured guest speaker at the Chief Learning Officer Symposium on in Houston, Texas. Along with Shonna Waters, Regional Vice President of Behavioral Science at BetterUp, Brad shared research data to reveal how personalized coaching programs and targeted learning interventions have changed employee behavior, allowing organizational members to thrive through periods of change and uncertainty.

    M.A. student Jordan Taylor was accepted into the Organizational Communication Mini-Conference at Rutgers University. She will present a poster on her critical literature review entitled, “Women of Color: White-Collar Work.”

    Alumni Accolades

    Laura Brown (M.A., 2013) is finishing a Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky. She recently accepted the position of Senior Instructional Designer at Texas Woman’s University in Dallas.

    Dana Dinsmore (M.A., 2015) is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Arizona.

    Kristal Gault (B.A., 2003 & M.A., 2008) serves in the Department of the Air Force Public Affairs division. She has recently been promoted as a Department of the Air Force civilian and will be relocating to the Pentagon where she will work on Communication Strategy and Assessments for high-visibility, Air Force-wide programs.

    Holly Wallner (B.A., 2018) is the Aquatics Director at Southwest Pool Management in Spring, Texas.

    Date Reveals Why The 'Soft' in 'Soft Skills' Is A Major Misnomer

    With a tight labor market and an increase in employees seeking to upskill for the skills transformation happening in the workplace, companies and business leaders are reassessing the skills they deem critical to success in their employees and job candidates.

    In an interview earlier this year, Mark Cuban made a prediction that many people in the technical fields found shocking: in ten years, "a liberal arts degree in philosophy will be worth more than a traditional programming degree." His reasoning is that AI and automation will transform the job market so much that degrees that teach how to think in a big picture way and better collaborate will become more valuable. This is sound reasoning based on the current outlook for our economy and workforce, and a testament to why these of skills are increasingly talked about.

    To Learn more about this, you can Read more here...

    Department Accolades

    M.A. Program Receives National Recognition

    The Master’s Education Section of the National Communication Association (NCA), the largest professional organization dedicated to the study and teaching of Communication, selected the Communication Studies M.A. program as this year’s “Outstanding/Innovative Master’s Degree Program Award” winner. The award recognizes one MA program per year that demonstrates excellent quality in developing research and teaching and effectively mentors students in their personal and professional growth.  The award was presented at the 2018 NCA conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

    TEDx Comes to Texas State

    The Department of Communication Studies hosted the third annual TEDx Texas State University conference on November 3rd at The Marc in downtown San Marcos. Over 300 people attended, worked, and participated in the event. The 2018 TEDx event featured 12 speakers and six entertainment sessions focused on the theme “reXamine.” The theme featured ideas that push the status quo, ask why, make the old new again, and challenge norms. Five of the 12 speakers were College of Fine Arts and Communication Faculty or students: Michael Maresca (faculty, Theatre and Dance), Shannon Faseler (faculty, Art and Design), Morgan Jones (undergrad Art and Design), Jake Young (undergraduate, Theatre and Dance), and Yocelyn Riojas (MFA student, Art and Design). The event also featured three of the entertainment sessions: Lynzy Lab (faculty, Theatre and Dance) sang her song “A Scary Time” (for Boys), VocaLibre, led by Craig Aamot (faculty, Music), performed a medley of songs related to the reXamine theme, and a group of Musical Theatre students led by Michael Maresca sang a mashup of pop songs arranged by undergraduate student Daniel Miller. Several community sponsors and supporters of this year’s event strengthened the connection between the City of San Marcos and the University.

    This event is the main project for the Communication Studies undergraduate Event Planning Class, working closely with the TEDx Leadership team. The TEDx Leadership team consists of several faculty members and students: Marsha Burney (Comm Studies), Michael Burns (Comm Studies), Kristen Farris (Comm Studies), Cassandra LeClair (Comm Studies), Mark Paz (Comm Studies), Ann Burnette (Comm Studies), Seth Frei (Business), and student interns David Beadle (MA, Comm studies), Hannah Jones (MA, Comm Studies), and Carlos Corona (undergraduate, Chemistry).  The 12 talks will be available on the TEDx YouTube Channel later this year.

    Faculty Accolades

    Stephanie Dailey’s article, "What we are talking about when we talk about social media: A framework for study,” published in Sociology Compass, was named one of the journal’s top 20 most downloaded recent papers, receiving some of the highest downloads in the 12-months post online publication.

    Kristen Farris, Marian Houser, Logan Carpenter (MA, Comm Studies), Trevor Kauer (MA, Comm Studies), and Holly Van Eynde (MA, Comm Studies) received the Instructional Development Division’s Top Paper award at the National Communication Association conference. Their paper, “The road to hel(l)icopter teaching: An empirical examination of a new instructional communication construct” breaks new ground in the field as the first investigation of the concept of “helicopter teaching.”

    Marian Houser's article, “The teacher-student relationship as an interpersonal relationship” was selected as the 2018 Distinguished Article Award winner for the NCA Instructional Development Division. The award recognizes one outstanding scholarly article that contributes significantly to the field of Instructional Communication or Communication Education. The article, which appeared in the 2000 volume of Communication Education is one of the most frequently cited articles in the field of instructional communication.

    Roseann Mandziuk presented “Spectres of race and remembrance: (Dis)figuring the Confederate past” at the National Communication Association Convention in Salt Lake City. She also responded to two panels and participated in the Diversity Forum. She also received a Presidential Citation for Service for contributions as Chair of the 2018 Task Force on NCA’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion in Convention Site Selection and Planning. Roseann was nominated as one of two candidates for NCA Second Vice President. She participated in the “Meet the Candidates” forum, addressed the Legislative Assembly, and visited many association meetings. Roseann also participated in the panel “Nevertheless, Sexual Harassment Persists: Hill/Thomas, #MeToo, and Feminist Activism” at the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender Conference in South Lake Tahoe.

    Student Accolades

    M.A. student Trevor Kauer was awarded “Top Student Paper” in the Nonverbal Communication Division for “First Responder’s Intimate Partner Communication: Perceptions of Job-Related Stress, Relational Support, and Appraisals of Stress.” Trevor presented the paper to the 2018 National Communication Association conference in Salt Lake City.

    M.A. student Lauren Lee co-authored a paper that received a Top Paper Award from NCA’s Training and Development Division.  The paper title is “Unveiling Multicultural Communication Barriers and Strategies to Improve Marrow Donor Recruitment.” The first author on the manuscript is Jessica Raley, an alum of our MA program and current program faculty member in the College of Health Professions.

    Undergraduate student Luke A. Dye received a “Top Paper” award for “A Devils Guide to Public Speaking: Lessons from Screwtapes Communication Principles.” He also presented the paper at the NCA Conference in Salt Lake City.

    Members of the Communication Studies Graduate Association and faculty advisor Dr. Elizabeth K. Eger helped The Green Corn Project by taking down their annual fall fundraising event at Boggy Creek Farm in East Austin. CSGA Vice President Michael Tahmoressi coordinated the service event.