Missouri State University
What is going on in the Department of Communication

Students to learn about conflict resolution in country with long history of conflict

STFL_Ireland_COM_2014-15Several students and faculty will be leaving for Ireland June 16 for a short-term study away trip sponsored by the Center for Dispute Resolution. The 10-day program will explore the country’s historical and cultural roots of conflict and the subsequent peacemaking processes and reconciliation.

About the trip

Course Overview: This course is designed to allow students to explore the dynamics of conflict and peacemaking at work in Northern Ireland. The course will examine conflict from a multidisciplinary approach by reading and exploring histories, cultural studies, narratives and film, as well as research and writings on conflict, peacemaking and reconciliation. This will provide students with a foundation for understanding the background and evolution of conflict in Ireland and gain insights into the knowledge, skills and processes necessary to bring about reconciliation and conflict transformation.

Dates: June 16-26, 2015

Itinerary: Students will travel to Dublin, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, visiting landmarks such as the Ulster Museum, Carrickfergus Castle and the Walled City.

Credit: They will receive three hours of credit for COM 597 or COM 698.

Contact: Dr. Charlene Berquist by email or at 417-836-8831

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High school debaters have until June 5 to register for debate camp

The Missouri State Debate Institute will host its 2015 debate camp this summer, inviting high school students in a series of policy camps to be held June 28—July 18. Registration for the 2015 MSDI ends June 5.

Event camp programs

Students may live on or off campus during the camp. They can enroll in one-, two- or three-week camps. Each runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with evening computer lab hours available to dorm residents. The camp schedule is as follows:

June 29-30

  • Policy Debate (Lecture-Only Option)

July 12-13

  • Extemp
  • Interpretation

July 14-15 

  • Congressional Debate

July 16-17

  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate
  • Public Forum Debate

College credit option

Participants may choose to receive three hours of college credit equivalent to COM 115 Public Speaking upon completion of the camp. Dual credit rates will apply at $200 for all three hours.

About MSDI

The MSDI provides in-depth instruction at an incredible value. Graduates have consistently dominated the local debate circuit, as well as several other circuits. Many have qualified to NFL Nationals, the Tournament of Champions, and received sizeable college debate scholarships.

With a camp size of about 50, the staff/student ratio is 8/1 or better. Many on MSDI the staff are current college coaches that have coached at the top levels of college debate.

For more information

Contact MSDI’s director Dr. Eric Morris by email or call the communication department at 417-836-4423.


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Students receive Pepsi-Cola scholarship

Six undergraduate students at Missouri State University recently received recognition for their commitment to the university’s public affairs mission. Each student was awarded a Pepsi-Cola Public Affairs Scholarship in the amount of $1,250. The students were selected based on their involvement in public affairs activities and voluntary service both on and off campus.

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Cox earns national advising award

NoraCoxThe National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) recently announced Nora Cox as its Outstanding Advising Award Winner in the faculty advising category.

Cox, a communication instructor and advisor, will be honored at the annual NACADA Conference in Las Vegas this fall.

About Cox

Cox earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Missouri State — 2003 and 2005, respectively. She has been teaching at Missouri State since 2009 and began advising students in 2010.

In March, she was also awarded Missouri State’s Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising.


NACADA is an association of professional advisors, counselors, faculty, administrators, and students working to enhance the educational development of students.

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Restorative Justice program at Center for Dispute Resolution sees life-changing results for juveniles

Adults take for granted the ability to resolve conflict — a skill perfected over a lifetime. Dr. Char Berquist discusses the Restorative Justice program at the Center for Dispute Resolution.

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Public Speaking Showcase will be held May 4

stanton showcase
Natalie Gorman won first place in the spring showcase in November 2014.

The Vicki Stanton Public Speaking Showcase will be held at the Plaster Student Union Theater on May 4. Preliminary rounds are begin at 2:30 p.m., with the final round from 6-7:30 p.m.

What is the Public Speaking Showcase?

About 60 students have been chosen from the Fundamentals of Communication classes to compete in this semester’s showcase.

Participants will present a persuasive speech in front of a panel of judges in two preliminary rounds, competing against up to five other students for the top rankings in the round. The overall top five speakers then compete in the final round.

Winning speech criteria

Students are judged based on speech organization, creation of sound arguments, proving evidential support, creativity, delivery, and connection with the audience.

Preliminary judges are communication department instructors and teaching assistants. The final judging panel is comprised of University faculty and community members.

For more information, contact Jerri Lynn Kyle by email or at 417-836-6323.

Event details

Date: May 4
Time: 2:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public
Connect online: #VSPSS15 @VickiStantonPSS

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Communication faculty leads discussion on civility

Communication faculty Drs. LeAnn Brazeal and Elizabeth Dudash-Buskirk will help lead a campus-wide discussion on civility next Tuesday with MSU’s Center for Community Engagement (CCE).

About the event

“Civility Conversation” will take place at 7 p.m., April 28 in Temple Hall. Dudash-Buskirk will moderate the event along with Dr. Mike Stout, assistant professor in sociology and the center’s director. Brazeal will help address civility online.

What is civility?

CCE scheduled the event after recent municipal elections punctuated the need to explore civility on campus— what it is, how to use it when talking about politics and how it fits into MSU’s public affairs mission.

Other topics will include message construction, engaging with others, diverse viewpoints and how to effectively communicate disagreements without being disagreeable.

While it will be an open platform for students to pose questions and converse, organizers warn it will not be an issues discussion, but rather a discussion on how to talk about issues. It will be moderated to ensure a safe environment for all attendees.


Event details

Date: April 28
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Temple Hall, Rm 002
Admission: Free and open to campus
Online: #CivilityTalk, #CitizenBear


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Communication’s undergraduate program wins award

Students and faculty attend annual CSCA conference in Wisconsin.
Students and faculty attend annual CSCA conference in Wisconsin. Photo provided by Dr. Melissa Maier.

The  Central States Communication Association (CSCA) has selected Missouri State’s communication department for its 2015 Outstanding Undergraduate Communication Program Award.

The award was presented last weekend during the annual CSCA conference in Madison, Wisconsin.

About the award

Communication Department Head Dr. Shawn Wahl said the selection process is highly competitive, and the award is a testament to the hard work of all communication faculty.

“Our Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR), the MSU debate program, our commitment to general education (COM 115) and the department’s involvement in disciplinary leadership were several factors that impressed the selection committee.

“The committee was also impressed with the overall breadth of our curriculum, the partnerships we have developed with other organizations, the student organizations and activities available, and the quality of our faculty.”

About the conference

Several students and faculty presented at the conference, themed “Convergence,” on April 15-19. The conference focused on the convergence of scholarship, cultures and academic institutions, as well as to illustrate the importance of coming together and including all voices.

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