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

Communication graduate student wins Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award

Shaley MooreMissouri State’s Graduate Council has named communication master’s student Shaley Moore as the winner of the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award.

MSU nominates Moore for MAGS award

Moore will receive a commemorative plaque from the Graduate Council, and the University will nominate her for the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award.

What qualifies a TA to win the award?

Winners of this award must demonstrate excellence in teaching philosophy, instructional design, innovation and delivery, student learning outcomes, evaluations from students and scholarship in teaching and learning.

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Victims, offenders meet face to face to move past crime

Through the Center for Dispute Resolution’s Restorative Justice Programs, Professor Dr. Charlene Berquist hopes to offer victims, offenders and other at-risk youths the opportunity to build the skills needed to pull themselves out of a justice system that may swallow them up.

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Students display public speaking skills in showcase

The Vicki Stanton Public Speaking Showcase will be held at the Plaster Student Union Theater on Nov. 30. The final round will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Finalists in the spring 2015 showcase included Lauren Clausen, Tabitha Carroll, Caitlyn Wicks, Emma Hackett and Kalissa Pitts.
Finalists in the spring 2015 showcase included Kalissa Pitts, Emma Hackett, Caitlyn Wicks, Tabitha Carroll and Lauren Claussen.

What is the Public Speaking Showcase?

About 60 students have been chosen from Missouri State’s 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 417-836-4423.

Event details

Date: Nov. 30
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union Theater
Admission: Free and open to the public
Connect online: #VSPSS15 @VickiStantonPSS

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Communication undergrads form new group for first-generation students

Marli Coonrod
Marli Coonrod

Marli Coonrod and Shelby Morrison know first-hand the obstacles facing first-generation students. They are both the first in their families to go to college, and now they’re helping grow Missouri State’s support network for others like them.

Students invited to first meeting on Nov. 19

This month will mark the first meeting of MSU’s newest student organization, MSU: I’m First, with Coonrod and Morrison leading the group as co-presidents. COAL Associate Dean Mark Biggs is the group’s advisor.

The first meeting will be 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Plaster Student Union, room 312 B&C. Secretary and treasurer will be elected during the second meeting.

Organization hopes to create connections

“This organization is important for the students at our university in order for them to feel more connected with the campus and faculty, provide them with resources needed to achieve academic success and to help lay the groundwork for their future career path,” Coonrod said.

Meetings will include activities such as a FASFA workshop, scholarship information night, mentoring program,  movie nights, Springfield Cardinals game, 1984 arcade and a leadership retreat.

Shelby Morrison
Shelby Morrison

Meet the students behind MSU: I’m First

Coonrod is a junior studying public relations. She’s from Nevada, Missouri.

“Coming into college as a first-generation student was terrifying because I had a great amount of the weight on my shoulders. My parents didn’t know how to help me … so I had to step up and take responsibility,” she said.

Morrison, also a junior, is studying health communication. She is from Wood River, Illinois.

“Speaking from experience, it was difficult (and still is!) being away from my family and not knowing where to turn to get answers about university life, such as advising issues, study habits, and what I needed to do differently to become more successful,” she said.

Read more about Coonrod and Morrison on the College of Arts and Letters blog.

Come to the first meeting

Date: Nov. 19
Time: 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Location: Plaster Student Union, room 312 B&C

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Hollywood festival to screen communication instructor’s 3D film

A film created by a Missouri State communication instructor will be on a short list of feature-length movies screened at the upcoming 20th Annual International Family Film Festival in Los Angeles Nov. 6-8.

Heaven Won't Wait

Competing with filmmakers from across the world

“Heaven Won’t Wait” is a 3D Christian film written and directed by per-course faculty Dr. Sandra K. House.

HouseIt will compete with 13 other films from across the world in the feature drama category at 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre in Raleigh Studios.

The movie was produced by emeritus professor Dr. Cliff L. House, and three MSU students worked on set: Kelly Johnston, Mitch Brauer and Katelyn Sullivan.

Doctor goes on journey of spiritual discovery

“Heaven Won’t Wait,” filmed in Greene and Christian counties, is about a doctor who uproots his family to care for the sick and dying in a flooded area of the Ozarks. There, he meets a minister on a similar path, but of a spiritual nature.

Through near-death experiences, comedy and a light romance, this movie shows the choices characters make to live daily in Christ-like service to others, and going above and beyond what is asked. It ends with an original song, “Are You Ready to Go.”

Film screening details

Date: Nov. 6
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA
Admissions: Tickets can be purchased online and picked up in person

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Meet the author: Scholar who penned MSU textbooks to speak about consent, gender issues

COMLogoA notable gender scholar and co-author of textbooks used in Missouri State communication classes will be on campus next week to discuss campus sexual assaults and the communication of consent — an issue facing college students across the world.

Communication of consent on college campuses

Dr. Diana K. Ivy will be featured in an Oct. 5 colloquium. She is a communication professor at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi.

Her books “GenderSpeak” and “Nonverbal Communication for a Lifetime” are used in the COM 307 Gender Communication and COM 325 Nonverbal Communication courses, respectively.

Ivy is on sabbatical this semester visiting universities across the U.S., including Missouri State, to explore approaches to educating students about sexual safety. The work contributes to an upcoming book chapter she is authoring on the subject, specifically about the communication of consent.

DianaIvy-BlogFeatureScholar answers questions about research, upcoming visit

Ivy answered a few questions about her upcoming visit to MSU and her research.

What can students expect to hear from you during the colloquium? 

I am a gender communication specialist (with a book on that topic), so I’ll probably speak about gender communication, communication in relationships, and will no doubt mention the study of consent I’m conducting.

Describe that study and what questions you hope to answer with it.

My sabbatical research project centers on the communication of consent in sexual or intimate situations, with the goal of enhancing students’ sexual safety. Too many students are ill-equipped to communicate (verbally and nonverbally) what they want and don’t want sexually, so I’m studying all the issues surrounding consent.

What do you hope to learn during your visit to our campus?

University personnel, such as faculty, staff and administrators, are committed to educating students about life experience, not just “book learning.” So I know that most universities have sincere attempts to enlighten students about sexual safety, but some approaches work better than others. I’m hoping to get a better understanding of the range of efforts out there, with Missouri State being one approach to examine.

What other campuses have you visited so far?

For this particular three-week road trip, I’m visiting also Texas Tech University and Western Kentucky University. More may be scheduled for other months. The more approaches I investigate, the more educated I become on the issue of communicating consent. In March 2016, I head to Australia, specifically the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Australia has some innovative and interesting educational programs for young people.

What are some of the challenges and difficulties you’re finding when it comes to communication of consent? 

WOW — so many! As much as we think we’re open about this and think that students are pretty savvy and sophisticated now compared to generations past, I’m amazed at how little students actually know about consent, how it operates, what the laws are, etc. Some examples:

  • Some students think that if a sexual partner is too drunk or high to express verbal consent, or is passed out and can’t verbalize anything, the lack of consent is some form of consent — meaning, not getting a “no” is the same as getting a “yes.” Yikes!
  • Some of them think that if you go ahead and have sex with that person (who’s too drunk to resist), it can’t be considered rape. Yikes, again!
  • Some students hold to the antiquated notion that consent can be given nonverbally — with mere actions and nonverbal responses to a partner. They don’t realize the need for verbal consent.
  • They also don’t know HOW to verbally consent and seek same from a partner, unless they’ve been very well coached by a parent or educator.
  • Many still think that expressing one’s sexual desires and boundaries makes you a nerd or “ruins the mood,” which is a very scary attitude to have, given the extent of the sexual assault problem.

What are some ways our nation’s colleges can prepare students for the potential for sexual assault?

Some universities have proactive programs, like the “Define Your Line” program at Texas Tech, but in general, I don’t think many of the other programs have enough of a communication focus, meaning teaching all students — not just the confident, assertive, more sexually experienced ones — how to be proactive in their communication regarding their sexual selves.

Harvard has an extraordinary peer education and peer counseling program — one of the best in the country — but they’ve had serious issues up there, too. Things that have hit the headlines.

Some audience members will be students who study (or will study) your textbooks in class. Do you have any advice on what to take away from those books for school and their careers? 

We know how busy students are these days and how over-committed many of them are, such that they leave little time for the reading that we college professors would like for them to do! They calculate how much time they’ll put into everything — activities, relationships, jobs, studying, etc.

I guess my advice would be to slow down a bit or commit more time to a deeper read (and a questioning of the material), because college goes by so fast! You need to soak it all in (in my humble opinion!). I worry that we have plenty of compliant students, but not as many deep or critical thinkers.

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Notable gender scholar to present at colloquium

Diana IvyThe communication department will feature well-published gender scholar Dr. Diana K. Ivy in an Oct. 5 colloquium to discuss gender and communication issues on college campuses.

Students to meet author of textbooks used in COM classes

Ivy, a communication professor at Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, is an author on three textbooks: “GenderSpeak” (6th ed.), “Nonverbal Communication for a Lifetime” (2nd ed.) and “Communication: Principles for a Lifetime” (6th ed.).

Some Missouri State students may be familiar with her work. Her texts “GenderSpeak” and “Nonverbal Communication for a Lifetime” are used in the COM 307 Gender Communication and COM 325 Nonverbal Communication courses, respectively.

Ivy researching the communication of consent

Ivy is on sabbatical this semester visiting universities across the U.S. to explore approaches to educating students about sexual safety. The work contributes to an upcoming book chapter she is authoring on the subject, specifically about the communication of consent.

Missouri State will be one of Ivy’s sabbatical stops.

Communication Department Head Dr. Shawn Wahl said students have much to gain by interacting directly with scholars like Ivy.

“Dr. Ivy is recognized nationally for her research related to important topics such as gender and nonverbal communication. Having a national guest scholar like Dr. Ivy visit our university is a great benefit to our students, faculty and campus community.”

Three decades of teaching, studying various communication facets

Ivy has been an educator at the collegiate level for 30 years, primarily teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in nonverbal, interpersonal and gender communication. Her post-doctoral work at Oxford University in England focuses on C.S. Lewis and communication.

She will finish out her sabbatical in the spring, traveling to Australian universities to examine campus sexual assault issues and their educational programs about consent and sexual safety.

Event details

Date: Oct. 5
Time: 11:50 a.m.
Location: Craig 205
Admission: Free and open to the public

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Communication instructor awarded for debate team leadership

HeatherWaltersCommunication department instructor Heather Walters was presented two awards at the 2015 National Speech and Debate Association Leadership Awards Banquet in Dallas, Texas, last June, for her coaching efforts with the Greenwood Laboratory School debate team.

Awards earned for successful leadership, recruitment efforts

Walters, also assistant director of MSU’s debate team, received the Ralph E. Carey Bronze Award, a distinguished service award for successful district leadership, and the 2015 District Retention Award, for recruitment and retention of member schools and student participation in district tournaments.

Greenwood’s district, the Ozark District, had its largest district tournament in at least five years in 2015, with nearly 375 entries.

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