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

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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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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Students take top paper award at Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference

SaundersGraduate students Becky Saunders, of communication, and Johnathan Saunders, of public administration, won the top graduate student paper award at Missouri State’s recent Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference.

About the research

The couple, who were married in May 2013, co-wrote the paper, “Facilitators and Conflict Management in the Girls Circle Program,” based partly on Becky’s experience and research as a facilitator at the University’s Center for Dispute Resolution.

Their study examines how facilitators manage conflict and process their facilitating experiences.

They presented the paper April 8, and their award was announced at the close of the conference on April 9.

About Circles for Girls

The 8- to 10-weeklong program brings together a group of 4-10 girls with trained facilitators to explore topics relating to social, emotional and physical well-being.

Each week covers a different theme, coupled with an activity designed to help girls further explore the topic. Guided discussions are facilitated, and journaling is encouraged. Between sessions facilitators respond to girls’ journal entries to answer questions and provide feedback.

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Students, faculty will present at upcoming communication conference

COMLogoSeveral communication undergraduates and faculty will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, next week for the Central States Communication Association (CSCA) annual conference.

About the conference

The convention, themed “Convergence,” will take place April 15-19. It will focus on the convergence of scholarship, cultures and academic institutions, as well as to illustrate the importance of coming together and including all voices.

Student presenters

Seven Missouri State undergraduate seniors in public relations were selected to present research papers at the conference, including:

  • Hayley Gregg: “Organizational Conflict: Cross Gender Conflict in Organizations” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Stephanie Norander)
  • Blake Miller: “Social Media as an Implement for Student Retention” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Melissa Maier)
  • Sarah O’Toole: “Organizational Subcultures from a Food Service Perspective” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Stephanie Norander)
  • Tina Osborne and Morgan Fisher: “Social Identities of Students at Missouri State University” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Stephanie Norander)
  • Alexandra Penner: “Leadership Communication in Organizations: Results, Teamwork, and Gender” (Faculty mentor: Dr. Stephanie Norander)
  • Melissa Stallbaumer: “Family Attachment Style and Face Saving Post-Conflict” (co-authored with Jordan Burton, Brittany Gutermuth and Victoria Trost) (Faculty mentor: Dr. Talayna Morris)

A communication graduate student will also present:

  • Nick Nickols: “A Situational Application of Myth to a New Conservative Narrative: The Rhetoric of Thad Cochran”

Faculty involvement

Drs. Shawn Wahl and Randy Dillon are on the CSCA executive committee. Wahl, communication department head, is second vice president, and Dillon, professor and director of graduate studies, is states advisory council chair. Many communication faculty will also present research and serve as chairs and respondents for panel sessions.

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