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What is going on in the Department of Communication

Notable political consultant to visit campus March 23

ashfordPolitical consultant John Ashford will be on campus March 23 to speak to students about how modern technology is employed in analyzing political audiences and in devising and targeting appropriate messages to that audience. Dr. Donal Stanton will host Ashford’s presentation in his 5:30 p.m. class at Craig Hall, room 204. A reception will precede the presentation at 4 p.m. in Craig Hall, room 334.

About Ashford

Ashford is the chairman and chief executive officer of The Hawthorn Group, an international public affairs and public relations firm in Washington, D.C. Hawthorn helps corporations, associations and non-profit organizations solve communications problems. Ashford, a Missouri native, worked on hundreds of candidate and corporate campaigns before co-founding The Hawthorn Group in 1992. Ashford will be bringing on a 12th Missouri State student this summer for The Hawthorn Group’s internship program.

Event Details

Date: March 23
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Craig Hall, room 334

Date: March 23
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Craig Hall, room 204

Posted in coal, Communication, john ashford, Media Journalism & Film, Media Journalism and Film, political analysis, political consultant, public relations, the hawthorn group | Leave a comment

Professor wins award for online course

John BourhisMissouri State Online has awarded communication professor Dr. John Bourhis with the 2014 Master Online Course Recognition Award or the course design and teaching of COM736, “Concepts and Analysis of Communication in Organizations.”

Award recognition

Dr. Bourhis will be recognized during the All Faculty Recognition Reception May 5 and will present his course at the 30th Showcase for Teaching and Learning Aug. 12.

Criteria for selection

Nominees were evaluated by a panel of faculty, students, the Missouri State Online director and instructional designers from the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning. Courses up for award consideration are judged on the following:

  • Design — structure, learning objectives and instructional strategies
  • Interaction and collaboration — student/student and faculty/student interaction and collaboration
  • Technology and media value — tools and media to enhance student interaction and engagement
  • Assessment — assessing student learning outcomes in alignment with course objectives


Posted in Announcement, awards, College of Arts and Letters, Communication, Faculty Accomplishment, News | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be nice: How to achieve civility in a digital age

For Dr. LeAnn Brazeal, assistant professor of communication at Missouri State University, the key to having civil discussions on the internet is simple: Just go back to the fundamentals. “I think a lot of it is just basic good manners and things we were taught as children,” Brazeal said. “But once we sit down in […]

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Final COM Week speaker: Listen actively, sell yourself

COMWeek2015-FB-KentDeVitaThe communication department’s annual week-long series COM Week ended today with alumni Darin Kent advising students to use their communication education to set themselves apart from other job candidates.

“The way you communicate with folks is what they remember — how you interact with them and talk to them. I learned those things right here (at Missouri State).”

Using his communication degree

Kent added that those skills translate across any industry. For instance, he didn’t have financial training when he first aspired to work in the banking industry, but that didn’t stop him from trying.

He went to a local Great Southern branch without an appointment and waited nearly three hours to see the bank manager — 2 hours and 47 minutes, to be exact, he said.

Although he wasn’t hired that day, he eventually worked his way to managing one of the bank’s Springfield branches. Now, he is Oklahoma City’s Regent Bank market president.

Active listening, salesmanship is key

Like many of this week’s COM Week guests, Kent underscored the need to be an active listener and be fully engaged in that conversation. “That’s what separates the good from the great.”

Kent also encouraged students to find the salesperson inside themselves. “We’re all salesmen. No matter what field you’re in, you’re selling something. At very least, you’re selling yourself.” He learned that skill in MKT 485, Marketing Yourself.

COMWeek-FullWeekCOM Week roundup

The communication department brought in six speakers for this year’s COM Week. The last speaker, Kara DeVita, director of community engagement for AT&T, was not able to attend. Each had advice they hoped students would take away from the sessions:

Dr. Daniel Mansson
Assistant communication professor at Pennsylvania State University-Hazelton
Build relationships while in college with people who will support you during times of struggle, mentor you in research and help you succeed.

Kris Inman
Training and education manager for Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications
Don’t be afraid to do what you’re passionate about. Seek out training through internships and pay attention in class because you’ll use your communication education every day.

Jason Stouder
Vice president of Progressive Bike Ramps
Be open to new possibilities and learning. If you don’t like what you’re doing, find what will make you happy and work hard to make that dream happen.

Meaghan Younker
Talent advisor for Leggett & Platt
Practice what you’re learning to hone your communication skills. It’s what will get you through the front door, help with finding your place in the company and be up for the challenging career ahead. Set yourself apart, be confident and actively listen.

Lisa Cox
Public affairs officer for the Springfield Police Department
Take advantage of every learning opportunity, even if it’s something you don’t think you’re interested in or want to do long term. The relationships built and skills gained will stay with you for a long time.

Darin Kent
Market president of Regent Bank, Oklahoma City market
Pay attention to what you’re learning because you’ll use those skills in all aspects of your life. Make yourself stand out by being an active listener and know how to market yourself in any industry.

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COM Week speakers: Skills learned in class used everyday

COMWeek2015-FB-CoxYounkerAlumnae speakers Lisa Cox, public affairs officer for Springfield Police Department, and Meaghan Younker, talent acquisition for Leggett & Platt. spoke during Thursday’s COM Week luncheon to a record-breaking crowd of about 80 students, faculty and staff.

Younker offers resume, interview advice

Younker, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Missouri State, said her human resources position for the manufacturing company Leggett & Platt pushes her communication skills everyday. She helps hiring managers find and interview potential employees when positions come available and advise them on skills they should look for in a qualified candidate. She also writes blogs and articles for the company magazine and gives presentations on how employees can become more effective communicators.

“I’m a follow-the-rules kind of person and I love detail-oriented work and talking to people, so I work well in the interview process,” she said. “But my favorite part is when I make the offer. I love calling someone up to say, “Great news! You got the job.”

Dean Gloria Galanes of the College of Arts and Letters sat in the audience and asked Younker what stands out to her on resumes, to which Younker had this advice: proofread, personalize the template, include leadership examples and don’t limit yourself to just one page. She also warned that interviewees are being assessed from the moment they walk through company doors. She considers how confidently a candidate shakes hands, walks and talks all the way into the interview room.

Cox: Don’t pass up chance to learn

Cox, a 2008 graduate from the communication department, has been working with Springfield Police Department for two years. She was in Mercy hospital’s media relations department before that. She also participated in two internships as a student at Springfield Chamber of Commerce and broadcast station KY3. Networking, she said, has helped her in every step of her career.

For example, she was able to get the job at Mercy through her boss at the Chamber of Commerce. And then, when her Mercy supervisor, Cora Scott, moved to a City of Springfield job, she recruited Cox as public affairs officer for SPD, a position previously reserved for a sworn officer. Making that a civilian position, she said, has come with challenges her communication education prepared her to meet. Now she writes press releases, speaks on camera and at press conferences, conducts communication training seminars, fields questions from officers, reporters and the public and carries out marketing campaigns.

She advised students to take every learning opportunity they can. “When I was in school, I said I never wanted to work in government or health care, but look at my career. And I love what I do,” she said. “No experience is bad experience. Don’t pass up on any opportunities you’re given.”

COMWeek-FullWeekMore COM Week to come

COM Week continues tomorrow with alumni speakers Darin Kent, bank president at Regent Bank’s Oklahoma City market, and Kara DeVita, director of community engagement for AT&T. All COM Week presentations this week come with a free lunch.

Event details
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (presentation begins at noon)
Location: Plaster Student Union, Robert W. Ballroom East
Admission: Free and open to the public

For a list of all COM Week activities, visit the communication department website or University events calendar.


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COM Week speakers: Follow passion, challenge fears

COMWeek2015-FB-StouderInmanThe communication department welcomed alumni Kris Inman, training and education manager for Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications, and Jason Stouder, vice president of Progressive Bike Ramps, to campus today during the annual, week-long COM Week.

Inman: ‘Go for what you want to do’

Inman took the podium first to talk about his decision to go back to college for a master’s degree at 42, a move that propelled his career forward at Springfield-Greene County 911 and encouraged him to become an MSU per-course instructor.

“When I started graduate school, I was terrified,” he said. “But everything changed for me in the most dramatic way.”

He said he felt “total inclusion” from faculty and students and he’s been promoted twice since earning the degree. He said he hopes to pursue his passion for teaching, as well.

The lesson he left the audience of more than 60 students, faculty and staff, was to tackle fears and live without regret: “Take the class you’re afraid of.

“Go for what you want to do. Jump in!”

Stouder: ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight’

Stouder’s journey to his undergraduate degree involved a lot of hard work — he had two jobs as a student — but that helped him prepare for his career, he said: “If you’re passionate, you can make it happen.”

He encouraged students not to settle into a career or path that doesn’t move them, instead reach for challenging and interesting opportunities.

“Don’t be afraid to fail,” he said. “If you fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

His parting advice came after a student asked what she could do to find her passion and narrow down her varied interests.

“Don’t just limit yourself to campus. If you’re interested in music, find a music producer in Springfield to work with. Springfield is a huge place and you can find a lot of people willing to help you.”

COMWeek-FullWeekMore COM Week to come

COM Week continues tomorrow with alumnae speakers Lisa Cox, public affairs officer for Springfield Police Department, and Meaghan Younker, talent acquisition for Leggett & Platt. All COM Week presentations this week come with a free lunch.

Event details
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (presentation begins at noon)
Location: Plaster Student Union, Robert W. Ballroom East
Admission: Free and open to the public

For a list of all COM Week activities, visit the communication department website or University events calendar.

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Speaker gives grad school advice at COM Week

COMWeek2015-FB-ManssonThe luncheon/lecture part of the communication department’s annual week-long COM Week series started strong with more than 60 students, faculty and staff attending today’s presentation featuring Dr. Daniel Mansson.

Mansson, an assistant communication professor at Pennsylvania State University-Hazelton, gave advice on how to be a successful in a graduate program.

He spoke from his own experiences as well as from a researcher’s perspective. He has studied teacher/student mentoring relationships, how students express academic concern, and other academic- and relationship-related topics.

Mansson’s formula for success

Mansson suggested a simple formula for graduate school success: “Motivation + Mentoring + Methods = Mastery.” His presentation focused on those four M’s, demonstrating how each might be used to gain an advantage in challenging circumstances.

Those with the motivation to learn and find the right tools to help them along the way will have access to faculty mentors. And through interactions with faculty who can lend support and guidance comes research opportunities, enhancing training in the methods. All will culminate in the mastery desired to contribute to the field.

More COM Week to come

COM Week continues tomorrow with alumni speakers Jason Stouder, vice president of Progressive Bike Ramps, and Kris Inman, training and education manager for Springfield-Greene County 911 Emergency Communications. All COM Week presentations this week comes with a free lunch.

Event details
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (presentation begins at noon)
Location: Plaster Student Union, Robert W. Ballroom West
Admission: Free and open to the public

For a list of all COM Week activities, visit the communication department website or University events calendar.

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Communication advisor takes top award

Missouri State recognizes instructor’s ‘Excellence in Advising’

Nora Cox, communication instructor and advisor, has won the 2015 Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising, an honor Missouri State bestows on two advisors — chosen from the faculty and professional staff — each year.

Cox, the faculty recipient, will be honored alongside professional education advisor Juli Panza, the professional staff recipient, at the Master Advisor Reception on March 18, where each will receive a $1,500 cash award.

About Nora 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. Cox said the award is a testament to the guidance she’s received from teachers, other advisors and her students.

“I’m incredibly humbled and stunned by the award, but mostly grateful,” she said. “Seeing students move through life as a scholar, seeing them develop and grow over a period of years, is an honor and a joy.”

Event details

Master Advisor Reception
Location: Plaster Student Union Ballroom East
Date: March 18
Time: 4 – 5 p.m.

About the award

Qualifications for nomination

  • Nominee must have a minimum of two years of service to Missouri State at the time of nomination as a full-time employee with on-going academic advising responsibilities and currently assigned advisees.
  • Nominee must be a current Master Advisor.
  • Nominee must not have received the award in the previous three years.

Criteria for selection

  • Knowledge of campus information and resources and use of that knowledge in helping students
  • Knowledge of major and career-related information and academic policies and use of that knowledge in assisting students
  • Demonstration of advising as a priority activity
  • Use of innovative advising techniques and/or development of advising materials or systems
  • Effective documentation of advising sessions through “Advising Notes”
  • Reasonable accessibility to advisees and effective use of available time with advisees
  • Efforts to create positive relationships with students
  • Support of advisor training and development programs and efforts to improve advising services at Missouri State University

For more information about the award, contact the academic advisement center director Kathy Davis by email or at 417-836-5258.

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Communication students take two of three top-paper awards

COMLogoMissouri State communication students have garnered two of the three top-paper awards for the 26th Annual Sooner Communication Conference in Norman, Oklahoma.

Mi Li’s and Corey Stone’s co-authored paper “Required Readings Include Ten Years of Netflix: Pop Cultural Miscommunication and the International Student,” and Ryan Graham’s “Argument Pedagogy: An Oratory Analysis” will be honored in the conference awards ceremony March 7 at the University of Oklahoma.

Seven students chosen to present

Li, Stone and Graham will join four other communication graduate students who have also been selected to present research at this year’s conference, themed “From Discourse to Action: Communication, Culture, and Democracy in Contemporary Society,” on March 6-7. Those students, in order of conference schedule, include:

  • Shaley Moore: “Communication Accommodation Theory: Classroom Considerations”
  • Trysta Herzog: “Resuscitating the Fourth Estate: A Journalism Model That Can Revitalize Citizen-Based Democracy”
  • Tucker Robinson: “The Role of Nonverbal Communication in the Formation of Cross-Sex Alliances on Reality Competition Shows”
  • Christen Moore: “Nontraditional Students: A Review of the Literature”

Faculty attending conference

Drs. Randy Dillon and Sam Dyer will accompany the graduate student presenters to the conference. Dillon is the director of graduate studies in communication and graduate professor and Dyer is an advisor and associate professor.

Dillon said the department is proud Missouri State will be well-represented at the conference.

“For Missouri State University to garner two of the top three graduate research paper awards at the Sooner Conference says a lot about these graduate students and their scholarship potential. Five of the seven MSU students presenting at Sooner are first-year graduate students. It’s quite impressive and exciting. In sum, I say — Go MSU COM Bears!”

About the conference

The conference presents an opportunity for students and faculty from across the nation to gather and discuss developments in communication theory and research and for students to fine-tune research papers for other conferences and possible publication.

Dr. John Gastil will be this year’s keynote speaker. He is a renowned scholar whose teaching and research focus on public deliberation, group communication, political communication, public opinion and jury behavior.




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