Greetings! October has been an exciting month. The Spicer Debate Forum was highlighted at the football game on Oct. 13 as part of the Bancorp South Academic Spotlight. Dr. Eric Morris and several debaters appeared on the field with President Smart and were recognized for their longstanding history of excellence and recent accomplishments. A number of communication faculty members are finalizing research projects that will be presented at the National Communication Association conference in mid-November. In addition to the Bancorp South Academic Spotlight and national conference preparation, there are two important points of recognition I would like to highlight in this post.
Dr. Kelly Wood Receives National Advising Award
Congratulations to Dr. Kelly Wood for receiving the Outstanding Advising Award presented by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA). Dr. Wood won in the Faculty Advisor category that recognizes effective advising qualities and practices that distinguish the recipient as an outstanding academic advisor. The award was presented at an awards ceremony Thursday, Oct. 4th during the Annual NACADA conference in Nashville, Tenn.
The Department of Communication values student mentoring and strives to foster an academic relationship with our COM majors and minors. I witnessed one example of student mentoring this month when I visited Robyn Rowe’s, Senior Instructor of Communication, COM 100 course. I had the pleasure of meeting close to 30 COM majors and minors currently enrolled in this course designed to orientate new COM majors and minors to the department. In addition to being impressed with the design of this important course, I noticed that some of the class materials had been inspired by Dr. Wood. The Department of Communication’s Handbook for Majors and Minors: Preparing Students for Life, Work, and Citizenship was designed by Dr. Wood and colleagues several years ago. The handbook was implemented to help improve the advising process in the department– this exemplifies Dr. Wood’s passion for advising and student mentoring.
Advancing the MSU Public Affairs Mission: The Center for Dispute Resolution Lands Major Community Partnership Grant
Congratulations to Dr. Charlene Berquist (Director of the Center for Dispute Resolution, Professor of Communication) and Heather Blades (Associate Director, Center for Dispute Resolution) who authored a Department of Health and Human Services Regional Partnership Grant to Increase the Well-Being of and to Improve the Permanency Outcomes for Children Affected by Substance Abuse that was received by Alternative Opportunities Inc. (AOI) in Springfield, Missouri partnered with the Missouri State University Center for Dispute Resolution (CDR). Dr. Berquist and Blades wrote all aspects of the grant related to Family Group Conferencing. This grant amount is for up to 1 million dollars per year for 5 years. AOI asked for nearly $500 thousand this first year. The CDR receives $32,000.00 this year to support the Family Group Conferencing component that includes: training of grant staff and community stakeholders and partners to get their buy-in, recruit, train, and monitor third party meeting facilitators engaged in the family group conferencing process (this will include CDR staff, community volunteers, and MSU students). This type of grant activity is one powerful example of work that fosters the MSU Public Affairs Mission.
Dr. Wood’s National Advising Award and the Center for Dispute Resolution community partner grant are just two examples of faculty excellence in the Department of Communication at MSU. Stay tuned for more information about future department events and accomplishments.