While we have numerous online and face to face classes being offered in the Department of Communication, summer is about rest and renewal. The new academic year is fast approaching and I wanted to take a few moments to share some of my summer thoughts with you.
As summer continues to tick away and we all begin to think about our teaching, creative and service projects for the year, I would like for everyone to reflect on what I call, “Signature Contributions.” What is your signature contribution? This might be something you have been working on for years or a project that you hope to jump start in the next few months. Our department has a rich history and we need to continue to work collectively and individually to make signature contributions of excellence that support student recruitment/retention, high quality undergraduate and graduate teaching, faculty and student scholarly/creative activity, public scholarship, meaningful service as well as projects that help COM connect and support Missouri State’s public affairs mission.
We also need to consider how we might integrate global perspectives in our teaching, research and service—these contributions can happen locally via a service learning experience, during a future Study Away trip with your students or by online course innovation. As you finish your summer of personal renewal and professional reflection, think about your signature contribution and let me know what I can do to make it happen. I will propose two areas that call to me as signature contributions in our department: 1) Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Skills; and 2) Cultural Competency.
Where is home? What provides the department with a strong foundation? In my opinion, COM 115 is essential—the Basic Course is one signature contribution that must continue to thrive on campus. I also think that much of our curriculum, research, and public service projects (such as those accomplished by the Center for Dispute Resolution) help COM make a signature contribution in the area of cultural competency. I had the opportunity to share my thoughts in a recent radio interview with our local NPR affiliate (KSMU)/Missouri State Journal. Take a moment to check out the interview in which I comment on the importance of communication skills and cultural competency as informed by two of my recent book projects. Enjoy the summer that remains. I look forward to supporting your signature contributions in the future. Go Bears!