Author Archives: adavisson

Communication Students Present Their Research

At the end of March, Daniel Stavens (Junior Communication Studies and Film Studies Major) and Olivia Moore (Senior Communication Studies Major) traveled to Boston to present at the James C. McCroskey & Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference. The conference, sponsored by the Eastern States Communication Association, features competitively selected scholarly papers by undergraduate students from colleges across the eastern United States.

Moore’s paper, titled “Hey Pretty Thing, How Much? The Problematic Reality of Catcalling,” was based on research she conducted in Dr. Jeff Halford’s (Associate Professor of Communication) senior project course. Moore’s research used a combination surveys and in-depth interviews to delve into the gendered nature of catcalling. Her study “reveals that catcalling is an intensifying social problem in contemporary society.”



Stavens’ paper, titled “Eisenhower’s Civil Religion: Redefining the Relationship Between Religion and Politics in the 1953 Inaugural Address,” was based on research he conducted in Dr. Amber Davisson’s (Assistant Professor of Communication) rhetorical criticism course. Stavens’ research is based on a rhetorical analysis of Eisenhower’s First Inaugural Address. His research, focusing on religious rhetoric and civil religion, argues that “Eisenhower changed the way modern politicians address the complex relationship between religion and government.”

Communication and Philosophy Faculty Present Their Research

Faculty from the Communication and Philosophy Department have been presenting their research on campus this semester.

Jamie Landau, Associate Professor of Communication, was the invited speaker for International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  Her presentation, titled “Rehumanization and Emotion and Interventions for Injustice,” focused on Rebecca Skloot’s biography of Henrietta Lacks.

Emily McGill-Rutherford, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, spoke at the Keene State College Teach-In. Her presentation, titled “Grab Them By the Uterus: Reproductive Rights and Freedom,” discussed the current legal status of abortion and birth control access in the United States.

Communication Student Monique Vachon Interns with Academic and Career Advising

Monique Vachon is a senior here at Keene State College. She is a communication major with a uniquely paired environmental studies minor. The second Monique heard about the internship course, she knew she wanted to be in it. She contacted the professor, who also happens to be her advisor, Dr. Chitra Akkoor. She knew she didn’t want an internship that was outside of Keene. She wanted to find somewhere very local, preferable that she could walk to. They discussed her interests, and from there she got an interview with Good Fortune Jewelry and Academic and Career Advising. She ended up choosing Academic and Career Advising, which happenthumbnail_img_0114s to be right on campus. The internship at Good Fortune was paid, and ACA was not. “I decided to pick ACA over Good Fortune just because I thought I would get more out of it. I just really liked the overall environment of the office. The people I talked to there just really seemed like they wanted to get the full experience. So I did pick an unpaid internship over a paid one, but I think overall, I made the right decision.” She’s not quite sure what she wants to do after graduation, but explains that this experience in general will benefit her greatly one way or another. “I’m kind of in between. I’m not sure if I want to get a job right away after I graduate, or if I want to take a year off and do AmeriCorps, something service related. The past 16 years of my life I’ve been in school and it’s just a lot. For my own personal benefit, just to take a year off and do some sort of service might give me a better sense of direction of what I actually want to do.”

For the past few months, Monique has worked closely with another intern for ACA to plan and organize the career fair, which included multiple employers and graduate schools. With such a big role to take on, she has been fortunate enough to have so many other people in Academic and Career Advising supporting her. “I would say my favorite part of this internship is just the people I work with. They are all so understanding and compassionate. The director is just incredible. Everyone gets along so well. Not to mention, the people I work with are career advisors so it’s pretty cool to have a group or people there supporting you in whatever you want to do but also being able to work directly with them.” Monique explains that before her internship, she wasn’t aware of how much ACA actually does. The only struggle that she had was just adjusting to how much time she had to put into the career fair. “I’m not usually a busy person, so it was a lot to take on. But it was definitely worth it watching it all come together the day of the fair”. The COMM-379 Internship course only meets in class once a week, and Monique explains that it’s beneficial to take the class instead of just doing the internship on your own:  “It’s nice to be able to experience an organization or department first hand, but also integrating course work into it that relates directly to what you’re doing is really beneficial. It’s almost beneficial in a way that you don’t realize until you look back and realize how much you’ve learned.”

To learn more about the department’s internship program, check out this video:

Senior Project Conference Fall 2016

On December 12th, the Communication and Philosophy Department will host the Senior Project Conference for Fall 2016. We are so excited to have this opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work of our seniors. Please check out the video below to learn more about the department’s capstone course. We hope to see you at the conference!



Northern New England Philosophy Association Conference

The annual conference of the Northern New England Philosophical Association (NNEPA) will occur at Keene State College from October 14 to 15, 2016.

The Department of Communication and Philosophy is hosting this event thanks to funding from the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research, the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, the Center for Creative Inquiry, and a private donation.

Faculty from multiple disciplines and universities across the country will present their research at the NNEPA conference. Graduate students and undergraduates will also share their scholarship.

The conference will feature two panels of student presentations on Friday October 14th:

Session A: 10-11am Huntress 005

Chair: Allyson Mount (Keene State College)

Deliberative Democracy and Institutions of Higher Education

Sara Jane LaFleur (Keene State College)

Conceptualizations of Schizophrenia

Ambrose DeMarco (College of the Holy Cross)

The Missing Puzzle Piece of Multiculturalism: Education

Rachel Lally (Keene State College)

Session B: 11 am-12 pm Huntress 005

Chair: Nicholas Germana (Keene State College)

Impact of Implicit Metaphysical Commitments on The Theory of Moral Deference

Gabriella Hulsey (Wheaton College)

Outside Fichte’s Wissenschaftslehre

Margaret Del Giudice (University of New Hampshire)

Capitalist Hindrances to Moral Willing: Lessons from Kant and Marx

James Patin (Clark University)

In addition to student presentations, a highlight of the event is the distinguished keynote speaker, Laurence Thomas, who is a Professor of Philosophy and Political Science of the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Dr. Thomas is an expert in social, political, and moral philosophy, and has published about case studies related to American slavery, the Holocaust, and sexual rights.

A full schedule for the conference is available here, and abstracts for the presentations can be found here.

Senior Project Gets Political

In Professor Amber Davisson’s fall senior project course, students are getting the opportunity to learn about political campaigns both in the classroom and out in the real world. As part of the class, each student is doing a service project either with a presidential campaign off-campus or the American Democracy Project here at Keene.

A and O

Seniors Alyson Chase and Olivia Sloan worked with the American Democracy Project to educate Keene students about Constitution Day.


Senior Jenna Cormier (on the right) is working with the Hillary Clinton campaign here in Keene




Fall Advising Session

A note from Professor Nigel Malcolm, our department chair:

The advising session for the Department of Communication and Philosophy will take place on Tuesday, October 4 from 6-7:30 pm at the Alumni Center, Centennial Hall (just across Main Street).

You should attend this session prior to registering for classes for the spring 2017 semester. We will help you:


  • Get a head start on picking classes for next semester
  • Get information on COMM-379 Internship and COMM-479 Senior Project.
  • Learn about internships, senior project, choosing minors, undergraduate research, time-management, and advising for intended majors.
  • Enjoy some free pizza!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Communication and Philosophy Department Welcome New Students!

ChitraNew students moved on-campus this week at Keene State College, and the Communication & Philosophy Department was there to greet them. Faculty members welcomed new students at an orientation session on Thursday. Students had a chance to learn about the variety of research and teaching specialties in the department. Also on display were the many opportunities for co-curricular activities – from debate team and Lambda Pi Eta to study abroad and internships!

Welcome new students!




Communication and Philosophy Living/Learning Community

Next week we will be welcoming to campus our first department Living/Learning Community.

Emily and Jamie

Dr. McGill-Rutherford and Dr. Landau

The Communication and Philosophy Living/Learning Community will be led by Dr. Jamie Landau, Associate Professor of Communication, and Dr. Emily McGill-Rutherford, Assistant Professor of Philosophy. All the students in the LLC will take Dr. Landau’s COMM 175: Introduction to Communication Studies course in the Fall and Dr. McGill-Rutherford’s PHIL 220: Ethics course in the Spring. In addition to the courses, the community will engage in a variety of activities outside the classroom.

Residential Life gives this description for the community:

“We all communicate, whether we talk with friends and family, deliver public speeches, engage in debate in class, or post pictures to social media. But why do we communicate? What are some theories and philosophies that guide why we think, speak, and see in the ways that we do? And how might we communicate more ethically? How should we resolve major ethical questions and moral dilemmas about abortion and euthanasia, for instance? In this LLC, students will develop skills in communication, critical thinking, and debate to learn and defend different worldviews in person and through media.”


The new Keene State College Living and Learning Commons is home to 11 LLCs this fall

First year students in the community will be living together in the newly constructed Keene State Living and Learning Commons.

Welcome to campus!