Christine Bryan & MacKenzie Donovan Win Fellowships

Students in the Communication and Philosophy Department are pursuing their passions both in and out of the classroom. Their hard work is recognized at the campus and the national level.

Christine Bryan was recently named a Newman Civic Fellow for her work with the city of Keene. Melinda Treadwell, President of Keene State College, said of Bryan:

“Christine Bryan, a junior at Keene State College, is a non-traditional student with a passion for working with under-privileged and marginalized populations. A long-time community volunteer, Christine is using her return to higher education as an opportunity to gain a broader view of social issues, non-profit and government organizations that align with her aspirations for the future. She is currently engaged in research that explores correlation between legislation and delivery of social services to populations including persons experiencing homelessness, immigrants and refugees. She is seeking a grant to support further research on attitudes of legislators and providers toward those needing social services, and the type of programs that result. Her engagement also includes serving as a case worker for short-term assistance programs with the City of Keene where she offers instruction, ongoing support, and increased caseworker access.”

MacKenzie Donovan was recently awarded the Landau Family Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship for her research on transmedia storytelling on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. She will spend the summer of 2018 working with Professor Amber Davisson to develop a journal article and conference presentation based on her research.

 

Professor Deborah Doubleday Wins Teaching Award!

Professor Deborah Doubleday was recently awarded the Adjunct Faculty Performance Award for her exemplary working teaching COMM 171: Public Speaking. She began her teaching career at Keene State College in 1987. Now in her fiftieth semester, Professor Doubleday stated that she feels honored to receive this award and is thankful that she had a great group of students to work with over the years.

Students describe Professor Doubleday’s class as a transformational experience. As one student explained: “When I came into the course, I was so terrified of public speaking that I used to have anxiety attacks before a speech. Now I actually have grown to like public speaking.” The public speaking course teaches students vital public communication skills in a host of speaking situations, allowing students to gain confidence in self-expression. One student described Professor Doubleday’s dedication to the class, saying that she is “very passionate and caring about what she taught. It was honestly inspiring.”

For Professor Doubleday, winning the award, she said, was “a team effort. Without my students and an observer, it is hard to know how effective you really are.” She sees this award as a means of improving her teaching, stating that: “Conversations around teaching make more effective teachers.”

We are truly lucky to have such effective and dedicated teachers in our department. Congratulation Professor Doubleday!

Celebrating seniors!

Award winners Sp16Tomorrow is the big day when the Class of 2016 at Keene State College graduates! But this week kicked off with a celebration of senior Communication majors.

On Monday, May 2, more than 30 students presented their undergraduate research at the Senior Project Conference of the Department of Communication and Philosophy.

Some students were also inducted into the honors society, Lambda Pi Eta. Associate Provost Glenn Geiser-Getz (who has a doctorate in Communication) gave an inspiriting speech at that event, as well as five students along with an alum were honored with awards for their academic excellence and spirit.

Faculty look forward to hearing about the career successes of graduating seniors and seeing other students back on campus in the fall.

Speech Contest sparks discussion about new media

Speech Contest Sp16 speakerAfter the Lambda Pi Eta Speech Contest this past Thursday, April 21 in the Alumni Center, many audience members couldn’t stop talking about new media technologies.

From speech topics related to the detrimental impact of texting on face-to-face interaction to how social media distracts youth from paying attention to the news and the world around them, select students enrolled in IHCOMM 171: Public Speaking put their oral communication skills to the test in front of a large audience.

Speech Contest Sp16 winnersThis year, Olivia Fischetti won the speech contest, while Abbygail Vasas came in second, Cameron Slack came in third, and Jessica Waldo came in fourth. Congratulations to each student speaker!

Thanks to Bedford/St. Martin’s book publishing company for sponsoring prizes for the winners.

The Speech Contest is an annual event run by Lambda Pi Eta, which is the honor society for communication students at Keene State College.

 

 

Students present at Academic Excellence Conference

AEC 2016 photo-WatersWhat do the television show “Friends” and the film G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) have in common?

They were the focus of media studies conducted by two Communication majors who presented their research at Keene State College’s 16th annual Academic Excellence Conference on April 9, 2016.

A Communication major and Film Studies minor, Erin Waters applied feminist film theory and the method of visual rhetorical criticism to examine how “Friends” shows the personal and professional progress women have made on screen, but that inequality between women and men still exists off screen. In fact, Erin’s poster presentation won the People’s Choice Poster Award at the conference!

AEC 2016 photo- PereiraA Communication major and Public Relations minor, Matthew Pereira applied theories of masculinity and sexuality along with the method of ideological rhetorical criticism to discover that G.B.F both reasserts and reshapes norms of the ideal man, but that more diverse representations of gay men are needed in media.

The faculty mentor for these undergraduate research projects was Dr. Jamie Landau.

 

Faculty mentor for student’s summer research fellowship

SURF- Stewart Akkoor Summer 2016This summer, Dr. Chitra Akkoor will be busy mentoring Mary Kate Stewart as she conducts original research about communicating learning disabilities. In fact, Mary Kate is the winner of the college’s Bruce Levine Mellion ’69 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)!

The number of college students across the country with all forms of disabilities is increasing. Since 2013, Mary Kate and Dr. Akkoor have interviewed 43 faculty and 16 students on campus about how professors accommodate and communicate about students with learning disabilities.

For the SURF, Mary Kate will continue to collect data by interviewing experts in the area of disabilities and staff in the Office of Disability Services at Keene State College. Mary Kate will also apply interpersonal and intercultural communication theories to analyze the interviews. Finally, she will design a professional development workshop for faculty about how to better work with students with learning disabilities, with plans to launch this workshop during the Fall 2016 semester.

Congratulations to Dr. Akkoor and Mary Kate Stewart!