Facebook Twitter Instagram Flickr RSS Feed

Communication Works Lecture Series Provides Unique Learning Opportunity for Students

The Communication Arts department kicked off a lecture series called “Communication Works” on January 28, 2015. Organized by faculty member Raquel Perez, the lecture series is designed to explain the role of communication in the current global economy with the focus on the 21st century career market. The series aims to help students make connections between theory and practice.

“What I wanted to do was bring in individuals from the workforce to explain what they’re looking for in candidates and provide opportunities of employment,” explained Perez.

The first presentation in the series was given by Yeily Colon and Caroline Dyal from SBE Miami. The twosome discussed what qualities they look for in potential candidates for the company. Colon, an HR coordinator and Dyal, a hotel manager gave the students a variety of useful tips ranging from making sure their appearance is appropriate to creating goals sets for themselves. Students were invited to ask questions at the end of the presentation with the speakers one-on-one and give them their resumes for possible opportunities of employment. Six students were chosen and will be interviewed for employment after graduation with SBE.

The series will continue with Pedro P. Garcia, Director of Talent Management for Carnival Cruise Line on February 27 at 11:30 am in GC 305. As Director of Talent Management, Pedro oversees leadership development, succession planning, performance management, organizational development, and employee training. Previously, Pedro worked for Citrix Systems.

The third and final installment of the series will take place on March 18 at 11am in GC 305, where students will hear from Victoria Cervantes. Cervantes has over thirteen years of experience in communications including public relations, marketing, and branding. In the past six years at HistoryMiami, Victoria has managed the Communications, Visitor Services and City Tours departments.

For more information, contact Raquel Perez at RaqPerez@fiu.edu.

Learn more »
No Comment

Kate Montero Co-Writes Fun Children’s Book About Surfing

Communication Arts faculty member Kate Montero, along with partner Christian Kahler, recently co-wrote a children’s book  titled The Epic Adventures of Big Binks. The authors merged their passion for teaching and surfing to create a story of a young surfer traveling the world. The young surfer, Big Binks, goes on various escapades, during which  he learns to embrace new cultures, different experiences, foreign languages, and unusual friends. The Epic Adventures of Big Binks also seeks to teach the language of surf by following Big Binks’ attempts to navigate different vernaculars such as Seagull, Hawaiian Whale, and Shark Japeneesy and by including a surf lingo glossary in the back in order to introduce children to proper “surfer speak.”

According to Montero, the book aims at inspiring children to embrace others’ differences while exploring and teach the primary message of being open to new ideas. She explains that much of surfing has to do with traveling and being exposed and open to other cultures. The pair plans to have a second Big Binks adventure that includes an etiquette section for surfers.

Kate Montero earned an M.A. in Communication from Barry University in Miami Shores. Throughout her ten years as a high school digital media instructor in Broward County, she was named Broward Teen News Teacher of the Year twice, and was awarded the ING Unsung Heroes Grant for ‘Outstanding Educational Project.’ She is currently teaching Business and Professional Communication (COM 3110) and Public Speaking (SPC 2608) in the Communication Arts Department at Florida International University. With an M.A. in Remediation, and an M.S. in Special Education. Christian, a West-Australia native, teaches education courses at Palm Beach State College, and is an elementary school specialist with additional certifications in reading, special education, ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages), and elementary education.

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Professor Webb Published in “Gender in a Transitional Era”

Lynne M. Webb, Professor in Communication Arts, recently co-wrote the chapter “Mommy Bloggers: Who They Are, What They Write About, and How They Are Shaping Motherhood in the Twenty-First Century.” The essay appears as Chapter 3 in the edited volume Gender in a Transitional Era.

The chapter examines the rapidly growing phenomenon of “mommy blogs.” Professor Webb’s essay reviews research on “mommy bloggers, specifically who they are, how they view themselves, and what they write about.” The chapter also provides an identity profile of mommy bloggers and gives insight into the women’s motivation for blogging.

Webb served as second author for this essay on mommy bloggers. This research report was drawn from its first author’s (Brittney D. Lee) MA Thesis; Webb directed the thesis. This is the third essay the two authors have co-written and published. The first essay articulated a model and theory of how bloggers interact to form communities; the second essay reported data that supports the theory. This third essay describes a large, under-studied genre of bloggers.

The collection Gender in a Transitional Era addresses a range of issues relevant in current gender and sexuality studies. Chapters are written by scholars from many disciplines. The contributors prioritize the critical thinking that continues to support the notion that we, as a society, still have a ways to go toward full gender equality in all spheres of life. This collection places marginal voices at the center of complex gender issues in today’s society. Topic areas include: parental identities, advice, and self-help; gender performances and role expectations in media; interacting within organizational and social spaces; and tensions and negotiations on politics, health, and feminism.

“This collection makes a compelling argument that our current transitional era calls for continued exploration of gender from a variety of perspectives, methodological approaches, and identities. The text offers a rich set of examples and intersectional approaches that expand theoretical frameworks and offer possibilities for interrogating restrictive gender binaries,” said Diana I. Bowen, University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Gender in a Transitional Era is edited by Amanda R. Martinez and Lucy J. Miller. The book contains 13 chapters across 326 pages and is available on amazon.com.

Professor Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) conducts research on computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. She joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the University of Arkansas faculty where she was named a J. William Fulbright Master Researcher. The courses she teaches at FIU include Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, and Communication in Social Media.

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts Welcomes New Faculty Member

As the 2015 spring semester begins, so does the start of a new chapter for Antoine Hardy, the newest addition to the Communication Arts Department faculty.

“I am looking forward to being a part of a creative faculty dedicated to community engagement. As well as working with such a diverse student body and continuing my own communal culture research projects & workshops in the Greater Miami area,” said Hardy, who is currently a doctoral candidate in Communication Studies at the University of South Florida. His main research areas include Media Rhetoric, Mass Communications, and Race and Community. Hardy earned his master’s degree in Speech Communication at Wake Forest University and bachelors’ degrees in Communication Studies and African-American Studies at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

“I love teaching. I believe my enthusiasm and passion comes through in the classroom,” said Hardy, who taught courses ranging from speech and persuasion to argumentation and communication theory at Wiley College and Wake Forest University.

In addition, he has an impressive and extensive debate background. At Wiley College, he worked with some of the top debaters in the campus organization “Lyrical Therapy University.” The group led writing workshops and literacy programs for the surrounding community and used hip-hop to improve forensics skills as well as improve reading and critical thinking. At Wake Forest University, he served as judge and volunteer NDT tournaments and community forensic and debate tournaments.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity. I have witnessed Florida International University’s steady growth and reputation as a top school, not only in the region, but nationally,” said Hardy. This semester, Hardy is teaching Business and Professional Communication, Small Group Communication, and Persuasion for the Communication Arts Department.

Learn more »
No Comment

Student’s Lesson in Philanthropy Pays Off

When Communication Arts major Isle Jerez signed up for Advanced Public Speaking this past Fall, she had no idea that it would rekindle a spark ignited years before and pay off in a big way for her future. On the first day of class, she listened as her professor, Elena Nuciforo, explained the course’s philanthropic theme and the students’ initial multi-week assignment to select, research, and present a pitch for a South Florida-based charity/non-profit of their choosing. She was excited to learn that she and her classmates would be participating in a unique exercise in philanthropic pedagogy. They would award a worthy charitable organization with a $25,000 gift, thanks to the generosity of both a current and a former FIU student: Herb Gruber and Donna Steffens (’06). (See “Donors’ Gift Creates Student Philanthropists.”)

Jerez immediately thought of the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation, which she had first heard about a number of years earlier in an introductory public speaking class. That speech, and the organization, had stayed in her mind, and she wondered if they had a branch in South Florida. She soon discovered that they not only have a South Florida presence, the national headquarters is located in Boca Raton. With her agency selection completed and approved, she began her research online. She reacquainted herself with the charity’s mission and history, discovering that they pioneered the “speedy swab” method of collecting DNA to determine potential donors’ compatibility. She was surprised to find out that although family members represent the best chance for a bone marrow match for someone in need of a transplant, the odds are only 30% that a family member will actually be a match. Thus, the national bone marrow registry that the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation maintains and a large pool of candidates is crucial for those in need.

As part of her preparation to pitch her chosen organization, Jerez wanted to review financial data on the donations the Bone Marrow Foundation receives and how those donations are spent. Although she had found the website to be very transparent, she still had some questions so she went straight to the top; she emailed Gregg Francis, the Chief Operations and Financial Officer. He returned her email and they spoke by phone. He invited her to visit their headquarters and he offered to provide information and answer her questions.

Jerez says that when she finished interviewing Francis, he began interviewing her. She told him about the connection between his Foundation and her public speaking curriculum – past and present – and she shared that she had always been interested in health and wellness, and had originally considered pursuing a health-related major. She felt the pull to make an impact and decided that she could best do that as an advocate. Still uncertain, she sought advice and when her sister told her to “do something you love and the rest will fall into place,” she changed her major to Communication Arts. After spending time with her, Francis was so impressed with Jerez, he offered her a paid summer internship with the national organization right there and then. Jerez could not believe her luck and later found out that he had 250 applications for the three summer internship positions sitting on his desk when they first met.

Although the Gift of Life Bone Marrow Foundation was not selected as the ultimate choice for the financial award, it will benefit from the class in the form of one very energetic and ambitious student advocate. And Jerez plans to link back to the class as well, by enlisting her fellow public speakers from the Fall to assist her in an educational campaign and  bone marrow donor drive at FIU as part of her work for the agency.

To learn more about philanthropic pedagogy and the Communication Arts Department courses, read “Donors’ Gift Creates Student Philanthropists.”

Learn more »
No Comment

Donors’ Gift Creates Student Philanthropists

This past summer, retired financial executive and current FIU student at BBC, Herb Gruber, along with his partner Donna Lee Steffens (FIU ’06), offered to award a $25,000 grant to a local non-profit to be chosen by FIU students enrolled in a philanthropy-themed course.  The goal was to acquaint students with the work of non-profits, stimulate interest in careers in the non-profit sector, and introduce students to philanthropy and the responsibility that comes with it.

Gruber, a Miami resident and former CEO of Heller Financial Company/Miami was following an existing model for innovative real-world teaching and learning that he read about, which has been implemented by Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford. (New York Times, May 2014.)

After Gruber brought the idea to FIU development officer Jan Solomon, she put out the call for an appropriate class to implement this approach and the Communication Arts Department answered. Communication Arts had already implemented service learning into public speaking classes through a project with the Miami Coalition for the Homeless and was excited about the new challenge.  The Department proposed making philanthropy the theme in an advanced public speaking class, with students researching and advocating for different charities in their persuasive speeches. Gruber selected the Communication Arts’ course from a host of courses proposed by departments across the curriculum and new faculty member, Elena Nuciforo embraced the challenge for her scheduled Fall class, Advanced Public Speaking (SPC 3602).

The results have been amazing.  Students in the class selected South Florida-based non-profits and conducted extensive research on the charities including fact-checking and conducting financial reviews of the company’s record for use of donations.  They then prepared their persuasive speeches to pitch their chosen charities as worthy candidates for the $25,000 award. After the initial presentations in class, the students voted and narrowed the selections to five non-profits. They then formed five teams to work with the chosen charities to further research and refine the proposals. They were required to provide a comprehensive understanding of the organization, a statement of need, a plan of action, and a budget for the final presentations. In the final week of class, the five teams presented their non-profits’ proposals for the grant in front of the organizations’ representatives, their classmates, and student judges from Lambda Pi Eta, Communication Arts’ chapter of the National Communication Association’s honor society, and the Department’s TEDxFIU Club. Among the worthy organizations presented were the Miami Music Project, the Epilepsy Foundation, and the Florida Association for the Deaf, but in the end the judges voted to fund the IDEAS FOR US project.

The winning presentation was given by students Orietta Caula, Joanna Suarez, Chloe Castro, Alejandro Cerice, and Linda Elvir (L to R in photo above) in support of the non-profit student-founded organization IDEAS for Us, which seeks solutions to promote sustainability and positive environmental change.  The charity’s specific project proposal is to retrofit the Camillus House buildings with solar panels and other energy-saving devices, with the support of AGT, who will donate its solar panel installation services, and Florida Power and Light (FPL), who is consulting on the project and will conduct free, ongoing energy audits.  FPL has determined that the annual cost savings to Camillus House will be approximately $35,000, which means the $25,000 award will generate over $350,000 over the next 10 years.

In addition to providing sustainability for the chosen charity, Gruber and Steffens’ gift has sparked an academic sustainability. Communication Arts Department chair, Joann Brown explained: “Our students were changed by this experience and our faculty have embraced the pedagogical model. We want to keep it going as a powerful means of teaching students advocacy, argument and persuasion. It truly represents the best efforts of individuals and organizations in the community and illustrates how our combined efforts can make things happen in exciting ways.”

Gruber and Steffens agree. They announced they will award another $20,000 this month to fund two new iterations of the course model for the Spring semester: Nuciforo’s Advanced Public Speaking class (SPC 3602) at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus and Daniel Blaeuer’s Business and Professional Communication class (COM 3110) at the Biscayne Bay Campus. A new batch of student philanthropists is in the making.

 

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts Faculty Member Awarded PDL To Complete Doctorate Dissertation

Communication Arts faculty member, Maria Ines Marino, received a Professional Development Leave (PDL) from FIU in order to complete her doctorate dissertation in Educational Technology at the University of Florida (UF). Ms. Marino’s dissertation explores how cultural differences influence participation and involvement in online student discussions in web and computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL). The study aims at getting a deeper understanding of participation behaviors from the perspective of cultural communication differences. By studying the patterns of cultural differences, it can potentially reduce limitations in designing collaborative learning experiences and result in more positive interactions and adequate learning outcomes for students from multiple cultures.

As part of FIU’s Worlds Ahead initiative, Professional Development Leave is granted to employees engaged in research that makes an impact in their field and in the community. Faculty members granted PDL exceed expectations through innovations in the classroom and service to the university.

Before teaching for Communication Arts, Professor Marino worked as an Educational Media/Communication Coordinator and Educational Consultant for FIU Educational Technology Services for FIU Online. She has also piloted several workshops and seminars on technology solutions for online education.

Ms. Marino holds dual graduate degrees: an M.S in Mass Communication from FIU and an M.A. in Educational Technology from Northwestern State University. She has been teaching a wide range of courses for the Communication Arts department including Public Speaking, Intercultural Communication, Business Communication, Non Verbal Communication, Gender & Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Political Communication. Ms. Marino also oversees the internship program for the department.

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts Welcomes New Alumni

The College of Architecture + The Arts celebrated its fall 2014 Commencement on Tuesday, December 16, 2014, led by President Mark B. Rosenberg. As proud families and friends watched, he assured the class of 2014 that FIU will always be their home and advised them that their academic journey has prepared them to be worlds ahead.

Communication Arts students Esteban Aguerrebere, Kathryn Genevieve Alea, Nicole Andrea Anaya, Ximena Cuadra, Heather Leigh Flannery, Maryuris Maldonado, Christina Retena, and Charles Thompson graduated with prestigious honors such as cum laude and magna cum laude. Yiranny E. Guzman Ramirez received top honors and graduated summa cum laude, awarded only to those who have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or better.

“Graduation was better than I ever imagined, the feeling of accomplishment is difficult to express in words! I had never attended a college graduation and it was very inspiring. I now feel prepared to enter the world as a Communication Arts graduate,” said Esteban Aguerrebere, a recent graduate.

Over 70 Communication Arts students walked across the stage at commencement to receive their Bachelor of Arts degrees. The largest group of graduates of the College of Architecture + The Arts stemmed from the Communication Arts department.

Congratulations to all our WorldsAhead graduates! Go out into the world and make us proud!

 

 

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Webb Publishes Entry in Encyclopedia of Health Communication

Lynne M. Webb, Professor in Communication Arts, is lead author of the entry “STD and HIV Prevention” in Encyclopedia of Health Communication. Professor Webb’s essay reviews the social scientific research on how sexually active adults can prevent transmission of sexual diseases, including HIV, by engaging in effective communication that facilitates safer sex practices such as condom use. The essay summarizes the findings of over 100 reports of original research including studies conducted by Webb and her co-author Patricia Amason, of the University of Arkansas.

The Encyclopedia, initially released in May 2014, serves as a reference work for scholars and practitioners. According to Sage Publishing, the Encyclopedia “provides comprehensive coverage, including such topics as cultural complexities; high risk and special populations; message design and campaigns; provider/patient interaction issues; media issues; and more. All entries were specifically commissioned for this work, signed and authored by key figures in the field; each concludes with cross reference links and suggestions for further reading.”

The Encyclopedia is edited by a pioneering researcher in health communication, Teresa L. Thompson, PhD. Thompson serves on the Department of Communication faculty at the University of Dayton and is the sitting editor of the scholarly journal Health Communication published by Taylor and Francis.

The Encyclopedia contains over 600 entries organized A-to-Z across three volumes and 1688 pages. It can be purchased at amazon.com.

Professor Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) conducts research on communication in personal relationships including safer sex talk between consenting adults. She joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the University of Arkansas faculty where she was named a J. William Fulbright Master Researcher. The courses she teaches at FIU include Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, and Communication in Social Media.

 

 

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Intercultural/Interracial Communication Students Show Off Final Projects

On December 9, Communication Arts Professor Nathalie Desrayaud and her students held an event to showcase students’ final projects: detailed travel guides on various countries around the world. The travel guides, displayed in the Ryder Business Building, allowed guests to tour the different projects showcasing different cultures and customs. Throughout the semester, the students learned how culture influences communication, and explored verbal and nonverbal communication patterns of different cultures.

As part of the course, the student groups spent weeks researching and analyzing different countries around the world in order to create travel guides to various international destinations. The project focused on the interesting tourist attractions, various customs and travel tips, and ways of communicating in different countries. Some of the destinations that were presented were Sicily, Spain, Turkey, and Thailand.

“I now have a deeper intercultural and international understanding and now feel that I am a responsible, knowledgeable, and informed global citizen,” one Communication Arts student said when asked if this course made students better prepared to engage with other cultures.

The Intercultural/Interracial Communication course is part of the Global Medallion curriculum designed to enhance global awareness, global perspective, and promote an attitude of global engagement in FIU’s World Ahead graduates.

The course focuses on the unique relationship between communication and culture. For more information on Communication Arts’ courses, please visit: http://carta.fiu.edu/comm-arts/academics/course-offerings/

 

003 004 006

008 018 020

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts Professor Publishes Chapter in Prestigious Handbook

Lynne M. Webb, Professor in Communication Arts, is lead author of the chapter “Families and Technologically Assisted Communication” in The Sage Handbook of Family Communication. Professor Webb’s essay reviews research about how families use cell phones, computers, and social media; it includes such topics as parental strategies for monitoring children’s Internet usage, cyber threats to marriage, and searching family genealogies on the web.

The Handbook serves as a reference work for scholars and practitioners. According to Sage Publishing, the Handbook “provides a comprehensive examination of family communication theory and research. Chapters by leading scholars in family communication expand the definition of family, address recent shifts in culture, and cover important new topics, including families in crisis, families and governmental policies, social media, and extended families. The combination of groundbreaking theories, research methods, and reviews of foundational and emerging research in family communication make this an invaluable resource that explores the critical topics and issues facing family communication researchers today.”

The Handbook is edited by two well-respected family communication scholars, Lynn H. Turner of Marquette University in Milwaukee and Richard L. West of Emerson College in Boston. The Handbook contains 26 chapters across 504 pages and is available from amazon.com.

Professor Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) conducts research on computer-mediated communication in personal relationships. She joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the University of Arkansas faculty where she was named a J. William Fulbright Master Researcher. The courses she teaches at FIU include Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, and Communication in Social Media.

Learn more »
No Comment

Four Communication Arts Professors Present Papers at National Convention in Chicago

On November 20 and 21, four Communication Arts faculty members presented original research reports at the centennial meeting of the National Communication Association at the Hilton in Chicago. Over 6000 scholars from around the nation attended the conference. Four FIU Communication Arts faculty members presented competitively accepted and peer reviewed research reports.

Daniel Blaeuer, Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, presented a paper entitled “A Caucasian Diaspore: Becoming an Immigrant in America?” Blaeuer (PhD, University of South Florida) joined the FIU faculty in August 2011 after serving on the Barry University faculty. Blaeuer conducts research on communication surrounding community development and engagement. He teaches a slate of FIU courses including Artistic Expression, Communication Leadership, and Communication Theory.

Nurhayat Bilge, Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, presented “A Scourge Called Twitter: An Analysis of Turkist Expatriates Use of Social Media to Support Political Events in the Homeland.” She also participated in a presenter-intensive discussion titled “The Changing Faces of Peace and Conflict: Opportunities and Limitations in Approaches to Peace and Conflict Communication.” Bilge (PhD, Arizona State University, Tempe) joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the Arizona State University, Phoenix faculty. Bilge conducts research on refugee communities’ communication patterns that sustain ethnic identity. She teaches two courses at FIU: Conflict Management and Intercultural Communication.

Elena Nuciforo, Visiting Instructor in Communication Arts, presented “Russian Folk Discourse on Problem Drinking.” Nuciforo joined the FIU faculty in August 2014 after completing her PhD in Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research focuses on cultural discourse analysis of health-related issues. She teaches multiple FIU courses including Advanced Public Speaking and Communication Theory.

Lynne M. Webb, Professor in Communication Arts, presented two papers “Mommy Bloggers: Who They Are, What They Write About, and How They View Themselves” and “Rethinking Sexual Assault Prevention Training: Conversations with College Women Offer Suggestions for Revised and Expanded Curricula.” Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) joined the FIU faculty in 2013 after serving on the University of Arkansas faculty. Webb’s research examines a variety of issues related to family communication as well as the use of social media in personal relationships. Webb teaches three FIU courses: Communication on Social Media, Conflict Management, and Interpersonal Communication.

According to its website, the National Communication Association “serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching.” NCA is a member of the American Council of Learned Societies, a governing member of the Consortium of Social Science Associations, a member of the Council of Communication Associations, and a member of the National Humanities Alliance. NCA publishes 11 scholarly journals; its articles are indexed on Ebsco’s searchable data base.

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts TEDxFIU Club Hosts Watch Party for All FIU Students

The TEDxFIU Club hosted a TEDxFIU Watch Party for all FIU students on Thursday, November 13 during the TEDxFIU event. Students ate pizza and chips while watching FIU students, faculty, and alumni share their stories. There were moments of silence, laughter, and appreciation during the watch party as students reflected on each speaker’s story. Listening to the speakers, club members learned how to write a story, what person-centered aging looks like, how success can be measured by how much you give, and how failure after failure can add up to incredible success. The watch party brought together students from a wide range of disciplines, all sharing an interest in the art of storytelling and inspiring and connecting with others. Club president Gisela Valencia remarked: “The key word is ‘talk’; TED and TEDxFIU are not about lecturing or grandstanding. The best TED talks make you forget everything but the speaker and his or her story.”

TEDxFIU is a club for all FIU student communicators who want to develop their big ideas or just improve their public speaking skills within the format of a “TED talk.” Students can join with other students to share ideas, discuss their favorite TED videos, and examine what works – and what doesn’t – in a TED talk. The student organization is advised by Communication Arts faculty member, Nurhayat Bilge, who shares information on presentation and delivery techniques and arranges opportunities for students to practice on the big stage. Besides TEDxFIU talks, the club also engages in various activities, such as speech viewings and analysis, speech competitions, collaborations with other campus communicators, and practicing different types of speech, all of which help members become more effective public speakers and public speech consumers.

For more information, email tedxclub@fiu.edu or like us on Facebook.

Photo: L to R: Club members Daniel Gil, Gisela Valencia, Aisha Hassan, and Thomas Condon

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Desrayaud Publishes Research on Conflict Style

MCQ_cover

 

Nathalie Desrayaud, PhD, Visiting Instructor in Communication Arts, is second author of the article “Deciding to Use Organizational Grievance Processes: Does Conflict Style Matter?” The research report appears in the November 2014 issue of the national, academic journal Management Communication Quarterly, published by Sage in Thousand Oaks, CA. The study focused on whether college students’ conflict styles are associated with their decision to work with university ombuds in conflicts with professors.

Desrayaud’s research examines the role of communication in forming and maintaining conflict cultures within organizations. In this article, she explores how organizational members’ personal differences impact their approaches to finding solutions and resolving conflict. Desrayaud (PhD, Purdue University) joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the Missouri State University faculty. She teaches a slate of FIU courses including Gender & Communication, Intercultural Communication, Organizational Change, and Organizational Communication.

Management Communication Quarterly is the top journal focused exclusively on organizational communication, according to the 2013 Journal Citation Reports. MCQ is a national, peer-reviewed journal that “publishes conceptually rigorous, empirically-driven, and practice-relevant research from across the organizational and management communication fields” according to the SAGE website. Dr. Desrayaud article is available at http://mcq.sagepub.com/content/28/4/561.full.pdf+html.

Learn more »
No Comment

Five Communication Arts Faculty Members Present at Florida Convention

fca.logoOn October 17, five Communication Arts faculty members participated in a panel at the 84th annual meeting of the Florida Communication Association at the Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista at the Walt Disney World Resort. Over 160 faculty members from around the state attended the conference. Five FIU Communication Arts faculty members spoke on the panel titled “Teaching the Blended Course: Using Online Pedagogy to Augment the Classroom Learning Environment.”

Daniel Blaeuer, Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, spoke on “Flipping the Class Room: Using Online Tools to Distribute Content to the Community and Students.” Blaeuer (PhD, University of South Florida) joined the FIU faculty in August 2011 after serving on the Barry University faculty. Blaeuer conducts research on communication surrounding community development and engagement. He teaches a slate of FIU courses including Artistic Expression, Communication Leadership, and Communication Theory.

Nurhayat Bilge, Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, presented “In and Out of the Class Room: How Online Tools Help Create a Sense of Class Room Community.” Bilge (PhD, Arizona State University, Tempe) joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the Arizona State University, Phoenix faculty. Bilge conducts research on refugee communities’ communication patterns that sustain ethnic identity. She teaches two courses at FIU: Conflict Management and Intercultural Communication.

Nathalie Desrayaud, Visiting Instructor in Communication Arts, presented “Offloading Announcements and Opportunities to Online Venues: Tools for Sharing Information and Creating Spaces for Questions beyond the Classroom and E-mail Inbox.” Desrayaud (PhD, Purdue University) joined the FIU faculty in August 2013 after serving on the Missouri State University faculty. Desrayaud’s research examines the role of communication in forming and maintaining conflict cultures within organizations. She teaches a slate of FIU courses including Gender & Communication, Intercultural Communication, Organizational Change, and Organizational Communication.

Nicholas Temple, Assistant Professor in Communication Arts, spoke on “Minimizing Distraction: The Importance of Centralizing Learning Technologies into One Portal When It’s Possible, and Keeping It Simple When It’s Not.” Temple joined the FIU faculty in August 2012 after completing his PhD in Communication at the North Carolina State University. His research examines online rhetoric surrounding the US environmental movement. He teaches multiple FIU courses including Communication Ethics, Environmental Communication, Persuasion, Political Communication, and Rhetorical Theory.

Lynne M. Webb, Professor in Communication Arts, presented “Online-Only Textbooks: The Joys and Limitations.” Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) joined the FIU faculty in 2013 after serving on the University of Arkansas faculty. Webb’s research examines a variety of issues related to family communication as well as the use of social media in personal relationships. Webb teaches three FIU courses including Communication on Social Media, Conflict Management, and Interpersonal Communication.

According to its website, the purpose of the Florida Communication Association is to “coordinate the efforts of teachers, students, and others interested in advancing communication arts and sciences in the state of Florida.” At age 84, FCA is among the oldest state associations of communication scholars in the US. The Florida Communication association publishes two issues per year of the Florida Communication Journal. Its scholarly articles are indexed on Ebsco’s searchable data base.

Learn more »
No Comment

CommArts Helps Students Power Up for Interviews

Recently, Communication Arts Studio Coordinator Sarah Shoulak took the Studio to the Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-med honors society at FIU. At the student organization’s request, Shoulak led a workshop on Interview Skills the for the 20+ students. The one-hour workshop covered critical skills such as preparing for interviews, presenting a personal brand, and fielding unexpected questions. Shoulak combined research with practical application to provide students with ways to conquer their nerves and present their best selves. “Interviews are among the most high-stress communication events, and it helps to have a little science on your side,” said Shoulak. She taught attendees the “Superman Pose,” which is based on Harvard University researcher Amy Cuddy’s work with “power poses” to increase confidence and lower anxiety. The physical pose – legs apart, hands on hips, shoulders back and chest out – makes you bigger and ready for action. Striking the pose for just two minutes will biochemically prime the brain for power while simultaneously helping calm you down. “This will really help me feel more confident before I go into an interview,” said one student after learning the pose. Shoulak also helped participants prepare talking points that highlight their strengths, master the perfect handshake, and project confidence and interest through their body language, such as sitting forward on the chair and “leaning in” toward the interviewer. Mock interview sessions are offered at the CommArts Studio for all Communication Arts majors and those currently enrolled in Public Speaking or Communication Arts’ classes.

Learn more »
No Comment

FIU Debate Goes Global

On a recent evening, FIU Debate students sat down to talk with a group of college students on the other side of the world – Siberia, to be precise.

Facilitated by FIU Debate coach Travis “T.J.” Lakin and Elena Nuciforo, a faculty member in the Communication Arts Department, FIU student debaters Rodrigo Quirch, Alex Bornote, Daniel Tarasiuk, Roman Viveros, Juan Salamanca, Andrew Dias and Taylor Harris talked at length with Russian university students and professor Polina Dashinimaeva from Buryat State University in Ulan-Ude, a town that is the capital of Buryatia, located in Eastern Siberia in Russia.

The FIU debaters were surprised at how well the BSU students spoke English and were interested to find out what college life – and the weather – was like in Russia.  The nine BSU students – all studying foreign languages, including English, and planning to work as interpreters or teachers of English – reported that the weather in Ulan-Ude was a cool -5 degrees Celcius (23 degrees Farenheit) and that it had snowed heavily just two days before.  Dashinimaeva, the director of BSU’s Institute of Philology and Mass Communications, explained that college life lasts longer in Russia, with five years of coursework for a degree. She said the curriculum was prescribed for each major so students did not choose their specific classes once they selected a major.  Several of the BSU students said they had visited the U.S. during summer vacations or on work-travel programs. They talked about their majors, their social lives, and how busy they all were.

The Siberian students also had questions for the FIU students, and were surprised to hear that the temperature was a warm 86 degrees Farenheit in Miami. The BSU students explained that they are eager to learn more about both public speaking and debate, neither of which is taught directly in Russian academics.  The FIU Debate program offered to send some public speaking text books and to help the Russian students develop an understanding of debate with the opportunity to practice with the FIU team in upcoming transcontinental talks.

The Russian connection was made possible by Dr. Nuciforo, who is from Russia and attended BSU as an undergrad. She came to the U.S. to do her graduate work at the University of Massachusetts but has maintained contact with colleagues like Professor Dashinimaeva.  Nuciforo joined the Communication Arts faculty in the Fall and is delighted to be able to facilitate this connection between the FIU students and the students in Siberia. Nuciforo said, “a cultural exchange like this literally brings the worlds closer and allows students on both sides to develop their leadership qualities. It promotes mutual understanding that even though there are inevitable cultural differences between the two countries, there are a lot of things in common.”  She also enjoyed the chance to speak Russian and get a glimpse of home.

Debate coach Lakin also joined the Communication Arts faculty this Fall, coming from Michigan’s Ferris State University, where he was the Director of Forensics. Lakin says the FIU Debate team is thrilled to have this new technology available and they plan to make good use of it.  He agreed with Nuciforo’s point about intercultural communication making the world seem smaller, adding “this is an incredible opportunity for our students to connect with young people around the world and learn about their cultures and exchange ideas.  It is going to make them better students and better debaters.”

Not long after the first videoconference with Siberia, the FIU Debate members connected live with students in Caracas, Venezuela and they will also talk to students in Istanbul, Turkey this month.  The conversations with Russia, Turkey and Venezuela were a long time in the making.  In the Spring of 2013, Communication Arts’ faculty member Daniel Blaeuer and administrator Charlene Eberly teamed up to envision a way for the debate team to connect with debate students across the globe.  The debate team had recently moved into “worlds style” debate competitions and Blaeuer wanted to provide them with ways to experience other cultures and learn the communication and debate styles of other countries.

The plan was to create a “Debate Studio” in the Debate Team’s “War Room” in VH219 on the Modesto Maidique Campus and to add the technology to the CommArts Studio on the Biscayne Bay Campus to allow debaters on both campuses to go global, or even just talk to each other.  Blaeuer and Eberly submitted a Technology Fee Proposal to fund the purchase and installation of a state-of-the-art teleconferencing system and were awarded the funds. This month, after a year of consultations with media designers, audio-visual equipment company staff, and technicians, the project was completed.   Besides the teleconferencing equipment, both venues now feature state-of-the-art presentation and recording technology, which will allow debaters to record sessions for playback and review.

For more information, go to: FIU Debate.

 

Learn more »
No Comment

Lecture Series Features Top Communicators

The Communication Arts Department launched a new lecture series this month called “Communication Works.” Put together by faculty member Raquel Perez, the series is designed to showcase leaders working in communication fields and the role of communication and communication careers in the current global economy.

On October 10th, a large crowd of students gathered to hear Alejandro M. Aristizabal, an FIU alumnus and the Felony Operations Supervisor of the 11th Judicial Circuit Criminal Mental Health Project, Jail Diversion Program in Miami-Dade County. Aristizabal shared how his communication skills and business acumen led to his work in the criminal justice system, where he assists over 400 program participants a year.

On October 27th at 10am in the MARC Pavilion, the series will continue with Anabel Llopis, the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing for the Adventure Mall. Llopis puts her FIU degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing and 20 years of communication expertise to work managing local, national and international marketing, tourism, advertising, events, and tenant-, community- and public relations for the 2.7 million square foot center.

On November 6 at 11am in WC 130 , students will hear from Dr. Johnny Boan, the Vice President of Marketing for KEMET, an electronics components company, where he has held positions in Operations, Quality, Product Management, Acquisitions, integration, Sales and Marketing, since he began with the company in 1980.

The series is the first of its kind for the Communication Arts Department and will continue in January. For more information, contact Raquel Perez at RaqPerez@fiu.edu

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts’ Public Speaking Class to Give Away $25,000

Unique Project in Philanthropy Endowed by Private Donor Requires Students to Find and Investigate Non-Profits and Give Away Money

During the coming semester, Professor Elena Nuciforo and her students at Florida International University’s Department of Communication Arts will face a dynamic challenge as an integral part of their advanced public speaking class. The topic for the students this semester is philanthropy.

This advanced public speaking course in philanthropy was endowed by a $25,000 grant from Herbert Gruber and his partner Donna Lee Steffens, an FIU alumna ‘06. Gruber, a Miami resident and former CEO of Heller Financial Company/Miami, is now retired, and also a student at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC) in North Miami.

“I became a full-time student at FIU/BBC and have a great love for FIU and the outstanding professors I have been privileged to meet. They are gifted professionals,” said Gruber.

The course will permit Professor Nuciforo, who works within the Communication Arts Department at FIU’s College of Architecture + The Arts and her students, in the advanced public speaking class to find and investigate non-profit organizations. Once a decision is made by the students and professor, they will award monetary grants to the organizations chosen

This concept is innovative but not new. Other major universities such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford have engaged in similar successful teaching projects. According to Jan Solomon, Development Officer at the BBC campus of FIU, “the course offers our students a real-world experience of philanthropy. This donation enables a unique pedagogical endeavour that benefits FIU students as preparation for potential work in the non-profit sector or inspiration for becoming philanthropists themselves.”

“It is all about making informed, ethical choices about how to do good for society,” added Gruber. “Most students will think before taking this course that it is easy to give away money,” added Jan Solomon. “Once they take this class, they will realize how difficult it actually is.”

The Communication Arts Department has previously partnered with the Miami Coalition for the Homeless to teach formerly homeless individuals public speaking skills. From speech writing to message delivery, FIU students enrolled in the public speaking class worked directly with members of the Miami Coalition.  Students took the information they learned in their class and helped train the formerly homeless to give passionate and well organized speeches about their experience of life on the street.  These speakers then passed their message on to at-risk youth and government agencies throughout the greater Miami-Dade County and through these efforts, increased community awareness and sensitivity to the important issues related to homelessness.

For more information about this course or any others available within the Communication Arts Department, please visit www.carta.fiu.edu/comm-arts/

Learn more »
No Comment

Communication Arts Professor Pens Essay on Complicated Grief

 Lynne M. Webb, Professor in Communication Arts, is lead author of the chapter “Communicative Coping with Ambiguous Death: The Search for Answers, Consolation, Acceptance,” recently published in Stories of Complicated Grief: A Critical Anthology. Her essay is an auto-ethnography appearing in the section “Death or Physical Loss of One’s Child.” Professor Webb, trained as a social scientist, describes communication with friends who helped her cope with the unexpected and unexplained death of her son Reed at age 13. Her co-author Paige W. Toller is a Communication professor at the University of Nebraska, Omaha, and is widely considered the leading national expert in communication surrounding the death of a child.

Stories of Complicated Grief is an interdisciplinary volume published by the National Association of Social Workers Press. The Press promotes the book as “an invaluable, unprecedented resource for clinicians, academics, and anyone grappling with the effects of complicated grief in their own life.” They describe the chapters as “powerful and moving in their own right, but notable in that they all highlight academic issues regarding the nature of loss and grief, shedding light on what it means to experience complicated grief while weaving in related topics such as cultural differences, stigma, shame, losses, and traumas other than death.”

The collection is edited by Eric D. Miller, a Psychology professor at Kent State University in Ohio specializing in adult coping with loss and trauma. Stories of Complicated Grief contains 21 chapters across 384 pages and is available on amazon.com.

Professor Webb (PhD, University of Oregon) conducts research on family communication, specifically in parent-child relationships. In August 2013, she joined the FIU Communication Arts faculty. Professor Webb teaches multiple courses at FIU including Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, and Communication in Social Media.

Learn more »
No Comment