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Professor Nick Temple Debunks Climategate and Wins Top Paper Award

Nicholas Temple, PhD, Assistant Professor in FIU’s Department of Communication Arts, won a Top Paper Award at the annual meeting of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) in New Orleans, LA. On April 4, 2014, he presented his paper titled “Science as ‘Other’: A Burkean Rhetorical Vision of Discussion Board Participants.” It was honored as the top paper submitted to the Kenneth Burke Society for presentation at the conference.

The paper reported Temple’s original analysis of online responses to the so-called “climategate” scandal in late 2009. His analysis used two Burkean concepts (consubstantiation and casuistic stretching) to demonstrate that non-scientists simply misunderstood how science worked. His paper reveals that citizens misunderstood the normal scientific dialogue of critique and replication. Reporters claimed and citizens believed that scientists had “falsified data” when in reality colleagues were simply critiquing a study’s research methodology. This paper is one in a series in which Temple is analyzing US environmental movements by examining how citizens use, understand, and misunderstand the scientific findings that undergird the need to preserve our natural environment.

Temple joined the FIU faculty in August 2012 after completing his PhD in Communication at the North Carolina State University. He teaches a slate of courses that includes Persuasion, Environmental Communication, Communication Ethics, and Rhetorical Theory.

SSCA’s purpose is to “promote the study, criticism, research, teaching, and application of communication.” Communication scholars from 15 southeastern states consider SSCA their primary regional association. At age 85, SSCA is among the oldest professional associations of communication scholars in the US and proud publisher of the highly ranked Southern Communication Journal.

 

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Communication Arts Staffer Creates Eco-Art from Office Trash

Sarah Shoulak, who works in the Communication Arts Studio, wants your trash!  A communication coordinator or “speech coach” by day, she can frequently be found roaming the halls after work and rummaging through FIU recycling bins looking for colorful card stock, postcards, flyers, and other heavy weight paper packaging.  With her finds, she fashions beautiful mosaic images from little paper “tiles.”  Two art pieces were featured recently in the Frost Museum’s FIU Family Day exhibit and will soon be displayed at the university’s presidential mansion, the Reagan House, along with the other works from the exhibition.  Sarah’s “eco art” mosaics contain thousands, of small squares cut from promotional postcards, event tickets, report folders, and cardboard packaging.  Some pieces contain words, some have smaller images on them, and some are solid colored, but when they are combined, they create the images she envisions.  “I have heard my work referred to as ‘trash art’ and I am fine with that.  I love taking a pile of trash on my living room floor and transforming it into a thing of beauty, a work of art.  I see art in everything around me. I want to challenge what society deems ‘beautiful.’ ”  If you want to share your trash with Sarah, you can drop it off at VH 230, the CommArts Studio, where there is a special recycling bin labeled: “Trash for Sarah – Thick Paper/Colored Cardboard Recycling.”

To see more of Sarah’s trash art mosaics and her handcrafted dolls made from t-shirt scraps, check out her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KateriArtandDesign

 

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Communication Arts Helps Future Doctors Find Their Voices

For the third year, the Communication Arts Department’s CommArts Studio offered communication skills training to the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine’s “Doctors of Tomorrow” program participants.  The program is designed to help underrepresented student populations – typically women and minorities – become more competitive for the medical school application process and prepare for them for success as future medical school students, residents, and doctors. This year, 23 undergraduate students from Florida colleges and universities – including FIU – got an inside view of a modern U.S. university medical school, its administrators and faculty, its labs and classrooms.  While in residence at FIU, they attended seminars on writing personal statements and the medical school application process, concept mapping, preparing for the MCAT test, test-taking strategies, time management, work-life balance, professional ethics, and communication skills.

  The CommArts Studio’s Charlene Eberly talked to students about interpersonal communication in the doctor-patient relationship, issues related to intercultural communication, and communicating confidence and leadership potential in the interview process. Students learned the power of eye contact and the non-verbal messages they send and how to project a positive, confident image.  They prepared their self-introductions and interview talking points designed to showcase their strengths and interests and practiced interview responses.  At the end of the session, students headed off to the Graham Center for lunch, eager to practice their new skills on any students and faculty they could find.

Read more about FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the Doctors of Tomorrow program:

http://news.fiu.edu/2014/06/college-of-medicine-hosts-doctors-of-tomorrow/78445?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=college-of-medicine-hosts-doctors-of-tomorrow

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Crisis Management is All About Communication

 

Do you think handling your own personal conflicts is difficult? Try making a career out of handling the conflicts associated with presidents, celebrities, multinational companies, and politicians.  Judy Smith has made a career out of being a “fixer” for a wide range of clients and has been immortalized in the popular television show, Scandal.   On March 31, 2014, she took the stage in the Graham Center Ballroom to share her story with FIU students, faculty and staff as part of Diversity Week.

Smith graduated from Boston University with a degree in Communications, before deciding to attend the American University’s Washington College of Law. There she was able to hone her argumentation, persuasion, and conflict management skills. After law school, Smith was prepared to accept a job at a law firm when she had a lunch meeting with a friend that led her in a whole new direction. Three days later she was offered a job in crisis management and she has never looked back. Her communication skills took her all the way to becoming the Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to George H.W. Bush. She now works as a crisis manager.

Judy Smith’s career has shown what can become of good communication skills can lead. Where will your communication skills take you? 

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Degrees Employers Love

Wondering which college degrees employers are looking for?  Keep reading to learn more.

In an article for Education news at Yahoo.com, Terence Loose researched the degrees that are attractive to future employers (and those that are not). He asked Susan Heathfield, the Human Resource Guide for About.com about the need for students to be practical in making degree decisions.  “With the unemployment situation the way it is right now, I would be considering what degree to get more closely than any other time in history,” says Heathfield. “If you want to be employable in this economy and the future, you have to have valuable skills.”

With that in mind, Loose asked Heathfield what degrees employers might love and he also consulted Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.  Carnevale and his department conducted a 2012 study called “Hard Times: College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings.” With the subheadline “Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal,” this report studied the unemployment rates for recent (aged 22 to 26) and experienced (aged 30 to 54) college graduates in various majors.  In addition, Loose used the U.S. Department of Labor’s most recent U.S. unemployment rate of 8.1 percent (April 2012) and considered unemployment rates above 8.1 percent as “bad”, and rates below 8.1 percent as “good” in evaluating the preferred degrees and career tracks for students.  Loose then created a “Most Loved” and “Most Hated” ranked list of degrees.

Loved Degree #2: Communications

If there’s one thing we love to do in this age of the Internet, it’s communicate. With everything from Twitter and Facebook to chat rooms and blogs blasting us every minute of every day, a degree in communications seems relevant.

The “Hard Times” report found a 7.4 percent unemployment rate among recent grads of communications. And the unemployment rate for experienced grads was even lower at 6.3 percent.

What’s behind these strong numbers? Carnevale says communications is growing […]. He adds that “communications includes a lot of the Internet stuff and a lot of the institutional work.”

Heathfield echoes this optimism, saying that a specialization in social media could help make you marketable now and well into the future.

Ready to learn more about social media and the communications field? The College Board says  communications programs typically include courses in communication and mass media research, media law and ethics, mass media and society, or global perspectives in media.

To read the full report, go to: http://education.yahoo.net/articles/loved_and_hated_degrees.htm

To find out more about Florida International University’s Communication Arts degree, go to comm-art.fiu.edu

 

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CommArts’ Student Represents College

 

Communication  Arts Major and SGA Senator Tomas Alcala wants students to discover CARTA.  In January 2014 Tomas was elected to the Student Government Association as the Senator for the College of Architecture + The Arts (CARTA).  A Miami native, Tomas transferred to FIU in Fall 2013 from the University of Central Florida.  At UCF Tomas had roomed with his longtime friend, Sean Lunsford, son of FIU Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Lunsford.  Returning to Miami and enrolling in FIU, Tomas was encouraged by VP Lunsford to get involved in Student Government. Tomas ran for the CARTA Senate seat and was elected.

 

Tomas is excited about the opportunity to promote all that CARTA has to offer students.  From the Miami Beach Urban Studios and the Communication Arts Studio to the many art exhibits, concerts and plays, CARTA is full of creativity and Tomas wants students to discover the numerous ways they can experience the different academic disciplines that make up the college.

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Learning to Lead: Communication Arts’ Student Government President

Liane Sippin has been having a life-changing year.  Last Spring, she was a Senator-at-large in Student Government with no ambition for higher office.  She was planning a public relations career and a future behind the scenes.  A few days before the candidate filing deadline, she was asked to fill the vice president slot on a ticket for the Student Government elections. Although she had not contemplated running, she thought the VP slot would not put her too much in the limelight.  Two weeks before the elections however, her running mate was disqualified.  With only one other ticket on the ballot, she was encouraged to move into the Presidential slot and find someone to fill out the ticket. She recruited Diwaldo Rabre for the VP slot but she had little expectation of winning.  Fate intervened though and four days before the elections, the other candidates were disqualified leaving Sippin and Rabre running uncontested.  The next thing she knew, Liane was the President of the Student Government Association for the Modesto Maidique campus, representing and responsible to tens of thousands of students.

As president, Liane is responsible for a multi-million dollar budget. She regularly presides over committee and board meetings, hosts events and addresses diverse audiences, including state legislators.  She is on her way to becoming a confident speaker and is now majoring in communication arts. She loves her classes and learning things like the role of conflict in communication and how people use social media. She wants to pursue a career that involves communication and logistics, and says her dream job would be either White House Social Secretary or Chief of Protocol for the Department of State.

Looking back at the past year and the many lessons learned, Liane says she is much more comfortable being in the spotlight now.  “Every day I learn something new. I have learned to ask my mentors for what I need from them and they have helped me grow,” she says. “I have learned to articulate my vision and show others how to pursue their own objectives while working toward a common goal.”  From reluctant candidate to confident leader, Liane looks forward to whatever comes next.

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Communication Arts Students Go High Tech in Class!

Ready, Aim, Vote!  Students in Professor Kate Montero’s Advanced Business Communication classes raise their i-clickers and vote on the best presentation of the investor proposal pitch.  The i-clickers’ live polling technology provides an instantaneous display on the classroom’s big screen so students can see the vote tallies in real time.

Montero says the interactivity of the live voting with the i-clickers puts assessment in the hands of students – literally!  “I am turning over the control to them,” she says, “Through their votes, the students let their peers know if the pitches successfully reached them, the student audience. Peer voting is the best form of feedback.  I just sit back and watch the learning happen.”

The Communication Arts Department obtained the i-clickers through a technology fee award intended to allow debate tournament polling for FIU’s Debate Society.  FIU debaters use them to practice and provide rapid-fire polling to let debaters know when they score points in debate rounds.

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Communication Arts’ Student Creates a “Win-Win” Cultural Exchange

Originally interested in pre-med, Fabiah Lherisson found that she was drawn to communication courses, particularly intercultural and interpersonal communication, and this ultimately led to her decision to change her major. A native of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, she wanted to share the experience of Haitian life – through its most valuable resource, the children – with her fellow students.  In 2011 Lherisson, now a Communication Arts senior, created a foundation intended to raise students’ awareness of other cultures and promote intercultural communication and exchange.

Calling it Win-Win Global, she set about raising funds and planning a trip for FIU students to visit her native Haiti.  This fall she took a group of 14 FIU students to Haiti for a 10-day visit centered around instructional seminars at the Kingdom of Kids Orphanage and the K-12 school, College Jean Rigauld Antoine.  Educational topics were related to the FIU students’ major subject areas and interests and designed to meet curricular needs of the Haitian schools.

Lherisson and Win-Win Global partnered with FIU’s Haitian Student Organization (HSO) to bring the 14 students to Haiti for the week-long project. Like its name implies, the Win-Win Global trip was structured to benefit both the young Haitian students and the FIU students.  In addition to teaching, the FIU group got to enjoy the beaches, museums, local restaurants and historical sights of the Haitian capital and surrounding countryside. This not only helped them become future ambassadors for Haiti based on their positive experience of the country, but gave them a “win-win” “half work, half play” experience.

Each student developed and led a workshop on a topic related to his or her major and career goals. Win- Win Global advisors worked with the FIU students in the month prior to traveling to structure their workshops and hone their presentation skills to make sure they were effectively communicating their ideas and scaling the lessons to the Haitian students’ grade level. Topics ranged from health (HIV/ STD spread and prevention), to English language basics, and the effects of pollution on the individual and the population.

To see the video, go to  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbqzpF5AwXg

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Communication Arts Major is Intern for Florida Senator

Communication Arts major Alia Leroy discovered her passion for politics and communication and found an amazing internship that let her pursue them both.  After initially majoring in journalism, Alia found herself drawn to classes in the communication arts like intercultural communication and public speaking. This led her to a change of major and subsequently, to an internship with Florida Senator Oscar Braynon II, of District 36.  Using the knowledge and skills she has learned from her communication arts courses and the experience she has gained from her internship, she hopes to one day become a lobbyist for higher education and an advocate for the homeless.

Her internship with the Senator’s office has provided Alia with the opportunity to meet politicians and their top aides, ask questions and even bounce ideas off of them to get their opinions and expertise.  Alia even had the chance to help draft an anti-bullying bill related to sports, which is still in the development stage.  This first-hand experience with the legislative process has been very exciting for the future lobbyist!

Alia, who once viewed herself as somewhat shy, says she gained confidence from her Public Speaking class because she has learned how to speak in front of people she did not know.  She knows that to be a successful politician, she must have great communication skills and looks forward to learning more as she continues her classes.  In the meantime, her hard work is paying off: she has been offered the chance to extend her internship for a second semester and to accompany the Senator to Tallahassee when the Legislature convenes!

 

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What Course Should Every Student Take? Public Speaking!

 

FIU News recently featured a story on the eight courses that every student should take and SPC 2608, Public Speaking was top of the list!  It was second only to a one credit course on exploring majors and careers (such as Communication Arts!).  Read an excerpt of the story below and in full at news.fiu.edu

It’s easy to get pulled into registering for a full slate of courses required for your major every semester. College is all about discovering what you are passionate about and exploring new ideas, but it is easy to go through the years and realize that you didn’t do much discovering or exploring at all. Give yourself a chance to take a step back and take a look at other courses in other disciplines that can expand your creativity, provide you with skills that will be valuable in and out of the workplace, and improve your employability. Here are some courses to take that can help pull you out of your comfort zone and get the most out of your collegiate journey while learning skills that will be incredibly useful in the “real world.”

#1. MAJOR AND CAREER EXPLORATION (SLS 3407) – Fundamentals of career development strategies and clarify interests and skills as related to major/career choice.

#2. PUBLIC SPEAKING (SPC 2608)

Course Description: Study of the principles of ethical and effective public speaking, with practice in the construction and delivery of original speeches before an audience.

For many people, the idea of speaking in front of people – large or small – is about as enjoyable as getting up for that 8 a.m. class for which you regretted signing up. But no matter what career field you are going into, the ability to clearly and effectively communicate ideas to your bosses and coworkers is essential. Organizing your thoughts to develop an argument, delivering a 10-minute presentation and speaking comfortably and intelligently in front of others are invaluable skills that will come in handy when the time comes to interview for a job and in the workplace. This course will without a doubt boost your value in the workplace.

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FIU Debate Takes Top Honors at Pan-American Debate Tournament!

The weekend of January 25-26, 2014 marked FIU Debate history as two FIU teams competed in the bilingual Pan American University Debating Championship and took top honors, including Luis Toro’s Top Speaker award for the tournament.  In addition, with teammate Emily Bello-Pardo, Toro advanced to the final round against Universidad Central de Venezuela and two teams from Universidad del Rosario, Colombia before winning second place team overall for the tournamentJoliete Re and Natalie Perez were semi-finalists in Spanish and Emily Bello-Pardo also won Third Best Speaker.  In addition to the experience of debate competition, FIU students also had the honor of meeting Mr. Alfred Snider, who is often referred to as the father of international debate and Mr. Arlán Narváez, who is considered the most important figure in Spanish debate in the Western hemisphere.

With these four trophies, FIU Debaters bring international recognition to FIU Debate and help establish Spanish-language debate in South Florida.  Stop by the Communication Arts Studio in VH230 to see the new additions to the Debate trophy case and show your support for your fellow Panthers!

Photo – L to R: Stephanie Piedrahita, Luis Toro, Emily Bello-Pardo, Ximena Cuadra, Natalie Perez and Kelly Ables (not shown: Joliete Re)

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Student-Soldier Puts Communication Arts Skills to Work

Communication Arts student Ariela Nijamkin put her studies on hold to return to her native Israel to complete her two-year compulsory military service beginning this month and found her communication skills are paying off.  Army testing revealed her high level of communication knowledge and expertise, which led to her being assigned to a position in the Education Corps as an Education Non-Commissioned Officer.  In this role, she will travel around giving lectures and presentations to soldiers on a variety of topics related to international relations, current events, history, and military strategy.  Via email, Ariela said she is “beyond excited” with her new role and credits her communication arts courses with helping her achieve this position.  In particular, she credits Communication Arts faculty member Nathan Kurland and his Public Speaking course with helping her improve her skills and sparking her interest in becoming a better communicator.  With a push from Professor Kurland, Ariela entered the Department’s annual “Speak Off” competition in 2012 and went on to win first place!  Her talk compared the rhetoric of Adolf Hitler and Dr. M.L. King Sr. and was presented at the Spring 2012 Communication Arts Forum before a large audience of students, faculty, university administrators and community leaders.

Born to an Argentinean family in Israel and moving to the United States at the age of seven, Ariela grew up with strong international and cross-cultural influences. Currently a junior, she is focused on learning how communication is employed in the international arena, as well as how different communication strategies are used in diplomacy. Following her military service, Ariela will return to complete her double major in communication arts and international relations before attending law school.  She hopes to one day practice international law.

 

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Dedication of Kathleen Watson Lending Library

On December 12, 2013 the family of the late Kathleen Watson gathered in the Communication Arts Department’s CommArts Studio for the dedication of the Kathleen Watson Lending Library.  They were joined by the faculty and staff of the department, Dean Brian Schriner from the College of Architecture + The Arts, and Kathleen’s friends, colleagues and former students

“We wanted to do something to honor Kathleen, who was a founding faculty member of the department.  She always had an open door policy for students and was known for offering advice and lending her books to any student who asked.  We also wanted to thank her husband, Herman Watson and Dean Schriner, whose generous gifts to the university have endowed the Kathleen Watson Memorial Scholarship,” said Joann Brown, Chair of Communication Arts.

The lending library contains many of Kathleen’s books along with others purchased by the department.  It is open to all students and those enrolled in Speech and Communication classes may borrow books.  The library contains classic texts like Dale Carnegie’s The Art of Public Speaking and contemporary books like Carmine Gallo’s The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, along with books and videos on argumentation, debate, rhetorical theory and conflict resolution.

In addition to dedicating the lending library, the ceremony also featured the first recipient of the Kathleen Watson Memorial Scholarship, Jennifer Zamont, who  thanked the family and Dean Schriner for their generosity.  She shared how the scholarship helped her with the high costs of books.  “As a working mother and a student, making ends meet is a struggle.  The scholarship helped me breathe a little easier and I am very grateful,” said Jennifer.  The 2014 scholarship recipient, Dalny Ruel was announced and she also expressed  her gratitude and empathized with the Watson family:  “I lost my mother to cancer also. She was my rock and it is not easy going on without her.  I know she would be very proud of me though and she will be there in spirit when I graduate next semester.  Thank you for helping me.”

After the ceremony, guests spilled out into the hallway for a reception, where the bulletin boards were decorated with birthday greetings for Kathleen, who was born on December 12th, along with decorations for Christmas, Hannukkah, Groundhog’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, the Chinese New Year and just about every other holiday one could imagine.  Many of the items came from Kathleen’s office. “Kathleen was the holiday queen,” said Char Eberly, the Assistant Director of the CommArts Studio. “She loved the holidays and had a decoration for every one of them.  We wanted to keep that tradition going and celebrate her cheerful, happy spirit – and her birthday.”  The family members chuckled as they spotted particular decorations, including a quilted star ornament that Herman Watson recognized as one made to hang on their Christmas tree when the children were small.  As the family posed for pictures and looked over the lending library, the song “Keep me in your heart for awhile” played quietly in the background.

Photos: Kathleen Watson family;  Dalny Ruel and Jennifer Zamont, 2013 and 2014 scholarship recipients; Dean Brian Schriner and Chair of Communication Arts Joann Brown

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Artistic Expression Sends Powerful Message

Students in Dr. Steven Schoen’s class Artistic Expression in a Global Society, IDS 3336, sent a powerful message about the status of women living in poverty around the world through their “Creative Engagement” group project. Calling their display “The Invisible: Women in Poverty,” students used clear packing tape to construct partial torsos of women that were transparent or only partially visible.  In modern urban environments, it is all too common for people to fail to “see” the “bag ladies” or women living in the economic margins and this project made that situation visible by depicting their invisibility.  The goal of the assignment was for the students, most of whom are non-artists, to use art as a way to engage people with an issue of global significance. The students displayed their project in a high-traffic area next to a mecca of consumerism, Starbuck’s in the Green Library and affixed the sculptures to the wall – using tape, of course.  Asked for his response, one passer-by commented: “I almost didn’t see them.”  The student artists responded: “Exactly.”

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Fall 2013 Speak-Off Winners Announced

On Thursday, October 24, three talented finalists battled for the honor of being named the Fall 2013 Speak-Off champion. Their weapons of choice were words, used to express ideas that challenged people’s thinking and inspired change.  The theme of the event was “The Butterfly Effect” as it relates to communication.  Adapted from chaos theory and the premise that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world can create a tsunami weeks later in another part of the world, students were asked to craft speeches around the idea that small events can have large-scale effects.  They were urged to consider how a small communication such as a simple email, tweet, or post can reverberate and create a ripple effect that can affect tens of thousands of people in an instant.  Today’s communicators have the power to reach people in number unheard of 100 years ago and they can do it in the time it takes to push a button. This year’s three finalists took that idea and ran with it, bringing the audience talks on the “N word,” the Koney 2012 video and the numbing effect of social media.

The three finalists were selected by the Communication Arts Studio’s communication coordinators from an array of talented speakers.  Once selected, the finalists had one week to polish their prose, perfect their performances and prepare to take the stage.

Senior Communication Arts Major Aaron Fingal delighted the crowd as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.   After three outstanding speeches, the judges – Communication Arts faculty member Nick Temple and Communication Arts Studio Assistant Director Charlene Eberly left the room to deliberate in what they reported was a difficult decision.  Citing his confident delivery and thought-provoking commentary on the “N word,” the judges declared Marketing major David Bell the first place winner.  Leah Diffenthaller received the honor of second place and Raquel Aymerich took third place.

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Stand Like Superman; Speak Like a Superstar!

On any given day, a visit to the CommArts Studio will find students standing around with their chests out, their feet spread apart and their hands on their hips, looking like superheroes poised to take flight.  There is a reason for this and it not only makes good sense, it makes for good speeches. And good TEDx talks.  Speakers at the recent TEDxFIU event trained in the CommArts Studio and were taught the techniques to help reduce anxiety and boost confidence.  When a microphone malfunction delayed her talk, Aneysi Fernandez didn’t let her nerves take over.  She adopted the pose and was soon joined onstage by Master of Ceremonies Alberto Padron.  A couple of minutes later, the microphone was back and Aneysi was feeling calm and confident.  She went on to deliver an amazing talk followed by an even more amazing performance.

If you want to feel more confident and powerful when you take the stage or stand up to lead a meeting, spend two minutes in a “power pose” and you will.  Surprisingly, it is just that easy.  Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy studied the physical effects on the body of adopting and holding body positions that mimic those a person with high confidence might use and found that the mere act of physical imitation produces results.  In effect, power posing primes the brain to perform well.

Stand tall, plant feet shoulder width apart, put hands on hips and push your shoulders back and your chest out – as if you were about to bounce bullets off your chest, like a superhero.  Hold the position for two minutes; this simple action has a big impact on your attitude and feelings.  This action actually changes your biochemistry, increasing testosterone levels (in both men and women) to give you confidence and dominance, while decreasing cortisol levels to make you feel less anxious. In addition, it lifts your diaphragm and opens your chest, which will make your voice project better and you sound more powerful.

Essentially, this seems to be a case of “fake it until you make it.”  After holding the pose for 1-2 minutes, you emerge from it ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  Besides the so-called “Superman” or “Wonderwoman” pose, the classic executive pose of leaning back in your chair and propping your feet up on the desk will help you get through a phone interview with ease.    For more information regarding Amy Cuddy’s research on “power poses” and their effects, see her TED talk at:

http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

To try it for yourself, visit the CommArts Studio at MMC in VH 230 or at BBC in HL 155.  For more information, go to communicate.fiu.edu

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TEDx FIU Student Club Member Chosen for 2013 TEDx FIU!

Alexa Chavarry

When FIU Media Relations decided to host a TEDx event at FIU in 2012, the Communication Arts Department stepped up and remains an important behind-the-scenes supporter of the event. This year, however, Communication Arts will also have an onstage connection, in the form of student Alexa Chavarry, member of the student organization, the TEDx FIU Club, sponsored by the Communication Arts Department.  Alexa’s video application was selected from over 100 applications and she is one of only three students chosen to be a TEDx speaker.

Student Self-help Leader Alexa Chavarry, 19, is the creator of butterfly-project.tumblr.com, an anonymous blog that has helped thousands, including herself, recover from self-injury, eating disorders, addiction and suicide. Today, the blog has more than 14,000 followers who have submitted their stories of struggle, hope and recovery.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and is synonymous with big ideas delivered in short, direct “talks” that showcase passion, innovation and inspiration.  These talks are featured online at TED.com and at TED events around the globe.  Approved organizations can present “TEDx” events of their own, honoring the TED concept and format.  In this, its second year, TEDx FIU will again showcase the pre-event efforts of speaking coaches Joann Brown, chair of the Communication Arts Department and Char Eberly, Assistant Director of the CommArts Studio.

Communication Arts faculty Nurhayat Bilge serves as the faculty advisor to the club.  She reports that club members were in awe of Alexa’s talk from the first time she presented it to the group.  “When Alexa first told her story and shared her idea, we were all blown away.  We knew that if she was brave enough to tell her story, every person within the sound of her voice would be deeply moved.”

To join the TEDxFIU Club, just come to the next meeting; meetings are  on Wednesdays at 3pm in VH 219 on the MMC campus.

To see Alexa and the other TEDx speakers in person on November 7 at 5:30pm, ticket holders can attend the main event at Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center at MMC.  For those who want to watch, there will be live streaming online at TEDXFIU.com, in the Graham Center Pit on MMC, and at the College of Architecture + The Arts’ Miami Beach Urban Studios (420 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach, FL 33139).

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FIU Debate Team Wins Local Tournament!

FIU Debate Team won first place in the local Voice Matters debate tournament, held on October 26, with individual debaters also earning awards.  Jennifer Kleinberg won the “First Speaker’s Award” and the final round against the University of Miami along with Ro Vi, who won the “Third Speaker’s Award”!  Joliette Re was declared second best speaker, and debated on a hybrid team with a student from Miami Dade College.

Debate Team Winning Certificate -Miami 2013Everyone performed well and the wins reflected a great team effort before and during the event! The tournament was hosted by Miami Dade College and was in celebration of national Free Speech Week.  The tournament is part of a larger effort from area universities to promote debate in South Florida and make South Florida a hub of college debate through the formation of a new South Florida Debate League. The next area tournament will be hosted by the University of Miami in December.

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CommArts Studio Helps Speakers Prepare for TEDx FIU!

TEDx FIU RehearsalsTEDx FIU 2013 is coming and Communication Arts is helping the speakers get ready for the big stage. Rehearsals have been underway for several weeks at the CommArts Studio and speaking coaches Joann Brown and Char Eberly report that things are coming together. With the event organizers, Deborah O’Neal and Eddie Merrille from FIU Media Relations, Brown and Eberly have been helping speakers develop the best way to tell their stories.  And what amazing stories they are!  From stories of discovery to recovery, they tell listeners what happens when you walk to the beat of a different drum, search for solutions, or look at things through another’s eyes.

In a recent rehearsal, Physics professor Pete Markowitz and CARTA Artist-in-Residence Xavier Cortada rehearsed their talk while O’Neal and Eberly watched with critical eyes.  In the end, the speakers were applauded for what was clearly the result of some outside practice and they received advice on how to better manage the various “hand offs” between their sections.  Urging one to slow down a bit and one to pick up the pace, the coaches’ consensus was that they were almost ready.

After the rehearsal, as the two speakers checked their calendars and made plans to get together for some more practice, the coaches looked on and smiled.

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