The Department of Communication Studies received the 2015 National Communication Association “Program of Distinction” award for its basic course—SPCM 200 Public Speaking. The award honors outstanding basic course programs in communication departments around the nation. The department’s basic course has a long history of success in preparing undergraduate students for success in college and beyond, and for training the next generation of communication teachers. On average, communication studies GTAs receive 22 hours of teacher training prior to stepping into a classroom to teach Public Speaking, and an additional 42 hours of training throughout their first semester. According to a report by the University GTA Training Taskforce, SPCM 200 was identified as a model program for GTA training at CSU. “This award for our excellence in undergraduate and graduate teaching along with our remarkable record of scholarly success confirms that the department weaves together outstanding teaching and world-class scholarship” Greg Dickinson, department chair, asserted.
This fall the communication studies relational and organizational studies faculty grew by one with the arrival of Assistant Professor Dr. Ziyu Long. You can read more about Dr. Long’s background and research interests here.
As this magazine goes to ‘print’ we’re in the midst of hiring two new faculty members: one in media and visual culture and the other in rhetoric and civic engagement. These new hires bring our faculty count to 17.
In early October we celebrated Dr. Hye Seung Chung’s successful application to tenure and promotion to Associate Professor. Chung specializes in race and ethnicity in American popular culture, East Asian cinema, feminist film theory, and global media. Before coming to CSU in the fall of 2011, Dr. Chung taught at the University of Michigan, Hamilton College, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Oakland University.
Among the transitions we will face together this year and next is the departure of Dr. Cindy Griffin, who retires this spring. Griffin arrived at CSU in 1993 from Indiana University and embarked on a remarkable career as a teacher, scholar, and community member.
Her co-authored paper, “Beyond Persuasion: A Proposal for an Invitational Rhetoric,” is one of the most heavily cited essays in the field of communication studies, but her work also expanded beyond invitational rhetoric. For example, her essay, “Rhetoricizing Alienation: Mary Wollstonecraft and the Rhetorical Construction of Women’s Oppression,” is one of the most innovative essays on materiality in the field, and her recent work on civility has been groundbreaking.
Griffin is also a stellar teacher and mentor. Her classes on gender and civility always fill, students talk about the transformational character of the classes, and she has easily directed as many M.A. theses as any current faculty member. She has served the entire field as a passionate and committed mentor, helping women in particular find their way in the field.
Department Chair Greg Dickinson marks Griffin’s arrival to the department as cementing the department’s sea change. “With her arrival—and with many subsequent hires,” Dickinson says, “CSU’s communication studies department became the premier communication department in the Intermountain West. Cindy’s scholarship, teaching, and service exemplify the best of what our department is and will be—smart, rigorous, committed, diverse, engaged, and transformative.”