38th Annual OSCLG Conference attended by COMS Jayhawks past and present

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KU Communication Studies graduate students, faculty, and alumni presented, collaborated, and gained new knowledge at the 38th Annual Conference of The Organization for the Study of Communication, Language and Gender (OSCLG) in Kentucky during September 30-October 4, 2015.

Among the attending were current graduate students Haley Vellinga, Francis Soto, Josh Morgan, COMS Professor Dr. Adrianne Kunkel, and alumni Jennifer Guthrie (now a professor at UNLV), Jimmie Manning (now a professor at NIU), Mary Beth Asbury (now a professor at MTSU), Phillip Wagner (now a professor and administrator at University of South Florida, Manatee), and Courtney McDaniel (now an MA student at UNLV).

Dr. Phillip Wagner presented his work on male fitness spaces and ideas of masculinity and the body. When asked what he thought was the best part of reconnecting with current Jayhawks, he said, “While the conference was pretty big, KU, by far, had the biggest representation. It also reminded me that no matter how far you go or how long you’ve been away, you can pick up right where you left off. Some Jayhawks had left almost a decade ago—some are still there—yet we were all like family. That’s what makes me so proud to be a Jayhawk.”

Additionally, Josh Morgan presented his research on gender and sexuality expectations, specifically examining rural LGBTQIA narratives. Courtney McDaniel, Dr. Adrianne Kunkel, and Dr. Jennifer Guthrie also gave presentations on their research.

Frances Soto had the following to say about her first conference experience: “The most rewarding takeaway was being able to strengthen my bond with my colleagues from KU in an inclusive, safe, feminist space. It was so beneficial to my academic identity to be around distinguished feminist scholars and learn about the important intersectional issues which connect us all within our society; issues that should be discussed more, not only here at KU, but also within our communities.”

As those who attended the conference returned home, Bailey Hall was filled with many positive remarks and energized researchers. “In terms of the conference, it was amazing to have 8 of my past and current students at the conference. I am so proud of all of them and it was just so incredible to see how some of them have really grown into great scholars over the years, particularly the ones who finished several years ago,” says Dr. Adrianne Kunkel.

Next year, the OSCLG conference will be held in Chicago, Illinois. We hope to have a strong Jayhawk presence again next year, both from Jayhawks near and far!

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Departmental Spotlight – Weston Weibe

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Weston Weibe is second year PhD. student and a first year Assistant Basic Course Director. Weston’s positive attitude and willingness to help are just two characteristics that shine in his roles as an ABCD, graduate student, and teaching assistant!  Read more about Weston below!

Please tell us about yourself, your research interests, and where you are in your studies:

I am a second year PhD student who studies interpersonal and intergroup communication. I am particularly interested in intergenerational conflict within families.

What has been the most rewarding experience working as an Assistant Basic Course Instructor?

Chipotle messed up one of our orders up during orientation. After two long months of attempting to contact the Lawrence manager, I met with him and he gave me a free burrito.

What has been the most challenging experiences or moments thus far?

I work with three very hard working individuals who are really good at what they do. It’s challenging to keep up.

What are some of your favorite hobbies when you aren’t busy teaching classes, researching, and working as a ABCD?

My newest hobby has been working on some woodworking projects with one of my roommates which has been fun. I also love to be outside, am involved with my church, and travel to Branson on a fairly consistent basis.

 

Departmental Spotlight – Gretchen Montgomery

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Gretchen Montgomery is a MA/Ph.D. student and a first year Assistant Basic Course Director. She has so much passion and zest for education and pedagogy! Thank you for all that you do for our basic course and the department, Gretchen!

Please tell us about yourself, your research interests, and where you are in your studies:

I am taking my first year of PhD coursework and finishing up my thesis project this semester. My research focuses on intergroup communication, specifically questions about language and identity.

What has been the most rewarding experience working as an Assistant Basic Course Instructor?

Helping with orientation was great! I really enjoyed meeting and working with all of our new GTAs. I like the problem-solving aspect of the Basic Course, and being able to support our instructors when they have questions or concerns. Also, it’s always great to hear them talk about their successes in the classroom!

What have been the most challenging experiences thus far?

Any transition to a new role comes with challenges! Mostly it’s been trying to find a balance in my schedule between teaching, classes, and the Basic Course.

What are some of your favorite hobbies when you aren’t busy teaching classes, researching, and working as a ABCD?

I really enjoy cooking and learning about food. It’s my favorite way to de-stress, plus it’s a great way to think through ideas for class and research. Getting my mind distracted with cooking/baking is always when I have my breakthroughs! 🙂

I also have a 2 year old lab mix, Fiona, who is an absolute joy! We love going to the park and spending time outside.