Lambda Pi Eta Making Strides to Become More Active

The Lambda Pi Eta Chapter at the University of Kansas is making strides to become a more active chapter, both in membership and also involvement at the university and in the local community. Lambda Pi Eta is a nationally recognized honor society that recognizes, fosters, and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement while stimulating interest in the communication discipline. LPH represents what Aristotle described in The Rhetoric as three ingredients of persuasion: logos (Lambda), meaning logic; pathos (Pi), relating to emotion; and ethos (Eta), defined as character credibility and ethics.

The chapter has long been established at the University, but involvement and activity was revived in the spring of 2014 when Dr. Jay Childers became the faculty advisor. In the spring of 2015 Dr. Angela Gist volunteered to be the new faculty advisor for Lambda Pi Eta. At that point, Cassandra Bird, a doctoral student and Assistant Basic Course Director, was also appointed as the graduate advisor. Dr. Gist’s experience in working with the University of Missouri Lambda Pi Eta Chapter has proven to be beneficial in rebooting and energizing forward movement of the organization. As a result, membership has grown exponentially, from five students last spring to twenty-two students this fall. Ally Northrup, President of Lambda Pi Eta’s Alpha Mu chapter and Jacob Elberg, serving as Vice President, are the current initiated members. The following new members will be initiated on November 30th, 2015:

Gabriel Alaniz
Natalie Baldinger
Abigail Cauble
Chelsea Cullen
Patricia Donahue
Bailey Fee
Matthew Frederick
Alexandria Hernandez
Mary Holden
Daniel Jenab
Roon Johnson
Miriam Levine
Erin Martin
Ian Mirsch
Thomas Murphy
Jonathan Shafer
Sydney Studer
Taylor Tobin

Currently, the organization is identifying ways in which they can become more involved on campus and in the local Lawrence community. Members participated in the Student Involvement & Leadership Center’s (SILC) Information Fair on Daisy Hill for the recruitment of new members and to inform freshman of the exciting opportunities available in the Communication Studies department. Additionally, members are volunteering at the Linkugel Speech Competition, a bi-annual speech competition that students from the Speaker Audience Communication course (the introduction to public speaking course) participate in to promote public speaking and civic engagement. Lambda Pi Eta is also identifying a local Lawrence non-profit organization to support by hosting a  philanthropic event to either raise money and/or supplies as a way to connect and give back to the local community.​

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Colloquium Series speaker Dr. Angela Gist

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Dr. Angela Gist, an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies, was recently featured as a guest speaker in the departmental colloquium series. Dr. Gist received her Bachelors from Ohio University in Journalism and Advertising, her Masters from University of Georgia in Mass Communication and Advertising, and her Doctorate from the University of Missouri in Organizational Communication. Dr. Gist is in her second year of teaching and research at the University of Kansas and has quickly become very involved in the local campus community. Her research interests broadly focus on organizational communication, with a more specific focus on social mobility, social class, and power.

Dr. Gist’s presentation, entitled “Qualitative and Theoretical Inquiry of Working-Class Dignity Violations in Organizations”, focused on the experiences of the working-class. Themes of her research included the linguistic infantilization of the working-class unemployed, classed disproportionate (dis)respectful social interaction, and the inherent inequality that is embedded into the institution of work.

The first of the two studies that she presented took a critical ethnographic approach to further explore a blue-collar unemployment support organization. “The findings of this study critique the organizational culture revealing that the organization operates on an implicit assumption that infantilizes the working-class unemployed and produces tension-filled, productive-destructive results in the experiences of the working-class job seekers”, says Dr. Gist.

Additionally, Dr. Gist discussed a research project that she co-authored with Dr. Kristen Lucas from the University of Louisville, that focused on a duel-path model by which managerial practices negatively impact dignity.

“I am joining an interdisciplinary scholarly conversation that seeks to empower marginalized voices.  As a critical interpretive scholar, the work I do ultimately seeks to ethically foreground the stories and experiences of individuals with lower social class status, so that we can all have a better understanding of their standpoint.  I hope to impact organizational communication by nuancing the knowledge we have regarding identity differences and by illustrating the way engaged scholarship can positively construct and improve local communities”, says Dr. Gist on the impact of her scholarly work in the organization communication field.

Communication Studies has hosted the colloquium series since the fall semester of 2008. Speakers are selected by the Colloquium Committee and come from a wide range of research backgrounds and interests. The goal of hosting the Colloquium Series is to learn from fellow scholars, enrich interdisciplinary relationships, and celebrate research that continues to impact our discipline and others.

We would like to thank Dr. Gist for sharing her research. Additionally, many thanks to those that have presented in the past and those that we look forward to hosting in the future!

If you would like to find more information on the Colloquium Series, please visit this link.

(Pro)Social event speaker Dr. Angela Gist

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On October 23rd, 2015, Dr. Angela Gist, an Assistant Professor in Communication Studies, was the guest speaker for a (Pro)Social event. (Pro)Social is an organization that works to promote social support among graduate students in Communication Studies during their time at the University of Kansas.

As an organizational communication scholar, Dr. Gist has researched the power of networking communication in both online and interpersonal contexts. She presented several networking tools and practices that will aid individuals as they seek to build their social networks and make connections that will prove beneficial once graduate students are on the job market. She covered online tools, such as LinkedIn, building a personal website, and how to brand yourself online. Additionally, she shared personal practices of connecting with others and maintaining professional relationships. “Networking has the power to transform your career by leveraging professional relationships as opportunistic resources”, Dr. Gist said.

Natalie Hoskins, a doctoral student and president of (Pro)Social said, “As someone who is currently on the job market, I enjoyed Dr. Gist’s presentation and found it to be very useful. Her LinkedIn advice helped me fine tune my self-presentation online. However, the biggest takeaway for me, was learning that the seeds of social networking need to be planted far in advance of when you actually wish to reap what you sow. You can’t expect to make meaningful connections overnight.”

Dr. Gist’s genuine enthusiasm and passion for helping those around her succeed in developing and implementing valuable networking skill sets truly helped those in attendance reflect on the importance of networking and gain new knowledge on effective ways to do so. Thank you, Dr. Gist!

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.