News and notes from the Communication program @ Fairfield

News

Turns out Comm Majors are Studying the Right Thing at the Right Time

Dr. Arendt tipped us off to this piece in the Huffington Post that details why Communication as a college major is so incredibly popular right now.  We knew this all along, but it is nice to get some validation.  It wash;t that long ago when folks didm;t consider the study of Communication to be a serious thing.  We know that is not true, but here is something you can share with your parents who doubt the legitimacy of your major.  Not only that, it turns out it is a good time to be considering advance degrees in Communication.  We happen to know of a great MA program in Communication very close to home! Hint. Hint.

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Visit us at the Major/Minor Fair on 10/15!

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Visit us at the Major/Minor Fair Wednesday 10/15 in the Oak Room.  Be sure to have any of your friends looking to declare a major in Communication to see Dr. Gudelunas ASAP.  It is important to be a declared major PRIOR to registration so that you can access all the great classes we will be offering in the Department of Communication.  Since Communication classes are closed to majors only you must have a declared major to get a seat in most of classes.

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Study in Ireland with Dr. Pagano!

IreDr. Pagano will be offering a one-week, three credit course: CO 348 Health Risk vs. Health Promotion: An Irish Perspective, at the National University of Ireland in Galway (NUI-G) this summer, June 13-22, 2015.   Students will stay in housing near the university, attend classes at NUI-G, as well as an NUI-G sponsored Health Promotions Conference. This course will provide students an excellent opportunity to experience Irish culture, explore Ireland’s approach to health behavior change, and expand your knowledge of global healthcare issues.  Contact him for more information!

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Comm professors with “Two from the Times”

IMG_1959Drs. Serazio and Gudelunas from the Department of Communication were on stage last night with Dr. Eliasoph (VPA) to moderate a discussion with Alessandra Stanley and Frank Bruni from the New York Times as part of the Open Visions Forum.  Many Communication majors were in the audience and the discussion about television, new media technologies and college life was certainly something of interest to all of our majors. Dr. Serazio is deputy director for the Open Visions Forum which brings great conversations to the Quick Center throughout the year.

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Welcome Dr. Nuru!

Have you met our newest faculty member? We have, and she is great!

The Department of Communication is thrilled to welcome our newest colleague Dr. Audra Nuru. Audra recently completed her PhD at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her work examines how individuals from minority social groups communicate to make sense of themselves, their relationships, and their relational roles. Her research on multiethnic-racial identity has been recognized by non-profit organizations in the southeast for linking research with praxis. Further, she has worked with family therapists and guidance counselors to design workshops, seminars and outreach programs to facilitate the development of healthy self-concepts among multiethnic/racial and LBGTQ communities. She has earned fellowships with the University of Georgia to do research in Costa Rica and has studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, France. Welcome Audra! be sure to stop by and say hello and welcome her to campus. Her office is on the second floor of DMH, right next to Dr. Zhang.

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The Department of Communication hosts AJCU Communication Conference on campus

This past week the Department of Communication played host to over 45 faculty members from Jesuit institutions around the country who teach and research in communication, film, journalism and related fields.  The conference was a smashing success and included panels and sessions on pedagogy, research trends, mission and identity topics and host of other conversations.  Visiting Faculty and Deans toured the Bellarmine museum, walked campus and even had a clambake on Sheffield Island in the Long Island sound.10523225_10152183947137312_7778973158333277251_n

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Congratulations to our 2014 Communication Graduates!

On Sunday, March 18th Fairfield University held its 64th Commencement exercises.  Over 100 undergraduate Communication majors and 12 Masters students received their degrees in separate ceremonies held under gloriously sunny skies.  Congratulations to our graduate and undergraduate students, please stay in touch!10344351_10152088989900913_838559128122903038_o 10368899_10152088991125913_2110146424882092910_o

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Farewell Dean Crabtree

Dean Robbin Crabtree, a Professor of Communication and former Chair of the Department of Communication, will be leaving Fairfield for our sister school, LMU in Los Angeles this summer.  It is difficult to say goodbye to sic a wonderful colleague.  Below the Communication Faculty (and special guest star Dr. David Sapp) are toasting farewell to our colleague Dr. Crabtree.  Dr. Crabtree was a favorite teacher when she was serving as chair of the Department and served for six years as the chair of what is now the largest major in the College.  She presided over a period of growth for the major, the hires of several new faculty and the development of graduate program in Communication.  Good luck Dr. Crabtree from all of us in the Department of Communication!

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Congratulations Kaitlyn Banazynski

Senior Communication Major Kaitlyn Banazynski was named the Outstanding Achievement in Communication Award Winner and is pictured here receiving her award with Departmental Chair Dr. David Gudelunas.  Congratulations!042814_CAS_Awards_77

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Dr. Barbie Zelizer on Campus

Dr. Barbie Zelizer from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania was on campus last week to deliver a very popular lecture on “Remembering to Forget: Images from the Holocaust” for an event sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies and the Department of Communication.  Dr. Zelizer was an advisor to both Dr. Gudelunas and Dr. Serazio and her lecture proved very popular with the campus community.

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Congratulations to CAS Award winners from Comm!

The Department of Communication was well-represented at the annual College of Arts and Sciences Awards night on April 28th, 2015.  Graduating Senior Kaitlyn Banazynski was honored with the Award for Achievement in communication and Michelle Lesko was presented with the James Keenan Award for Graduate Studies in Communication.  Bellow are Kaitlyn (in a #selfie moment with Dr. Gudelunas) and Michelle with grad director Dr. Zhang.  Also honored last night was Comm major Jess Mendes with the Ella Baker Award in Black Studies.  Way to go graduate and undergraduate Communication students!

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Congratulations to the Graduate Winners of the Student Achievement Awards!

The 2014 Student Achievement Awards also honored some very deserving graduate students in Communication!  Michelle Lesko, who is currently the Communication program assistant at Fairfield, has received the James Keenan Award.  Angela Rudas has also been honored with The Graduate Student Service Award.   A huge congratulations to these two!

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Congratulations to our Undergraduate Student Achievement Award Winners!

A big congratulations to the 2014 Student Achievement Award Winners! The Student Achievement Awards are given out each year to recognize outstanding seniors who have enhanced a specific University program. The senior’s commitment to this activity must have resulted in the program or organization attaining a new level of achievement not possible without the senior’s leadership and guidance.  This year’s undergraduate award winner are:

  • Alexander Long for his Commitment to the Fairfield University Community
  • Outstanding Achievement in Communication Award:  Kaitlyn Banazynski
  • Outstanding Communication Service:  Hannah Patridge

 

Kaitlyn Banazynski, a Communications major and Marketing minor expressed her thoughts on the Communication department in Fairfield by stating, “My experience at Fairfield and in internships has been largely shaped by the Professors in the Comm. department.  I’ve only had good experiences and feel like I’m leaving with a lot of mentors.” Currently, she is involved in an independent study with Dr. Gisela to complete research for her Honors Thesis called “Framing Corporate Social Responsibility: A Computer-Assisted Text Analysis of Statements by Fortune 500 Tech Companies.”  This project aims to fill the gap between Fortune 500’s financial oriented list and the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR).  She is leaving for DePauw University (Indiana) tomorrow to present her group’s capstone paper, “Attitudes Towards Online Learning in the Advent of MOOCS.”   Her experience in the field has inspired her to take more of an interest in her minor in Marketing and eventually plans to pursue her MBA. 

Hannah Patridge from Denver, CO is also a Communications major with a minor in English and has also learned a lot about herself and her hopes for the future during her time in the Communication program at Fairfield.  Having taken an interest in nonprofit work and having a lot of valuable experience under her belt, Hannah states, “Going forward, I’m interested in working for innovative and mission-driven organizations and companies where I can wear different hats, use my skills, and be challenged every day. This may or may not be in a nonprofit, but I have realized that if I can really sink my teeth into what the organization is doing, then I will have the passion to go just about anywhere.”  Hannah also mentioned that since freshman year, she knew that whatever her future career path, she wanted to make a difference in the world for the better.  She added, “I still want to make a difference in the world, Now I just have a better idea of how to do that.”

 

Congratulations again to these extremely deserving winners!

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Great Turn Out for Careers in Communication 2014

Over 100 Communication majors packed the Kelley Center on Monday Night for the Annual “Careers in Communication” event sponsored by the Department of Communication and the Career Planning Center.  Special thanks to Dr. Sallyanne Ryan and Sue Quinlivan from the CPC for creating another wonderful edition of the annual event.  Obviously, we are very grateful to our panelists as well – all wonderful examples of how a Communication degree pays off after graduation!  Thank you to Molly Barone (’13), Sasha Campbell (’11), Diane Carter (’13), Liz Brady (’04) and Alissa Mebus (’08) for sharing their path to success with our majors. photo

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2014 Careers in Communication Event

If you are Comm major you should be here:  The annual Careers in Communication event.  Seriously, this is a networking, information-gathering, career-relevant event that is must-attend.  Be there.  Really.

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Advising Starts April 1!

Comm Majors:  Advising starts April 1.  Everything you need to know about advising can be found here.  Go on, click!

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A must attend lecture on media in Latin America! Wed 3/19!

Here is what promises to be a great lecture being coordinated by our very own Dr. Gisela Gil-Egui. Plan on attending and learning some fascinating stuff. The Department of Communication is proud to co-sponsor this event.poster

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Communication Students Reach Out to Local High Schools Regarding Alcohol Abuse Awareness

On February 12th, seven undergraduate Communication students, headed by Professor Maggie Wills, participated in the local Warde High School’s second annual “Life after Warde” program designed to help high school seniors navigate their future college campus and find ways to connect with others apart from engaging in the drinking culture.  Warde High School sought out Fairfield University students and faculty to assist with this program by providing their insight on college life and drinking in a Q&A session.  Professor Maggie Wills gladly attached herself to the program and was able to turn participation in this program into a fun and beneficial project for some of her CO 101 students.  This year, she recruited a number of students from her classes to take part in the University Curriculum Infusion of Alcohol Use/Abuse Program, where she asked these students to choose a topic related to alcohol abuse and create a presentation for their informative or persuasive speaking assignment.  Some of the titles of student speeches from this year included:

Campus Resources – Working Together (Alexis Espinell, ‘14)

Alcohol Awareness – The Role of Family (Lilly Savage, ‘16)

Party Alternatives – So Much to Do (Patrick Kiernan, ‘16)

Pursuing Passion – Defining your Four Years  (Alexander Long, ‘14)

Time Management – It’s not High School (Natalie Beauparlant, ‘16)

Roommates – It’s All Good (Brooke Baumgartel, ‘16)

Friends – New You and New Friends (Kristin Kelly, ‘14)

 

Professor Wills reported that she was thrilled to see how hard the students worked on developing these presentations and that this year’s program was such a success that they have been invited back to Warde High School next year.  She is currently looking for a few students to fill graduating seniors’ spots and participate in next years’ program.

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Dr. Gudelunas (squared) deliver lecture series in California

Chair of the Department of Communication, Dr. David Gudelunas, and his father, Dr. William Gudelunas, presented a series of lectures on media and American politics at the Rancho Mirage Public Library in California during the Winter break.  Dr. William Gudelunas is retired professor of History from CalState and College of the Desert in Southern California and father to Fairfield’s own Dr. David Gudelunas.  ”It was a great chance to actually share a stage with my Dad.  We have similar lecture styles as it turns out,” remarked the younger Gudelunas.  The crowd of over 350 Palm Springs retirees and their friends packed the library for the series.  ”I wish all my undergraduates knew that they would be fighting for seats for these sorts of talks 50 years down the road,” said Gudelunas.  More photos from the event can be found in Palm Springs Life here.

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Professor Maggie Wills Shows Communication Students the Importance of Fairfield’s Debate Club

Dr. Maggie Wills said she was surprised to attend the first debate club meeting and not see any communication students present.  Since becoming the advisor for the “Debate Society” at the end of last semester, her goal has been to recruit her Communication students to take part in this organization that is so helpful for developing skills for the future.  So far, she has recruited 8 students to take part and stated, “It’s great to see them attending the meetings and honing in on their argumentation skills.”  She went on to add, “It’s win-win—I think they’ll have a good foundation for presenting solid persuasive speeches in our CO 101 class, and they will also have a line on their resume that speaks to developing solid persuasive speaking skills needed for careers in PR, marketing, law, non-profits, teaching and more.”

The debate society holds it’s regular meetings on Tuesday nights in CNS 101 from 8-10pm.  Interested students can drop by for pizza and join in on a debate – working on teams to develop cases in which they propose a case or serve as the opposition.  Dr. Wills says, “these are informal and fun nights; only one or two people from each team (from 7-10 people on a team depending on who shows up at the meetings) have to actually get up and present the case for or against – and I’ve noticed that it’s the more regular attenders who grab that role. For the rest of the students, it’s just fun to develop and critique arguments on anything from “Should school uniforms be abolished?” to “Is marriage an important foundation in society?”  On Thursday nights, those students that wish to compete meet to critically develop their arguments and presentation skills.  The students are able to present in front of Dr. Wills so she can provide them with helpful feedback and advice.  This past Fall marked the first time in many years that Fairfield students attended a debate tournament, and recently students attended the APDA (American Parliamentary Debate Association) tournament at The College of New Jersey.

Dr. Wills has clearly been taking steps to grow and improve the debate society.  She even brought in Communication major alumnus, Mr. James Carlon, class of ’96 and a partner at Day Pitney LLC, in Stamford, to open the semester’s debate meetings with some remarks.  She said, . I called on him to “lead the charge,” so to speak, as I recalled his intellect and inspirational speaking style from CO 101
in the mid-90s.” By bringing in speakers to meetings, Dr. Wills hopes to set the bar high for the debaters.

You can learn more about the Fairfield University debate society from Dr. Wills or on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/fairfielddebate.

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Dr. Gudelunas edits special journal section

Dr. Gudelunas edited a special section of the new journal QED about Jodie Foster and what she did, or did not, say at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards about her sexuality.  Gudelunas culled together contributors from across the country to add pieces to the section and contributed his ow piece to the section: “Jodie Foster at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards: What She Said (and Didn’t) about Coming Out, Celebrity, and Queer Activism.”  You can check out the journal here50-214-F-78-QEDbanner1.

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Fairfield’s Communication Department to Host Summer 2014 AJCU Meeting

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The Department of Communication is excited to host faculty from across the country this summer at the annual meeting of AJCU Communication programs.  Faculty from all of the Jesuit schools will be visiting Fairfield to talk about teaching, scholarship and best practices in media, communication, journalism and related programs.  Fairfield is thrilled to show our friends from across the country our campus and our program.  Students who may be around campus this July and are interested in volunteering to help out with various tasks, we welcome your assistance.  Just reach out to Dr. Gudelunas.  You can read more about the conference here (notably the conference itself is just for faculty).

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Congratulations to Professor Michael Serazio on his new sports media research article publication!

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Michael Serazio who recently published another piece of research.  His article, titled, “The elementary forms of sports fandom: A Durheimian exploration of team myths, kinship, and totemic rituals” was published online on November 28th in the journal, International Association for Communication & Sport. 

Using the behaviors of Philadelphia Phillies baseball fans, Dr. Serazio spent his time analyzing any myths, kinships and rituals that emerged from these fan behaviors.  He chose to look at behaviors on display at public sporting events as well as through sports media during the time of the Phillies’ 2008 World Series victory.

This is not only a must read for sports fans, but for all Communication students due to the focus on behavior patterns, the media and interpersonal communication phenomena.  The link to this article is as follows:

http://com.sagepub.com/content/1/4/303.full.pdf+html

Enjoy! And congratulations again, Dr. Serazio.

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M.A. Students Take on the NCA Conference

MA Students present at the 2013 NCA Conference in Washington, D.C.

MA Students present at the 2013 NCA Conference in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to three M.A. students who have been chosen to present research papers at the 2013 National Communication Association (NCA) Conference in Washington D.C. next month.   Ryan Cassella will present his paper, “Living in TV’s digital age: Is the television producer the new starving artist?”  Ryan draws inspiration from his current position as a producer at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and commented that he was happy to focus on a topic that reflects both his career and his personal interests.  When asked about his thoughts on his research, he stated, “The digital era has brought some profound changes to the mass media industry and the individuals working within it are fully immersed in this ongoing revolution, whether they like it or not!”

Angela Rudas and Matthew Beasley will together present their research titled, ““The effects of diversity demographics on inclusiveness in the workplace.”  This was originally a project started in Dr. Zhang’s Communication Research Methods course that both students chose to continue to work on due to a shared interest in diversity and communication. Rudas said, “Diversity is rapidly growing and increasingly prevalent within the U.S. workforce. However, minimal research has empirically investigated the specific attributes and practices for diversity and inclusion within organizations.”  Beasley, who currently works in finance, stated, “It is evident that our world has been impacted by globalization. Due to globalization, our workplace has become more diverse, therefore employee diversity and inclusion has become critical to productivity and ultimately doing business.”

Dr. Michael Pagano, director of the M.A. in Communication program, said, “The faculty in the Department of Communication are extremely proud of our graduate students and recognize their very impressive research, critical thinking, and writing in our courses.  It is however, even more gratifying when we see our national association further attest to our students’ accomplishments.”  He added, “It is wonderful to see the fruits of our students’ hard work rewarded academically and scholarly, but also rewarded professionally as many of our students have earned promotions and new leadership roles based on their successful completion of our program.”

Congratulations again on these wonderful accomplishments, Matthew, Angela, and Ryan, and good luck in Washington!

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