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2008 News Archives

December 2008:

» Communication undergraduates in Stacy Holman Jones's Performance Art class “brought the thunder” to the USF Majors Fair. Held in the new Marshall Center on November 18, the event provided information and materials to undeclared students. But only the Communication Department had a barker, Geoff Silpa, complete with top hat and cane; individual performances by Ricky Cona and Ally Nichols; “sit-down” interviews with Jason Gaskins and Aston Samuels; and interactive performance pieces—all developed and presented by the Performance Art class. Leslie Tod, Undergraduate Advisor, and Elizabeth Bell, Director of Undergraduate Students, were on hand to provide more traditional information about the Communication major.

Front row, left to right: Geoff Silpa, Ally Nichols, Christina Yarber; Back row, left to right: Ricky Cona, Jillia Harder, Leandra Hanfield, R-J Vida, Stacy Holman Jones, Meghan Fenlock, Jessica Adams, Aston Samuels, Jason Gaskins

Leslie Tod and Geoff Silpa answer the question, "What can you do with a Communication degree?"

Jason Gaskins and Aston Samuels conduct interviews with students asking about Communication.

» Carolyn Ellis’s most recent book, Revision: Autoethnographic Reflections on Life and Work, appeared last week, published by Left Coast Press.

» Arthur P. Bochner from the University of South Florida delivered the 2008 NCA Presidential address entitled, "Communication's Calling: On the Importance of What We Care About." Click here to listen to the audio file. (33 Megabyte download)

» USF highlights at the recent NCA Convention in San Diego included Art Bochner's Presidential Address, Ken Cissna receiving the Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship, and the USF Party.

art speaking
Art Bochner delivering Presidential Address

Ken Cissna receiving Phillips Award from Art Bochner

Mariaelena Bartesaghi and Navita Cummings James with Klaus Krippendorff

USF Party at Dick's Last Resort

Mark Orbe with graduate students Antione Hardy and Robin Boylorn and alumni Nigel Malcolm (Ph.D. 2005)

November 2008:

Leslie Tod

» Leslie Tod, the Communication Department's Undergraduate Advisor extraordinaire, has been named Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor by the University of South Florida, a well-deserved recognition for a job very well done.

Bob Gonzalez and Elizabeth Bell » Bob Gonzalez successfully defended his dissertation, The Drama of Collaborative Creativity: A Rhetorical Analysis of Hollywood Film Making-of-Documentaries, becoming the Department’s 70th Ph.D. The dissertation was directed by Elizabeth Bell, and committee members included David Payne, Eric Eisenberg, and Doneleen Loseke (of sociology). Kim Golombisky (Ph.D. 2001) of the School of Mass Communications served as the External Chair.

» Several communication graduate students had papers accepted for USF’s “Global Challenges for the 21st Century” Graduate Student Research Symposium on November 7th, including Amina Iraqi’s “Communication and Culture in the United Nations,” Dana Schowalter’s “Marital Naming ‘Options’ and Identity Construction,” and Ardis Hanson’s “Within and Beyond the Limits of Disability: Hope as a Global Mental Health Paradigm.”

September 2008:

» Mary Poole successfully defended her dissertation, The Class of '65: Boomers at Sixty Recall Turning Points That Shaped Their Lives, which was directed by Carolyn Ellis.

August 2008:

» Eric Eisenberg has been named Interim Dean of USF’s College of Arts and Sciences, effective August 2008.

» Art Bochner and Carolyn Ellis will be on sabbatical leave during the 2008-09 academic year.

» The department welcomes new assistant professor Ambar Basu and visiting assistant professor Mahuya Pal. Both received their Ph.D.s last spring from Purdue University.

June 2008:

» Four doctoral students successfully defended their dissertations recently, including Tony Adams (directed by Art Bochner), whose dissertation is titled Learning, Living, and Leaving the Closet: Making Gay Identity Relational; Andrew Herrmann (also directed by Art Bochner), whose dissertation is titled Socialization and Transitional Academic Identity: Sensemaking Narratives of the New Communication Faculty; Kendall Smith-Sullivan (directed by Carolyn Ellis), whose dissertation is titled The Autoethnographic Call: Current Considerations and Possible Futures; and Angie Day (directed by Jane Jorgenson), whose dissertation is titled Family Business Daughters: The Ties that Bind and Divide.

Since our first students graduated in 1995, 68 students have completed the Ph.D. with us. Congratulations all!

» Ken Cissna will receive the 2008 Gerald M. Phillips Award for Distinguished Applied Communication Scholarship at the National Communication Association’s convention in November.

May 2008:

» Art Bochner was named University Distinguished Professor, one of two USF faculty so honored this year and the only one from the College of Arts and Sciences. His new title will be bestowed formally at the Fall 2008 Faculty Honors and Awards Ceremony.

» Doctoral student Jillian Tullis Owen was one of 12 GTAs at USF to receive the Provost’s Commendation for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

April 2008:

» Elissa Wilds successfully defended her MA thesis "God vs. Goddess: Constructing Gender and Defining Self Through the Religion of Wicca" (directed by Navita Cummings James). She has accepted a position as Director - Quality Assurance with a world leader in insurance and financial services. In her spare time, she pens paranormal fiction novels and has recently secured a 2-book deal with Dorchester Publishing.

» Mary Billington (right), winner of the Persuasive Speech Contest on Communication Day, poses with Emily Ryalls, her Public Speaking instructor.

persuasive speech winner

» Elizabeth Bell, chair of USF's Women's Status Committee, gave a presentation to the President's Title IX Committee at its April meeting. She described the results of a recently concluded survey of 3800 faculty, staff, and students regarding women's issues at USF and provided a framework for collaboration between the Women’s Status and Title IX committees. USF’s Title IX Committee is chaired by one of our alumni, Kim Golombisky (Ph.D., 2001), associate professor of mass communications at USF.

» USF’s N.I.T.E. organization, advised by doctoral student Rachel Silverman, won both the “Student Organization Program of the Year award (for its Take Back the Night rally) and the “Outstanding Student Organization of the Year” at the Celebration of University Leadership award ceremony.

» Karla Stevenson (B.A., 2003), currently a doctoral candidate in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa and President of the Chicago chapter of the USF Alumni Association, spoke recently on campus in a “Meet and Greet” sponsored by the USF Living Learning Communities and the Department of Housing and Residential Education.

» J. Emmett Winn (Ph.D., 1999) recently published The American Dream and Contemporary Hollywood Cinema (New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc., 2007), 163 pages, $110.00 (hard cover).

» Scenes from the Communication Day Banquet:

Incoming and newly crowned GCA Co-Presidents David Lee and Dana Schowalter

Jillian Tullis Owen, recipient of the Barney Downs Spirit Award, poses with Emeritus Professor Barney Downs and David Payne

Andrew Herrmann and Tony Adams, co-recipients of the Arthur P. Bochner Award for Outstanding Doctoral Student, pose with Art Bochner

4 X Formal: Doctoral students Rachel Silverman, Robin Boylorn, Emily Ryalls, and Jillian Tullis Owen

» MA student Ally Rhodes and Communication alumna Lillian Lima (BA, 2002) received 2008 Women's Leadership Awards from USF President Judy Genshaft. Rhodes was honored for her roles as student activist, organizer, and leader, working on a variety of social justice projects and in USF student groups, including the Feminist Student Alliance and USF Voices for Planned Parenthood. She has organized USF events for V Day, the ClothesLine Project, and spearheaded student involvement in sexual equality, reproductive rights, and environmental issues. Doctoral student Rachel Silverman, member of the Women's Status Committee, introduced Ally's work and President Genshaft presented the award. Lima was honored for her work in developing and implementing MOAR, “Making Opportunities by Accepting Responsibility,” the Attorney General of Florida’s character development program for middle-school girls, focusing on school achievement, personal development, and community involvement. Lillian reached 2,800 at-risk girls through MOAR, encouraging them to set, meet, and exceed their own goals. Dr. Sandy Cooper (PhD, Communication, 2007) introduced Lillian's work and President Genshaft presented the award. Dr. Elizabeth Bell, Professor of Communication, chairs the Women's Status Committee, a presidential advisory committee at USF.

Rachel and Ally  lilian lima
Rachel Silverman and Ally Rhodes with President Genshaft.     Sandy Cooper, Elizabeth Bell, and Lillian Lima with President Genshaft.

» Doctoral Candidates Robin Boylorn and Liz Edgecomb are each recipients of USF's Golden Bull Award, which honors students for embodying core values of USF (e.g., leadership within the community; public service; academic acheivement; experience and understanding of diversity; personal and professional potential; and demonstrated commitment to respect, integrity, and civility).

» Three doctoral students successfully defended their dissertations this month: Gary Carson, Time Bending: Temporal Malleability and Organizational Response in Crisis Situations (directed by Eric Eisenberg); Linda Levitt, Hollywood Forever: Culture, Celebrity, and the Cemetery (co-directed by Marcy Chvasta and Mark Neumann); and Jeanine Minge, Cob Building: Movements and Moments of Survival (directed by Stacy Holman Jones). Congratulations to everyone!

Levitt Defense
Dr. Linda Levitt (center) poses with her committee members, Professor Lou Marcus (Photography), Dr. Michael LeVan, Dr. Mark Neumann, and Dr. Marcy Chvasta. Committee Members Gil Rodman and Janna Jones were mediated participants (and are represented by the speaker phone and computer speakers). Not pictured is outside chair Dan Belgrad (American Studies).

» Eric Eisenberg spoke recently on his research related to communication in hospital emergency rooms. At the College’s downtown Lunch with a Scholar event, his topic was “Safety in Crisis: Effective Communication in the ER,” and at Saint Louis University he spoke on "Healthy Handoffs: Promoting Effective Transitions of Care."

» Art Bochner received the first “Distinguished Alumni Award” from the College of Arts and Sciences at California State University (Pennsylvania), where he received his B.S. in Speech Communication in 1968.

» Carolina Fernandez successfully defended her thesis, "Capitalism, Consumerism, and Individualism: Investigating the Rhetoric of The Secret," on April 9, 2008 (directed by Marcy Chvasta). Carolina has also accepted an assitantship starting this Fall in the doctoral program of the Department of Communication at the University of Minnesota.

Pictures from the SSCA convention in Savannah (clockwise from top left): (i) David Payne and Deb Walker (Ph.D., 2005); (ii) Cris Davis (Ph.D. 2002) introducing spotlight panel honoring Ken Cissna. Panelists include Slavica Kodish (Ph.D., 2004), Vi Asmuth (Ph.D., 2004), Peg Ostrenko (Ph.D. 2002), Michael Arrington (Ph.D., 2002), Chuck Grant (Ph.D., 1997—obscured), and Linda Vangelis (Ph.D., 2006); (iii) Art Bochner, Gin Kohl (Ph.D., 2002), and Deborah Austin (Ph.D., 1998); (iv) Carolyn Ellis and Chuck Grant (Ph.D., 1997).

» USF faculty, students, and alumni were especially prominent in the recent Southern States Communication Association convention in Savannah (April 3-6). To give you just a few highlights:

Among the faculty:
· Art Bochner received SSCA’s Michael M. Osborn Teacher-Scholar Award
· Carolyn Ellis and Ken Cissna had spotlight programs honoring them

Among our students:
· Carly Geiseler, Andrew Herrmann, and Sarah McGhee received top paper awards
· Yvonne Kline and Andrew Herrmannreceived top paper honorable mention awards
· Sarah McGhee, Mike Nicholas, Steve Schoen, and Carolina Fernandez were on “Top Four” student paper panels
· 19 current students gave 35 papers or panel presentations

Among our alumni:
· Cris Davis (Ph.D., 2005) received SSCA’s Janice Hocker Rushing Early Career Research Award (we’ve been keeping this one “in the family,” as it has been won now 4 of the last 5 times by faculty and alumni of USF)
· Kim Golombisky (Ph.D., 2001), Ken Zagacki (M.A., 1980s), Michael Arrington (Ph.D., 2002), Linda Vangelis (Ph.D., 2006), Elissa Foster (Ph.D. 2002), and Cris Davis (Ph.D., 2005) served as (elected) Division or Interest Group chairs or vice chairs.
· 13 alumni gave 20 papers or panel presentations, and chaired or responded to 18 programs
March 2008:

» Congratulations to Elizabeth Bell whose book, Theories of Performance (Sage Publications), appeared last week.

» Ken Cissna’s guest-coedited issue of Communication Theory, “Fresh Perspectives in Dialogue Theory,” also appeared recently. (Click the link to the issue name, where all of the pieces in the issue are currently available for free download). Congratulations to doctoral student Andrew Herrmann for his contribution to the issue, “Kierkegaard and Dialogue: The Communication of Capability.”

» Doctoral student Tony Adams received the Graduate Student Achievement Award presented by USF’s Graduate Professional Student Council.

» Graduate students Carly Geiseler, Emily Ryalls, Dana Schowalter, and Rachel Silverman produced what was described as “an outstanding panel presentation” and a “shining moment” for our department at the USF Lakeland campus. Co-sponsored by USF Lakeland Office of Diversity and Women's History Month Committee, the panel was titled “Misrepresentation of Women in the Media." They each presented a research paper related to representations of women in contemporary media/pop culture. According to a report from a member of the staff at the Lakeland campus, the quartet was rewarded with multiple rounds of applause and an extended Q & A period with a "packed house" that included faculty, students, and members of the community. They were described as—again, no surprise here—“superb ambassadors for our department, our discipline, and the academy.” Appreciation is also due Elizabeth Bell, who organized the presentation.

February 2008:

» Doctoral student Carly Gieseler had her book Killing the Vamp published by VDM Verlag Dr. Meuller e.K. in Germany. The book is based on Carly's MA thesis. The book description reads:
The cinematic vamp presents a fascinating archetypal character, functioning outside the bounds of normative societal and gender constructions. This filmic icon motivated the plot yet was often killed by the narrative end. Therefore, this book attempts to resolve the implications of the primary research question: Why did the vamp die? To answer this query, the text follows two theoretical paths. First, this book uses Michel Foucault's theories to ask: Is the vamp's death punishment for her location as a gendered "other"? Secondly, the text uses psychoanalytic approaches, and specifically the Freudian death drive, to ask: Does the vamp's death represent and embody the bondage between sex and death? These theoretical possibilities are applied in the analysis of the 1927 Clarence Brown film Flesh and the Devil. In addition, this text expands the typology of the vamp, freeing her from her archetypal roots and proving her existence throughout cinematic history. This book is directed towards researchers in Communications, Media Studies, and Film and Gender Theory. This text is also addressed to those interested in aspects of psychoanalysis and social construction and representation.
January 2008:

» Doctoral students Julia Barnhill and Jillian Tullis Owen received the “Most Accessible” Scholar to Scholar Award from NCA for their paper, “Virtual Memorials: A Place to Grieve.”