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December 2014

Aisha Durham delivered a talk about cyberfeminism during a two-day symposium on media activism sponsored by the Annenberg Scholars Program in Communication and Culture at the University of Pennsylvania.

Her presentation titled, "Analog Girl in a Digital World," describes the ways hip hop invested, politically engaged, tech savvy Black women have applied grassroots organizing from the civil rights era to the digital age in order to address discrimination and to make popular the poetics of Black feminism.

You can learn more about the event by visiting The Scholars Program Symposium website or reading the event program.

Communication undergraduate Rachael Soloway recently attended a series of seminars hosted by the Foreign Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. During her visit she had an opportunity to discuss important issues and a little USF Bulls football with U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.). He represents Florida's 15th Congressional District which includes USF's Tampa campus.

"We focused on many issues that specifically have an impact on the lives of USF students such as education reform and economic development," said Rachael, who is at the far left in the accompanying picture. Next to her are USF students Sammy Hamed, Evan Brown, Rep. Ross, and USF students Daniel Shapiro and Alexis Sacasas.

Meredith Clements' work was recently published in the Florida Communication Journal. The article is titled "The mentoring frame: Student-Preceptor relationships in medial education."   

David Jenkins has a forthcoming article: "On His Terms, In My Words: A Narrative Exploration of Family, Loss, and Grief" to be published in the Winter edition of Departures in Critical Qualitative Research.


November 2014

Lori Roscoe was one of three scholars whose teaching excellence was recognized by the Teachers on Teaching panel at the 100th National Communication Association convention. Her graduate and undergraduate courses focus on family and health communication issues. Congratulations Lori!

Carolyn Ellis and Art Bochner received this year's Charles H. Woolbert Award from NCA for their 2000 chapter, "Autoethnography, Personal Narrative, Reflexivity: Researcher as Subject,” In "The Handbook of Qualitative Research," edited by Denzin and Lincoln.

The Woolbert award recognizes articles and book chapters that have "stood the test of time and have become a stimulus for new conceptualizations of communication phenomena." Their article has  been cited more than 2500 times and has become a foundational monograph for those doing autoethnographic and narrative ethnographic studies.

Art was also recognized as the recipient of the NCA Ethnography Division Legacy award for 2014, honoring his long career as an innovative communication scholar. As well, his book "Coming to Narrative," published by Left Coast in April 2014, was given the 2014 NCA Ethnography book award.

"Coming to Narrative" is Art's personal history of the move to narrative and interpretivism in communication and the human sciences. He is pictured with Chris Poulos who is the Past Chair of the Ethnography Division of National Communication Association.  

Heather Curry was recognized by the Top Paper panel for NCA's 100th Convention in Chicago, Philosophy of Communication division for her paper, "The Gap and the Seam: A Meditation on Politics and Intimacy," which theorizes the connections between touch, intimacy, community and politics.

Jennifer Whalen received a National Communication Association Caucus Travel Grant Award for this year’s convention in Chicago. The award recognizes Jennifer’s contributions as a student leader and presenter within the communication field. She and other recipients were recognized at NCA’s Affirmative Action and Intercaucus Committee reception. Congratulations, Jennifer!

Heather also was awarded NCA's Caucus Travel Grant for the Women's Caucus. Congratulations Heather!

Kyle Romano successfuly defended his Master's thesis, "(Dis)Abled Gaming: An Autoethnographic Analysis of Decreasing Accessibility For Disabled Gamers." You can check out Kyle's thesis by clicking here. Congratulations, Kyle!

Mariaelena Bartesaghi and Ellen Klein make notable appearances in the Italian news magazine, "l'Espresso" for their research and writings.

Mariaelena, who is a senior editor of "Journal of Medicine and The Person," is interviewed and discusses qualitative research in healthcare settings, especially her work as a discourse analyst.

Ellen (who is also on the editorial board of the journal) published an essay in JMAP that is referenced in the "l'Espresso" article. In this essay, the author, Ellen Klein, offers new possibilities for end of life care through sense making with patients that employs both ritual and improvisation in lieu of traditional medical ethical decision-making.

You can read the "l'Espresso" article (in Italian) by clicking here.

Serap Erincin participated in a panel discussion, "Transnational Fusion: North African & Arab dance meets Hip-Hop & Electronica!," as part of USF's Fall Dance Concert series. Serap joined featured choreographer Donna Mejia and Dr. Ying Zhu as part of the presentation of "THIS Bridge - Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim Artists."

You can learn more about "THIS Bridge - Arab, Middle Eastern and Muslim Artists" by visiting the Art2Action Inc. website.

Serap Erincin received the prestigious Dwight Conquergood Award from Performance Studies international. The award was presented during PSi 20 for her work on human rights performance in the Middle East and diaspora.

The Dwight Conquergood Award is PSi's way of recognizing artists, activists and emerging academics conducting research or working on projects with disenfranchised communities. 

Serap is the Provost’s Postdoctoral Scholar of Performance Studies in the Department of Communication.

Travis Bell’s sports documentary, Packer Pride had its debut at the 2014 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, which ran Nov. 7-9.

Packer Pride profiles former NFL safety Marcus Paschal who returned to his high school alma mater, Largo High School, as head football coach. Travis’ documentary illustrates how Paschal uses football to promote character in his athletes and pride in their community.

You can read more about Packer Pride here.  

October 2014

The USF St. Petersburg Honors Program presented a special screening of "Behind the Wall," a documentary film about Jerry Rawicki's experiences as a youth in Poland during the Holocaust.

Jerry shared his memories with Carolyn Ellis during a visit to Poland; his first since leaving after World War II.

The event was Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the USF St. Petersburg campus.

Narratives of cultural preservation was the topic of Janna Jones' presentation of this year's Distinguished Alumni Lecture on Oct. 8.

Janna's lecture and the following conversation with faculty and students surveyed how cinematic preservationists and archivists draw upon and influence culture.

She received her PhD in 1998 and her dissertation was titled The downtown picture palace: The significance of place, memory and cinema. Janna is now a professor at Northern Arizona State Unversity's School of Communication.

Carolyn Ellis was invited to the Second Annual Johannesburg Seminar on Qualitative Research Methods in October 2014 at The University of Johannesburg and the Centre for Work Performance, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management. While there she presented workshops on autoethnography and intimate interviewing to faculty and students from around South Africa and a keynote address, entitled "Living and relating after the Holocaust: A survivor and researcher collaborate in compassionate storytelling.”

Food and fun were on the menu for the Graduate Communication Association's potluck picnic on October 4, at USF Riverfront Park.

Egg toss and chip dip competitions were featured events with everyone enjoying Grillemaster Jennifer Whalen's hot dogs and hamburgers as well as the treats people brought to share.

September 2014

August 2014

Pursuit of excellence in performance communication is not only leading doctoral candidate David Jenkins to his PhD, but is also helping Tampa’s Jobsite Theater earn national recognition and a possible financial award.

David is the producing artistic director of Jobsite Theater, which has been named one of 40 finalists hoping to be named an American Theatre Wing National Theatre Company. The recognition comes with a $10,000 unrestricted award.

You can learn more about Jobsite Theater and David’s work by clicking here.

Ellen Klein successfully defended her dissertation Changing Landscapes: End-of-Life Care and Communication at a Zen Hospice. Congratulations, Ellen!

Monday, August 18

10:00-10:30 am CIS 3057, (Conference Room) Welcome to the department! All new graduate students meet with Dr. Basu.

10:30-11:30 am CIS 3020, 1 (Performance Lab) Round Table Introductions. The department will meet as a whole, and faculty and graduate students will introduce themselves. Dr. Payne will share thoughts on the coming year. All faculty and graduate students are invited to attend.

11:30 am-Noon Meet Your Temporary Advisor. Meet and talk with your temporary advisor.

Noon-1:00 pm CIS 3064, Graduate Communication Association Meeting and Lunch. Meet and talk with other graduate students. All graduate students are invited. Lunch provided.

1:00-1:30 pm Walking Tour of campus. Representatives of GCA will point out key sites on campus.

1:30-2:30 pm CIS 3020, Share the Wealth. Informal discussion about the joys and challenges of teaching public speaking. All past, present, and future GTAs are invited to share stories and strategies.

2:30-4:00 pm CIS 3020 (Performance Lab), Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Degree Requirements but Were Afraid to Ask (for all new and returning students). This session will provide information about how to prepare a plan of study, what to expect in the comprehensive exam, forming a dissertation committee. . . all your questions answered!

(also 2:30-4:00 in CIS 3057 Interpersonal Communication GTA training For GTAs teaching IPC for the first time).

Tuesday, August 19

10:00-11:00 am CIS 3020, (Performance Lab) Faculty Perspectives on the Graduate Experience. Faculty share their developing approaches to scholarship, graduate education, and expectations for their students. All new graduate students are invited to attend.

11-11:30am Work Room. Office Procedures, and Computer Lab (Front Office) Training.  Anne Copeland, Heidi Paintner & Makebba Spears will meet with all new GTAs for training in the work room, office procedures, and computer lab.  New faculty and postdocs are welcome.

11:30-1:30 pm Lunch with Peer Mentor. Meet your peer mentors in the front office.

1:30-4:00 pm Interest Group Meetings. New and current graduate students and faculty will come together to discuss upcoming course offerings, conferences, and topics of interest to the group. Faculty and students are encouraged to attend all or as many of the meetings as they like.  

1:30-2:15 pm CIS 3020, Relational, Organizational and Health Communication Interest Group Meeting.

2:20-3:05 CIS 3020 Approaches to Inquiry (Including Narrative, Ethnographic, Qualitative Research, & Language & Social Ineraction) Interest Group Meeting

3:10-4:00 pm CIS 3020, Critical/Culture, Rhetoric and Performance Studies Interest Group Meeting.

4:30-6:00:. Performance Event –All are invited to a special improv performance event featuring members of the department: CIS 3020.
From there the fun continues. . .

6:00 – whenever. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry at Gaspar's Patio Bar & Grille 8448 North 56th Street • Temple Terrace, Florida 33617, Telephone: 813 813-988-6959). Interested faculty and graduate students will move their conversations to Gaspar’s for food, drink, and fun.

Wednesday, August 20

2:00-3:00 pm CIS 3016, Q&A Now That You’re Working on Your Class. New GTAs are invited to drop by to discuss their newly developed syllabi, Canvas sites, or course policies with Dr. Huber.

4:30 -? Graduate Student Social at the Mermaid Tavern, 6719 Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL

Thursday, August 21

Friday, August 22

8:30 am-4:00 pm  TA Training for new teaching assistants sponsored by the Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence. Required for all new GTAs. Location TBA

6:00-9:00 Orientation Party: join us for the Department’s Night Out at New World Brewery, 1313 8th Ave, Tampa, FL

July 2014

Carolyn Day and Colin A. Forde successfully defended their dissertations.

Carolyn's dissertation is The Rhetoric of Corporate Identity: Corporate social responsibility, creating shared value, and globalization. Colin's dissertation is Emergency Medicine Triage as the Intersection of Storytelling, Decision Making, and Dramaturgy.

Congratulations Carolyn and Colin!

June 2014

Communication major Tamara Nolin played the lead role of Tracy Turnblad in the recent production of Hairspray at the Patel Conservatory of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. The show ran from June 27th-29th.  The contact for this part was made during Jay Zalinger’s Capstone course, when Tamara was sent to the Straz Center to do an informational interview. ​This was Tamara's first theatrical performance!​

You can read more about Jay and his class by clicking here.

May 2014

Barbara Bennington, Amanda Firestone and David Lee successfully defended their dissertations.

Barbara's dissertation is Crisis Communication: Sensemaking and Decision-Making by the CDC Under Conditions of Uncertainty and Ambiguity During the 2009-2010 H1N1 Pandemic.

Amanda's dissertation is "Is That What You Dream About? Being a Monster?”: Bella Swan and the Construction of the Monstrous-Feminine in The Twilight Saga.

David's dissertation is Informing, Entertaining and Persuading: Health Communication at the Amazing You. Congratulations, Barbara, Amanda and David!

Heidi Paintner received a Quiet Quality award from USF's Staff Senate for her outstanding work as the Department of Communication office manager. She keeps the administrative details in order to ensure the smooth operation of all the department's functions.

Other winners of the Quiet Quality Award include our own Anne Copeland, which shows we have an All-Star administrative team!

The Quiet Quality Award is a campus-wide employee recognition program implemented by the USF Staff Senate. Candidates are evaluated based on conscientiousness, professional manner/positive attitude/interpersonal relationships, work performance, responsibilities, team-oriented, and suggestions for improving the USF experience.

April 2014

Carolyn Ellis has been named Distinguished University Professor, one of three USF faculty so honored this year. The rank of Distinguished University Professor recognizes senior faculty members who have distinguished themselves among their peers both within and outside USF. The title is awarded through a process of nomination as well as internal and external peer review and identifies those holding it as outstanding members of their profession.

One reviewer tellingly connects the scholarship of Dr. Ellis to the reputation of USF when she writes that the “productivity, visibility, depth, and originality” of Dr. Ellis’s scholarship has allowed USF to “become the premiere university for graduate students interested in pursuing qualitative research methods.” Congratulations, Carolyn!

Art Bochner was hosted by Michael Hyde at Wake Forest University on  April 16-18 and spoke on his new book, Coming to Narrative.




Kristen Blinne has been selected as a 2013-2014 Golden Bull Award Winner at the University of South Florida.   This year the selection committee screened over 75 applications and awarded 12 Golden Bull Awards to students from all areas of our campus. 

Kristen and other Golden Bull Award winners were honored on April 22 in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom as part of USF’s  annual Celebration of Leadership Awards.  

Jennifer Whalen served as a guest lecturer to the student organization T.W.L.O.H.A. on April 7th. She presented material and engaged in dialogue regarding issues of bullying, suicide, and self-harm.

Tasha Rennels received the Provost's Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the College of Arts and Humanities. This award is based on a GTA's teaching philosophy, a narrative about teaching, documented accomplishments and commitment to classroom excellence. Congratulations, Tasha!

Abe Khan was invited by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to speak at “A Supreme Decision: The Curt Flood Symposium.” In his talk, Dr. Khan entertained the hypothesis that Curt Flood (the subject of his recent book) might help to rethink labor politics in sport. From the issues associated with unionization in professional leagues to the NCAA’s current crises, Flood is present in our public debates, reminding us that sport is work and that its rewards are rarely distributed justly.

You can view a Kansas City television station's news report about the symposium, featuring remarks by Abe by clicking here.

GCA Co-President Jennifer Whalen was named a Campus Celebrity by the online publication, Her Campus USF. You can read about Jennifer in the HC USF story by clicking here.

COMM DAY, 2014

This year's Communication Day, inspired by the theme "Black & White," was a day of activities and community involvement.

Kicking off the day was the Eighth Annual Speak-Out event, where undergraduate speech students competed for cash awards, followed by this year's Performance Showcase.

This year's Grazier Lecture was presented by Dr. Kent Ono, University of Utah. His lecture, "Amusing Ourselves to Freedom: Rhetoric, Immigration, and Dark Tourism," was enthusiastically received. Everyone convened for a followup roundtable discussion on the lecture's subject matter. Cllick here for a link to view a video of Dr. Ono's presentation.

The day's celebration concluded with a warm gathering of colleagues and friends for the 2014 Comm Prom where we feasted on fine food and drink and feted the department's accomplishments.


2014 Communication Day Celebration

Chair Carolyn Ellis welcomed everyone and thanked the GCA for putting together a wonderful Comm Day and Comm Prom. She also thanked the staff for all they contribute to the program and welcomed Mikki Spears, a new staff member. 

She then mentioned all the awards, honors, and transitions of the faculty and students, and singled out publications by the graduate students, which were many.


Here are the details on our Graduate Communication Association’s recognition of student success:


The Graduate Communication Association awarded the following students with honors at the Communication Prom Ceremony:

The Community Engagement Award went to Tasha Rennels, the Departmental Service Award was given to Jennifer Whalen, the Peer Mentor Award was received by Krystal Bresnahan.

In addition, the GCA nominated two faculty members for awards. This year's HUB award was received by Dr. Aisha Durham and the Faculty Recognition Award was accepted by Dr. Mariaelena Bartesaghi.

Congratulations to the outstanding staff, students, and faculty that continue to make the Communication Department at USF successful!

Announcing the 2014-2015 GCA Board:

This year's 2014-2015 GCA Elections concluded in the following results:
Co-Presidents: Krystal Bresnahan & Alyse Keller
Secretary: Meredith Clements
Social Media Coordinator: Mark McCarthy
Treasurer: Grace Peters
Event Coordinator Ashley Martinez
Resource Manager: Nancie Hudson

Congratulations to all members of the Executive Board and we look forward to another fantastic year of GCA coordinated events!

After the students gave their awards, Carolyn called up faculty to present the following student awards:

Jennifer Pickman Outstanding undergrad award:  Carrie Murawskie,  Shelby Swafford, Betsy Sunny, and Sunjay Armstead

Nader  Award for outstanding MA student with emphasis in rhetoric, performance, or cultural studies: Aphrodite Kocieda

Popovich award for outstanding MA student:  Ariane Anderson and Lisa Spinazola 

GTA Outstanding Teaching:  Heather Curry

Barney Downs Spirit award: Jennifer Whalen

Bochner award for outstanding PHD student. Kristen Blinne

After the award ceremony, there was some righteous dancing on the dance floor!

Communication Day lineup of events:

8:30a - 9:00a Breakfast (CIS 3020)

9:00a - 10:00a Bulls Speak-Out
(Sponsored by Pearson)
& Lambda Pi Eta Induction (CIS 3020)

10:30a - 11:30a Performance Showcase
(CIS 3020)

11:30a - 12:45p Lunch (CIS 3064)

1:00p - 2:15p Grazier Lecture (CWY 109)
Dr. Kent Ono, University of Utah, Amusing Ourselves to Freedom: Rhetoric, Immigration, and Dark Tourism

2:30p - 3:30p Round Table Discussion (CIS 3020) with Dr. Kent Ono

6:30p - 10:00p Evening Celebration
ISA building, 7th floor For faculty, graduate students, and invited guests


Carolyn Ellis and Jerry Rawicki presented their documentary film, Behind the Wall, on April 3, 2014 in the USF Marshall Student Center Oval Theater.

This 45-minute documentary tells the story of Warsaw Ghetto survivor JerryRawicki's return visit to Poland in 2013, his first since the Holocaust.

Working collaboratively with ethnographer and filmmaker Ellis, Mr. Rawicki discusses his thoughts and feelings about his homeland,
explores the working of memory, and considers the virtue of forgiveness.

Being back in Poland and speaking in his native Polish language stimulated Mr. Rawicki to reflect on how place affects what and how he remembers and to consider his relationship to Poland and the Polish people in complex ways. Family members, as well as the project director, are interviewed for the film.

March 2014

Aphrodite Kocieda's new web series, "Tales from the Kraka Tower," is the subject of an article in Slate magazine.

The online publication's article, "Awkward Black Girl Meets Academia in a Hilarious New Web Series," highlights Aphrodite's no-holds-barred examination of race, gender and class issues within institutions deemed to be free of them.

In Kraka Tower's case, it is the Diversity department of a university where Aphrodite's character is a new arrival and the revelations about culture and humanity begin with her very first elevator ride.

Over spring break Alyse Keller served as the faculty advisor for a Bull Service Break trip to Hammond, LA, with 10 undergraduate students. The trip was dedicated to issues of public health and disability awareness. Theyvolunteered at the Special Olympics headquarters in Louisiana, worked closely with local special olympics athletes, facilitated games, and participated in disability awareness events. 

Keith Berry facilitated the workshop, "What Every Teacher Needs to Know about Bullying, Communication, and Self-Understanding," with honors students in the College of Education's SCATTER program.

The workshop explored the impact of bullying on youth identity, and ways teachers can better care for students. Thirty amazing students took part in the event, which was filled with participants' first-hand and emotional stories on past experiences with bullying.


Nathan Hodges has a forthcoming article, The American Dental Dream, in Health Communication. Congratulations Nathan!

Aphrodite Kocieda successfully defended her Masters thesis, "We're Taking Slut Back": Analyzing Racialized Gender Politics in Chicago's 2012 Slutwalk, on March 5. Her advisor is Aisha Durham. Congratulations Aphrodite!

Tasha Rennels was selected to serve as the faculty advisor for a Bull Service Break trip to New York City, an alternative Spring Break dedicated to women's issues. During this trip she, along with nine undergraduate students from USF, worked with Win, an organization that seeks to transform the lives of local homeless women and their children by providing the resources they need to regain their independence.

Tasha Rennels delivers an impromptu infomercial for polka dot rainbow pants as part of Jacob Abraham's "Impromptu Sales" speaking activity for the 3rd Annual PedagogyPotluck, organized by Kristen Blinne and Joanna Bartell on March 28, 2014.

This event featured thirteen presenters who shared original teaching ideas and activities for a variety of communication courses. 



February 2014

Lisa M. TillmannLisa M. Tillmann gave the fourth annual Communication Alumni lecture on February 5th in our performance studio. Her presentation included a screening of her film Off the Menu: Challenging the Politics and Economics of Body and Food . Lisa graduated from our program with her Ph. D. in 1998.  She currently is Professor of Critical Media and Cultural Studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She teaches courses in introductory and advanced research methods; media and cultural studies; gender and sexualities; and body and food.

She is author of the book Between Gay and Straight: Understanding Friendship across Sexual Orientation and co-creator of two documentary films, Off the Menu: Challenging the Politics and Economics of Body and Food and Remembering a Cool September.

Lindy Davidson received the 2013-2014 Graduate Research Assistantship from the Center for Hospice, Palliative Care & End-of-Life Studies at USF.  Her research project is titled "Spiritual Frameworks in Pediatric Palliative Care:  Understanding Parental Decision-making."  Lindy is a second year Ph.D. student studying Health Communication.

Jennifer Whalen was appointed to the position of Marketing Coordinator for the Florida Communication Association for the 2014 Conference held in Orlando, Florida. She also has accepted the position of Convention Planner for the 2015 Convention.

Aisha Durham is the recipient of the USF Creative Scholarship Grant. She plans to explore African American iconicity. She will analyze popular media texts and interview black female audiences in the United States and abroad about Beyoncé Knowles, a singer who plays on primitivism and exoticism while playing up her creole identity for European and African markets. The singer sells black desirability and repackages the American Dream—imbuing ethos of multiculturalism, mobility, and meritocracy globally.  The funded research will address the accelerated, transnational production of celebrity, the new politics of race and gender defined by fixity and fluidity, and the centrality of Knowles in shaping contemporary commercial culture and identity for African descendant women.

Nancie Hudson's autoethnography, "When Family Narratives Conflict: An Autoethnography of My Mother's Secrets," has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Family Communication. Nancie is a second-year doctoral student in USF's Department of Communication, and this will be her first published journal article. Congratulations, Nancie!

Luis Batista, a 2011 USF graduate in communication, is enhancing digital communication with an app he created. Read all about it by reading the story here.

Leanne Stuart Pupchek has been appointed Professor in the Knight School of Communication at Queens University of Charlotte. 

January 2014

Carolyn Ellis has received a Research One grant from the Office of Research & Innovation a USF to help finance the showing of her film“Behind the Wall” to the USF community on April 3, 2014.

This 45-minute documentary tells the story of Warsaw Ghetto survivor JerryRawicki's return visit to Poland in 2013, his first since the Holocaust.

Working collaboratively with ethnographer and filmmaker Ellis, Mr. Rawicki discusses his thoughts and feelings about his homeland, explores the working of memory, and considers the virtue of forgiveness.