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Communication at Westfield V O L U M E 4 N U M B E R 1 · M AY 2 0 1 0

Comm Department’s Third Floor Gets a Dramatic New Look C ommunication Department graduates returning to campus for Homecoming or other campus events will

find that the third floor of Ely has undergone a dramatic transformation. The renovation of the floor was carried out in conjunction with the installation of an elevator and other changes to the Ely building, which serves as the Campus Center and the library as well as the home of the Comm Department. The prominent architectural feature of the new Ely is a three-story, glass-enclosed central tower. The foyers of the tower lead on the first floor to a new Barnes and Noble book store, on the second floor to a renovated Arno Maris Art Gallery, and on the third floor to our department. “I was impressed by the changes,” said Evan Konopka, a Comm Department alum who is back on the third floor auditing a Web design course taught by Nigel Dobereiner. “The department is now tied in to the rest of the Campus Center.” Evan was referring, in part, to the signed, doubledoored entrance to the floor that is off an airy, glassenclosed lobby. The lobby has become a studying place for majors and the venue for department social events. Inside the entrance is a glass display case that contains pieces of equipment meant to represent a bit of the history of media. Returning alums will find that the classrooms they knew as 301 to 305 have been renumbered, but, more significantly, the awkwardly placed pillars have been removed. Faculty offices have been significantly reconfigured.

John Paulmann, for example, has traded his long-held position in a corridor off the main hall for a light-filled office overlooking the campus green. Max Saito has taken John’s place in the corridor. Maddy Cahill and Don Treadwell have new digs in space that roughly approximates the space they formerly occupied. Henry Wefing, in contrast, has moved from his office off the no-longer-existing commune, to the old darkroom, made habitable by the removal of a wall and the application of bright paint. A new set of offices built in the northern segment of the floor with west-facing windows is occupied by Tom Gardner, Nigel Dobereiner, Diane Prusank, and Sinuk Kang. Many of the faculty members’ offices are newly furnished. Co Cousineau, our long-time secretary, remains at her desk as the heart of the department, but now at the end of a C O N T I N U E D O N PA G E 2

In this issue:

Chair’s Message ...........................2 Quiz Show Imitated......................3 Alums’ Help Sought......................4

Leon Toporowski .........................5 50 Doing Internships ....................6 Faculty, Staff Notes .......................7


APRIL 2010

A Message from the Chair BY SUSAN LEGGETT

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s the academic year comes to a close we celebrate many things joyous as well as poignant. In August 2009 the Department moved into a beautifully renovated space in Ely. While we remain on the Third Floor there are many changes you will notice when visiting. Faculty offices are moved and renovated. The long-awaited “museum” case displays vintage cameras and other technological items thanks to Mark St. Jean, Maddy Cahill, and Eric Jones. Other noticeable changes include one (not two) MAC Labs but an expansive view of the campus through windows on the Third Floor student lounge. Additionally,

both WSKB and the Voice are located on the Third Floor of Ely. The studio is a vibrant home to the “As Schools Match Wits” program, thanks to the enthusiastic support of Mark St. Jean, Elizabeth Preston, Keith Clark, Eric Jones, Alex Simisky, the many faculty members who write questions, and an entire community of devoted students who contribute their willingness and expertise to getting the show on the air. Please do come by to visit and tour the Third Floor if you are on campus. In a more poignant change, this year we also sadly said goodbye to Leon Toporowski who died after 25 years of service to the college, much of it on the Third Floor. (Please see a story on Leon elsewhere in the newsletter.) With the new building came the implementation of our new curriculum, emphasizing the relationship between communication and culture, as well as convergence of information technologies. As you will see in the notes about faculty, this interest is reflected in classroom experiences, community activities, and research endeavors. As this exciting academic year closes, the entire department wishes graduates all the best! Thanks for a great year! Q

Honors Group Aids School W

estfield State’s chapter of the communication honors society, Lambda Pi Eta, is sponsoring a drive to provide school supplies for the Springfield Academy for Excellence, a school designed for students unable to succeed in “traditional” schools. The supplies sought by the students are as basic and essential as paper. Student Meredith Griswold came up with the idea for the drive during class discussions of social justice issues. The students’ inspiration came from the words of a Women’s International League for Peace poster: “It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.” Student Katie Lentini designed posters for the local drive. The honors groups also planned to continue a project begun last year: study survival kits to help fellow comm majors sustain their bodies and good humor during final exams. Q

C O N T I N U E D F R O M F R O N T PA G E

long, narrow corridor that leads from the main office door. The new floor covering is patterned in rectangles colored blue, beige, and maroon. The walls are freshly painted in blue and beige. The colors are repeated in the renovated television studio, where TV coordinator Mark St. Jean, former chair and now Dean of the Faculty Liz Preston, and a big crew of students continue to produce “As Schools Match Wits” (see related story elsewhere in this newsletter). A new Mac Lab, with a podium computer and 18 2

student computers configured around the perimeter, has replaced the temporary Mac Lab. Other facilities include three audio labs and a video editing lab. With the renovations came the relocation of The Voice, the student newspaper, and WSKB, the campus radio station, to new offices just outside the entrance to the Comm floor. During the fall semester, the department hosted a luncheon for the college’s maintainers to thank them for the work they did getting the floor ready for the start of the school year. Q


Second Quiz Show Airs W E S T F I E L D S TAT E N E W S B U R E A U

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ach week, high school students go head to head to fight for academic prestige on As Schools Match Wits (ASMW), the Westfield State College and WGBY high school game show that airs at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and is rebroadcast at 7 p.m. Saturdays on WGBY. Inspired by the success of ASMW, Boston public television station WGBH has launched High School Quiz Show, which premieres Sunday, March 28 in western Massachusetts. Produced with a crew of Westfield State students, ASMW is an award-winning academic game show, which will enter its 50th season in fall 2010. Academic teams from both western Massachusetts and Connecticut public and private high schools are eligible to participate each year. In classic quiz show style, the teams answer questions based on school curriculum. Because Westfield State students are key members of the production team, ASMW supports a second curriculum as well, providing an invaluable learning experience for Communication students at the college. “In an age when network shows are being pulled off the air after one episode, the presence of another high school quiz show indicates this genre has a place and As Schools Match Wits is doing something right,” said Elizabeth Preston, Westfield State’s dean of faculty and former chair, Department of Communication. “Between As Schools Match Wits and High School Quiz Show, our teams have essentially created fun, fast-paced, state-wide opportunities that recognize and support academic prowess over physical ability.” Since ASMW is the longest running high school quiz show in the country it was only natural that the producers of High School Quiz Show would seek advice from the experts in their own backyard to learn more about the inner workings of the program. Over the past year, WGBH production personnel have made several trips to watch

tapings of ASMW, and have worked with Westfield State and WGBY to ensure a good fit between the programs. There are some differences between the two shows, including slightly different game segments, but both shows emphasize academic content based on the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks. The top four Massachusetts public high school teams from both quiz shows will go head to head for the state championships, which will be taped on May 8 and 9 and broadcast in June. ASMW will continue to hold separate ASMW competitions to declare an As Schools Match Wits champion, and this successful series is also in preparation for celebrations to accompany its upcoming 50th season. The show was discontinued by WWLP in October of 2006 after being on-air for 45 years, but revived with a partnership between WWLP, WGBY and Westfield State. The show resumed again in January 2007 and has been taped at Westfield State College since that time. ASMW has won the Platinum Aurora Award in educational film and video, a bronze Telly Award for cable television programming and the 2009 Award of Distinction in Educational Programming awarded by The Communicator Awards. Q

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Comm Alums’ Help Sought For Global Studies Initiative BY JOHN PAULMANN

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an you help us to promote international travel experiences? In late May of this year, six Westfield State students will travel to Jordan in the Middle East for the first time. It might be the first time any Westfield State students have traveled to this country. It’s certainly the first time a trip like this has been organized through our Department of

a master’s degree. It might also require an internship with an international organization. But as the old days of ‘talking wires’ become the new days of talk on Skype, we need professional people who can understand both the technology and the new human environments we are creating. In the great parking lot of life, we increasingly find ourselves searching for a place, glad to find a small space

Communication. Someone once asked what trips like this have to do with communication? After all, aren’t we journalists, public relations practitioners, and broadcast production and website design specialists? It’s taken some years, but prompted by the sad events of September 2001, we’ve slowly advanced the structure of a new concentration in our major. It’s called Communication and Culture. Courses in this new cluster include International Communication, Intercultural Communication, Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Resolution, and an International (travel) Seminar, which can act as a capstone experience to draw these courses forward toward an integrated outcome. In addition, we’ve added a Global Communication course to our major core. This is a new course that all our comm students will have to encounter. The perspective we’re taking here is that some of our students might actually wish to become involved in one or another form of international communication. It might require

somewhere, and discovering license plates from all over the place right next to us. Learning to relate, to engage, to embrace all of this, and to see it as a good and great thing to do, as a positive experience, not threatening one, this is the abiding value we are hoping to impart, to stitch into the very fabric of our Comm and Culture Concentration. Now that we have organized the academic structure and secured the cooperation of our administration for the travel component, the remaining obstacle is the expense involved in an international experience. At this time, we are paying our way and trying to keep our expenses as low as possible. Still, there are few students who can afford the $3000 estimated expense for two weeks of study and travel in Jordan. Here’s where you might be able to help us. Do you know of any international organizations, businesses, banks, schools, government offices, non-governmental organizations? Do you know of someone working for one of these organizations?

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Sometimes, organizations offer financial aid, or supplementary aid for students. We could try to build up a small scholarship or travel grant fund here at Westfield State to assist and supplement the high cost of student travel. Some schools even have a way to collect unused air miles from global travelers, and convert them into student travel assistance. Perhaps you have other creative suggestions to offer us. Person to person to person, we might begin to find out whether there may be financial aid available to subsidize these study and travel cultural experiences for our students. A thousand dollars for one student could bring this cost down to $2000. This would be more affordable.

Hopefully with some help like this, more students could find themselves financially able to experience one of our overseas seminars. It’s a difficult time in the financial life of all of us, and our country, to approach organizations like this. But it’s time to begin, and to keep trying. The outcome for a student can be life changing. If there is anyone you can think of to introduce us to, I’d be hugely grateful to you. Or perhaps you might forward their contact information, and we can follow up with a call from here. Someday, I’m hoping we can open up these experiences to our alumni as well as our present students. In the meantime, I send you our very best regards and hope you are surviving the difficult times we are living through. Q

Leon Toporowski, 1947-2009 Leon Toporowski, the long-time maintainer on the third floor of Ely, died of cancer in December. He had retired in July after being diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Leon, who was employed by the college for 25 years, is survived by his wife, Janelle, and three sons, Kenneth, David, and Adam. He also leaves three sisters and a brother. Donations in Leon’s memory may be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT 06851 or The Cancer House of Hope, 68 Court St, Westfield, 01085. Following is a brief tribute department member Henry Wefing delivered at the department’s awards dinner last May. “Leon Toporowski has been the maintainer on our floor for a long time. He’s given me and my colleagues many laughs over the years. I’m fond of telling him that he’s a piece of work. The customary response I get is a twinkling in his eyes and an “OK, Dr. Honyu,” Honyu being his Polish transliteration of Henry. “We have a set piece we’ve played for a long time. I ask him how he spent his evening or his weekend. His reply without fail is a single word: ‘Working.’ “I tell him that he might fool some people but I know him too well. Since he’s been sick, I’ve teased him that he’s

had even more time to keep up with the daily soaps and the sitcoms. “But work is really what Leon’s life is all about. After his early shift on our floor, he drives a school bus in the afternoon, carrying high school athletic teams around western Massachusetts. “He has these wonderful big, strong hands that he’s repeatedly refused to trade for my piano-playing hands. He learned, at what he calls the trades school (Westfield Vocational and Technical High School), to repair engines of all kinds. He grew up helping out in his father’s sawmill on the banks of the Westfield River. He and his wife, Janelle, live on the old homeplace now with horses, rabbits, and big gardens. They raised three sons there. “In recent days, Leon and Janelle have been visited by trouble. Leon is being treated for cancer. His oldest son, Kenny, is undergoing treatment after surgery for a brain tumor. And they’ve had other sorrows. “But Leon is a resilient type. When I visited with him yesterday, he was talking about coming back to work. And he got that twinkle in his eye when I told him that some of our students were going to devote a portion of our dinner program to him and his son. He said he wished he could be here.” Q

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50-Plus Comm Majors Placed In Fall, Spring Internships M

att Jones may not have drunk deeply from any one medium, but he’s gotten a good taste of several media as he finishes up a senior-year internship and prepares to graduate. Since freshman year he’s spent “an absurd number of hours” working at campus radio station WSKB as music director and for the last year-and-a-half as acting program director. His job as music director, Matt said, introduced him to “a musical form of news judgment. WSKB got me ready for the world of journalism in a way that I did not expect. I started in the Communication Department with a media arts concentration. Unexpectedly, I finished that up by my first semester of my junior year. Finding that I had some time to kill, I signed up for a philosophy minor and a journalism concentration as well. “When I started the journalism concentration,” Matt said, “I can tell you that I had close to zero interest in it. But I found through taking “Writing for the Media” that I had a bit of a knack for the journalistic style. As I took more journalism and writing classes, I found that I really began to enjoy writing, especially features and entertainment pieces. “Professor [Harry] Stessel’s “Writing about the Arts” class had a big part in this for me. He taught me that writing can be expressive and interesting, especially in the subjects that I hold an interest in, which are music and film.” Matt is one of three communication majors who did spring internships at The [Springfield] Republican, focusing mainly on entertainment. The other interns at The Republican were Adam Rivers and Timothy Vreeland. In all, 37 communication majors were placed in internships this spring, and another 17 majors did internships last fall. Here are the students and their internship sites: Joshua DeStefano, WGGB ABC40; Dylan Galland, CBS 3; Kathryne Lentini, Westfield State Study Abroad Office; Nicole Nalepa, WWLP TV22; Heidi Sheppard, Westfield State Center for Community Service;

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Alexander Simisky, Westfield State President’s Office; Amy Sutkus, WBBG ABC40 and In the Spotlight Inc. Chris Zecco, WGGB ABC40; Kristen Alexander, Clear Channel Radio; Patricia Coggins, New York Sound and Motion; Amy Giguere, New York Sound and Motion; Ross Purdy, Del Padre Digital; Samantha Stone, Department of Political Science; Amanda Bligh, YMCA of Greater Springfield; Lara Fernandes, Girls Inc. Holyoke; Matthew Castonguay, Alexander Fagan, and Matthew Harrington, ESPN 1450 Radio/WMAS 94.7. Meredith Griswold, American Red Cross; Kaitlyn Rickard, The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts; Alexandra Scarlata, The Big Picture Agency; Kristina Clark, Westfield State Advancement and College Relations; Katherine Collins, Lee Youth Association; Stephen Crowley, WGBY; Teresa Dollfuss, Westfield State President’s Office; Catherine Gilmartin, Westfield on Weekends; Kristin Mazeika, American Cancer Society; Caitlin Penndorf, Westfield State President’s Office; Madeline Pickett, WGBY. Sarah Farrell, Springfield Falcons Hockey Club; Lauren Pellegrine, Springfield Falcons; Debrah Silverman, Daily Hampshire Gazette; Brooke Wilson, Westfield State Sports Information; Luke Woodbury, Basketball Hall of Fame; Christine Dettman, Square One; Elizabeth Dumas, MTV Studios; Jessica Gibbons, Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus; Sarah Farrell, Boston Cannons Lacrosse Team; Jaime Frederick, Arnold Worldwide; Janine McSherry and Nicole Nalepa, Fox 25. Debrah Silverman, The Sun Chronicle; Craig Gilvarg, The MetroWest Daily News; Josh Sylvia, The Washington Center; Marc Bedine, The Republican; Jessica Chapin, Westfield State President’s Office; James Dinh, MTV News; Caitlin Penndorf, WGGB ABC40; Angela Reid, The Trustees of Reservations; Andrew Stegelmann, WCVB TV 5 Boston, and Julia Weisgerber, The Spirit of Springfield.


News of Faculty and Staff Maddy Cahill is using these notes to address our alums: “Here’s a shout-out to all of you who took Interpersonal Comm and said that it should be a requirement for all majors. In our revised curriculum, we’re requiring all majors to take a course entitled “Introduction to Human Communication.” It introduces students to many of the ideas that we explored and skills that we practiced in the Interpersonal course. So, thanks for your suggestions: we do take them seriously! Also, we often have guest speakers in the Human Comm class, and students are especially interested in hearing from alums working in the field. So if any of you would be willing to come to campus to tell students about your careers, please contact Maddy at (413) 572-5747 or mcahill@wsc.ma.edu. Hoping to see many of you at the department dinner: first Friday in May, as always.” Jon Conlogue continues to teach a variety of courses for the Communication Department while attending to his regular duties as the college’s Executive Director for Residential Services and Campus Life. Jon welcomes his opportunity to interact with students in the classroom as a change of pace from his day (and sometimes night) job. In addition to his work with residential education efforts, hall renovations, budget and food service, Jon also serves on the AllCollege Committee. Co Cousineau, the department’s long-time secretary, has been elected to the Board of Assessors in her home town of Blandford. As a resident of Blandford, a hill town, Co is accustomed to wintry weather. She was not prepared, however, for the weather she and her husband, T.J., experienced when they joined friends for a trip to Florida in January. During their week in Florida, the temperature reached 50 on only two days. And T.J. drew stares one morning when he used a scraper to clear the car’s windshield of ice. Not many people carry scrapers in Florida. Nigel Dobereiner was pleased to teach his courses, Introduction to Web Page Design and Advanced Web Page Design, now that they have been renamed. The old names and descriptions were way out of date with today’s technology, and the course objectives were confusing and inaccurate. Meanwhile, Nigel is pleased to note that the software in the Mac lab is up to date and that the course(s) continue to evolve to keep pace with changes in information delivery via the web. He is also looking forward to traveling to Denver this summer for the One Voice Institute of Elemental Ethics and Education conference where he hopes to present an as

yet unnamed program on the effect of online learning and communication where age, race and even gender can be unknown.

Tom Gardner is enjoying a sabbatical this spring. In the fall, he taught an honors seminar on Modern War and Mass Media. He had hoped to follow that with a J-term course in Vietnam in January, but not enough students signed up for it. He is hoping to try again in January 2011. Email him if you are interested. tgardner@wsc.ma.edu. His book, based on his dissertation research, “The Media Rhetoric of Law and Order: How ABC Framed the Mumia AbuJamal Story,” was published in February 2010 by The Edwin Mellen Press. Mellen sells scholarly works mainly to libraries, but if you want the individual price of $39.95 send Tom an email for the order form. The video he produced on the case is included with the book. It is narrated by Danny Glover. In March 2010, Tom will chair a plenary session of “movement veterans” at a conference on Southern Student Activism in the 1960s, which is sponsored by the history department at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. The following month, he will participate in a conference in Raleigh, N.C. on the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a leading civil rights organization in the South during the 1960s that Tom was involved with as a young activist. He is also spending considerable time working on a long-term writing project (when not tending his chickens, swimming, coaching an indoor soccer team, or cleaning out closets). He also finally joined the Facebook world and is proud to be friends with Henry Wefing, Nigel Dobereiner, Liz Preston, and As Schools Match Wits. He is also on LinkedIn. Sorry, not yet twittering or even blogging, but stay tuned. Of course, the best news is that his daughter, Sarah, 28, is getting married in June on the beach in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Tom, Karen, and their son Koby are also planning a return trip to Guatemala this summer. He is looking forward to returning in the fall and teaching Political Communication during an intense election year.

Sinuk Kang joined the Department of Communication as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2009. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and both an M.A. in Broadcasting, Telecommunication, Mass Media and B.A. in Radio, Television, and Film from Temple University. His research interests include credibility assessments in interpersonal, mediated, and cross-cultural 7


contexts. His recent research is focused on the use of nonverbal and visual elements in media. He is also a research affiliate of the Communication Science Center at SUNY at Buffalo. At Westfield, he has been teaching courses in Intro to Communication Technologies, Advanced Video Editing, Video Field Production, and Media, Technology, and the Future. His recent papers titled “The Role of Hyperlinks in the Corporate Websites for Building Relationships with Environmental Organization,” “An Anatomy of Phishing Messages as Deceitful Persuasion: A Categorical Content and Semantic Network Analysis,” and “Semiotic Analysis of Global top 300 Companies’ Visual Identity” were presented at the 95th annual convention of the National Communication Association in Chicago in November 2009. Kathryn LaMay-Miller has been an adjunct professor in the department for four years, teaching Writing for the Media and Persuasive Media classes, as well as other journalism and film courses. In addition to teaching, Kate has operated her own production studio in Easthampton, Multi Media Impact, for 10 years. She creates video for television and the web, produces radio commercials, develops web sites and shoots photographs for businesses to use in their advertising campaigns. Kate feels it’s very important to bring this real life experience into her classroom. Kate is also chairwoman of the Board for Community Eneterprises Inc., a non-profit operation that trains and places people with disabilities in the professional workplace. She is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and is currently working on the beginnings of a book on the family life of Calvin and Grace Coolidge in Northampton and their private lives from 1910 to 1935. Susan Leggett remains committed to teaching “Communication Research” and “Communication Theory” and continues to enjoy meeting new majors through this experience. Outside of the classroom, she is presenting a paper at the National Association of Ethnic Studies on April 10 in Washington, D.C. Her interest in examining the political economy of communication and lived experience continues in her written work as well as the classroom. She recently completed a book review for The Information Society on Mosco and McKercher’s 2008 book, “The Laboring of Communication: Will knowledge workers unite?”

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John Paulmann writes elsewhere in this newsletter of the department’s efforts to internationalize its curriculum. He has met weekly this semester with six students who will travel with him to Jordan this summer. John continued his tradition of taking students for a holiday visit to New York City. Stops included The Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Lincoln Center for a performance of “The Nutcracker.” He also offered students a tour of several media sites in Boston, and he continued to facilitate the Communication Club’s service visits to the Westfield Boys’ and Girls’ Club, the Westfield soup kitchen, and the Samaritan Inn, a shelter for the homeless in Westfield. Last summer, John completed the final leg of a cross-country bicycle trip. The final leg covered the distance between central Kentucky and Yorktown,Va. John devoted about a month during each of the last four summers to complete the ride from coast to coast. Diane Prusank is teaching a section of the new Introduction to Human Communication course required for communication majors. The students in this course work on understanding theories of human communication and enhancing their own skills in areas such as listening, conflict management, group communication and public speaking. Diane has also been sharing with her students in the Foundations of Research course her experiences as a member of the editorial board of the journal, Communication Quarterly. As for summer plans, Diane will continue to work on gathering data for a study on the work of New York Times journalist Dorothy Barclay, who wrote articles on parenting for the NYT between the late 1940s and early 1960s. Max Saito reports: “In the summer of 2009, I spent several weeks visiting Japan. While I was there I presented a talk at the local police precinct on the topic of “Passion,” in the sense of pursuing life activities that are rewarding and fulfilling. I attended the annual conference of the Communication Association of Japan in Niigata; this was the first conference I had attended where all of the sessions were presented in Japanese, my native language—it was fascinating to hear familiar topics in a familiar tongue! “In the fall I served as a reader for the National Communication Association’s annual conference. The papers I read were mainly about Japanese animation and manga and other Asian media. It was a lot of fun to see the cutting edge thinking and academic trends expressed in these papers. At the National Communication Association annual conference in Chicago, I served as a respondent on a panel for the Japan-U.S. Communication Association. I concluded my three-year term as Secretary of the Association. “In the spring semester I collaborated with a colleague from Washington State University in a research project regarding


media coverage of Obama’s bow to the Emperor of Japan and intercultural competency. A paper documenting our work was submitted to the National Communication Association. I have continued serving on the Western Massachusetts American Friends Service Committee’s Programming Committee, working to promote peace, justice, and environmental protection both locally and globally. In particular, we are building networks and coalitions with local NGOs. “In November of 2009, I was elected to the Board of Directors of River Valley Market, a Northampton-based, community-owned food co-op that promotes local food, support for local farmers, and a cooperative economy.” Don Treadwell has written a new textbook, “Introducing Communication Research: Paths of Inquiry.” Sage, the publisher, says this about the text: “Focusing on the types of research students will utilize in their careers, this introductory text makes continuous connections between research and its real world application. In an engaging and conversational style, Donald Treadwell introduces the conceptual foundations of communication research, provides practical guidance on the most commonly used methods, and concludes with a chapter on writing and presenting.” Barbara S. Spies of Cardinal Stritch University comments: “The examples are engaging. The writing is not intimidating. The student will find this introduction to the research process to be welcoming and interesting. The greatest strength of this text is its accessibility to the student new to research. Professor Treadwell makes communication research an interesting, nonthreatening subject.” In department matters, Don continues to work on a subcommittee addressing assessment issues and to run the extensive internship program. Jill Treadwell was a guest presenter at the January 2010 faculty Web Camp run by the Westfield State Center for Instructional Technology. She presented the online Principles of Public Relations course that she developed for the fall 2009 and spring 2010 terms. It will also be offered in summer 2010. Web Camp is a week-long training course for faculty who want to develop courses for online learning at Westfield State. Henry Wefing spent the fall semester on sabbatical preparing to teach multimedia journalism, a course now required in the journalism concentration. A book he edited for his brother, John, “The Life and Times of Richard J. Hughes: The Politics of Civility,” was published in November by Rutgers University Press. Hughes, a New Jersey governor and Supreme Court Chief Justice, chaired the Credentials Committee at the contentious 1968 Democratic Convention, nearly became Hubert Humphrey’s running mate, and engineered the Glassboro Summit meeting between President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin. Henry is looking forward to teaching literary journalism for the third time this fall. Literary journalism was the subject of his doctoral work.

Usha Zacharias says hello to everyone from the riverside home she rented to live in during sabbatical in her tropical hometown of Thiruvananthapuram in south India. Like the 40 odd other rivers in the state, the Karamana river flows down from the rainforests in the eastern mountains. Sadly, the river has dwindled a lot of late with rapid deforestation, and the 150,000year old riparian ecosystem is disappearing. This is not an isolated event: an unprecedented destruction of richly diverse tropical ecosystems is going on over the entire state as this part of India tries hard to grow into an artificial city like Dubai. In fact, this has created a new awareness regarding the environment and ecological issues that Usha is trying to build into her current research on women’s rights and decentralized government. Decentralization, incidentally, is what many perceive as the answer to thoughtless globalization: it basically means handing back a lot of decisions about natural resources, education or health to local elected bodies. Does it make a difference if a critical 33% of people who make such decisions are women, especially poorer women from marginalized castes? That’s what Usha is working on. In May-June 2009, Westfield State College gave a grant to Usha to attend an International Faculty Development Seminar held by the Council of International Educational Exchange. The seminar, “Spain and Morocco: Exploring the Co-existence and Challenges of Neighbouring Cultures,” included lectures and travel in Spain and Morocco. It focused on sites of Christian and Muslim cultural fusion, such as the Cordoba, and included talks on issues as diverse as language and architecture. There were many unique moments in the trip, including a visit to a ruined palace full of storks in Rabat, Morocco, and the live music in Spain. On her return to India, she was lucky enough to be on the film selection committee for the International Film Festival of Kerala, and now misses the month of October 2009 that she spent watching new films from all over the global south. Usha has just got a grant from the Canadian-based International Development Research Centre to convert some parts of her research on women’s rights, women’s participation in local government and decentralized development of natural resources into a low-budget video. That’s way more than what was supposed to happen during sabbatical, and Usha hopes to share this learning experience. Also, there’s a lot that India can learn from the U.S. in developing ecological awareness, and this is an area Usha is looking forward to working on. She wishes all graduating students a lot of luck, and happy experiences to all those privileged enough to still be in school.

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Department of Communication

Awards & Alum Dinner Friday, May 7 at 5:30pm Scanlon Banquet Hall

Westfield, MA 01086-1630

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Westfield, MA Permit No. 18

WSU COMM Newsletter 2010  
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