By Katharine Miller
Dr. James Scotton
Dr. Robert Shuter
Three colleagues with nearly 100 years of combined Marquette experience wrap up their college careers. After 40 influential years in the Department of Communication Studies, which he chaired for an astonishing 29 years, Dr. Robert Shuter became a professor emeritus earlier this year. Arriving as an assistant professor in 1973, Shuter soon worked to help elevate the department’s reputation and became chair just one year later. “We brought in the best and brightest in the field, changed the curriculum, and expanded the graduate program,” recalls Shuter, who served two separate stints as department chair — most recently in 2010 — while drawing professional distinction with his research on communication across cultures, including more than 75 publications in the field. Although he says it was a team effort, colleagues praise his distinct contributions. “It’s not an exaggeration to say he’s responsible for the very existence of the communication studies program,” says Dr. Lynn Turner, professor of communication studies. In addition to being highly popular, Shuter’s courses, such as Interpersonal Communication, “challenged his students to learn deeply … increasing their understanding, empathy and care for others,” says Dr. Steve Goldzwig, professor of communication studies. Shuter will continue to teach doctoral students in the Hugh Downs School of Communication at Arizona State University while maintaining ties to Marquette through his emeritus position. He also has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist award to introduce the Hong Kong Baptist University School of Communication to a specialty he helped found, intercultural new media studies.
Serving as department chair, graduate program director and dean of what was then the College of Journalism, Dr. James Scotton “restored the luster to the college” by getting it reaccredited in 1985, after accreditation had been lost in the 1960s, says Dr. William Thorn, associate professor of journalism and media studies. Dr. Bob Griffin, professor of journalism and media studies, calls Scotton the “consummate colleague” who continued “to bring a scholarly vision to our faculty while enhancing the quality of our teaching, research and service.” Scotton received four Fulbright awards as a faculty member, an honor he ranks as his proudest from his time at Marquette. Fittingly for someone whose work involved international study, Scotton will work on a book about Africa when he retires after the fall semester. In more than 20 years at Marquette, Donna Turben was integral to the administrative operations of the college and known as the “face of Diederich.” Turben began her career in the college in 1995 as an administrative assistant supporting faculty and students in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication and Communication Studies departments. A few years later, she added responsibilities in advertising, public relations and journalism. She received an Excellence in University Service Award in 2002 and became assistant to the deans in 2003. “Donna will be impossible to replace,” says associate dean Dr. Joyce Wolburg. “She is the backbone of the college — anticipating people’s needs and solving problems before they’ve even happened.” Turben says she will miss the students, faculty and co-workers from the college and university. She is eager to spend more time with her family, travel and complete some “long overdue projects.”