November 22nd, 2015

Sometimes Doonesbury gets eerily close to my life…

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 10.41.07 AMNo one turns the table quite as astutely! How does he do it?

This is the part of the semester where the rubber really meets the road. This past week, I reminded students that we only had three weeks left to the semester and many of them were running out of time to get things they’ve been putting off done.

Some might think lowering expectations is in order — on my part. But I’m firmly of the opinion that if even one student is able to keep up the pace and do well without a significant diminishment in their overall quality of life, the rest had the same opportunity.

We all make decisions along the way that gets us to where we are now. Lowering the bar at this juncture only reinforces the notion that “If I procrastinate long enough, those that expect something of me will lower their expectations and I won’t have to do the work.” And what message does this send to those that applied themselves all along?

The question I set myself is this: “What would it be like to spend the next five (or ten) years working with one of these students, side by side, on my team?”

What kind of workmate do I want? What kind of workmate do YOU want? That’s the kind of student you want to be.

October 22nd, 2015

For Global Comm Minors and Core Concentrators

To help with what seems to be growing confusion, here is what is available in Fall 2015 and Spring 2016


COMM 390 Qualitative Research Methods in Communication is Recommended for Majors only


COMM 100 Introduction to Communication Studies – multiple sections offered every semester

…and any FOUR of the following (at least one must be at the 200-level and two at the 300/400-level) for Core Concentration

…and any FIVE of the following (at least one must be at the 200-level and two at the 300/400-level) for the Minor

100 level 200 level (1 req’d) 300-400 level (2 req’d)
*COMM 165 Intro to Visual Comm *COMM 250 Intercultural Comm COMM 330 International Communication Every SPRING
*COMM 265 Visual Rhetoric, Visual Culture COMM 365 Digital Media in a Global Context SP2018
COMM 375 Global Audiences, Global Consumers
COMM 380 Visual Media in a Cultural Context SP2017
COMM 385 Gender, Globalization and the Media
COMM 432 SpTopics in Global Communication SP2016
COMM 465 McLuhan’s Global Village SP2016
* OFFERED EVERY SEMESTER WTNG 300 Rhetoric and Cultural Differences  FA2018


COMM 165 Introduction to Visual Communication
COMM 250 Intercultural Communication
COMM 265 Visual Rhetoric, Visual Culture
COMM 330 International Communication
COMM 465 McLuhan’s Global Village (2 sections)
COMM 432 SpTp: Communication for Social Change


COMM 330 International Communication (2015-2016)
COMM 365 Digital Media in a Global Context (SP2018)
COMM 375 Global Audiences, Global Consumers (???)
COMM 380 Visual Media in a Cultural Context (SP2017, was last offered SP14)
COMM 385 Gender, Globalization and the Media
COMM 432 Special Topics in Global Communication
WTNG 300 Rhetoric and Cultural Differences (FA2018)

October 19th, 2015

My adventures with Specifications Grading

The Presentation for RWU Innovations in Teaching Series

June 25th, 2015

Visualizing Culture VisCom 29 Presentation

April 17th, 2015

A page is still a page

But abbreviations for page in APA are NOT “pg”.

See this discussion on the English Language & Usage blog.

April 11th, 2015


This week in my Visual Rhetoric, Visual Culture class, students have been exploring parody, pastiche and remake. Then, on my family Facebook newsfeed, my niece Róisín posts this:

March 28th, 2015

Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous

Read WHY in this OpEd from Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 11.53.02 AM

March 9th, 2015

Advising for the Spring Semester

Advising starts on Monday, MARCH 16, 2015. Advising appointments are available to the following:

  • my Advisees or “shadow” advisees (double majors)
  • Advisees whose Communication/Graphic Design Advisor is on sabbatical, or
  • because I have advised you informally in recent months.

There is a full week of advising before anyone can register, and a further two weeks when Sophomores and Freshmen can be advised prior to registration.

So I’m asking that if you want an advising appointment, please sign up in the following order:

  • Week 1 (MAR 16-20): Juniors and Seniors only
  • Week 2 (MAR 23-27): Sophomores and Juniors
  • Week 2 (MAR 30-APR 3): Freshman, Sophomores and anyone else.

Setting up an advising appointment is fairly easy… but getting the slot YOU want means doing it NOW!

  1. Please go to my online SIGN UP: If you have trouble accessing it, email me.
  2. Find an open slot that works for you.

That’s it!

If none of the available times works for you because of classes or work, let me know and we will set something up outside these times. I’ll be filling up the chocolate jar :) Those of you studying abroad this semester should already have the advising spreadsheet to work from but, certainly, email me if you have questions.

If you are a graduating Senior, please make sure that you have filed your Graduation Petition. I can help you with that.


Office: GHH 323 (Global Heritage Hall, 3rd floor).

March 6th, 2015

APA questions are rolling in…

Instead of putting these responses in all the course companion websites… I am posting them here:

1. How to create a hanging indent for the APA References in your paper:

2. How to cite email correspondence in APA:

3. How to cite websites, tweets, blog posts, and other pesky sources:
Handy PDF of missings…

APA Website – examples

February 16th, 2015

What’s “good” writing?

I’m putting this here for the benefit of ALL my students, not just those who will have to write one or more papers in my classes. Instead, I will put a link to this post on all my course companion websites in the syllabi.

Walvoord, B. E.  (2014). Assessing and Improving Student Writing in College: A Guide for Institutions, General Education, Departments, and Classrooms. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

The expert writer:

    • Focuses the writing appropriately for the demands of the assignment, situation, and audience, whether that means constructing an argument, recommending solutions to a problem, or reporting scientific research. Uses the modes of reasoning and inquiry, as well as the conventions of correctness that are considered appropriate to the discipline, but also understands the rhetorical situatedness of those modes and their intellectual, political, and social consequences.
    • Organizes the writing in an effective way for its audiences and purposes. 
    • Locates, evaluates, integrates, and cites information from various sources. 
    • Follows ethical principles for research and writing, including collaboration with peers, use of sources (avoiding plagiarism), and ethics of the disciplines such as protecting privacy, presenting accurate data, and respecting alternative viewpoints.
    • Integrates quantitative material, charts and graphs, images, and other multimedia material as appropriate; understands, critically evaluates, and appropriately employs new technologies and new digital and multimedia forms. 
    • Produces clear, coherent sentences and paragraphs shaped for their audiences and purposes. 
    • Uses the grammar and punctuation of Edited Standard Written English (ESWE) in appropriate circumstances, such as formal academic, business, civic, and professional writing.
    • Follows productive writing processes. 
    • Collaborates effectively with others to both give and receive feedback on a writer’s emerging work. (my emphasis).

But before you can do that, you have to internalize the following:

  • See that writing is important and necessary 
  • Experience a safe, supportive, yet rigorous environment with instructors who believe in students’ ability to improve as writers
  • Read, read, read, and, more broadly, work within an interactive, language-rich environment
  • Write frequently in genres that require higher-order thinking
  • Learn to work in multimedia forms and use developing technologies
  • Get helpful guidance, feedback, and chances to revise
  • Learn mindfulness about their own writing (metacognition) and principles they can apply across contexts (again, my emphasis)

Taken from Tomorrow’s Professor eNewsletter #1387, February 16, 2015.