Communication studies faculty present at national conference

Over the Thanksgiving break, three Louisiana Tech communication studies faculty members presented at the annual National Communication Association Conference in New Orleans.

Dr. Laura Blount Carper, Communication 101 Co-director Tara Raue, and Communication 101 Co-Director Kristi Stake presented in their individual areas of expertise to Communication faculty from all over the nation. They were also interviewed as leaders in a program of distinction.

Stake presented on “Building Community and Advocating for Traditionally Underrepresented and Stigmatized Populations in the Basic Course and Beyond.” This panel was a collaborative effort with faculty from Illinois State University, Louisiana State University, and Williston State University and addressed classroom connectivity and inclusivity with students from racial minorities, students with disabilities, first-generation students, and students with marginalized voices. Blount Carper and Raue co-chaired the panel.

“It was engaging to see what other universities are doing to incorporate the marginalized voices in the classroom,” Stake said. “And, ultimately the collaboration amongst the panelists is leading to future research in this area.”

Blount Carper also chaired a panel on the “Innovative Approaches to the Use of Narrative in Health Communication Research.” Panelists discussed current research on the use of narratives in health communication, including research on health narratives and race in gaming, the post-COVID world, and autoimmune diseases.

In addition to their presentations, Raue and Stake were interviewed by faculty from Seton Hall University for a historical review of NCA Basic Course program award winners to learn about how their university’s programs rose to become recognized for excellence at the national level. The information collected will be used as a best practices for other universities to follow for future implementations.

“It was rewarding to hear that among the best programs in the nation, our program is one of the most innovative – that we are doing things no other programs are,” Raue said. “That’s truly a testament to the leadership we have here at Tech as well as faculty and staff across the university.”

In 2018, Louisiana Tech was awarded a Program of Distinction by the Basic Course Division of the National Communication Association for the Communication 101 and FYE program.


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