• Congratulations to Vanessa Theme Ament, who last week agreed to accept appointment at Ball State University as the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Endowed Chair and Professor of Telecommunications.  This is a wonderful opportunity that will have Vanessa joining a program nationally distinguished for its efforts to integrate industry, practitioner training, and academic research into its educational programs.  Ament is advised by Jack Boozerand will soon defend her dissertation, a portion of which many of you heard presented in a recent doctoral proseminar.
  • Patricia Davis learned last week that she has been invited to join one of two National Endowment for the Humanities summer workshops to which she had applied (that is, she has been accepted to both, so she’ll have to pick just one).  Both are to be hosted at Emory.  One focuses on the visual culture of the American Civil War.  The other will examine black aesthetics and African centered cultural expressions in the nexus between cultural studies, religion, and philosophy.
  • Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 8), Holley Wilkin will be featured in a webinar organized by the Metropolitan Group in Washington, DC.  The topic is “Putting Culture Into Context: Communicating with Diverse Latino Communities,” and is set to run from  10:30am – 12:00pm PDT / 1:30pm – 3:00pm EDT.  From the event summary:  Today’s U.S. Latino population is growing, dynamic and evolving, reflecting a new American reality. Latino culture and family dynamics impact healthcare decisions and behaviors. Recognizing that Latinos are not a homogeneous group, experts from media, academic research and public health promotion will share insights, tips and tools in this timely webinar for closing the cultural communication gap with this diverse population. Register now for this FREE event!  After this session, participants will be able to:  Identify diversity among Latino populations and take appropriate steps to build a communication ecology relative to that diversity; Describe the role that media, community and family influences play in healthcare decisions; and, Describe how to reach Latinos more effectively through culturally relevant communication and outreach. 
  • Luciana Rodrigues has accepted a position to join our faculty this fall as a lecturer.  She will teach courses in communication disorders and provide more intensive advisement to students interested in those career paths.  Dr. Rodrigues earned her Ph.D. at the University of Campinas in Brazil, where she received clinical training before relocating to the United States last year.  This year she has been teaching advanced seminars in the College of Education.  My thanks to Greg Lisby for organizing this successful search.
  • Congratulations to Nick Sciullo, who this last weekend won the 2014 Robert Bostrom Young Scholar Award for the top graduate student paper given at the Southern States Communication Association.  The paper, “‘Outraged, heartbroken, bruised, and bleeding’: George H. White’s Farewell Address to Congress,” was also the Top Student Paper for the Political Communication Division. Nick first wrote the paper for Dr. Darsey’s Texts and Contexts seminar last year, and many of you had the chance to see it presented last fall in the doctoral proseminar.  Sciullo is the first GSU student to win the award.
  • Amelia Arsenault is recently returned from convening the Milton Wolf Seminar, which ran in Vienna from March 30 – April 1.  This year’s seminar was focused on the “The Third Man Theme Revisited: Foreign Policies of the Internet at a Time of Surveillance and Disclosure.”  The annual goal of the seminar is to provide a meeting place for media practitioners, diplomats, academics and students so that research can be better facilitated.  Sponsorship was organized by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, the American Austrian Foundation, and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
  • Sharon Shahaf was invited this past weekend for a campus visit by the Institute for the Humanities at Old Dominion University, as the key-note speaker in their Jewish Education Week event. The visit included two events – a screening of the award winning Israeli series Hatufim/Prisoners of War (adapted in the U.S. as Showtime Homeland). Shahaf gave opening remarks and followed the screening with a 30-minute Q&A. The second event was an academic talk by Shahaf on Israeli television in the U.S., titled “American Dreams Israeli Formats: Israeli TV and the global format revolution.”
  • Among the events at this past weekend’s Southern States Communication Association was a set of discussion panels organized by the Southern Colloquium on Rhetoric, convened by James Darsey.  SCoR held its seventh spring seminar on Saturday. The theoretical hook for this year’s seminar was identification, and the texts discussed were two speeches given by Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, his 2007 gubernatorial victory speech, and his 2013 Gridiron dinner speech. The full announcement for the seminar, including links to texts can be found on the SCoR website:http://southerncolloqrhetoric.net. SCoR seminars are not panels; they are intended to be seminars, to engage participants and provoke lively discussion. James Darsey and Stephanie Houston Grey planned this year’s seminar, and they, along with Marilyn Young, delivered brief critical précis, a variety of perspectives, as a way to open conversation.