Exciting Accomplishments!

Exciting news everyone!
Sarah Cavanah has just won an Undergraduate Research/Creative Activity Award from the College of Arts and Sciences for her research project: “The Real Duck Tails Experience: Using the opportunity of an undergraduate research project to explore effective student sciences communication.”
Also, Brad Serber has won the Joyce and Aqueil Ahmad Endowment for Promotion of Peace and Nonviolence, for his proposal: “Target: Nonviolence— A Public Dialogue and Deliberation Series for UND and the Greater Grand Forks Community.”
We offer our enthusiastic congratulations to both of them!

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Innovative Speaking

Hi everyone!
Our very own associate professor, Brad Serber, is featured in the video below from UND Today. We are so excited about our new DigiComm Lab and the opportunities it will provide in student learning, and we are thrilled having Brad as part of our department. Watch the video!
http://blogs.und.edu/und-today/2017/10/innovative-speaking/

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Letter from the Chair

Dear Communication students at UND: thank you for being the most important part of our Department!
It is a great honor to write to you all today to express the Department’s appreciation, and my own, for this opportunity to work with you.
This is a very exciting year for our Department, and I am very enthusiastic to share some details with you.

Open Office Hours
In order to ensure that I am available to meet with any student in Communication who would like to discuss, please visit me during my open office hours between 11am-1pm on Wednesdays (Columbia 2370H), or work with me to schedule another time that works for you. My goal is to grow our Department through working with my faculty to provide you with courses and opportunities that even better meet your academic and professional needs, leveraging our networks of alumni and industry colleagues to provide you with scholarly and professional opportunities, and hiring even more top-quality faculty to teach in new areas in our discipline.

For seniors potentially interested in graduate school, we have an exciting new combined Masters/PhD program available that I would be happy to discuss further. I also look forward to learning more regarding what new courses you might like to see offered in the Department. Please feel free to contact me via my email address in the signature below, or to visit during my office hours. On behalf of the entire Department, I thank you again for being a Communication major, double-major, or minor (or for considering the possibility). We look forward to making this decision even more valuable for you as the semester continues.

Further Updates
As you may have observed, we are extremely fortunate to have one of the best spaces on campus nearing completion.
The DigiComm labs in Columbia Hall will be a space available to Comm majors and students in our classes, brimming full of new technologies and potential that we feel will greatly enhance your academic opportunities.
I am very excited about our absolutely stellar faculty and our extremely welcoming Departmental staff who are available to assist with your questions.

As Chair I am here to ensure that our Department is ready to support you and enhance your UND experience at all times. Our academic advisor will work with you towards developing the best path through the curriculum.
We are very excited about the internship requirement for students in our Department, and we look forward to helping you craft the best possible experiences linking your academic study with your professional work.
Communication at UND is at an incredible point in our history having just been named a full Department last year, and we are poised and ready to provide even greater opportunities for you moving forward.

Yours with sincere appreciation and best wishes for a fantastic semester!
Tim

Timothy J. Pasch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Communication
University of North Dakota
Columbia Hall, Room 2370S
501 N Columbia Road Stop 7169
Grand Forks, ND 58202
timothy.pasch@und.edu
701-777-2128 office

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2017 Best Honors Thesis

Hey everyone – Halli Krzyzaniak received the 2017 Best Honors Thesis award yesterday! Her thesis title is: A Comprehensive Study of Female Hockey Players’ Use of Social Media to Attract Fans and Endorsements.

Halli worked with her Honors thesis committee chair, Dr. Soojung Kim, an assistant professor in Communication, to produce the award-winning Honors thesis. Halli chose Dr. Kim for her expertise in social media. Halli started with an observation about the differences between the ways male and female hockey players are treated, and Dr. Kim helped her refine the idea by helping her connect with current theories on communication and social media and research methods to make sure her data and results were valid and reliable.

Along with being an Honors student with a Communication minor, she was also the captain of the UND women’s hockey team. It is clear that her academic and athletic careers have created an innovative outlet for her research.

Congratulations, Halli!

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American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Yesterday, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences announced their 228 newly elected members. According to the press release, “Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the country’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers, convening leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors to respond to the challenges facing—and opportunities available to—the nation and the world. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies in science, engineering, and technology policy; global security and international affairs; the humanities, arts, and education; and American institutions and the public good” (www.amacad.org). This prestigious group includes accomplished artists, writers, scientists and many others working toward a better tomorrow by engaging with the nation and the world.

Among the 228 new members, our very own Mark Trahant is now apart of this distinguished group. Don Randel, Chair of the Academy’s Board of Directors, said, “Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the Academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation” (www.amacad.org). We are excited to see Mark join the Academy, and know he will continue to enhance the research in academia.

Congratulations, Mark!

Follow this link to read the entire press release: Press Release

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New Article

Recently, one of our faculty members, Sarah Cavanah, along with coauthors Piotr Bobkowski and Patrick Miller at University of Kansas, published a new article in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. The article is called “Who are the ‘Journalism Kids?’ Academic Predictors of Journalism Participation in Secondary Schools.”

This article puts to rest one portion of a 30-year issue in scholastic journalism research. We have a lot of studies that show students who participate in high school journalism do better on all sorts of markers, like ACT/SAT scores, writing assessments, and first-year GPA in college. However, all these studies were nagged by the problem that it was impossible to say whether journalism makes kids do better or whether journalism attracts better kids. This stayed a problem because you need a lot of data to really decide. Otherwise you can’t control for different factors like gender, income, etc. and you don’t have enough statistical power to really find effects. In this first study, we use a large longitudinal data set kept by the Department of Education to determine who is choosing to take high school journalism courses and participate in extra-curricular journalism programs. The answer is that it is true that students with “better” markers tend to take journalism courses. They have more confidence in their English skills than other students, higher English GPAs, greater overall involvement in school, have higher socioeconomic status, and tend to me female and White (both of which tend to match with higher academic achievement in high school). So, journalism attracts the kinds of students more likely to succeed on academic measures.

With the answer to whether journalism just attracts better students, the next part of this study uses the same data to measure what the actual effect of journalism course are on academic achievement. Those results should come out in the next couple years.

To read the article, follow this link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1077695815622770

Congratulations, Sarah!

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Graduate Research Achievement Day

Department of Communication graduate students Jessica Sobolik and Haseon Park presented their research yesterday afternoon at the UND Graduate Research Achievement Day. They both did an excellent job with their presentations and posters!
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