News 2013

Fall Dean's List Honors

Congratulations to the following Communication Studies majors who were recently honored for making the fall 2013 Dean’s List:

Erin Sydni Abzug, Elizabeth Ashley Armon, Bryn Elizabeth Bacharach, Melissa Baena, Ashley Lynn Ballinger, Danielle Ilana Berton, Paula Kristine Boucher, Daisy Celine Brightman, Serena Marie Sison Brown, Cassidy Lauren Burns, Jessica Janae Chernekoff, Kristina Cosgrave, Carson Jean Costa, Clare Devlin, Lauren Marie Drewniany, Alexandra Marie Fausone, Alberto Ganis, Anna Joy Gerlach, Jerry Duane Gibson, Krista N. Hoeckmann, Caroline Megginson Hollister, Dillon Jesse Katz, Samantha R. Keville, Eunice Yoon Kim, Catherine A. Llevano, Dante Pisana Logie, Nichole Christina Lorenz, Katherine June Ludington, Makenna Miller, Ashley Nelson, Danielle Nancy O'Leary, Sara M. Reichel, Katherine Elizabeth Riley, Sarah Brinton Riley, Sandra Michelle Robles, Briana C. Rubalcava, Katherine Saldivar, Natalie N. Schutt, Claire E. Shannon, Corinne Hadley Sherman, Kyle Minoru Shikashio, Michelle Rose Stiller, Nicole Esther Tobia, Megan A. Van Hamersveld, Brent M. Weber, Emma Annabelle Welden, Taylor C. Whitney, and Maria Woodson.


In October Professor Lorraine Jackson was recognized for her work as the Communication Consultant for the University Learning Objectives Assessment Project. She received an award from President Armstrong and Provost Enz-Finken for Outstanding Service to Cal Poly.

Debate Team

Chris Skiles, Director of Forensics, and John Patrick, Assistant Director of Forensics, have announced that the Cal Poly Debate Team won the title of champion at this year's Loyola Marymount University Invitational Debate Tournament. This year the debate team moved from competing in policy debate to competing in the format used by the World Universities Debate Championship. While Cal Poly has traditionally competed with great success at the local level, this transition is designed to take our reputation for high quality debate to the national and international level; and we are off to a great start.

The Loyola Tournament, which was held on Oct 26, brought out some of the best competition the U.S. has to offer, including nationally and internationally ranked local teams from The University of La Verne, Loyola Marymount University, the Claremont Colleges, UCLA, and USC. Cal Poly out-performed them all. Cal Poly students debated a wide range of topics covering international relations, social justice, environmental policy, domestic policy, economics, and philosophy. In the end Mr. Ryan Curtin and Mr. Bryan Pride took the win for Cal Poly in the final, arguing that great, transformational leaders must not be reified as symbols in ways that limit the public's ability to regret their failings and hold them accountable for transgressions.

The Cal Poly Debate Team seeks to help young people use their voice to lead others, make responsible decisions, and advocate for justice, equity, and shared values that benefit communities. Our ability to compete nationally and internationally exposes tomorrow's leaders to thoughts and philosophies they might otherwise not encounter, and prepares them to operate in zones of ambiguity and navigate interpersonal and cultural differences, skills they'll need once they graduate.  

Department Welcomes New Professors

The Communication Studies Department welcomes two new professors beginning in September. Dr. David Askay recently completed his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His works examine voice, silence, and collective action in online review websites. Dr. John Patrick recently completed his Ed.D. from the University of LaVerne. An accomplished debater, he is the new Assistant Director of Forensics.

Dr. Richard Besel and Dr. Jnan Blau Receive Tenure

Beginning in September, the Communication Studies Department will have two new Associate Professors. Drs. Richard Besel and Jnan Blau were each promoted and earned tenure. Besel joined the department in 2007 after graduating from the University of Illinois. Blau joined the department in 2008 after working at Michigan Tech.

Prof. Teitelbaum Publishes Public Speaking Textbook

Jeremy Teitelbaum has released a new textbook, Communication Skills for Professionals, in August, 2013. Published by Kendall Hunt, the book will be used primarily in introductory courses. Help us congratulate Jeremy for this accomplishment.

Dr. Besel and Dr. Shea Receive CLA Awards

Two members of the department were recognized in June at the annual College of Liberal Arts awards ceremony. Dr. Richard Besel received the 2012-2013 Richard K. Simon Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Dr. Christine Shea received the 2012-2013 College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Lecturer Award. Shea was the inaugural recipient of the award.

Profs. Brock, Mehl, and Skiles Recognized

Three members of the Communication Studies Department were honored at the 2013 department banquet. Both Sue Brock and Martin Mehl were named recipients of the Outstanding Educator Award in GE classes. Christopher Skiles was named recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award in major classes. The award for major classes was voted on by students. This was the first year the awards were given based on type of course. The department is truly fortunate to have these three award winners teaching COMS courses. 

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