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2020 Short Courses

CSCA 2020 Short Courses

1. Creating a Communication Research Lab

Description: Communication research labs are a great way to involve students in the research process, develop student talents, help your own scholarship, and translate your research to a broader audience. In this short course, Chad Edwards and Autumn Edwards from the Communication and Social Robotics Labs ( and Kristina Scharp from the Family Communication & Relationships Lab ( will lead this session. They will discuss the “how-to’s” of launching a lab, navigating pitfalls, creating buy-in, managing multiple sites, and seeking resources/funding. Participants will leave the session with action steps for their own labs.

Autumn Edwards, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Co-Director of the Communication and Social Robotics Labs
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Chad Edwards, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Co-Director of the Communication and Social Robotics Labs
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Kristina M. Scharp, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Communication
Co-Director of the Family Communication and Relationships Lab
University of Washington, Seattle, WA

2. Teaching the College Course in Communication Theory: Breaking Through Barriers to Student and Instructor Success

Description: Communication Theory challenges both students and instructors. For many students, the word theory carries negative connotations; for instructors, the diverse nature of theory forces them to teach beyond the borders of their area of expertise. This course assists current and future instructors who want students to care about, understand, compare, and apply a range of communication theories. The course offers sample syllabi, assignments, methods of evaluation, comparison of textbooks, classroom activities, discussion ideas, and video and Internet resources.

Andrew M. Ledbetter
Texas Christian University

Em Griffin
Professor Emeritus
Wheaton College

Douglas E. Pruim
Clinical Assistant Professor
Purdue University

3. Teaching the Organizational Culture Class: Reconceptualizing Borders through a Constitutive Approach

Description: Participants will gain hands-on experience in an interdisciplinary, constitutive approach to teaching organizational culture.  This approach introduces metaphors associated with CCO (Communicative Constitutive of Organizations) approaches while positing a definition of organizational communication that foregrounds ethics (Bisel, 2018).  Participants will engage in cultural analysis activities for graduate and undergraduate classes. Example case analysis will be provided from varied organizational types. The Organizational Culture in Action (OCA) six stage model (Driskill, 2018) will be introduced with options for data collection and analysis based on the role of cultural elements such as stories and rituals as they constitute the organization.

Gerald W. C. Driskill
Applied Communication Department
University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Elena Gabor
Associate Professor
Bradley University

Ryan T. Hartwig
Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Colorado Christian University

4. Transcending the Disciplinary Borders: Breakthroughs in Integrating Community-Based Learning in Public Speaking, Argument, and Advocacy Instruction.

Description: This short course presents an innovative instructional model for active civic engagement in communication courses. Grounded in rhetorical processes of civic inquiry and civic action, the model engages students in responsible and productive community-based research and inclusive communication on civic issues. Through civic engagement based in theory and ethics of responsible communication, students demonstrate significant development in communication and liberal arts skills, student voice, and civic agency. This short course is aimed at those who wish to incorporate theory-driven, research-based, meaningful and responsible civic engagement, community-based assignments, and civic learning in disciplinary and other courses.

Leila Brammer, Director
Parrhesia Program for Public Discourse
University of Chicago

Sarah Wolter
Assistant Professor
Gustavus Adolphus College

5. Incorporating Networks Perspectives into Communication Courses

Description: Interest in networks – like social networks, computer networks, and ecological networks – is growing among public and scholarly communities. This short course will describe how instructors in different subfields in communication can integrate network perspectives into their classes. A general overview of key network concepts and theories that can be utilized when teaching classes in organizational, health, interpersonal, and political/mass communication will be provided. Attendees will participate in a sample lesson and activity (i.e., “Who Dunnit”) on analyzing network structure and information flow and be given resources for facilitating the lesson on their own.

Seungyoon Lee
Bailey C. Benedict
Zachary Wittrock

Brian Lamb School of Communication
Purdue University

6. Using Mutually Influential Relationships to Grow an Industry

Description: Public relations practitioners are adept at building and maintaining relationships. However, practitioners often fall short when they are tasked with bridging professional practices and academia.  The future of public relations lies in the development of mutually influential relationships. It lies in the intangible capital built from relationships between public relations professors and practitioners.

This session specifically looks at how Cialdini’s six paths to influence can foster mutually influential relationships that create stronger job funnels from university PR programs to the workplace and build on the foundations of the industry.

Jamie Ward
Associate Professor
Eastern Michigan University

Shelly Najor
Director, Undergraduate Public Relations Program
Wayne State University

7. Borders & Breakthroughs of Communicating Finances in the Family: Talking and Taking Action 

Description: Communicating about finances is an often-feared topic.  Individuals, couples, and families all must make financial decisions by active conversational engagement, de facto decision-making, or by non-action among other strategies.  The Short Course topic, Borders & Breakthroughs of Communicating Finances in the Family: Talking and Taking Action, breaks through the fear and apprehension about discussing money, and offers communication and financial concepts and strategies to move attendees from seeing money as a “problem” to money as a “path” to achieving financial goals. This topic applies to a number of communication courses including family, interpersonal, small group, community, and conflict management.

Roberta Davilla Robbins
Past President, CSCA     

Frank Thompson
Former Professor of Finance

University of Northern Iowa

8. Getting started in communication training and consulting

Description: As a communication faculty member or student, you are uniquely situated to provide exceptional services to businesses and organizations through consulting and quality crafted and facilitated communication training programs. Your conceptual knowledge and classroom experience make you a great candidate for stepping into a training and consulting role. Expand your reach outside of the traditional classroom by learning how your subject matter expertise can be translated into applied training programs. In this short course, you will learn best practices for working with professional adult-learners, designing training programs, and building a client base.

Rose Helens-Hart
Assistant Professor
Fort Hays State University

Craig Engstrom
Associate Professor
Southern Illinois University

DeAnne Priddis
Assistant Professor
Middle Tennessee State University

9. From Thought to Action: Developing and Delivering a Communication Activism Course

Description: In the past few years, Communication Activism courses have become more commonplace in departmental curricula. Perhaps this course or one like it is something you are creating or have thought about creating. The facilitators for the short course will present a textbook, potential assignments, sample syllabi, discussion prompts, and other classroom materials. Every attendee will receive a copy of Amy Aldridge Sanford’s book “From Thought to Action: Developing a Social Justice Orientation,” which was released this year by Cognella.

Amy Aldridge Sanford
University of Texas, Corpus Christi

Kyle Rudick
University of Northern Iowa

10. Universal Design for Learning: Planning for those on the Borders Offers potential Breakthroughs for All

Description: In this immersive experience, participants learn the recent research from learning science behind Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and explore strategies necessary to implement a breakthrough practice addressing the needs of all learners. The second half of the session will focus on collective and individual strategizing with participants who are working toward universal design. In addition to delivering content and opportunities for practice, this short course will create a community of practice for communication teacher/scholars interested in becoming more inclusive in their pedagogies.

Allison Brenneise
Lecturer/ Course Coordinator for COMM 1313w
University of Minnesota

Adrienne Viramontes
Associate Professor
University of Wisconsin, Parkside

11. Crossing Borders to Create Breakthroughs: Using the XandY Simulation to Teach Cultural Diversity

Description: For the past 20 years, professors at Wisconsin Lutheran College have utilized an intercultural simulation called “XandY” as a part of our Basic Course. Every semester, the activity is conducted just prior to discussions of the chapter on cultural diversity and communication. This simulation has and continues to provide a rich experience for students that is remembered long after the semester has concluded. In this short course, we plan to share the theoretical and empirical support for the pedagogical choice of using simulations in the classroom, offer participants an opportunity to participate in “XandY” and debrief the experience, and finally, share information regarding materials and preparation necessary to set up and conduct the simulation.

Deb Uecker
Wisconsin Lutheran College

Aimee Lau
Wisconsin Lutheran College

Jessica Gehke
Wisconsin Lutheran College

Jerralyn Moudry
Wisconsin Lutheran College

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