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Wednesday, December 5, 2012


The students and faculty of the Department of Communication Studies recently met for a friendly competition of wiffle ball, dodge ball, and basketball.  The events served as a way to for both students and faculty to engage each other in a spirit of friendly competition and as a way to reduce the stress of impending final exams.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Dr. Polack’s Presentation Now Available Online!

If you weren’t able to attend Dr. Polack’s Presentation on Communication Costs, Communication Kills: Its Role in the Future of Health care, we have the solution for you. The Department of Communication Studies recorded the presentation and Part 1 and Part 2 of Dr. Polack’s speech are now available through YouTube.

Please click the links below to view the presentation at your leisure!


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dr. Polack Presents to Ashland University Students and Staff

The Department of Communication Studies was honored to invite Dr. E. Phillips Polack speak to students and staff about the importance of communication in the Healthcare field. His presentation: “Communication Costs, Communication Kills: Its role in the future of healthcare” was held in the Student Center Auditorium.  Approximately 80 students, faculty and staff learned about the vital importance of communicating in a cohesive and insightful manner when lives are on the line as well as the devastating impact that ineffective communication has on patient safety and quality of care. 

Monday, November 5, 2012


Five students majoring in Public Relations traveled to Cleveland for a networking event hosted by the Public Relations Society of America.  Ashley VanGilder, Kayla Ray, Chris Manthey, Jill Guseman, and Stephany Elgin spent the day listening to various panels of public relations professionals from both profit and nonprofit organizations, had an opportunity to receive career advice, resume feedback, and enjoyed a networking luncheon.  This is the second year in a row that students from the Department of Communication Studies have attended such an event.   

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Health and risk communication is one of the fastest growing fields of study as many colleges and universities, including Ashland University, are beginning to introduce health communication into their communication curriculum.  Those wanting to find out more about the health communication field and its impact of patient health and safety are invited to attend a presentation on November 8 at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. The presenter will be Dr. E. Phillips Polack, a prominent plastic surgeon and communication scholar.  His talk is entitled "Communication Costs, Communication Kills: Its Role in the Future of Health care." Dr. Polack is the author of several books and many articles assessing the impact communication in the delivery of medicine and the impact that problematic communication has on patient safety.  Through this presentation, the audience will learn about how communication in the health care system is extremely important as the country moves toward the future as well as how communication in a medical or health context is vital when attempting to save lives.  This event is being sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Dr. Theodore Avtgis, was elected as Vice President of the Ohio Communication Association by his fellow scholars at the 2012 annual conference held at Kent State University in early October. “I am honored and humbled that my colleagues believed that I could provide leadership to this organization,” said Avtgis.  He will take over Presidential duties beginning in 2015.

Dariela RodriguezProfessor Dariela Rodriguez was elected to theboard of the Ohio Communication Association as the Central District Representative responsible for providing voice and representation for all departments of communication studies departments in cenytral Ohio.  She was elected at the 2012 annual meeting of OCA held at Kent State University in early October.  Rodriguez said "It was exciting to be elected as a representative on the OCA board.  The goal of the organization is to grow the network of communication researchers in Ohio.  I hope to help this process move smoothly and to help gain recognition for OCA on a national level."

Friday, October 26, 2012


Senior Megan Wise was honored with the Most Distinguished Undergraduate Student as the annual conference of the Ohio Communication Association award reception. Wise was recognized not only for her scholastic achievements, but also for her involvement outside of the classroom within the field of communication studies. “This honor and recognition means a great deal to me and I am extremely humbled. I deeply care about my academics, so to be recognized for my commitment to my education is greatly appreciative,” said Wise.

 "I am so very happy for Megan receiving this award.  Her performance within the classroom, as my Editorial Assistant, as the President of both Accent on PR  and Lambda Pi Eta has been nothing short of stellar.  To have her recognized as the best Communication Studies undergraduate student in the state of Ohio should make all of Ashland University proud,”  said Dr. Theodore Avtgis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Professor Randall-Griffiths Wins Award

IMG_8033.JPGDr. Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, was honored at the annual Ohio Communication Award Banquet with the most innovated teacher award. Her outstanding work and dedication in the classroom was acknowledged and the department is extremely proud of her accomplishment.  Dr. Randall-Griffiths is honored to receive this award because of her deep passion for teaching at the college level: “It was very affirming to have my peers from other institutions review my record and select me for the OCA 2012 Innovative Teacher award. I feel very valued and appreciated."  The OCA conference was a great success in Dr. Randall-Griffith’ mind and she thoroughly enjoyed her time spent at the conference. “I really enjoyed spending time with our students at OCA. The poster presentations were very professional and made us all so proud. As a teacher you sometimes feel a bit like a parent and it is always rewarding to see your students doing well outside the classroom. For me, it was particularly exciting to listening to Megan Wise's presentation, knowing that the initial topic came from my Interpersonal Communication class, but hearing how her research has grown and developed,” said Dr. Randall-Griffiths.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Students Present Research at OCA Conference

Five students representing Ashland University and the Department of Communication Studies in the brightest lights as they shared their research to faculty members and students at the Ohio Communication Association held at Kent State University.  Over 175 scholars gathered at the annual conference to exchange ideas and research findings.

Senior Megan Wise spoke on a panel about her research uncovering the multiple facets of the Interpersonal Deception Theory and she thoroughly enjoyed her experience. “I had a great time presenting at OCA. It was a great experience to share my research at a conference and talk with professors from around the state,” said Wise.
Students also presented their public relations research on specific health topics during a poster session at the conference. 

Sophomore Stephany Elgin spoke with the judges about her plan to increase the participation of organ donations. “I was happy to represent Ashland University at the conference and I enjoyed presenting my research to those who were interested, “ said Elgin. 

Senior Ashley VanGilder and Junior Chris Manthey explained their research to expand participation and membership at the Ashland YMCA. “It was good experience to present to others our project that we worked so hard on” said Manthey.

Lastly, senior Christina Miadich presented her research on the importance of Alzheimer’s patient caregivers in today’s society. “I was happy to be a part of such a great experience. OCA was the first conference I presented at and I was grateful to be given the opportunity to do so, “said Miadich. Miadich also won first prize for her poster research: “Winning the award of top student poster was a great honor and I was proud to represent Ashland University at OCA.”
The conference proved to be a great experience for all who presented and attended, and students were exposed to new aspects of communication and gained confidence as scholars in the communication field.


Saturday, September 15, 2012


Megan Wise, a senior in the Department of Communication Studies is the recipient of the 2012 Ohio Communication Association Distinguished Undergraduate Student Award.  This award is given to stellar students who excel not only in the classroom but at a state and national level as well.  This is the highest student honor offered by the organization.  Theodore Avtgis, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies said "Megan is not only an unbelievable talent in the classroom, but she is also extremely accomplished within the field of Communication Studies for someone so young.  We are extremely proud of her and see her as most deserving of this honor."  Wise has amassed a record of scholarship and service rivaled by graduate students.  In here time here in the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University, she has presented research at conferences, developed the teaching materials for a national book on Organizational Communication, is currently the Editorial Assistant for the scholarly journal Communication Research Reports which has international readership.  On campus, Wise is also the President of both of the national academic honorary Lambda Pi Eta, Alpha Alpha Rho chapter of the National Communication Association, and the President of the Accent on PR club which is a public relations club housed within the Department of Communication Studies.  Wise will be honored on October 5th at the Annual Meeting of the Ohio Communication Association to be held in Kent, OH.

Friday, August 24, 2012


The Department of Communication Studies received a $2,000 gift from Kendall Hunt Publishing Company for program development and enhancement.  Paul Carty, Director of Publishing Partnerships for Kendall Hunt Publishing said “we believe in supporting forward thinking and innovative program development and see what the Department of Communication Studies at Ashland University is planning for the future as the very types of programming that will lead the field into the next decade.”  Professor Theodore Avtgis, Chair of the department said “we are very thankful to Kendall Hunt Publishing as this generous gift can be utilized to enhance our students’ experiences and serve as a way to move us forward in the creation of our Health and Risk Communication major that we are hoping to launch in the fall of 2013.”  Carty further commented that "when coupled with the innovative Sport Communication Program that they currently have, their development of the Health and Risk Communication Major will clearly make them a leader in terms of being innovative and at the fore front of what will surely be a highly successful program.  We are pleased to support the Department of Communication Studies in this building effort."

Monday, August 13, 2012


According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Job Outlook 2011 survey, communication is the highest-ranking skill that employers look for in new recruits. According to the list, employers also seek recruits with interpersonal and teamwork skills, ethical integrity, and analytical skills—all of which can be improved in the context of a communication course or mastered by someone who is majoring in one of our majors (i.e., Strategic Communication, Public Relations, Sport Communication). While many employers provide training in company-specific skills which need to be continually updated as technology changes, they are more concerned with an employee’s broader skills such as written and verbal communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and interpersonal skills which are consider vital and will never go out of vogue.

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Dr. Rodrigues traveled to Toronto, Canada, to present research at the international conference titled, “Comics & Medicine: Navigating the margins.” The paper was co-authored with Dr. O’Rourke, our department’s primary scholar of comic book studies. Their paper was titled, “A Symbolic Bridge of Words and Images: The “Silver Scorpion” and Medical Communication” and focused on the specific context of intercultural understanding within the health care setting. The paper drew from theories of storytelling, visual literacy, narrative analysis and popular culture to emphasize the potential of comics to help overcome some of the barriers presented by an intercultural situation within the health care setting. Comic books are appropriately equipped to overcome these barriers since comic books bring together the benefits of multiple components such as sequential art (complex combination of visual and text), storytelling, and an overall familiarity across the world with the genre of comic books. 

The comic book “The Silver Scorpion” has an interesting back story since it was created by 13 Syrian students with disabilities and 10 American counterparts who came together at an international disability summit in 2010, learned about each other and discussed strategies for improving the rights and freedoms of the disabled. Dr. O’Rourke became aware of the comic, was fascinated by its origins, and saw its relevance to intercultural communication and the graphic medicine conference. He then collaborated with Dr. Rodrigues, our resident intercultural communication scholar, to develop the paper that was presented at the conference.

The conference drew presentations from medical practitioners and scholars from multiple disciplines including biomedicine, psychology, nursing, and counseling. Dr. Rodrigues found it particularly reaffirming to mark that the one recurring theme across all the presentations was the critical role communication played in the effective delivery of health services. Scholars in the discipline of communication studies have long been aware of this truth. It was gratifying to witness communication receiving its due significance at a conference that has been established by medical professionals.

Friday, June 29, 2012


The Department of Communication Studies is proud to announce that seven of our students have had their research accepted for presentation at the 76th annual conference of the Ohio Communication Association to be held on October 5th and 6th, 2012 at Kent State University.  The research projects include campaigns for health and risk communication, public relations campaigns for non-profit organizations, and interpersonal deception.  Dr. Theodore Avtgis, Chair of the Department of Communication Studies, said "this is a wonderful thing for our students to be recognized for their research efforts at the regional level.  These students have worked diligently on these projects and should be proud of themselves, I know that the entire faculty certainly is."

Congratulations to:

Stephany Elgin
Adena Seifert
Ashley VanGuilder
Chelsea Mayer
Christina Miadich
Chris Manthey
Megan Wise

Friday, June 1, 2012


Jill Gosche graduated from Ashland University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and speech communication. She currently works at the Advertiser-Tribune newspaper in Tiffin, Ohio as the education reporter and editorial webmaster.
She enjoys many things about her job such as the people and having the opportunity to constantly meet new people. Also the flexibility of her schedule is something Gosche is happy to have.
“I love communication and I of course get to do that daily,” Gosche said. “I also love the feeling that I can help keep the public informed about issues that affect their lives.”
Gosche explains that the AU communications department not only molded her into the journalist that she is today but it helped shape how she approaches situations. “I feel like the professors truly shared their knowledge but also let me explore and make my own choices,” said Gosche. From the experiences that Gosche had, she described her time at AU as life-changing.