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2011 Faculty & Staff News

Four Communication Studies faculty present at regional conference

March 31, 2011

Longwood University

Four Communication Studies faculty members presented at the 81st Annual Convention of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA), held March 23-27 in Little Rock, Ark. Additionally, Communication Studies students Bobbi Covell, Kristie Debner, Lauren Irby and Lindsay Smith attended the convention.

Jeff Halliday, assistant professor of communication studies, and Dr. Bill Stuart, associate professor of communication studies, presented a paper titled "Bucking Traditional Approaches to College Admissions Recruitment: Why Faculty as Admissions Recruiters Should Emerge as a New Trend." The paper followed the conference theme of "Traditions, Trends and Technology." Halliday and Stuart concluded that sending faculty members to high school magnet programs that match the faculty members' area of expertise can be effective, especially in increasing the interest of high school juniors in applying to Longwood. This was Halliday's debut paper at the SSCA.

Dr. Ramesh Rao, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies and Theatre, presented a paper titled "Yamas and Niyamas: Do's and Don'ts In Yoga, Concerning Speech." Dr. Rao's paper was part of a panel with the theme "Indian Tradition Versus an American Trend: Communication about Yoga as a Cultural Appropriation or a Vehicle for Growth." The panel was sponsored by the Intercultural Communication division of SSCA.

"Like many other social sciences and humanities fields," Dr. Rao said, "the communication studies field too over-relies on information, history, and knowledge generated in the West. Recently, however, there has been some new interest in how Indian spiritual, religious, and philosophical traditions have contributed to the understanding of human communication."

Dr. Pamela Tracy, associate professor of communication studies, and Dr. Stuart led a roundtable discussion with the theme "Controlling the Story: Exploring Ways in Which Traditions and Trends of Crisis Communication are Gendered." Also on the roundtable panel were Catherine Gryp, senior account executive with CRT/tanaka, a public relations practice headquartered in Richmond, and Dr. Heather Powell, an agency field specialist for State Farm Insurance.

"The panel was an interesting opportunity to explore the complexities of sex and gender in crisis situations for message planners, organizational spokespersons and stakeholder audiences," Dr. Tracy said. "Our panelists and audience members suggested that for some audiences, race and gender may be indistinguishable, and that issues of sex and gender most frequently deal with the intersectionality of gender, race, class and other issues."