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Communication News & Events

Communication News & Events

  •  Student Spotlight: Peter Summerville

    Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

    Professor SunWolf is teaching Communication 100A: The Science of Happiness. On the second day of class, she gives each student a purple no-complaint bracelet, which they are told to wear continuously for 21 days. This is part of the now viral Complaint-Free Movement, started by a minister, Will Bowan, who challenged his congregants to stop complaining.

    Studies show that to change a habit, it is necessary to string together 21 days of the behavior you want to start (or stop). While Professor SunWolf’s students would not have time to string 21 complaint-free days together — it took Reverend Bowan six months to do that himself — they are challenged to journal each day and string together as many complaint-free days as they can as they study the toxic effects of social complaining on happiness.

    Peter Summerville is taking the class and interning for Gabe Kapler, a former Major League Baseball player who is now a health and fitness guru. Kapler publishes a popular blog, and he gave Peter a chance to create a guest post that touched on the course. Peter wrote:

    "You may be asking yourself what the point is. The major by-product of not complaining is happiness. I don’t think I am re-inventing the wheel when I say that complaining is a serious factor affecting moods and happiness in all people.

    "One of the most rewarding parts for me has been writing in my journal every night about my complaints. Through my writing, I note and accept my mistakes, but also consider the reasons why other people are complaining, so that I can learn from others. I like the personal evaluation I have given myself, and I have learned a lot about when others tend to complain."

    Read the entire post here.

  •  Faculty Feats: Gordon Young

    Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

    Communication Senior Lecturer and author Gordon Young is doing his part to fight blight in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. He raised more than $11,000 in crowdsource funding to tear down a vacant, decaying home that attracted squatters and drug users on Parkbelt Drive in the city. The surrounding neighborhood is comprised of homes that have been well-kept by hard-working families.

    "This is really a testament to all the care the residents of Parkbelt Drive have put into their homes and their block," Young said. "They may not be able to influence the corporate decisions or U.S. trade policies that contributed to the layoffs that damaged Flint so profoundly, but they are doing everything they can to preserve their neighborhood. I'm glad I could help them out in some small way."

    More than 150 people donated to the Indiegogo campaign. The idea came from Young’s book Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City that explores the struggle of Flint residents after General Motors eliminated more than 70,000 jobs in the city. Thousands of abandoned houses still attract crime, depress property values, and destabilize neighborhoods. He says he discovered pockets of hope where people refused to abandon the city his family called home for four generations.

    “Flint is on the edge of an important turning point that I’m happy to take part in,” Young said. “Despite heartbreaking conditions, people are fighting back and taking pride in their neighborhoods. It’s an important reminder that community is ultimately defined by people, not politics or economics.”

    Crews tore down the house November 11 as neighbors cheered. Paulette Mayfield, who grew up in the house next door, plans to adopt the vacant lot through a city program and maintain it.

    Learn more about the project here.

  •  Faculty Feats: Lisa Davis

    Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014

    In the November 2014 issue of California Lawyer, adjunct lecturer Lisa Davis examines the legal landscape of Airbnb, the San Francisco company that connects potential guests online with private lodging in cities around the world.

    “Around the globe, travelers and property owners by the thousands are using short-term rental websites like Airbnb,” Davis writes. “The idea of ‘home sharing’ has zealous devotees: It's often hailed as the only thing standing between hosts and homelessness, as a way to empower the little guy in a corporate world, and as a path to better cultural understanding, one traveler at a time — all of which might actually be true. But home sharing is testing new ground in the courts, local governments, and housing markets. It tests zoning and landlord-tenant laws, as well as the patience of many neighbors, and it is helping to reshape the nation's most competitive housing markets.”

    Davis teaches journalism courses in the Communication Department. She is a freelance writer and author of The Sins of Brother Curtis: A Story of Betrayal, Conviction, and the Mormon Church

    (Illustration by Randy Lyhus, courtesy of California Lawyer)

  •  Student Spotlight: Senior Thesis Students

    Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

    Dr. Katharine Heintz is supervising a group of 20 seniors who are completing their thesis project on the topic of Family Communication in the Digital Age. The students designed an online survey and administered it to pupils in several sixth-grade classrooms around the South Bay Area. Working in two-person teams, they will analyze the collected data for evidence of relationships between family communication styles, children's media use, family rules about technology, and children's interpersonal communication competence. Some teams will be exploring gender and racial differences in these variables. Once their reports are complete, some teams will present their findings to fellow SCU undergrads, while others will return to the sixth-grade classrooms and discuss their findings with the students.

  •  Faculty Feats: Gordon Young

    Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

    An Op/Ed by Senior Lecturer Gordon Young will appear in Dispatches from the Rust Belt, an anthology that showcases stories from the first year of Belt Magazine. Young offers a cautionary tale for would-be urban homesteaders who are considering buying inexpensive housing in one of America’s “shrinking cities.” The message: Think before you buy.

  •  Life After SCU: Jeremy Herb

    Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

    Jeremy Herb is a defense reporter for Politico Pro in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Politico, he covered defense and national security for The Hill and covered the Minnesota congressional delegation and 2012 Republican presidential primary as a Washington correspondent for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

    Jeremy is a native of San Jose. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and received a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

  •  Faculty Feats: Michael Whalen

    Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014

    The College of Arts & Sciences honored Associate Professor Michael Whalen with the Bernard Hubbard, S.J., Creative Collaboration Award at the fall convocation. The award recognizes faculty with a well-deserved reputation for excellence in educating students by including them in professional research projects or creative activity, thereby transcending traditional teaching models to reach the heart of the research and creative process and, in this collaboration, for having inspired other scholars and artists.

  •  Student Spotlight: Reflecting on a College Career

    Thursday, Jun. 12, 2014

    The University honored several Communication students in June by naming their Pathway Reflection Essays some of the best of the year. Only 24 seniors at SCU receive the award.

    Pathways, clusters of courses with a common theme, promote integrative and intentional learning. More specifically, they cultivate the ability to make intentional and reflective educational choices; to study a theme from a number of disciplinary or methodological perspectives; and to perceive connections and relationships among ideas. The Pathway Reflection Essay is the culmination of the Pathways experience, and allows students to examine what they have learned inside the classroom and out.
     
    Congratulations to Victoria Rutherford for the Cinema Studies Pathway; Kaitlin Kmetz for the Gender, Sexuality, & the Body Pathway; Elizabeth Draeger for the Vocation Pathway; and Nick Ostiller for the Values in Science & Technology Pathway.
  •  Student Spotlight: Happy to Study Happiness

    Thursday, Jun. 12, 2014
    Communication majors celebrate the completion of their Senior Thesis course entitled The Science of Happiness (COMM 197) with Professor Sunwolf. The class blew bubbles in the atrium of the Arts & Sciences Building, a symbolic culmination of all the research they synthesized about happiness (getting it, losing it, keeping it). Congratulations to Blair Boone, Sabrina Brutocao, Brittany Calvo, Jaclyn Cardosa, Sylvana Dalsgaard, Paula Gonzalez, Sarah Jackson, Laura Jalalian, Alexandra Johnston, Ashley Pinnell, Jeffrey Ramos, Sasha Sommer, Caroline Stouffer, Megan Swindells, and Veronica Yu.
  •  Student Spotlight: Communication Honor Society

    Saturday, Jun. 7, 2014

    The new leaders of Lambda Phi Eta, the Communication Honor Society, have been selected for the 2014-2015 academic year. Contratulations to Emma Poplin (president), Lauren Bigelow (vice president), Madeleine Burr (secretary), and Jackie Bright (treasurer).

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