Learnshop on Tensions Model to Negotiate with Environmental Stakeholders at GLBD 2018 Conference

I was privileged to facilitate a “Learn shop” at the 14th annual conference of the Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit, targeted primarily at regional leaders working toward environmental sustainability. My own contribution centered on helping learnshop participants use communication theory to engage multiple stakeholders amid the “wicked problems” of environmental sustainability. Drawing from my research, I proposed a Tensions Model centered on recognizing how tensions can be more than just headaches, but can be used constructively once we take the time to appreciate the situation holistically from multiple perspectives. Specifically, the learnshop used four “tension areas” as the starting point to help analyze different problems in small groups.

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The time I played “Shark” for the New Enterprise Forum in Ann Arbor.

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I was privileged and thrilled to serve as a “Pitch Pit” judge at the Oct 18, 2018, Showcase and Pitch Pit, organized by the New Enterprise Forum (NEF). Based in Ann Arbor, MI, only 45 minutes from downtown Detroit, NEF offers local entrepreneurs extensive coaching, networking and other support services so that they can be successful. Pitch Pit gives startup leaders the opportunity to practice presenting to investors and others interested in the Detroit Area entrepreneurial community. Basically, our brief was to offer constructive and useful feedback, a more helpful version of the “sharks” on Shark Tank, to help the entrepreneurs pitching their business.

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COM 4270 Group Com students submit amazing social justice-themed Final Projects

As Winter 2016 winds down, I am amazed at the great social justice-themed final projects submitted by COM 4270 Group Communication students. These four groups worked tirelessly during the semester with an external client organization (based in the Metro Detroit area), identifying specific needs and implementing complicated projects, ranging from tactical strategy-building to fundraising, and from marketing to volunteer-generation.

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Reflecting on W2015 COM 4500 Leadership Communication service learning project with TechTown Detroit

TechTown

It’s summer at Wayne State University, but before we leave the Winter 2015 Semester too far behind, I want to take the time to recall and celebrate a wonderful collaboration with Detroit-based innovation hub and entrepreneurial development space, TechTown. It was through Dean Matt Seeger at the WSU College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts that I met with TechTown’s outgoing chairperson, Leslie Smith, and her amazing team of “warriors.” Leslie was fascinated to learn about organizational communication, and the different perspectives of organizational practice a communicative perspective to research can help explore. And she was especially interested in my proposal to use TechTown as a research site for my undergraduate Leadership Communication (COM 4500) class for W2015.

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Three sustainable organizing/communicating implications of #NCSE2015 Energy & Climate Change Summit

Back home in Detroit, I find myself reflecting on some of the key themes evident in the policy talk surrounding the National Council for Science and the Environment’s 15th national conference, on Energy and Climate Change (See my earlier post looking forward to NCSE HERE). In particular, I find myself returning to THREE main implications for organizing broader collectives, social movements, and formal organizations — and the communicative elements that characterize these.

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Research Talks at the 2014 International Communication Association: Hello, Seattle! :)

Space Needle

Seattle is a gorgeous, gorgeous city, with some amazing people, buildings, and food, and I’m thrilled to be in the middle of things right now for the annual conference of the International Communication Association! This is a bittersweet occasion; on the one hand, this is my first appearance here at ICA as a faculty member, representing Wayne State University, yet on the other hand, the conference marks the end of my two-year term as Student Board Member, a profoundly insightful position. During my two years, I have enjoyed working with the ICA leadership to set up some fantastic new opportunities and structures to enable graduate student members of the ICA in their professional development, and I’m sure that my successors will do an even more awesome job, extending these initiatives. So, as I bid adieu to this post, I’m settling for a wonderful few days in Seattle, exploring and experiencing the city, and engaging in some wonderful research with my Communication colleagues.

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