“Appreciation” seems an inadequate word for thanking Grad Student Labor

We are still in the thick of the COVID-19 crisis, and my university has declared this week to be Graduate Student Appreciation Week. I think this is a wonderful move, both for graduate students and faculty, because it helps anchor us to each other and reminds us of how much we really, crucially depend on each other, especially in a R-1 setting. I think this is a wonderful move, not just because it foregrounds the social connections that remain crucial despite the physical distancing measures presently in place, but also because it emphasizes that this dependence is not just the resource-based variety (as in, “I need you to collect data for me,” or “I need you to write a letter of recommendation for me”) but involves emotional investment and labor from all parties — perhaps too much of it, at times. At the same time, this recognition invites further introspection about the lived experiences and conditions of our graduate students, challenging faculty to think beyond the staid (and quite possibly rose-tinted) nostalgia of “in the days when I was a grad student…” to listen to and act in response to their concerns. Whether this is about grad student stipends, housing, diversity and inclusion within the department, bureaucratic red rape, bullying, … the list goes on (sadly).

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Charting new “Movements in Organizational Communication Research”: My first book is out in print!

Movements cover

I’m so proud and excited that this labor of love from my awesome colleague (and friend) Jamie McDonald and I is finally out in PRINT! “Movements in Organizational Communication” is available for purchase through its publisher (Routledge) website HERE.

This book is the culmination of our vision for a volume that tackled state-of-the-art organizational communication research and related them to everyday events, in a way that felt more accessible for students. In short, something that made organizational communication seem personal and relevant! Personally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my amazing undergraduate and graduate students at Wayne State University and Purdue University, where I have taught classes on organizational communication, leadership, small group communication, professional issues, and communication technologies. Their questions and experiences helped stimulate the process for thinking about, designing, and creating this volume!

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Presenting research on Graduate Students’ Resilience and Stress Management at ICA 2019

The RISE Lab is thrilled to have our paper accepted for presentation at the 69th annual conference of the International Communication Association! The paper, titled Structurational Resilience in Graduate School: How Communication Graduate Students Manage Stress, was coauthored with Wayne State graduate students Kelsey Husnick, Alexei Berg and Caleb Mims, and University of South Florida professor Patrice M. Buzzanell.

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


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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Communicating that Research is Inherently Practical and Applied


Exhorting academics to talk candidly and plainly about their research with broader publics is not exactly new. What IS new, though, in this recent op-ed piece published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, is linking it explicitly to the research-generation goal of a university, which most policymakers and publics seem to be in the dark about, or conflate with imparting particular “skills” for the job market, or “applied” research that answers a localized question in a particular setting (e.g., how can we get legislators in Wyoming to buy into man-made climate change?).

But the goal of research, and academics in general, is deeper than that, the article points out.

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Graduate Student Publishing: Collaborative Research


Given the increasing importance for both the academic job market and bagging research grants for collaborative research, it’s important to talk about team scholarship processes in some depth. Specifically: when, why, how, and with whom should you collaborate with on a research project?

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