CMS Professors Receive Fellowships and Research Grants for Summer and Fall
Professor Keri Stephens has received a Dean’s Fellowship for the Fall of 2011 where she will study how to use communication technologies to strategically reach, but not overload others. Finding ways to reach people with important messages is becoming increasingly difficult now that people have so many different communication options. Should we send an email, send a text message, make a phone call, or post a Facebook message? If we send all the messages simultaneously, we potentially overload the recipient. With this changing communication environment, there is a critical need to find ways to use information and communication technologies (ICTs) more strategically to reach others and capture their attention.
The objective of her project is to carefully examine the role of emerging patterns of ICT use and the changing perceptions of audience appropriateness. This specific project focuses on the perceptions of college students’ ICT use. This is the generation that will be entering the workplace soon and their ICT habits will likely inform future research in new communication technology and organizational communication.
This project builds on Stephens’ past work on ICT use in organizations. Her prior research in this area has been published in journals such as Communication Theory, Management Communication Quarterly, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Communication Education, Journal of Business Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Communication Research, Journal of Public Relations Research, Informing Science, Case Studies in Organizational Communication, and The Handbook of Crisis Communication. She is a co-author of the book, Information and Communication Technology in Action: Linking Theory and Narratives of Practice.
Dr. Josh Gunn has been awarded a semester's leave in Spring 2012 to work on his second academic book, tentatively titled "Haunting Voices: Mourning Speech in Modernity." The book explores how human speech, especially the recorded variety, has become increasingly important in cultures saturated with imagery and spectacle. For the research period, Prof. Gunn will be focusing on two chapters. The first chapter explores the legal arguments between The New York Times and the city government of New York over tape recordings that feature the conversations between Nine-eleven victims and emergency personnel. The second chapter concerns an archive of the voice recordings of former slaves talking about their experiences at the Library of Congress. Both chapters examine how people talk about and use voice recordings to mourn loss and negotiate trauma.
Dr. Erin Donovan-Kicken has received a Summer Research Assignment for Summer 2011 to explore the topic of Parent-Child Communication about Illness: Strategies for Successful Disclosure.
What is the most appropriate and effective way for parents to tell their children that they have recently been diagnosed with a serious illness? Mainstream sources of information offer parents surprisingly little guidance on this matter, other than advising them to “tell the truth” and to tailor the news to the child’s comprehension level. Family communication about health and illness is far more complex than those recommendations suggest, and research is needed to develop advice that is more comprehensive. A logical yet underutilized approach to assisting parents with this daunting task is to analyze these episodes of communication from the perspective of children themselves. The specific aims of this research are as follows:
· Identify features of parental disclosures that are salient to young adult children
· Test a statistical model to assess which features of disclosures predict children’s reactions to the conversation
· Develop practical advice about communication strategies for parents
Dr. Donovan-Kicken’s scholarly interests revolve around how people manage sensitive information, especially when they are coping with health stressors. This includes examining how people engage in disclosure and avoidance and how relational partners respond to each others’ information management.
Professor Scott Stroud has received a Summer Research Assignment for the summer of 2011 when he will study the thought of the important philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724–1804). Kant’s work has been extremely influential in areas such as philosophy, political science, religious studies, and art, yet rhetorical scholars have tended to dismiss or overlook his importance for the study of rhetoric.
Stroud will spend the summer completing a book manuscript on how those studying rhetoric can re-engage Kant’s philosophy. Of particular interest are the various rhetorical means of moral improvement that Kant writes about in his religious, moral, and educational works. How do communicative activities like examples, stories, and viewing beautiful art all fit into the project of making better people and better communities? These are all part of a Kantian scheme of rhetoric that has been overlooked by philosophers as well as those in rhetorical studies.
This project builds on Stroud’s previous work on Kant and rhetoric. This research has been published in a variety of journals, including Philosophy and Rhetoric and Teaching Ethics. He has also contributed chapters to edited anthologies such as Recht und Frieden in der Philosophie Kants and Cultivating Personhood: Kant and Asian Philosophy. Stroud is the author of the forthcoming book, John Dewey and the Artful Life.