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Department News & Events

Spring 2015


Undergraduates Participate in Spring Semester Public Speaking Contest

Pictured above (left, right): Bryanna McDermott (first place), Katie Miller (second place), Derek Faix (third place)

On April 10, the seven best speakers from the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies public speaking course showcased their skills in the Spring Semester Public Speaking Contest Finals.

Participating students gave exemplary ceremonial or informative speeches. The first place award went to Bryanna McDermott, a freshmen level journalism major, who spoke on sexism in sports.

Katie Miller, a sophomore physical therapy major, received second place with a speech that informed listeners about 3D-printed prosthetics. Derek Faix, a senior marketing and entrepreneurship major, placed third with a speech about the addition of a sales minor to Duquesne University.

As top-placing finishers, they received a classic work by Ernest Hemmingway, Abraham Lincoln or Charles Dickens as a prize.

Additional finalists included Kareen Ayuk, Taylor Coniglio, Annette Faith, and Johnson Hypolite.

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies holds a Public Speaking Contest every semester to demonstrate and further develop the speaking skills of adept students. Hannah Karolak and Susan Mancino are the public speaking course directors and coordinated the event.

"The contest displays the significance of public speaking as part of Duquesne University's core curriculum for all students in their chosen fields," Mancino said. "Congratulations to all participants and instructors on a successful event."

Students Learn about Successful Internships at Spring Internship Colloquium

Pictured above (left, right): Carrie Barrow, John Anderson, Brittany Naida

On April 7, two current and one former Integrated Marketing Communication majors shared their internship experiences with students at the Spring Internship Colloquium sponsored by the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies.

Brittany Naida, Carrie Barrow, and John Anderson discussed how their Duquesne University education prepared them for their internship and success after graduation. Naida and Barrow will be graduating in May 2015, and Anderson graduated in December 2014.

All three credited their internships with helping them enter the job market:

  • Naida, who interned at Active Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, said her experiences helped her get her dream position at Dick's Sporting Goods. After graduation, she will be entering a 12-month Merchandising Trainee program and will work as a Merchandise Analyst or an Assistant Buyer.
  • Barrow's marketing internship at the Mario Lemieux Foundation turned into a full-time job as the organization's New Media Coordinator.
  • Anderson interned at Beyond Spots and Dots, where he was offered a job after graduation as an Associate Digital Coordinator.

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies holds an Internship Colloquium each semester as part of its departmental internship program. Sarah Flinko, the department's Director of Recruitment and Professional Development, said that these events provide great opportunities for communication majors to learn about why internships are important and how to get them.

"Internships are vital for professional development," she said. "These events give students helpful tips, advice, and experiences that assist them in pursuing internships and marketplace opportunities."

For more information on available internship opportunities please email Flinko, Director of Recruitment and Professional Development.

2nd Undergraduate Research Colloquium

Pictured above (left, right): Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz (B.A./M.A. Director), Sofia Buxareo, Taylor Coniglio, Julia Lamar, and Sarah Flinko (Director of Recruitment and Professional Development)

On Friday, March 20, 2015 Julia Lamar, Sofia Buxareo, and Taylor Coniglio presented scholarly papers at the 2nd Undergraduate Research Colloquium sponsored by the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies. The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies works with undergraduate students to develop engagement with scholarship, connecting ideas to the marketplace.

Lamar, Buxareo, and Coniglio will be graduating this May. Lamar is majoring in Corporate Communication and Political Science, Buxareo is majoring in Communication Studies, and Coniglio is majoring in Entrepreneurship and Communication Studies.

Scholars presented papers that were uniquely tied to their majors. In "Terror Through the Smartphone," Lamar considered ways in which terrorist organizations use social media, suggesting the construction of a "counter-narrative" to combat terrorist social media use. Buxareo's "Engagement of Reading Within Literate Culture" examined questions pertaining to the development of reading, how reading has affected our brains, and what it means to live in a literate-digital culture. Congilio, in "Defining Heroes and Villains in the Marketplace," discussed the importance of basing the marketplace on concerns beyond transactions and adding human consideration to marketplace interaction.

Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz responded to the papers and commended the authors for their rich, articulate ideas, each of which contained implications for the public sphere, calling us to be "mindful of our responsibility to self, others, institutions, and communities."

Brian Peiritsch Honored for contributions to the Profession

Pictured above: Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies Chair (left); Brian Peiritisch, winner of 2015 Anthony L. Bucci Excellence in Communication Ethics Award

On Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Brian Peiritsch was presented the Anthony L. Bucci Excellence in Communication Ethics Award by the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University to honor his ethical leadership in the field of communication.

Brian Peiritsch is a 1995 alumnus of Duquesne University, with a B.A. in Corporate Communication and English, and is currently employed as the Vice President of Ketchum Inc., one of the largest public relations agencies in the world. Peiritsch is the account lead for the Canned Food Alliance (CFA), which involves communicating promotions on the convenience and benefits of canned food to influencers and consumers.

During the award ceremony, Peiritsch spoke to current B.A. and M.A. communication students about the value of an education from Duquesne University, which provided him with both the work ethic and critical thinking skills necessary to excel in the marketplace. His degree from Duquesne University gave him an informed skill set for engaging in professional and ethical challenges, including work at the Eastman Kodak Group, Olympic Paint and Stain and involvement with crisis communication around the 2012 Sandusky Penn State case.

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Chair of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, spoke of Brian Peiritsch as "an exemplar of a professional communicator who thoughtfully assists businesses in navigating a confusing and, at times, contentious public environment. He situates business activity within a story that engages and clarifies corporate action."

Fall 2014


December 5: Public Speaking and Business & Professional Contest

Pictured above: Public Speaking Contest winners and judges.

The Public Speaking Contest featured student-generated speeches from the university-wide public speaking course. Winners of the event were:

1st Place - Sydnie Pennington
Topic - Rosie the Riveter
- Informative Speech

2nd Place - Eliza Fetter
Topic - Sexual Assault Prevention
- Ceremonial Speech

3rd Place - Don Crawford
Topic - Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
- Informative Speech

Pictured above: Students presenting a poster to onlookers.

The Business & Professional Contest featured student researched and generated posters and presentations from the Business & Professional class sections. Winners of the event were:

1st Place - Haley Citrone, Jill Purcell, Patrick Bacza, Garrett DeOre and Matt Lennert
Poster Topic - Nestle

2nd Place - Brain Hawley, Allessandra Miller, Brianna Foster, Tyler Hamilton
Poster Topic - P&G

3rd Place - Amber Fitcher, Jon Drozd, Carly Cappelli, Kevin Berger, and Spencer Bergstein
Poster Topic - Carnival

Spring 2014


Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Ph.D. introduces the ceremony.

Graduate Student Award Winners

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett introduces the ceremony (left); Graduate Student Award Winners (right)

APRIL 11th: The Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony occurred on April 11th, 2014. Guest speaker Dr. Gail T. Fairhurst, of the University of Cincinnati, gave a lecture titled "(Re)Framing: Creating Meaning and Dialogue." After the lecture, Ashley Cyprowski, President of Lambda Pi Eta (LPE), Sierra Lilac, Vice President, and Jayne R. Katherman, Secretary, invited the 2014 LPE inductees to come forward and be welcomed by the Communication and Rhetorical Studies Faculty to the LPE Organization.

2014 Lambda Pi Eta Inductees: Kellie Arlet, Carrie D. Barrow, Julianne Boyle, Monica Marie Chmiel, Erika Ciesielski, Taylor Coniglio, Sarah Constant, Kaitlyn Davidson, Amy Del Rio-Gazzo, Megan Foley, Shawna Luanne Foyle, Lila Ann Gabriel, Megan A. Gallagher, Erin Hess, Mary Houlette, Amy M. Kerlin, Ashley K. Knoch, Julia Lamar, Jade Alexandra Leitzel, Kristina Logan, Paige Malezi, Chelsea Elizabeth Martin, Brittany Nicole Nadia, Madison Taylor O'Neill, Penelop Person, Alina J. Philips, Megan Pilsner, Brittany N. Reilly, Britney Alyssa Smith, Matthew Smith, Aileen St. Leger, Erica Stevenson, Sierra Walp, Caitlin Cade Young, and Nicole Zientek.

Award Recipients:

  • Scholar Award for Communication Excellence in Ethics Education for the Mind, Heart, and Spirit - Dr. Gail T. Fairhurst

  • Wilhelm Wurtzer Award for Scholarship - David DeIuliis (Graduate Student)

  • D. Clark Edwards Service Award - Jeff Lohr (Graduate Student)

  • Richard H. Thames Teaching Award - Hongchao Qian (Graduate Student)