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Department News & Events

Fall 2015

Faculty Receive National Awards for Scholarship

Garnet C. Butchart received the 2015 National Communication Association Philosophy of Communication Division Article of the Year Award for his article, "The Uncertainty of Communication as Revealed by Psychoanalysis" in Review of Communication, 13 (1). Ronald C. Arnett and Pat Arneson received the 2015 National Communication Association Communication Ethics Division Book of the Year Award for their edited volume, Philosophy of Communication Ethics: Alterity and the Other.

Fr. Sean M. Hogan, C.S.Sp., International Debate Series:
Duquesne Debating Society Hosts British Tour

[Pictured (from left to right): Marissa Vaul (DDS), Julia Baird (DDS), Kristian Sheeley (DDS), Carrie Garrison (DDS), Chessy Whalen (British Tour), Matthew Wilmore (British Tour), and Nancy Parish (DDS Assistant Coach)]

October 27-29 - The 93rd annual British Tour of the U.S. (hosted by the Committee on International Discussion and Debate at the National Communication Association) visited Duquesne as part of the Fr. Sean M. Hogan, C.S.Sp., International Debate series. During an exhibition debate on October 29, the team of Matthew Wilmore and Chessy Whalen (British tour) took on Duquesne Debating Society students Marissa Vaul, Julia Baird, and Kristian Sheeley on the topic of whether college education should be free for all U.S. students.

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett Inaugural Recipient of Endowed Chair in Communication Ethics

Pictured Above (left to right): Ronald Wolfe, Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Patricia Doherty Yoder

September 10, 2015 - Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, was named the first Patricia Doherty Yoder and Ronald Wolfe Endowed Chair in Communication Ethics. The endowment reflects Wolfe's long legal career and Yoder's distinguished career in corporate communication, and their abiding interest in ethics in the public square.

Arnett is the author or coauthor of nine books, four edited volumes, and numerous academic articles published in top-tier communication journals. He held the Henry Koren, C.S.Sp., Endowed Chair for Scholarly Excellence from 2010-2015.

"Endowed chairs represent the pinnacle of academic achievement," said Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz, Professor and Director of the B.A. and M.A. Programs and Director of University Core Curriculum. Fritz described the significance of this chair as "a high honor for the department," adding that "the chair's dedication to communication ethics, an area for which the department has gained worldwide recognition, is an acknowledgment on the part of the donors and of the university that we are recognized for scholarly excellence in communication ethics."

"The selection of Dr. Arnett as chair holder is a marker of his international reputation and scholarly leadership in this area," said Fritz.

Inaugral Father Sean M. Hogan, C. S. Sp. International Debate

[Pictured: Maya Musenga (iDebate Team), Dr. Janie Harden Fritz, Dr. John J. Rief, Jesh Arnold Tugume (iDebate Team), Jean Michel Habineza (iDebate Coach), Ekisa Monique (iDebate Team)]

October 16, 2015 - The Duquesne Debating Society held the inaugural debate of the Father Sean M. Hogan, C. S. Sp. International Debate Series. This series is named in honor of Fr. Hogan in recognition of his outstanding support for debate activities on Duquesne's campus. The series sponsors events that feature students from around the world including Rwanda and Great Britain.

The Society hosted the iDebate Rwanda team for the second year of their tour "Voices From A Post Genocide Generation." The international coordinator of iDebate Rwanda, Jean Michel Habineza, was recognized as the first ever Francis Libermann Fellow and Honorary Coach of the Duquesne Debating Society.

For more information on opportunities for participation in Duquesne Debating Society events, please email Dr. John J. Rief (Society advisor) or Nancy Parish (assistant coach).

Internship Colloquium

[Pictured: Jill Purcell, Clara DelGrippo, Kelly Rudzik, Elizabeth Jeffries]

October 14-The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies held an internship colloquium as part of its internship program. Communication Majors shared their internship experiences at PNC Bank, Stern Advertising, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

For more information on internship opportunities, please email Sarah Flinko, Director of Recruitment and Professional Development in the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies.

Fall Open House Announcement

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies is pleased to announce Duquesne University's Fall Open House on Sunday, September 20th, 2015, 8:00AM-1:30PM.

The Fall Open House welcomes all prospective students and their families. All attendees have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Admissions, Financial Aid, and academic departments and to talk with current undergraduate students. We encourage you to attend, meet our faculty members, hear about our programs, and learn about all of the exciting opportunities at Duquesne.

To register for this event, please visit this web site: http://www.duq.edu/admissions-and-aid/undergraduate-admissions/schedule-a-visit/events/fall-open-house

Summer 2015

Successful 2nd Biennial Philosophy of Communication Conference 2015

Pictured above: Dr. Ronald C. Arnett presents Dr. Calvin O. Schrag with the Richard L. Lanigan Philosophy of Communication Scholar Award.

On June 3-5, The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University hosted the 2nd Biennial Philosophy of Communication Conference, co-sponsored by the Communication Ethics Institute, at the Duquesne University Power Center. The conference was a success and attended by 84 national and international participants.

The next Biennial Philosophy of Communication Conference will be held in 2017. All individuals with a philosophy of communication interest are encouraged to periodically check back for updates and submit individual papers and/or panels.

Spring 2015

Omicron Delta Kappa Honors Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz

Pictured Above (left, right): Mrs. McCaffrey, Dr. Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Dr. Calvin L. Troup; Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz (bottom)

On April 20, Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz was presented the Teacher of the Year Award by the Duquesne University's chapter of the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society for her exemplary teaching in the field of communication.

A scholar of organizational and interpersonal communication and the author of Professional Civility: Communicative Virtue at Work, Fritz prepares students for a reflective engagement with the professional and ethical challenges of the marketplace.

She has been with the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University since 1992, where she is both a professor and Director of the B.A. and M.A. Programs and Director of University Core Curriculum. She has received numerous awards for her scholarship and teaching.

Father Sean M. Hogan, C.S.Sp. and Executive Vice President for Student Life, commented on Dr. Fritz's career as "amazing in her commitment to teaching, research, writing, and service to the university."

Scholars Honored at 2015 Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony

Duquesne University faculty members await to welcome the 2015 LPE inductees.

On April 17, Dr. William K. Rawlins of Ohio University addressed Duquesne University undergraduate and graduate communication scholars receiving honors for academic accomplishments at the Lambda Pi Eta (LPE) Induction Ceremony.

Founded in 1985, Lambda Pi Eta is the official honor society of the National Communication Association and has chapters at four-year colleges and universities around the world. The association recognizes academic achievement and encourages interest in the communication field through service activities, special events, and marketplace opportunities. Participation in Lambda Pi Eta is invitation-only and is based on academic performance.

This year, 39 students were inducted into LPE: Lauren A. Bayer, Kaitlyn N. Beauchamp, Julia Catherine Belechak, Kelsie Lyn Bianco, Nicholas Calesaric; Morgan Cavanaugh; Julia Rose Chabala; Alexandrea Dalton, Clara DelGrippo, Rebecca Donoso, Molly Fallone, Rosalie Marie Granato, Lindsay Renèe Haslett, Elizabeth C. Jeffries, Kira Helena Johnson, Lauren Kelly, Kathleen M. Kerr, Bethany Majewski, Mackenzie Grace Martin; Megan Marie McCue, Emily Mendoza, Vanessa Ann Michetti, Abigail O'Connell, Brenna S. O'Neill, Melissa Portz, Sarah Quinn, Rachel Reynolds, Chandler Ariana Rossi, Kelly Rudzik, Morgan E. Rupert, Cayla Sebastian, Sofia Shanahan, Emily R. Watchek, Kimberly Watterson, Austin Whalen, Jason Todd Whitehead II, Catherine E. Wishnow, Margaret C. Zangara and Colleen Zyra.

In addition to the Lambda Pi Eta inductees, three graduate students received awards for exemplary scholarship, teaching, and service. Margaret Mullan received the Wilhelm S. Wurzer Scholarship Award, Matthew Corr received the Richard H. Thames Teaching Award, and Johan Bodaski received the Donald Clark Edwards Service Award.

Receiving the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies Communication Excellence and Ethics Education for the Mind, Heart, and Spirit Award, Dr. Rawlins gave a guest lecture titled "Stimulating Moments of Discovery: Rhythm, Will, Readiness, and Grace in Dedicated Research and Everyday Life." In his lecture, Rawlins argued that every moment of our lives holds potential for change, and he encouraged the students to see how new knowledge constantly emerges through the interconnection of rhythm, will and readiness.

Sarah Flinko, LPE Advisor and Director of Recruitment & Professional Development, said that Rawlins's address called the Lambda Pi Eta inductees to a lifetime of intellectual growth and service to others. "Lambda Pi Eta is a wonderful organization dedicated to service to the community-both Pittsburgh and Duquesne University-as well as undergraduate research and scholarship," she said. "Our LPE members work to give back to their communities while enriching their experiences at Duquesne through educational opportunities and research and professional development. Dr. Rawlins inspired them to continue this journey by beautifully illustrating the power for change in approaching life, community, and vocational living."

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)