Department News & Events

Fall 2020

Faculty Member Erik Garrett, Ph. D., Named Director of the Center for Interpretive and Qualitative Research

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies congratulates Dr. Erik Garrett on being named the director of the Center of Interpretive and Qualitative Research (CIQR). CIQR is an interdisciplinary center housed in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts. The purpose of CIQR is "to develop and explore interpretive and qualitative research methods as well as their practical implications."

Summer 2020

Recent Ph.D. Recipient Mary J. Eberhardinger's Dissertation Selected for University Award

Mary J. Eberhardinger, Ph.D., recent graduate from the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies' Rhetoric Ph.D. program, was selected for Duquesne University's Distinguished Dissertation Award in the area of Humanities and Fine Arts for her dissertation, A Rhetoric and Philosophy of Gifts. Congratulations, Mary!

Spring 2020

Faculty Member Özüm Üçok-Sayrak Wins Eastern Communication Association Everett Lee Hunt Award

Faculty member Özüm Üçok-Sayrak, of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, won the Eastern Communication Association 2020 Everett Lee Hunt Award for her recent book, Aesthetic Ecology of Communication: Existential Rootedness. The Hunt Award reflects the philosophic commitment and scholarly contributions of Everett Lee Hunt, one of the founders of the discipline of communication and the eighth president of ECA (1927-1929). This award recognizes the major contribution Özüm Üçok-Sayrak provides to the understanding of rhetoric and communication as a human function in the contemporary world through her book.

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies - All Operations are Underway and Online

As the world copes with the devastation and changes that have occurred due to COVID-19, the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies continues to stay strong through our shift to online operations. The faculty and students have moved to online class meetings on Zoom while maintaining the vibrant community that characterizes our department.

It is most important in these uncertain times to remain hopeful, maintain a routine, and remember that the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies' community is still here to support our students and our faculty.

As we press on and remain productive, any questions or concerns can be directed to Mrs. Rita McCaffrey at mccaffreyr@duq.edu.

Duquesne Debating Society Hosts Japanese Debate

Japanese Debate

Pictured Left to Right: Takuto Kasahara, Yuta Uatanabe, Rafael Paul, Hope Arnold and Dr. Sarah Deluliis

On Wednesday, February 26, 2020, the Duquesne Debating Society hosted the National Communication Association's Committee on International Dialogue and Debate tour. The Japanese debaters included Takuto Kasahara and Yuta Uatanabe, arguing the proposition. The Duquesne Debating Society's student representatives were Rafael Paul and Hope Arnold who debated on the side of the opposition.

The student debaters built their case on the following resolution: "Equal opportunity is more important than equal outcomes." With an audience vote, the Japanese debaters won the debate after a spirited exchange.

For more information on debate, please email Dr. Sarah Deluliis (flinkos@duq.edu) or Dr. Anthony Wachs (wachsa@duq.edu), Duquesne Debating Society co-directors.

Faculty Member, Dr. Erik Garrett and Ph.D. Candidate, Kati Sudnick Co-Author a Scholarly Publication

Kati Sudnick, Ph.D. candidate and Erik Garrett, Ph.D., publish book chapter titled "Saturday Night Live's Citizen Journalists and the Nature of Democracy" in J. Southworth & R. Tallman (Eds.), Saturday Night Live and philosophy: Deep thoughts through the decades (pp. 177-186). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell Publications.

Dr. Inci Ozum Sayrak and Dr. Janie Harden Fritz Awarded Grant for Development of new Course: Global and Cultural Issues in Health Communication

This grant was provided to develop a new course within the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies. The grant, provided by the Global Health Faculty Course Development Grant Program offered through the Center for African Studies, is designed to support curricular innovation for the interdisciplinary Global Health undergraduate minor and an interdisciplinary Global Health graduate concentration.
This course will help students to identify contemporary global health communication issues within a human rights and social justice/ethical framework.

Fall 2019

The Rachel Kosko, Ph.D., Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies Christmas Gathering

2019 Christmas Party

(Pictured Left to Right) Deacon Joe, Kari Lynn Kosko, Santa, Dr. Arnett, Mrs. Arnett, and Dr. Fritz.

On December 13, 2019, the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies held the annual Departmental Christmas Party honoring the memory of Rachel Kosko, a December 2015 graduate of the Rhetoric Ph.D. program. This annual Christmas gathering provides an opportunity for graduate students, faculty and their families to come together and celebrate the successful semester and appreciate our blessings during this holiday season.

A special thank you to Dr. Sarah DeluIiis, Mrs. Rita McCaffrey, and the Lambda Pi Eta students for planning a wonderful event.

Undergraduate Students Compete in Business & Professional Contest

(Pictured Left to Right) Emmalee Torisk, Jonathan Bliss, Samuel D’Orio, Luke Schwerer, Maddison McKeag, Brandon Schunk and Jordan Moore

(Pictured Left to Right) Emmalee Torisk, Jonathan Bliss, Samuel D'Orio, Luke Schwerer, Maddison McKeag, Brandon Schunk and Jordan Moore

On December 11, 2019 five teams of undergraduate students competed in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies' fall 2019 Business and Professional Communication Contest. These students offered insightful presentations on prominent organizations such as Apple, Uber and Facebook. The contest also featured special judges including: Jordan Moore (Product and Innovation Analyst, Highmark), Jonathan Bliss (Risk and Control Advisor, PNC) and Emmalee Torisk (Associate Staff Editor, Oncology Nursing Society).

The first-place prize for the event was given to the undergraduate group of Samuel D'Orio, Madison McKeag, Luke Schwerer and Brandon Schunk who presented on the Apple company.

Business and Professional Ph.D. co-course director, Basak Guven, stated "We were immensely proud of our students' performances on delivering their persuasive speeches for worldwide companies like Apple, Uber, and Facebook. Their insights and recommendations on globalization, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and crisis communication were a sign of intensive research they had done under the guidance of their instructors throughout the semester. Bravo to all!"

Business and Professional Ph.D. co-course director, Austin Hestdalen, stated "We are so proud to have this degree of participation for our contest. The students delivered excellent presentations and impressed all of the judges. It is evident that our instructors worked hard to help their students and convey the course content effectively."

Seven Undergraduate Students Compete in Public Speaking Contest Finals

Pictured Left to Right: Cody Thomas, Rafael Nadal, Rachel McDougall, Aya Albasti

Pictured Left to Right: Cody Thomas, Rafael Nadal, Rachel McDougall, Aya Albasti

On Friday, December 6, 2019, seven undergraduate students qualified for the final round of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies' Public Speaking Contest. This contest honors and tests students' speech constructing and presentation skills. Of the seven wonderful and well-done speeches, the following were honored with top place finishes including a tie for third place.

  • First Place: Rafael Nadal is a Freshman Political Science major who delivered his passionate speech on the issues of the HIPAA laws.
  • Second Place: Aya Albasti is a Junior Psychology major who delivered her speech on the topic of sexual misconduct on college campuses.
  • Tied for Third Place: Rachel McDougall is a Senior Biology major who covered the harmful effects of vaping in her speech.
  • Tied for Third Place: Cody Thomas is a Freshman International Security Studies major who discussed the stress that college students experience and the services available on campuses.

Public Speaking Ph.D. student co-course director, Kati Sudnick, stated "We had an excellent turnout this year and were impressed by the quality of speeches given by all the students who participated. We are thankful for the instructors who help guide the students to this level of competence and skill in public speaking."

Public Speaking Ph.D. student co-course director, William Burgess, stated "Our students not only showed such a wide range of skill and talent during the contest, but they also proved themselves capable of responding to feedback. This is a credit to our students and their high-quality instructors."

Lambda Pi Eta Members Participate in Service Project with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

On Sunday, November 17th, 2019 members of Lambda Pi Eta (LPE), the National Communication Association's Honor Society, participated in a Pittsburgh Beautification Project in affiliation with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. The students who participated in the service projects assisted in raking leaves and picking up litter along the Allegheny Riverfront Park. This project and the work done by students was in preparation for the city of Pittsburgh's Light Up Night event.

Graduate Students Excel in Scholarship at the 105th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Convention

The 105th Annual National Communication Association (NCA) Convention was held in Baltimore, Maryland, November 14th-17, 2019. During the conference, graduate students of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies were honored for their hard work and commitment to scholarship. Congratulations to the following students on their achievements:

  • Justin Bonanno, Ph.D. candidate - Top Student Paper Panel in Communication Ethics, "Violence and the Primacy of Action: Reading Del Noce Alongside Han"
  • Lane Grafton, second year Ph.D. student - Top Student Paper Panel in Media Ecology for "Literacy and Internet Pornography: Media Ecology Meets Psychology"
  • Austin Hestdalen, third year Ph.D. student - Top Student Paper Award in Communication Ethics, "Neighbors and Strangers: A Communication Ethics for the City"; Top Student Paper Panel in Media Ecology for "The Kind of Problem a Smart City Is"
  • Kati Sudnick, Ph.D. candidate - Top Student Paper Award in Human Communication and Technology Division for "Empathy Within and Without: The Survival of Interpersonal Communication in a Digital Age"; Top Student Paper Panel in Media Ecology for "The Great Symbol Drain of Christianity: Neil Postman and the Postmodern Church"
  • Andy Tinker - Top Article Award, Communication Ethics Division for "Communication Ethics and the Rejection of Paternalism in John Stuart Mill's On Liberty," published in Communication Quarterly.

Duquesne Debating Society Hosts British Debate

Pictured left to right: Niamh Thompson, Daniel Scanio, Dr. DeIuliis, Vince Carrola and Kolton Hilterman

Pictured left to right: Niamh Thompson, Daniel Scanio, Dr. DeIuliis, Vince Carrola and Kolton Hilterman

On Monday, November 11th, the Duquesne Debating Society hosted the National Communication Association's Committee on International Dialogue and Debate tour. The British debaters included Niamh Thompson and Daniel Scanio.

The student debaters built their case on the following resolution: "The United States should abolish the electoral college in favor of a popular vote."

With an ending vote of 25 to 19, the British debate team of Niamh Thompson and Daniel Scanio on the opposition (pictured on left) were victorious over Duquesne's debaters Kolton Hilterman and Vince Carrola on the proposition (pictured on right) in a spirited exchange.
For more information on debate please email Dr. Sarah DeIuliis, Duquesne Debating Society Advisor, at flinkos@duq.edu.

Faculty Member, Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D., Book Publication

Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D. and Assistant Professor of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University, has published Existential Rootedness: Aesthetic Ecology of Communication Ethics, with University Press Co-Publishing Division/Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Undergraduate Student, Kelly Myer, Paper Accepted into Rhetoric Society of America Bi-annual Conference

Undergraduate Student, Kelly Myer, will be presenting her paper "Evangelism in Postmodernity: Rhetorical Praxis in Religious Discourse" at the bi-annual conference of the Rhetoric Society of America in Portland, Oregon from May 21-May 24, 2020. Congratulations Kelly!

Department Hosts First Ever REACH Event to Prepare COMM Students for Future Success Upon Graduation

On October 6, 2019, the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies hosted the first ever REACH event. REACH is an acronym for:

R: Resources available to achieve goals.

E: Etiquette needed in the professional realm.

A: Advisement for future careers and decisions.

C: Learn how to create important and useful Connections.

H: Strengthening professional Habits.

The event was a success thanks to our wonderful students, graduate students, alumni, and faculty who attended. Hannah Karolak, Ph.D., Luke Macios, and Emmalee Torisk were panelists at the event and gave their expert advice to the undergraduate students. They are all very successful in the marketplace.

The students who were present left the event feeling better prepared and encouraged for their future after graduation. These students now have more insight into their options (marketplace or graduate school) and were reminded that the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies is a resource that is always available to assist them in reaching their professional goals.

Graduate Students Received Awards for their Scholarship at the 80th Annual Pennsylvania Communication Association (PCA) Conference

Michael Kearney Receiving his award for Top Graduate Paper

Pictured on Right: Michael Kearney Receiving his award for Top Graduate Paper

On Saturday, September 28th the Pennsylvania Communication Association Conference awards dinner took place at Penn State University - Berks in Reading, PA. During the awards dinner graduate students from the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies received awards for their excellence in scholarship. Michael Kearney, first year Ph.D. student, received the Top Graduate Paper Award (pictured above) for his paper titled "Abduction, Surprise, and the Medical Value of Uncertainty." Kati Sudnick, Ph.D. candidate, who was unable to attend the conference, received the Gradate Paper Award for her paper titled "The Appropriation of Sparking Joy: KonMari, Narcissism, and Mistranslation."

Faculty Member, Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D., Received Teaching Award at the 80th Annual Pennsylvania Communication Association Conference

Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D. (left) accepting award from Janie Harden Fritz, Ph.D. (right)

Pictured: Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D. (left) accepting award from Janie Harden Fritz, Ph.D. (right)

On Saturday, September 28th the Pennsylvania Communication Association Conference awards dinner took place at Penn State University - Berks in Reading, PA. During the awards dinner faculty member Inci Ozum Ucok-Sayrak, Ph.D. of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies received The Harvey Kelly Excellence in Teaching Award. This award recognizes a PCA member who "has demonstrated a passion for and a mastery of teaching, both in and out of the classroom. The award could be for innovative methods in the classroom, community-based education, demonstrated impact, lifetime accomplishment, or a single exceptional accomplishment."

Isaac E. Catt, Ph.D., Delivers Keynote Address at the 80th Annual Pennsylvania Communication Association (PCA) Conference Salon

Isaac E. Catt

Pictured: Isaac E. Catt, Ph.D., Delivering Keynote Address

The 80th Annual Pennsylvania Communication Association (PCA) Conference took place on September 27th and 28th, 2019 at Penn State University - Berks in Reading, PA. On the evening of September 27th Isaac E. Catt, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar with the Simon E. Silverman Phenomenology Center and Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University, delivered a keynote address during the Philosophy of Communication Salon entitled "The Matrix Beings that We Are: Reading John Dewey Against the Contemporary Romance with Neurobiological Reductionism."

Mary J. Eberhardinger Authors Scholarly Publication

Mary J. Eberhardinger, Rhetoric Ph.D. candidate at Duquesne University published: Eberhardinger, M. J. (2019). The meme is the message: Self-care internet memes. Peirce Studies, Vol X, pp. 103-120. Peter Lang Publishing.

Summer 2019

Graduate Student, Austin Hestdalen, receives Top Graduate Paper Award at the Media Ecology Association (MEA) Convention

Austin Hestdalen with Dr. Garrett

Austin Hestdalen (left) pictured with Dr. Garrett

During the Media Ecology Association (MEA) Convention, June 27-30, 2019, in Toronto, Canada, Duquesne University Rhetoric Ph.D. student, Austin Hestdalen, received the Top Student Paper award for his paper titled "Understanding the Medium of Exchange." This paper took a media ecological approach to exploring the ethics of political economy in a digital age. Austin's paper will be published in the December issue of Explorations in Media Ecology. Congratulations, Austin!

4th Biennial Philosophy of Communication Conference 2019

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Dr. Göran Sonesson, Dr. Richard L. Lanigan and Dr. Pat Arneson

Pictured: Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Dr. Göran Sonesson, Dr. Richard L. Lanigan and Dr. Pat Arneson

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University hosted the 4th Biennial Philosophy of Communication Conference June 12-14, 2019 in the Charles J. Dougherty Ballroom of the Power Center. Dr. Göran Sonesson was awarded the title of Laureate Fellow by the International Communicology Institute (pictured above).

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett presenting Dr. Göran Sonesson with the Richard L. Lanigan Philosophy of Communication Scholar Award

Pictured: Dr. Ronald C. Arnett presenting Dr. Göran Sonesson with the Richard L. Lanigan Philosophy of Communication Scholar Award

At the conference, the Richard L. Lanigan Philosophy of Communication Scholar Award was presented to Dr. Göran Sonesson. It is an internationally recognized award granted by Duquesne University and the related organization of Cognitive Semiotics.

Spring 2019

Alumna Melissa Miller Chastain, Ph.D., Named Associate Dean, College of Social Sciences & Humanities at Spalding University

Duquesne University's own Melissa Miller Chastain, Ph.D. in Rhetoric, has been named the Associate Dean, College of Social Sciences & Humanities at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Chastain also holds a position as Chair in the School of Communication at Spalding University. The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies congratulates Dr. Melissa Miller Chastain on her significant work.

Undergraduate Students Compete in Business & Professional Contest

B&P Contest

Pictured Left to Right: Mary J. Eberhardinger, Mark Thalman, Victoria Bartel, Julia Dulack, Chris Phillips, Niklas Kouknas, Mr. Brian Hankinson, Mr. Mark Schneider, Nicolas Marshaletta, Jayden Jackson

On May 1, 2019, five teams of undergraduate students in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University competed in the Spring 2019 Business and Professional Communication Contest. These students offered an insightful rhetorical analysis of prominent organizations such as Facebook, Uber, Major League Baseball (MLB), and Amazon. The contest also featured special judges from our local Pittsburgh marketplace including: Mr. Mark Schneider (Corporate Controller for Hospital Healthcare Systems), Mr. Brian Hankinson (Vice-President of Sr. Operations Support Specialist at PNC Bank), and Mr. Niklas Kouknas (Campus Recruiter for PNC Bank).

The first-place prize for the event was awarded to Jayden Jackson, Victoria Bartel, Julia Dulack, Nicolas Marshaletta and Mark Thalman. This team of students presented on Uber with the guidance of their instructor, Ms. Chris Phillips.

Mary J. Eberhardinger, Business and Professional Communication Ph.D. student course director, commented on the success of the event: "This semester, each of our five undergraduate student groups demonstrated confidence and professionalism in their public presentations to a noticeably larger audience than previous semesters. The audience included fellow student peers from the Palumbo Donahue School of Business, judges from the local Pittsburgh marketplace, instructors from the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, and parents."

Nine Undergraduate Students Honored and Compete in Public Speaking Contest Finals

Public Speaking Contest Winners

Pictured left to right: Lexi Thompson, Justin Hyrb, Catherine Colpoys, and Lauren Bell

On Friday, April 26, 2019, nine undergraduate students qualified for the final round of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies' Public Speaking Contest. Beginning with 18 semi-finalist students, this contest honors and tests students' speech constructing and presenting skills. Of the nine wonderful speeches, the following were honors with top places.

First Place: Lexi Thompson gave a passionate persuasive speech on animals in captivity.
Second Place: Catherine Colpoys discussed the importance of art education.
Third Place: Lauren Bell presented a ceremonial speech on Dr. Jonas Salk and his accomplishment of inventing the polio vaccine.
Fourth Place: Justin Hyrb spoke on Tiger Woods and his impact on the sport of golf.

Public Speaking course director, Kati Sudnick stated "We enjoyed an overwhelming turnout this year and cannot be prouder of the public speaking students who participated. We commend their good work and the instructors who helped get them to this level of oratory."

Students Present Papers at Undergraduate Research Colloquium

Catherine Evans and Anastasiya Kaspruk

Anastasiya Kaspruk (left) and Catherine Evans (right)

On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, Catherine Evans and Anastasiya Kaspruk presented scholarly research papers at the Undergraduate Research Colloquium sponsored by the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies.

Catherine Evans, a senior Corporate Communication and English studies major, presented her work titled "Immigration and Isocrates," the paper she presented at the 2019 Eastern Communication Association Conference. Anastasiya Kaspruk, a senior Communication Studies major, continued the colloquium with her presentation on her paper "Crisis Communication Within the Anti-Vaccination Movement."

The Undergraduate Research Colloquium exposes students to the larger communication discipline as they write and present papers in a setting comparable to an academic conference. Students engage their work from a praxis (theory-informed action) approach, reflecting the department mission statements of ‘Walking the Humanities into the Marketplace' and ‘The Ethical Difference.' The praxis approach taken by the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies applies the theories studied in the classroom to the questions or artifacts of this historical moment to open creative ethical insights on current examples in the marketplace.

Dr. Ronald C. Arnett receives ECA's Distinguished Service Award

On Friday, April 12, 2019, during the Eastern Communication Association's 110th annual convention, Dr. Ronald C. Arnett received The Distinguished Service Award. This award honors an individual ECA member for his/her contributions to the field of communication as well as their contribution to ECA in particular.

Graduate student Austin Hestdalen receives Top Graduate Student Paper Award at ECA

Austin Hestdalen

Austin Hestdalen pictured with Dr. Janie Harden Fritz

On Friday, April 12, 2019, during the Eastern Communication Association's 110th annual convention, Duquesne University Rhetoric Ph.D. student Austin Hestdalen received the Top Student Paper in Philosophy of Communication Award for his essay "The Ethic(s) of Remembrance: Memory, Responsibility, and Judgment in Hannah Arendt."

Dr. Pat Arneson will receive the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Pat Arneson will receive the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award at the College Faculty meeting, awards ceremony, and reception on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. in the Genesius Theater. In Dr. Arneson's award letter, Dr. James Swindal, Dean of the McAnulty College & Graduate School of Liberal Arts wrote that Dr. Arneson enhanced the reputation of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies and Duquesne University by her teaching. By receiving this award, Dr. Arneson will automatically be the College's nominee for the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Dr. Sarah DeIuliis received the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Sarah DeIuliis received the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Excellence in Teaching Award on Saturday, April 14, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the Africa Room. The Excellence in Teaching Award is given to individuals who teach with passion, inspire students beyond the classroom, demonstrate dedication to developing students beyond academic qualifications or who make a positive difference in the lives of NSLS members. Dr. DeIuliis was one of three University faculty members to receive this award.

Dr. Inci Ozum Sayrak received the Duquesne University Creative Teaching Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE)

Dr. Inci Ozum Sayrak received the Duquesne University Creative Teaching Award from the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) for her project, "Cultivating Empathy in the Intercultural Communication Classroom." The award was conferred at the annual Celebration of Teaching Excellence on Thursday, April 11th, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom. Faculty colleagues on the evaluation committee praised Dr. Sayrak's project for being highly innovative and well implemented. The committee was particularly impressed with the importance of cultivating empathy in face-to-face contexts in light of our present day. They also expressed gratitude for how beautifully the submission was written. The Duquesne University Creative Teaching Award is tangible recognition by faculty peers from across the campus of the exemplary strategies Dr. Sayrak implemented in teaching and learning.

Lambda Pi Eta Members Participate in Service Project with the Peyton Heart Project

On Saturday, April 6, 2019, Duquesne University held the 3rd annual "Out of the Darkness Campus Walk," hosted by American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This walk is organized to raise awareness, hope, and funds to fight suicide and promote positive mental wellbeing.

For this year's campus walk, the members of Lambda Pi Eta (LPE), the National Communication Association's Honor Society, partnered with the Peyton Heart Project by making yarn hearts to pass out at the event. The Peyton Heart Project was started after Peyton James, a 13-year-old boy, took his own life to escape the tremendous amount of bullying he was experiencing by others. Each delicate yarn heart was made by hand and tagged with phone numbers for support hotlines for those who need emotional and mental help and support. These yarn hearts served as a symbol for all of the delicate hearts lost to suicide and a reminder that life is precious. By making these hearts and passing them out during the campus walk, LPE members created a token for each individual that received these hearts to reflect on the lives that were lost and remind those that everyone's life matters.

Students Honored at 2019 Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony

Dr. Arnett

Pictured: Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Ph.D., department chair, introduces the ceremony.

LPE Award Ceremony

Pictured: Department faculty welcomes LPE undergraduate inductees to the organization.

On March 22, the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies acknowledged the academic achievements of undergraduate and graduate communication scholars at the Lambda Pi Eta (LPE) induction ceremony.

During the award ceremony Cliff Baker, keynote speaker and recipient of the Anthony L. Bucci Excellence in Communication Ethics Award, spoke to current B.A. inductees of LPE National Communication Honor Society, parents, students, and faculty on the value of hard work. Drawing from his blue-collar roots, Baker shared several inspirational stories that represented his "roll-up-the-sleeves and get-the-work done" approach to life. Baker's never-settle attitude has led to both personal and professional achievements. In the workplace, hard work fosters positive performance by, in the words of Baker, "gaining the respect of my employees and peers at every level." The inspiring keynote address offered students the opportunity to reflect upon the connection between hard work and professional success.

Undergraduate students were honored through induction into LPE, the official honor society of the National Communication Association. This year, 33 students were inducted into LPE:

Hope Arnold, Max Z. Begler, Torben Breitkopf, Alexis Buzzatto, Andrew Byrne, Isabella Rose Cottone, Erin Julia Fulton, Jaclyn Gallon, Taylor Nicole Goodman, Reid Harrison-Ducros, Emma Helton, Nicole Javorski, Alexis Jimenez, Sara Ruth Jobes, Daniella C. Juarez, Anastasiya Kaspruk, Julie Loesch, Erin Manning, Rachel Miller, Christopher J. Mitsos, Chase Morley, Christy N. Nale, Ian Newman, Madison Pastrick, Chloe Phillips, Saffra Rahmany, Haley Reid, Alexis N. Scott, Kevin Sheppard, Daniela N. Sofelkanik, Meghan Vanleer, Madison L. Wateska, and Brooke A. Zangaro.

Additionally, the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies honored the exemplary teaching, service, and scholarship of graduate students. Kati Sudnick received the Richard H. Thames Teaching Award, Chris Bondi received the Donald Clark Edwards Service Award, and Justin Bonanno received the Wilhelm S. Wurzer Scholarship Award.

Janie M. Harden Fritz, Ph.D., professor and director of the B.A. and graduate programs in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, said, "The scholarly accomplishments of our undergraduate students and the scholarly, teaching, and service accomplishments of our Ph.D. students is a reflection of the commitment of our department to ongoing excellence in all areas of academic life."

Dr. Fritz also provided some commentary on the keynote for the event, Cliff Baker:

"Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, and Paradoxes Mr. Baker reminds us that there are no shortcuts to excellence--just hard work, a commitment to ethics, and the determination to do what it takes to get the job done. His remarks are reflected in the success of these fine students."

Cliff Baker Recipient of Anthony L. Bucci Excellence in Communication Ethics Award

Cliff Baker receives award

Pictured: From left, Ronald C. Arnett, Ph.D. and Department Chair, Cliff Baker, award recipient, and Anthony L. Bucci, Chairman of MARC USA

On Friday, March 22, at the Lambda Pi Eta (LPE) induction ceremony, Cliff Baker was presented the Anthony L. Bucci Excellence in Communication Ethics Award by Dr. Ronald C. Arnett, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, to honor his successful career as Senior Vice President, Commercial Development and Midstream Operations at EQT.

Baker, keynote speaker for the LPE induction ceremony, holds two secondary degrees from Duquesne University, a Master of Science Leadership and Business ethics in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Baker joined EQT Corporation in 1979 as an assets and operations coordinator until 1991, when he became team leader for field assets, pipelines, and compressor stations. In 2005, Baker was promoted to manager of gas control, where he continued to excel and assume additional responsibilities, affording him a promotion to director of commercial operations in 2007, and later to vice president of commercial operations in 2009. Baker was promoted to senior vice president of gas management and transportation in 2013 and became senior vice president of midstream field operations in 2017.

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies was grateful to have Baker as the keynote speaker and honored to recognize him for his success and excellence in ethics, the cornerstone of the department's mission.

Duquesne Alumnus David Murphy Delivers Colloquium Address

On February 14th, the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies sponsored a colloquium address given by David Murphy. 

Murphy, former Anthony L. Bucci Excellence in Leadership award winner, recognized leader in the field of Integrated Marketing, and current President (USA) of GTB Agency, LLC, offered insights into human centered marketing in his address, "The Future of Marketing is Human." 

Murphy stated, "We're remembering a timeless human lesson; what's true in life should be true in marketing." Murphy elaborated on this theme, noting that "how we form brand relationships mirrors how we form personal relationships." This approach to marketing, in the words of Murphy, "connects companies with human beings."

The department was honored to have Murphy speak before a packed crowd of undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty. The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies thanks him for his thought-provoking address on the future of marketing communication.

Dr. Janie Harden Fritz appointed to the William Patrick Power, C.S.Sp. Endowed Chair in Academic Leadership

Dr. Fritz

The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies congratulates Dr. Janie M. Harden Fritz on her appointment to the William Patrick Power, C.S.Sp. Endowed Chair in Academic Leadership. Dr. Fritz currently serves as a professor and director of the B.A. and graduate programs in the Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies.

Dr. Fritz earned a Ph.D. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993. She is the author of Professional Civility: Communicative Virtue at Work, awarded Clifford G. Christians Ethics Research Award (2013); the co-author of Communication Ethics Literacy: Dialogue and Difference (2009); and the co-editor of Communication Ethics and Crisis: Negotiating Differences in Public and Private Spheres (2012), Problematic Relationships in the Workplace (2006), and Problematic Relationships in the Workplace, Volume 2 (2012). She has also authored 24 book chapters and 38 scholarly articles. Dr. Fritz is currently the editor of The Journal of the Association for Communication Administration and Listening: Journal of Communication Ethics, Religion, and Culture, in addition to serving on the editorial boards for multiple academic journals. Dr. Fritz has also received the National Communication Association (NCA) Communication Ethics Division 2017 Teaching Award and has been named a Distinguished Research and Teaching Fellow of the Eastern Communication Association (ECA). Dr. Fritz has served as the president of Eastern Communication Association (ECA) and Pennsylvania Communication Association (PCA).

Faculty member, Garnet C. Butchart, Ph.D., Book Publication

Garnet C. Butchart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication & Rhetorical Studies at Duquesne University, has published Embodiment, Relation, Community: A Continental Philosophy of Communication, with Pennsylvania State University Press.

Alumna Amanda McKendree Elected Vice President Elect-Select of ECA

Duquesne's own Amanda McKendree, Ph.D. in Rhetoric, has been elected as the first vice president elect-select of the Eastern Communication Association. Dr. McKendree will serve as the vice president and convention planner for the Eastern Communication Association (ECA) convention in 2021 and will then assume the presidency. The Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies congratulates Dr. McKendree.