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Creating Community and Synergy in Communication Studies
- OCTOBER 2015 -

            For over 57 years, the California State Northridge University Speech and Debate team has been strengthening the public speaking, critical thinking, and research skills of CSUN undergraduates. Forensics is a full-service intercollegiate program which offers competition in cross examination, team debate, platform speaking, limited preparation speaking, and oral interpretations. Throughout its rich history, the program has garnered the University awards and accolades which recognize the diligence of its members, staff, and teaching assistants. Under the leadership of Dr. John Kephart III, the program has grown to engage students from across campus in various academic disciplines.

            While 40% of participants are from the Department of Communication Studies, in the past 3 years students from every college in the University have been represented. Half of team is comprised of women and 65% of members are from traditionally underserved communities. According to Kephart, “first generation college students do better academically when they have a connection to campus and joining Forensics provides students with that sense of community.” Students will often describe the Forensics team as a family who gives back to the University and the surrounding community. Their familial bonds have extended off-campus as participants are required to perform community service hours which can be fulfilled through coaching students from local high schools and/or as serving as high school competition judges.

            Throughout the 2015-16 academic year, the Forensics team will attend between 30-40 tournaments in the United States. During the spring 2015 semester, the team was ranked 6th in the state of California by the American Forensics Association. CSUN Student, Nick Popham was ranked as an AFA-All American. Nick is the first CSUN student to be awarded the AFA-All American award which recognizes outstanding academic achievement and service to the forensics community. As the Speech and Debate team and Dr. Kephart prepare for a rigorous tournament schedule, an exceptional coaching staff of three graduate students and two assistant coaches work with each student individually to strengthen their competition skills. It would not be possible to manage such a large and distinguished program without the assistance of the following graduate students and assistant coaches (from left to right):
Robert Loy, Assistant Coach
Calvin Abbasi, Graduate Student
Dr. John Kephart III, Director of Forensics
Brianna Broady, Assistant Coach
Robert (Bobby) Lebeda, Graduate Student
Jessica Kwack, Graduate Student


The Communications Department wishes the Forensics team, Dr. Kephart, and the coaching staff the best of luck for the upcoming season and look forward to another year of growth for the renowned program.

Associate Professor Jeanine Marie Mingé, Ph.D. won the prestigious 2015 OSCLG Feminist-Mentor Teacher Award. The OSCLG Feminist Mentor-Teacher award honors one exemplary feminist teacher-mentor a year who has inspired students and colleagues by modeling feminist ideals of caring, community power-sharing, and commitment while also earning individual and collaborative records of achievement.
As part of the nomination process, her students and colleagues across the nation wrote letters of support to honor her impact on their lives inside the classroom and beyond. She has been described as "a teacher's teacher, a dynamic activist who serves as a catalyst for real change, and a remarkably compassionate woman." Congratulations to Dr. Mingé for her well-earned recognition.

In September 2015, Dr. Leon Hilton defended his dissertation with distinction and received his Ph.D. from the Department of Performance Studies at New York University. His dissertation, completed with the support of a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Fellowship, examines the politics and aesthetics of “neurological difference” from the postwar period to the present using the methodological resources of performance studies.

Dr. Jinah Kim will present at a roundtable on “Contesting Militarized Radical Modernity in the Asia Pacific,” at the American Studies Association. The roundtable foregrounds heterogeneous convergences of military racial technologies and transnational capitalism as key analytics to unravel the reproduction of unequal miseries across America’s Asia Pacific, where the long histories of transpacific and hemispheric circuits of overlapping European and Asian settler colonialisms exist in tension with U.S. military and political economic dominance.
The ASA promotes meaningful dialogue about the U.S., throughout the U.S. and across the globe. To learn more about the ASA, visit

Copyright Symposium
Date: Wednesday, October 21 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room in the Oviatt Library


There is certainly a great deal of dialog surrounding the boundaries of copyright in regards to education - and no doubt the discussion becomes nebulous once streaming media is involved.  Educators and librarians in post-secondary education are often left in a cloud of uncertainty when it comes to the matter.  For instance, what are the limits of fair use when it comes to video in the classroom?  And how do these limits apply when the walls of the traditional classroom dissipate into the scope of online education?
Though the format has been determined by many to be a significant proponent in education, streaming media continues to be a complicated subject matter.  At this upcoming symposium, led by prominent national and regional experts, we'll examine topics most critical to educators and librarians.  Join us as we discuss matters such as fair use, online-only courses, user expectations, and the wide variety of licensing & purchasing stipulations.  A panel discussion will follow the presentations.  A networking lunch will be provided.

Writing Procrastination & Resistance: How to Identify Your Writing Blocks
and Move Through Them

Date: Thursday, October 22 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Oviatt Library Presentation Room

Dr. Kerry Rockquemore, president and CEO of the National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity presents this special faculty workshop!

To RSVP, send an email to

Teaching Award Reception
Date: Tuesday, October 27 from 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Location: Colleagues Room (2nd Floor of Sierra Center)
Come to this special reception for those who have won a CSUN teaching-related award, namely the Faculty Senate’s Distinguished Teaching, Counseling, or Librarianship Award and the Ambassador’s Polished Apple Award.
Do you recall YOUR experience winning your award?
We want to keep those celebratory memories alive with this informal annual gathering. We will recognize last year’s winners and will invite you to contribute your favorite teaching strategy in a new program we are developing for the Spring semester- details to come.

To RSVP to this event, send an email with your name and affiliated department to

Black Lives Matter Symposium & Workshop
Date: November 4 from 4:00 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Location: TBA

Created 3 years ago, #BlackLivesMatter has become the symbol of focused attention on violence and aggression against all Black Americans; Black queer and trans folks, Blacks who are disabled, the undocumented, Black women and those with criminal records. A symposium and workshop with activists and the CSUN campus community is planned.


Copyright © 2015 CSUN Communications Department, All rights reserved.

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