Apr 10

Dons’ Doings: Pizza with the Pros Monday April 14th!

One of our most popular events of the year is coming up this Monday April 14th at 6:30 pm in the Lo Schiavo Getty Room 104!

That’s right, PIZZA WITH THE PROS is back!

We have a slate of impressive communication professionals who will be joining us for an evening of networking with our Communication Studies majors. Each pro will talk for a few minutes about their position and offer advice to our students. Then students will have the opportunity to talk with our pros personally. We have had students land internships on the spot in past years and several of our pros are looking for interns right now!

I mean, really this is all you need to know:

  1. Pizza is always good.
  2. Free pizza is even better.
  3. Free pizza with the opportunity to network with communication professionals who want to offer you advice about how to be successful after graduation? Well, that is not to be missed.

We have pros joining us from the San Francisco Giants, Bay Area Council, Sparks, Athletes to Business, BOCA Communications, LinkedIn, About Face, and USF! 

Please join us for what promises to be a very helpful evening with local communication professionals! We hope to see you there!

Pizza with the Pros Changes-1

Apr 04

Dons’ Doings: Graduate School Information Session Tuesday 4/8

If you are interested in graduate school, or think you might be interested in graduate school, or think you might sometime maybe might be interested in graduate school… You should definitely plan on attending our Graduate School Information Session!

A panel of your Communication Studies faculty members (Professors Ho, DeLaure, Sery, Lawless, and myself) along with one of our alums, Jamie Foster, who recently completed her Masters degree in Communication Studies at SFSU, will talk about all things graduate school, including…

  • how to research programs
  • how to apply for graduate school
  • where to go and when to go
  • funding opportunities
  • reasons to consider graduate school and reasons to not go to graduate school

That’s right, we will cover all of the ins and outs of graduate school! We hope to see you Tuesday April 8th, 11:45-12:45 in KA 211! 

COMS Grad School Info Session

Apr 03

Red Alert: Lambda Pi Eta is now recruiting!

We are pleased to announce that the Communication Studies Department honors society, Lambda Pi Eta, is now recruiting new members! If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you should definitely apply for membership!

  • Do you have a 3.0 or higher overall GPA?
  • Do you have a 3.25 or higher Communication Studies major GPA?
  • Have you completed (or will you have completed by the end of this semester) 60 total units, including three Communication Studies courses?
  • Have you received a grade of a “B-” or higher in ALL of your Communication Studies courses?

Lambda Pi Eta is the official honor society of the National Communication Association. The Kappa Iota chapter at the University of San Francisco was founded in 1994. We host a variety of academic, social, and community service activities throughout the year, including Pizza with the Profs, Communication Studies Career Night, Pizza with the Pros, Alumni Speaker Night, Pie Day, and others! We also host a mentorship program for new Communication Studies majors. Becoming a member will mean that you will join a fun and friendly group of COMS majors, get to know other people in the department better, and participate in events designed to help you while you are here and as you plan for life after graduation. Plus, you get honor cords for graduation and your name is printed in the Commencement Program as one of our honors society members! You could also wear a cool shirt like this one:

LPH President Maude rocking our LPH t-shirt!

LPH President Maude rocking our LPH t-shirt!

In short, there is no reason not to join if you meet our requirements!

You can download the application here lambda pi eta application 2014 or pick one up in our main office, KA 313. Applications are due to my office, KA 342, by Wednesday April 16th. I will let you know via email if you are accepted or not by May 1st.

If you are applying (or one of our current members who is not yet graduating) you should know that we are also looking for officers for the 2014-2015 academic year. If you are interested in potentially serving as an officer, please contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu. I hope to see many applications for LPH coming in within the next few weeks!

Mar 23

Dons’ Doings: Speaker Series Inaugural Event featuring Dr. Gerry Philipsen

The Communication Studies Department is very pleased to announce our Inaugural Speaker Series Event featuring Professor Gerry Philipsen from the University of Washington. Dr. Philipsen’s talk, entitled “Finding One’s Feet in Unfamiliar Cultural Terrain” will address the questions of what is cultural diversity and how do we make sense of the variety of cultures we encounter on a daily basis? The event will take place this Wednesday, March 26th, 5:00-6:30 pm in the Berman Room of Fromm Hall. This event is open to the USF community, and we especially encourage all of our Communication Studies majors to attend.

Professor Gerry Philipsen

Professor Gerry Philipsen

Dr. Philipsen is a renowned communication studies scholar who specializes in ethnography and is well-known for developing “speech codes theory” and for his classic “Teamsterville” ethnographic study (an award-winning article read by many of our Communication and Culture students). Dr. Philipsen received his PhD from Northwestern University in 1972 and has been a professor at the University of Washington for over thirty-four years. We are honored to feature him as the inaugural speaker in our Communication Studies Speaker Series.


Mar 18

Dons’ Doings: PIE DAY this Thursday 3/20!

It’s that time of the semester again, time for our bi-annual Lambda Pi Eta PIE DAY fundraiser! Da da da-ah! Our Lambda Pi Eta  members will be selling slices of pie to benefit our honors society. Lambda Pi Eta hosts many events every semester that benefit all of our Communication Studies majors (Pizza with the Profs, Pizza with the Pros, Career Night, Alumni Speaker Night, I could go on…) so we are hoping that you will come out and support us. The slices of pie are ver-r-y reasonably priced at $2-3 per slice for homemade pie!

Join us this Thursday March 20th, 11:30-12:30 in Gleeson Plaza! You don’t want to be caught without your “I ate pie with Lambda Pi Eta” sticker, do you? Do you?


Feb 26

Student Shout-Out: COMS majors at the WSCA Conference

Today’s “Student Shout-Out” goes to seven of our Communication Studies Majors who recently presented papers at the Western States Communication Association Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference. The conference took place in Anaheim, CA on February 15th. Students from many universities, including Arizona State, University of Portland, University of Washington (Go Dawgs!), University of Colorado, Boise State, and others presented papers. But by far the most well-represented school was USF! Our students presented papers that they wrote in Professor Lawless and Professor DeLaure’s classes. Here are the students and their papers:

Sabrina Gunn “Lean Out: How Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Movement Misses the Feminist Mark”

Brianne Murray “Trial and Error: Students Relying on Financial Aid at Private Universities”

Eunice Ahn “Studying Abroad and Its Effects on Students”

Jacob Talarman “Beyond the Relationship: So Now What?”

Katelyn Rems “The Silicon Love Triangle: Me, You and the Startup: A Qualitative Study on the Communication Between Entrepreneurial Couples”

Naudia Queen “The Single Parent Paradox: The Struggle Between Loyalty and Independence”

Steven Slasten “Clash of the Titans: The Rhetorical Battle Over the Keystone XL Pipeline”

JT Talarman and Sabrina Gunn prepping for their presentation

JT Talarman and Sabrina Gunn prepping for their presentation

Brianne Murray and Eunice Ahn getting ready to present

Brianne Murray and Eunice Ahn getting ready to present

JT Talarman presenting his paper at the conference

JT Talarman presenting his paper at the conference

A big congratulations to all of our students who presented at WSCA!

Feb 25

Minor Matters: Tina and the Child and Youth Studies Minor

As many of you know, since I had an actual baby two years ago the blog has received less attention than in its heyday. Gone are the days of a new post every. single. day. But you know what is not gone? New categories for the blog! That’s right! I have more categories on here than I can possibly give attention to, but that has not stopped me from adding another! The new category being unveiled today: MINOR MATTERS! Da da da daah! Many of our Communication Studies majors are involved in all sorts of interesting minor programs from departments all over campus. I thought it would be interesting to share some of them here on the blog and learn from students why they chose the minor they did. First up is senior Communication Studies major and Lambda Pi Eta Vice President Tina Celani who is minoring in Child and Youth Studies. Here she is:

COMS major and CYS minor Tina

COMS major and CYS minor Tina

“Hello, everyone! My name is Tina Celani and I am currently a senior COMS major with a Child and Youth Studies minor at USF. With the array of minor options offered by USF, I decided to pick Child and Youth studies as my minor because I am really interested in learning about the development of children, in particular the how the development of children is effected by education. I grew up in a family with a strong emphasis on education, particularly educating children and adolescents. My grandpa and grandma built and developed a preschool, Glendale Preschool and Kindergarten, in Glendale, CA and my mother has since taken over the business as the director. I have always been interested in education and working with all types of people, but in particular learning and working with children and adolescents. Therefore, I picked this minor because it provided elements for me to learn about the general psyche and development of children and adolescents as well as educational structures and family structures that effect a child’s development, either positively or negatively. With all this said, I took on this minor.

Since I’m in progress with taking my final major and minor requirements (SCARY, RIGHT?), I believe this minor was the perfect fit for me. It taught me the general development of children and youth, from the cute and adorable babies to the “angsty” teenagers, through General Psychology and Child Development. It taught me how different types of families, through the Diversity of American Families class, affect children and the overall perceptions of the “American family.” Lastly, it taught me how education plays a huge role in the development of children to young adults, by either increasing or decreasing the achievement and/or opportunity gap between students (which you will definitely learn if you take Sociology of Education). Overall, I love this minor and all the components that it makes up.

The Child and Youth studies minor adds to my COMS major by taking on a specific area of interest within the COMS major and really honing in and learning more about it. Through my COMS studies courses, I learned the value of “communication in everyday life” (yes, I quoted your class, Professor Doohan) and, more specifically, communication between family members and communication within interpersonal relationships. It provided me with a valuable set of knowledge going into these courses that I would not have known about otherwise. Just to let you all know, the COMS major is an awesome major, prospective and current students of USF.  [Ha ha, I added the bold, underline, italics, just for emphasis.]

One of my favorite classes taken for my minor would definitely be Sociology of Education. First off, Professor Milman is a baller teacher who is passionate about the material she teaches and is passionate about her students in her class. I would definitely recommend taking her. Sociology of Education serves as an analysis of the education system put in place for kindergarteners all the way to college and graduate students in the United States. It talks about various topics such as tracking to cliques and race to gender and the implications and critiques of them. It also, in our ending weeks, teaches students educational reform measures taken. It is an amazing class that incorporates both COMS major elements and Child and Youth studies minor elements and I would highly recommend taking it.”

Thanks, Tina, for sharing your experience with the Child and Youth Studies minor! It is a minor that does nicely complement the interpersonal and family communication courses that our department offers. Fun fact, our own Professor Thorson is on the Child and Youth Studies minor committee and COMS 306: Family Communication is one of the minor elective options.

Are you involved in an interesting minor that you want to share with us here on the blog? Contact me at edoohan@usfca.edu.

Feb 14

Dons’ Doings: First ever Alumni Happy Hour coming up on Friday Feb. 21st!

We’re excited to host the first ever Communication Studies Alumni Happy Hour coming up on Friday February 21st, 5:00-7:00 pm at Palomino Restaurant in San Francisco! Please stop by to catch up with other COMS alums! The faculty will be there to buy you the first round… of appetizers! (There was no way we could get approval to buy you drinks!). Please pass on the word and invite other alums! We are hoping to make this an annual event and a fun way to catch up with all of our wonderful alums!

Check out more information about the event here:


Jan 02

Student Shout-Out: Erin and Generation Citizen

Happy New Year! What better way to start off the new year than by celebrating the hard work of one of our Communication Studies majors? Senior COMS major Erin McCroskey recently became the Outreach Director for the USF Chapter of Generation Citizen. It all started with her work this past semester in Professor DeLaure’s COMS 335: Rhetoric of Social Movements service learning course. For the service learning component of the course, Erin worked with Generation Citizen. I asked Erin to tell us more about it.


“Generation Citizen started in Providence, Rhode Island in 2008 and has since expanded all the way out here to the west coast. Generation Citizen works to provide low-income middle school and high school classrooms with the opportunity to directly participate in their local communities government. The students are taught a variety of lessons, all on local government and politics, and then they work as a class to select an issue in their own community that they want to try and fix. They then go on to contact all the local politicians who could potentially help fix this issue.

This past semester I had the pleasure to be selected as  Democracy Coach. I was assigned to a classroom at Paul Revere School located in Hunters Point. My job was to provide these students with all the resources they need to help fix their local issue. My students decided to choose Muni bus safety on the 14L and the 8X. They worked together as a class and got petitions signed, held an assembly at their school, created posters and hung them around the school, went to a CAC meeting at SFMTA where they stood up and presented their ideas and even met with the Director of Transportation at SFMTA, Ed Reiskin. It was at this meeting that they were able to convince Ed to increase security on these buses. I have never been so proud of a group of middle school students in my entire life!”

Erin’s experience really highlights why service learning is such an integral part of our curriculum here at USF. Congratulations, Erin, and all of her students on such a successful campaign to improve bus safety!

You can find out more about Generation Citizen here: http://generationcitizen.org/ or you can contact Erin, the Outreach Director, at erinchristine@comcast.net. You can learn more about the program and apply to be a volunteer.

Thanks, Erin, for sharing your story! We are so proud of you and your students!


Generation Citizen Outreach Coordinator (and COMS major!) Erin


Dec 05

Internship Ideas: Brittany at the DA’s Office

During an advising appointment a few weeks ago, I found out that one of my currents students and advisees is doing an internship that I would have loved to have when I was an undergrad! No, she is not interning at a cupcake bakery. She is working as an intern at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office! Dah dum! (Those were the Law & Order chimes, in case you couldn’t tell). I asked junior Communication Studies major Brittany Silveira if she would be willing to share her internship experience with us here on the blog.

Here she is…

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Q: Where do you intern and what do they do?

Brittany: “I intern at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and their office investigates and prosecutes crime in San Francisco while also supporting victims of crime. I work in the Communications department where they organize media and community events, organize the Department’s outreach materials, and track news stories.”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Brittany: “I heard about this internship in one of the emails about internship opportunities from Christine Lee.” (The COMS Department Program Assistant Extraordinaire!)

Q: Why did you decide to intern there?

Brittany: “I decided to intern there because they worked with the news, social media, and events, which are all careers paths that I consider taking. Also, the internship gives you an inside look at the criminal justice system and a chance to work around many lawyers, which really connected to me because I am considering law school after graduation.”

Q: What do you do on a regular basis at your internship?

Brittany: “Everyday I track news stories that the DA is featured in, along with news stories about local crime and law enforcement, as well as articles about local politics here in San Francisco. Every week I write up sample tweets about whatever policy the DA is working on. From that list, he and his team choose which ones will be sent out on his Twitter and Facebook. And I usually do a lot of research on policies that the DA wants to change and compare them to other surrounding counties.”

Q: What did you learn from this internship?

Brittany: “At this internship I learned a lot about assisting the media and community relations. As well as learning to track the news. I was never one to stay updated with what was going on, but now I know which stations and papers have better perspectives of what is going on in the Bay Area. I also learned a lot about networking through all of my phone calls with NY Times or the SF Chronicle as well local officers and school officials.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Brittany: “Advice that I would offer other students is check your emails from Christine Lee! They are very helpful and easy ways to find job openings. But the biggest piece of advice would be do not be scared to put yourself out there and just turn in your resume. Even I didn’t think I would stand a chance at working in the DA’s office, but in the end I was one of the final two chosen for the position.”

Congratulations, Brittany! Thanks for sharing your experience at the DA’s office!

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