The Eastern Illinois University Speech Team participated in the Litrenta Triangle Tournament at Harper College in Palatine last weekend. Austin Mejdrich (Freshman from Charleston) was the tournament champion in Impromptu Speaking and placed third in Speech To Entertain. Eastern will participate in the Bradley / Illinois State Swing Tournament this Friday and Saturday in Peoria and Normal.
Tylen Elliott, a Freshman Communication Studies major from Crete, Illinois (Crete-Monee HS), won the 2013 Balasi Public Speaking Contest tonight. A panel of judges selected Tylen’s speech, entitled “Think Positively”, as the top speech delivered in the final round of the contest, sponsored by the Eastern Illinois University Department of Communication Studies. Second place went to Darbey Jenkins, a Freshman Family & Consumer Science major from Greenfield, Illinois. Third place was awarded to Mandi Mundhenk, a Sophomore Communication Studies major from Oblong, Illinois. The other three students who competed in Tuesday’s finals and their speech topics were:
- Heather Hunter (Sophomore Family & Consumer Science major from Monticello, Illinois) – Adopt Animals from Shelters
- Amber Vanderwyst (Junior Psychology major from McHenry County, Illinois) – Go Dairy Free
- Tiarra Webb (Sophomore Athletic Training major from Chicago (DuSable H.S.) – Get Tested for HIV/STD’s
The contest is named in memory of Betty Balasi, a long time staff member in the E.I.U. Department of Communication Studies. Twenty-two students competed in the preliminary round of the competition Monday night.
Check out this TV news broadcast from WMBD-TV in Peoria, featuring the EIU Speech Team competing in a tournament at Bradley University.
Students from two Communication Studies classes are presenting a special program on hate speech. Students enrolled in CMN 3903 (Communication, Gender and the Body) and CMN 3220 (Communication, Race and Ethnicity) are presenting an event entitled “Journey to Hate Free Communities: Moving Toward a Proactive World.” It will be held Thursday evening, December 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the University Ballroom of the E.I.U. Union. Students will screen the documentary Journey to a Hate Free Millennium that addresses the hate crimes committed against Mathew Sheppard, James Byrd Jr., and the Columbine shootings. The purpose of the event is to gather members of the EIU and Charleston communities for a proactive dialogue to address issues related to hate speech on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, and religion. Student-made videos relating personal narratives will also be featured. Members of the campus community as well as the general public are invited.
Three faculty members from the Department of Communication Studies are winners of Eastern Illinois University’s 2013 Achievement and Contribution awards for faculty. Dr. Melanie Mills and Dr. Richard Jones are being honored for outstanding achievements in service, while Dr. Marita Gronnvoll is being honored in the balanced category, which takes into account her accomplishments in teaching, service, and research.
The EIU Department of Communication Studies will host the annual Balasi Public Speaking Contest in early December. The contest is open to any student who was enrolled in Intro to Speech Communication (CMN 1310 or CMN 1390) during the Fall Semester of 2013. Contestants are required to give a 7 to 9 minute persuasive speech before a panel of judges. The top competitors from the preliminary round will advance to the finals, where they will give the speech a second time. The contest winner will receive $500, second place will receive $300, and third place will receive $100. The preliminary round of the contest will be Monday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m. in Coleman Hall. The finals will be Tuesday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m. in Buzzard Hall 1501. The contest is named in memory of the late Betty Balasi, who was a long-time staff member in the Department of Communication Studies at Eastern.
Former Communication Studies graduate student Jessica McDonald is the winner of the 2013 Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award from the College of Arts and Humanities at Eastern Illinois University. It’s the second highest achievement in graduate research at Eastern. Jessica’s thesis is entitled “Coordination and Symbolic Convergence at the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center” and was completed in the Spring of 2013. Jessica’s thesis is one of two entries from Eastern that have been submitted to the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools for its Distinguished Masters Thesis Award competition, Jessica received her Master of Arts degree in May of 2013 and is now teaching classes in Easterns’ Department of Communication Studies and at Lake Land College in Mattoon.
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Molly Niesen has been named as winner of the Brian Murphy Top Paper Award from the Union for Democratic Communications. Dr. Niesen’s paper was entitled, “The Kidvid Crusade and the Eclipse of the Federal Trade Commission 1977-1980.” She will receive the award at an awards banquet at the UDC conference in San Francisco on Nov. 1-2. She will also receive a cash prize.
Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Marita Gronnvoll has been named to the editorial board for the Quarterly Journal of Speech. It’s a national journal, published by the National Communication Association, which publishes articles and book reviews of interest to those who take a rhetorical perspective on communication. Editorial board members review submissions and help select content for the journal.
The Eastern Illinois University Speech Team schedule for the 2013-2014 academic year has been announced:
- October 5 – 6: ’74 Swing Tournament in Bloomington-Normal
- October 19 – 21: Age of Aquarius Swing Tournament in Muncie, IN
- November 2 – 3: L.E. Norton Invitational in Peoria
- January 18 – 19: Butler Bulldog Rumble in Indianapolis
- January 25 – 26: Northern Illinois Swing Tournament in DeKalb
- February 22 – 23: Bradley/ISU Swing Tournament in Peoria & Normal
- February 28 – March 1: IIFA State Tournament in DeKalb
- March 8 – 9: District V Qualifier / Last Chance Tournament in Normal
More information about the Speech Team is available from Coach Sara Gronstal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217.581.8326.