Alumni Updates: 1991-1995
Excerpts from some notes we've received from you in the last year or so:
Katharine (Ross) Kuene '95 (email@example.com ) earned her MA in Communication from Northern Illinois, joined the Change Management division of Andersen Consulting in '97, and in '99 became the Education Services manager for the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA. Katharine now develops technical training and builds/manages the various department web sites for The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) in the Office of Information Technology. She married Jeff in 1998. Here's Katharine's take on things:
Being a student in the Speech Communication Department was a truly wonderful experience. It was the first time, as a student, I felt a passion for an academic subject.
From a course perspective, I found the "Communication in the XXX Order" series extremely valuable. It was such a great way to introduce students to the various avenues of study in the field. Larry's Communication and the Social Order (in 1992) course was particularly eye-opening to me.
Also, I enjoyed the format of the senior seminar (Women's Suffrage Rhetoric) and the "Senior Project." I thought both encouraged me to push the boundaries of what I had previously achieved in my studies. On a personal level... Most powerful to me was the support I felt from my professors (particularly Ellen Hay and Janet Novak). The connections you make with your professors in your college years can be extremely powerful. That was definitely the case for me. I really felt a love of the pursuit of knowledge in my professors and I believe that rubbed off on me.
I feel very fortunate to have learned from people who were not only great teachers, but also great thinkers. Every course had an open-ended feeling where you felt like professors were as interested in learning from you as in teaching you. This lead to a wonderful exchange of knowledge in the classroom. If there could have been one thing different... When I arrived at graduate school, I felt very prepared in the core subject courses but weak in the "research methodology" areas. It would have been great to have a research methods course offered senior year for those students who wanted to go into a master's program. I think that would have really given me a "leg up" in grad school.
A quick note from Snowball and Varallo: we share Katharine's concerns about helping folks develop an understanding of, and able to use, various research methods. We're pursuing a couple different ways to strengthen ourselves. First, the "Order" courses (210, 211, 212, which have been renamed) now all contain a strong component of original student research. Snowball's 212 course, for example, teaches students about content analysis and then requires a final group research project involving the analysis of 500 or more ads. Second, Communication Theory II has a strong research orientation now and we've incorporated a whole series of research methods modules starting in 2008-09. All of that should lead to even stronger Senior Projects.
Janet's Seminar on Woman Suffrage Rhetoric developed into a very popular, powerful course by the same name. After she left, we had to drop the course but we're looking to develop a new focused upper-level course to succeed it.
Kirk Marske, '93 was the first person to respond to the department's 2002 call for alumni information some years back. Kirk has spoken to a number of classes on campus and has generously offered to share his experiences with majors who are interested in working in radio. Kirk writes:
I am currently the producer for the Dwyer and Michaels show on Q106.5 radio (Davenport, Iowa), which I have been doing since 1995. When I took the job, I said it would ride it out to see where it took me--I never planned on being here 7 years and I am mostly looking to re-route myself elsewhere but it hasn't worked out that way yet. Overall, I'm in a pretty good situation, but I'm ready for some new challenges.
I also own a deejay service which keeps me busy at various events such as wedding receptions, class reunions, company parties, and birthday parties for 2 year olds.
My wife, Kim, and my 2 kids keep me busy too (mostly the kids)--Eddie is 5 and Alden is 3. (Of course, that was in 2002!)
Wendy-Hilton Morrow, '93
Wendy and Jay became the proud (frazzled, exhausted, bewildered) parents of Matthew Jay Morrow on June 28th, 2002. Matthew entered the world at 9 pounds, 4 ounces and almost immediately began inquiring about dinner. Since then, Matthew has been joined by baby brother Joshua.
Scott Beaty, '92 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Right after graduation (hard to believe it's been 10 years) I went into the graduate program at Illinois State University. In 1994, with my thesis half done, I succumbed to the callings of radio (certainly wasn't for the money), and moved back to the Quad Cities and back to 97X. After 3 years there, I took an on-air position with KFMW-Rock 108 in Waterloo. That's where I am now, currently hosting The Big Show (mornings). I married my wife, Laura, in March of 1999, and she is currently working towards her Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. The crazy world of morning radio on an active rock station keeps me busy. But not to busy to say hello, catch up on old times, and trade stories. Drop me a line!
The department helped me prepare for life outside of the college. Majoring in Speech Communication... helped me understand and communicate in everyday life...
As far as the radio experience goes, I feel that ANY "on-the-job-training" that can be given should be given. In the industry I work in, the most important thing is experience. While I was a student at Augie, the student-run station WAUG was less than adequate, but still gave me a small taste of what radio was about. That taste is still in my mouth, and I love it. The internship that I took part in during my senior year also helped me gain the knowledge I needed to break into a tough field.
As far as classes, I enjoyed every single Communication course I took at Augustana. I am not lying! from the Radio Elements course with Dwight, to the Persuasion course with Shipley, Interpersonal with Ellen Hay, and Propaganda with Snowball, they all were interesting and served me well. (Watching Snowball give a lecture onWW II Propaganda while standing on top of a desk in the middle of the classroom for 30 minutes is still a memory that is burned into my mind -- do you still do that?).
Another note from Snowball: we're durn pleased to know that Scott's not lying about us! We agree with Scott's insights about the importance of getting "in the field" while you're still a student. If folks hear of any interesting leads as the months go by, we're always looking for good placements and different opportunities for the majors.
Wendy's advising WAUG and is pretty sympathetic to the claim that the station is, for many purposes, less than it should be. We remain constrained by the FCC (they don't think we should be broadcasting off-campus, so we've shifted to web-casting) and budget (we lost most of our funding for the few paid student positions which makes it harder for the staff to devote as much time as they'd like). Wendy's awfully crafty, though, and has some upgrades in the work. We'll let folks know as we get things firmed up.
Craig Hullett, '92, is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Craig's most recent research, "Charting the Process Underlying the Change of Value-Expressive Attitudes," was published in the June 2002 issue of Communication Monographs. Craig writes:
Life is definitely good here! I love my colleagues, students, and the city. I refuse to become a cheddarhead, but am pretty well converted to the Badgers (still some MSU in me, though).
Martha (Keil) Stolze '92 (email@example.com) worked for Augie for a few years right after college, traveled back East to earn her MS in Higher Education from Syracuse University in 1996, and then moved back to the Midwest. Though she's too modest to say so, she runs a really intriguing M.A. program. As I looked through its catalog, it felt a lot like what you'd get if you were able to more our Honors program to the graduate level and then convince Chicago-area executives to become your students. You can check it out at: http://www.noctrl.edu/grad/index.shtml. Here are Martha's thoughts:
I'll soon be starting my seventh year working for North Central College in Naperville, IL. I am the Director of Graduate and Continuing Education Admission. It's a great position where I really have the opportunity to use my communication skills to help others advance their educational goals.
Greg ('93) and I now have an amazing son, Nicholas Keil Stolze, born Sept. 29, 2001.
By far and away the best thing the department did was teach me to be a critical thinker. I was very prepared for graduate school research and writing.