Department Highlights 2007


KENNESAW, Ga. (May 11, 2010) — Celebrating accomplishments of the Department of Communication in 2007.

Dr. May Gao, Assistant Professor

- Dr. Gao has two articles on intercultural learning and adaptation published by the journal of Global Business Languages, one of which is co-authored with Dr. Womack. Global Business Languages (GBL), housed at Purdue University, is an annual publication containing articles on issues related to foreign languages taught for specific purposes. Here is the web link for this peer-reviewed journal:

- Dr. Gao’s article of “Chinese Companies Going Global: Operational Strategies and Communication Challenges - What does China need to do to succeed?” was published by China Currents, an official publication of China Research Center. Here is the link:

- Dr. Gao’s two articles, both co-authored with her students, have been published by the inaugural issue electronic journal of “China Insights Today”, a new comprehensive journal about Chinese business, economy, politics, industry, culture and communication.

- Dr. Gao was invited as a featured speaker by the Coca Cola Enterprises at the “International CEO Forum” of Celebrasia 07 Gala in San Francisco on May 9th, 2007. Here is her picture at the forum:

- From May 30th to July 5th, 2007, Gao led 11 students from the University System of Georgia to China for a summer Study Abroad Program, visiting Beijing, Yangzhou, Nanjing, Suzhou and Shanghai. During the five and a half weeks in China, the students gain nine credits in Chinese language, culture and intercultural communication. In her study abroad COM3325 Intercultural Communication course, she directed these students for the creation of this weblog that records students’ life and observation in China:

- Dr. Gao was invited to speak as one of the five panelists at the KSU 2007 Diversity luncheon on August 23, 2007. This international Faculty Dialogue was entitled: "Bridging Cultures or Caught Between? International Women Faculty Speak Out." Her research on “the effective communication strategies between an international professor and his/her students on a Southern campus” has been included in a Forthcoming book entitled "Bridging Global Cultures" to be published by the KSU Press. Over 100 guests attended this luncheon, including KSU President Dr. Papp, Provost Dr. Black, several Vice Presidents, Deans, Chairs of various departments, faculty members and administrators. For more information about this luncheon, see link at

- On Sept 12, 2007, Dr. Gao’s research with her students on the Chinese pet food crisis was presented at the KSU Globalization Talk Series, sponsored by the Institute for Global Initiatives. The contributing students are KSU communication majors: Michelle Wagner, Erin Brown, Casey Metcalf, and Maria Randazzo.

Jake McNeill, Lecturer

Jake McNeill worked as Audio Post Production Editor on the 2006 film “Sophisticated Romance”, which was awarded “Best Feature-Length Drama” at the 2007 Sweet Auburn International Film Festival. He is also engaged in research with the A.L. Burruss Institute and the Center for Conflict Management to conduct a comprehensive legal needs assessment addressing the civil legal needs of the citizens of Georgia.

Amber Hutchins, ABD, Assistant Professor

Amber Hutchins published a chapter in Critical Thinking About Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications: "Cue the Lights and Music: How Cinematic Devices Contribute to the Perpetuation of Romantic Myths in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge." in Critical Thinking About Sex, Love, and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications, Edited by Mary-Lou Galician, Debra L. Merskin

Leonard Witt, Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication contributions to the community

Conferences co-organized and sponsored by the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication:

SoCon07 (February, 2007) – Some 200 community members from the Atlanta Metro area came to Kennesaw State University for what was billed as Web 2.0 in 1.5 days. This for-free community oriented conference addressed social media’s challenges and opportunities for commerce and societal issues in Georgia.

Journalism that Matters, D.C. Session (August, 2007) – Traditional business models that support journalism are eroding and quality journalism is in jeopardy. We helped convene about 140 media industry leaders, academics and citizen activists from across the nation to seek new journalism models for the future.

Funded project co-organized by the Robert D. Fowler Distinguished Chair in Communication:

Blog2Learn (March 2007 – May 2008) – The second year of No Child Left Behind funded projects to teach Cobb County teachers in Language Arts and in English as a Second Language how to use blogs and podcasts in the classroom. Project includes a weeklong workshop for 20 teachers and continuing support throughout the school year for these teachers and their students.

Jan R. Phillips, Instructor

Jan R. Phillips conducted a successful Adjunct Faculty Preparatory Workshop for adapting the Human Communication (COM 1109) course to a large classroom format. The workshop consisted of strategies to emphasize the value of using small groups and student leadership to create a learning environment of immediacy and engagement.

Jan R. Phillips wrote and published two books during the 2006-2007 academic year. The first book Human Communication in Context: A Workbook for the Introductory Course, First Edition (Hayden-McNeil Publishing) consisted of a history of the communication discipline and summaries of various contexts of the Human Communication course.

The second book is the companion Instructor's Guide for the Human Communication in Context Workbook, First Edition (Hayden-McNeil Publishing). The book provides a history of the Human Communication course at KSU and emphasizes teaching strategies for instructors who teach the Human Communication course in large classroom settings.

Deanna Womack, Professor

2007 Outstanding Communication Senior Grant Engels selected me as her faculty honoree

In October, 2006, Deanna Womack presented a workshop on Assessing Liberal Arts Courses at the National Assessment Institute, Indiana and Purdue Universities, Indianapolis. May Gao from Communication and Susan Raines from Philosophy were co-presenters.