Newsletter of the Iowa Communication Association - Established in 1965  |

Melissa L. Beall

Marilyn Shaw

Past President
Mary Gill

Executive Secretary
Susan Cantine-Maxson

At-Large Members:
Judy Vogel
Alan Lerstrom
Keith Hardeman
Mari Miller Burns

 Journal Editor
Kimberly Powell

Business Manager
David Wendt

 Newsletter Editors
Susan Cusmano
Frances Kavalier
Kent Davis

Web Editor
Joyce Chen 

   December 2007 

Musings from Melissa
I sit here at the computer and look out the window to see the snow falling and the wind moving everything in sight.  It hardly seems possible that we’ve reached the end of the year.  December brings holiday madness and the tempting thought of holidays and celebrations.  It also brings some of us to the close of the semester. Where did the time go?  How is it possible that we approach the end of the academic term and the end of the year already? It was just a short time ago that we met in Cedar Falls for the annual ICA convention, and now your officers are working on the 2008 convention.

Convention 2008
The 2008 convention will be September 19-20 at the Waterloo Ramada.  The Ramada is easy to access in downtown Waterloo.  There is an elevator to the guest rooms; and, in case of inclement weather, the enclosed skywalk crosses the street to the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center where conference sessions will be held.  An enclosed parking ramp keeps your vehicles dry, and the skywalk ramp brings you right into the Ramada.  Rooms at the Ramada are $79.99 plus tax.  We’re excited to try this new venue.

“Listening to Our Stories” is the convention theme, and the keynote speaker is Dr. Margarete Imhof, current president of the International Listening Association and an Educational Psychology professor from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany, who researches the connections between listening and thinking in the classroom.  Once again, we have wonderful support from our academic
institutions to help ICA bring in international scholars for our ICA convention.  Dean Reinhold Bubser, interim Dean of the UNI College of Humanities and Fine Arts, recently told me he would provide funding for Margarete’s travel costs.  Other UNI sources tell me that they will help fund some of Margarete’s Iowa adventures.  Alan Lerstrom is checking into the possibility of special lectures at Luther.  (Dr. Imhof spent a year as a visiting scholar at Luther in 1989 where she taught in the Modern Language department.)   Her recent research looks at the cognitive connections needed to help students be better listeners.  This is something most of us would really appreciate knowing! 

Remember that the theme is an organizing point for the convention, and it offers a kickoff for the convention.  Your submissions need not necessarily address either stories or listening!  We encourage you to continue to share the wonderful things you and your students are doing in your individual institutions! 


I am always impressed with the quality of the cutting-edge kinds of things you submit to us for the annual convention and also to our award-winning Iowa Journal of Communication.  Kudos to Kimberly Powell and the Editorial Board!  The Iowa Journal of Communication received the 2006 CSCA States Advisory Outstanding Journal award.  Documentation must be sent by February 1, 2008, for the 2007 journal competition.

ICA’s 2007 submissions to the Central States Advisory Showcase programs were all accepted and will be scheduled for the CSCA convention in Madison, Wisconsin, April 9-12, 2008.  The programs nominated for presentation at CSCA were: Community College the A word: Assessment and Accreditation; Encouraging Social Activism Among Students; Out of the Classroom and into the Community; and, the Jon Hall GIFTS program.  The Social Activism panelists will not be able to attend the convention; hopefully, the scheduling will allow the others to attend and present.  It is good that ICA continues to have a positive presence in both the regional and national organizations.  ICA is comprised of dedicated professionals who volunteer their time, energy, and expertise to promote all aspects of communication and theatre in Iowa.  Thanks to all who have so generously shared with us. 


This newsletter will go up on the website and will also be sent through U.S. Postal Service.  Your officers have talked about having the newsletter only placed on the ICA website unless members specifically request a print copy.  This would be more efficient and more cost-effective.  What do you think?  Do you have a preference?  Send me your thoughts on the newsletter:

In addition, we welcome your thoughts on all topics.  Please send me your news items and your suggestions for making ICA as useful to you as possible.

Happy end of the semester/year, and Happy Holidays to all!

Best Regards,
 -- Melissa Beall, ICA President


Featured below are photos from the September conference:

Mary Gill and Top Undergraduate Paper Award winner,
Amy Ziegler, Buena Vista University

Melissa Beall presenting ICA Citation Award to
Larry Brandstetter, Red Oak

Marilyn Shaw presenting
Outstanding Adjunct Teacher Award to Lori Johnson

Back Row:  Lori Johnson, Susan Cusmano, Karen Sindelar
Sitting:  Michael Hubbard, Emily Ball (New Teacher Award winner),
Kazuo (Tatchan) Akasaka, and Alan Lerstrom

Guest speaker, Kazuo (Tatchan) Akasaka, with Michael Hubbard and Emily Ball

"A Tribute to Stan Wood" By Steve Palmquist

1976-77 Academic Year – The End of an Era
The first production of the fall of 1976 was “The Madwoman of Chaillot” by Jean Giradeaux.  Stan Wood was the director; and although I had barely met him, he was a legend at UNI.  I was new to the UNI Campus, a thirty-year-old graduate student in Speech/Theatre.  I auditioned for the cast but did not find my name on the callback list.  I soon received a phone call from Professor Wood asking me to consider being his Stage Manager/Assistant Director.   My first choice would have been the role of “the Rag picker,” but of course Shane Sellers made a masterful portrayal.  And while I had already directed a dozen productions at the high school level, I had much to learn about calling the cues for a main stage college production with major scene shifts.  I accepted Stan’s wisdom as how to use my experience base to make his production stronger.

A few days after posting the cast, Stan took Don Conrad and me to lunch in the Oak Room to plan our advertising strategy.  Don was the Theatre Office Manager and in charge of the Box Office for the shows.   My assistantship put me in charge of Publicity and Public Relations for Theatre UNI.  It was an elegant luncheon:  soup, salad, and sandwich, served to us by a waiter.  The tablecloth was linen with matching napkins.  Our fellow diners were mostly faculty and (of course) Stan picked up the tab.

Only a few short days later when I came to the office, D. Terry Williams was strangely silent and Don Conrad had tears in his eyes.  Stan had died in his sleep the previous night.  There was shock and disbelief.  How could he be with us one day and gone the next?  The attendance at his funeral was huge.

D. Terry Williams remarked during this time that he had encouraged Stan to teach a theatre department course based upon Stan’s production history, but Stan had not wanted to dwell on the past, but preferred to push on to new challenges.

Richard Edwards, a professional actor and director of the American Conservatory Theatre (and a former student of Stan’s) was brought in to teach his classes and bring “Madwoman” to fruition.  I handled the rehearsals until his arrival and they were challenging.  Many of the actors were so upset that they wanted to abandon or at least postpone the show.  Even though I was a newcomer, I knew that Stan would have wanted the show to go on, and I was able to convince them of this truth.  Dick Edwards inspired the cast and crew and brought about an impassioned production.  When the show opened, there was a terrific turn-out of Stan’s former students and Richard’s professional colleagues.  The entire company of the Old Creamery attended one of the performances in the Old Auditorium in Lang Hall.  It was a way to celebrate Stan’s life.

Ironically, Stan had spent the previous two years traveling across the country, inspecting new theatre facilities and incorporating their best features into the blueprints for the Strayer-Wood Theatre.  The ground had been broken, but Stan’s brainchild and namesake legacy was seen only with his mind’s eye.  It was built the year after he died.  Now, thirty years down the road, we are preparing to celebrate with an Alumni Reunion and production (Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman), April 11 and 12, 2008.  Learn more at or by calling 319-273-6833.

Paul Siddens, ICA Past President and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at UNI, was cited in the 2008 edition of Marquis Who's Who in American Education.
Alan Lerstrom was appointed by the NCA Committee on Committees to the Professional Service Award Committee.  This committee selects recipients for the Kibler and Becker awards that recognize a life time of service to the discipline and NCA.

Judy Vogel, ICA Executive Committee member, was named the Des Moines Area Community College Distinguished Service Award recipient in recognition of outstanding service to DMACC beyond job responsibilities.  As a member of the DMACC Diversity Commission, Professor Vogel authored the original draft of the Diversity Commission’s Charter, chaired the Diversity Commission’s Curriculum Committee which developed a diversity requirement for all students earning an A.A. or A. S. degree, and created the Diversity Commission’s Tapestry Award, which recognized those who demonstrated a valuing of diversity through their character and contributions to the college and community.    Professor Vogel teaches speech communication at DMACC.  The award was presented by Ellen Gaucher, Vice President of the DMACC Foundation, which established the award, and by Rob Denson, President of DMACC.  Judy is currently serving her second term on the ICA Executive Committee.

Also, Yvonne Fielder has been hired by DMACC as a full-time speech professor at the West Campus.

Mary Bozik, University of Northern Iowa, and Molly Holkesvik, UNI MA alum and Decorah High School, were invited to serve on a panel at the Conference on English Leadership meeting in New York, on November 19. The College Board panel shared the "Standards for College Success", and Mary and Molly examined ways the standards influence classroom teaching and teacher education.

CALL FOR PAPERS FOR THE Iowa Communication Association Top Student Paper Award
Undergraduate and Graduate students are invited to submit papers for presentation at the 2008 Iowa Communication Association Conference to be held September 2008.

All submitted papers that are accepted for presentation at the conference will be organized into thematic and/or top paper panels. The top three papers will be recognized on a top student paper panel, with the best undergraduate or graduate student paper receiving:

Ø  Publication of the paper in the 2008 issue of the Iowa Communication Journal

Ø  Recognition at the conference banquet on Friday evening

Ø  A one year membership to the Iowa Communication Association (includes journal subscription)

Ø  2008 ICA conference dues paid

Papers should be no longer than 25 pages in length, typed, double-spaced, and may be on any communication topic.  Papers are accepted on a rolling basis until  June 1, 2008. Papers should be submitted electronically to: 
           Kimberly Powell
           Professor/Editor of the Iowa Journal of Communication
           Luther College


The Iowa Journal of Communication is a blind-review annual devoted to scholarship in all areas of communication studies that address the scholarly and instructional needs of K-12, community college, and four-year college, and university communication studies faculty.
An award-winning state journal, the IJC publishes the highest quality of manuscripts on a variety of communication topics. Manuscripts may be philosophical, theoretical, critical, applied, pedagogical, or empirical in nature. Submissions from all geographic areas are encouraged. Submissions are welcomed year round.
The IJC follows a policy of blind review so no author identification should appear in the body of the manuscript. Manuscripts should not exceed 25 pages, or approximately 7,500 words and should include a title page that includes author(s) name, academic position, institutional affiliation, a brief bio, mailing address, phone number, and email address. An abstract of not more than 100 words should accompany the manuscript. All submissions must conform to the latest edition of the APA.  Manuscripts should be submitted electronically.
Queries and manuscript submissions for the 2008 journal should be addressed to the editor:
Kimberly Powell -
The Iowa Journal of Communication announces a special 2008 issue on autoethnography. Manuscripts should be received no later than March 1, 2008.
At the end of Writing the New Ethnography, Goodall (2000) calls on ethnographers to fully engage “a dialogic ethic and a transformational vision” aimed at “evolving to a higher state of scholarly consciousness(p. 198). In The Ethnographic I Carolyn Ellis (2004) defines autoethnography as “research, writing, story, and method that connect the autobiographical and personal to the cultural, social, and political” (p. xix). One of the ways the vision of these ethnographic pioneers has begun to show up is through a dramatic surge in autoethnographic writing over the last ten years or so. Book series, journals, conferences, and other venues have been invaded by writing that features the reflexive researching human who engages the dual capacity to look both inward and outward for inspiration, insight, and evocation of what it means to be a human, and who engages direct, meaningful dialogue between the personal and the cultural.
Good autoethnographic writing engages the “ethnographic I” and works its transformational magic upon the researcher, the subjects of the research, and the readers who engage the work. This special issue will feature the best of current autoethnographic writing--writing that pushes the boundaries of scholarship, that seeks to engage the reader in a transformational journey, that shows a reflexive “ethnographic I”, that develops the theme of a dialogic ethic, and that evokes the emotional-mental-physical-spiritual experience of human communicative life in various contexts.
We welcome submissions from researchers in a variety of areas, and from any perspective. Submissions from undergraduate and graduate students are invited for a special section of the journal. We are particularly interested in new and experimental forms of evocative autoethnographic writing. Any manuscript not accepted for the special issue will be considered for the general issue of the journal. The IJC follows a policy of blind review, so no author identification should appear in the body of the manuscript. Manuscripts should not exceed 25 pages and should include a title page that lists the author(s) name, academic position, institutional affiliation, full address, telephone number, and email information. A brief author bio should also be included. An abstract of not more than 100 words should accompany the paper. All submissions must conform to the most current edition of the APA Publication Manual. Queries and manuscript submissions should be sent electronically to: Christopher N. Poulos, Guest Editor, Iowa Journal of Communication:

The Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research Awards Program
The Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research  ( operates an ambitious awards program as the primary means of fulfilling its mission to promote interactionist scholarship. Seven unique awards programs honor some of the most  important scholars in their fields, focus on various aspects of the interactionist tradition, and recognize scholarship in forms from student papers to published works.

 The Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award recognizes student-authored papers that apply symbolic interactionist approaches to Internet studies. Participation is open to students at all levels and in all disciplines.  If you have upper-level students completing excellent senior projects or other major papers, please encourage them to submit their finished product for consideration!  For details, visit

Core Curriculum…..Where do the arts fit?
The term “core curriculum” is hitting all of the mail boxes and faculty meetings in every school in Iowa and causing many teachers of the arts to wonder, no worry - where their curriculum fits into this picture.  Light needs to be shed on this issue. On the Iowa Department of Education web site is a document titled, Characteristics of a World-Class Core Curriculum.

They include the following:
 Promotes working as a team
Reflects the most recently developed knowledge and skills
Is relevant and engaging to students
Is problem-based
Is cross-curricular
Promotes in-depth study of content
Is rigorous
Is accessible to all students
Develops global perspectives
Is application-based
Improves student achievement
Is aligned with assessments that inform instruction and monitor student performance
Offers authentic learning experiences to students
Infuses core skills across the curriculum
Incorporates current technology to enhance learning
Changes to reflect the constantly changing world in which we live

Go back over each of these characteristics and put a check mark by each of those your speech or theatre curriculum addresses. Then share with your administration, colleagues and board of education.  Give examples where the curriculum specifically addresses each of these characteristics.  This would be a great piece to put together for a program or student handout.

Speech Class Tips from Susan Cantine-Maxson, Executive Secretary

I did an activity for the student's introductory speech, and they seemed to really like it and enjoyed guessing who everyone was!  Although they didn't tell us direct information about themselves, you could still tell a lot about them based on who they chose and what qualities they chose to tell us about that person. It was a great way for them to get comfortable in front of the class, and they had some interesting get-ups and visual aids!

Try this ice-breaking activity on the first day of class: "It's a Small World Scavenger Hunt."  On the first day of class, give each student a list of questions.  They are to walk around the room and talk to the others in the classroom to find out the answers to these questions.  After the students have had enough to time to find out the answers, do a whole class activity in which students share some of their more interesting findings about others in the class.  This is a good ice-breaker.  I actually started this because I've found that practically everywhere I go, I run into someone who shares a link with me (Kind of like the six degrees of separation concept).  When I was in summer school at UNI as an undergraduate, a young man came up to me after class and said he knew that he knew me from somewhere.  I know, it sounds like a line, but we started talking and it turned out that when I lived in Mason City in first and second grade, he went to the same elementary school!  My most recent experience was bumping into someone from Decorah in the middle of Alaska.  I've had many experiences like this and the students seem to enjoy finding out about each other.  I've done this at both the high school and college level on the first day. I think it could also be adapted to an activity about "small talk" and "making conversation."  You could make up any questions but possible examples include the following:

Getting to Know Your Classmates

Your name_______________ 

Write the names and pertinent information to answer each of the following questions. You may not use the same person for more than two answers, so keep moving. Write down the answers so that you can share after the exercise.

It's a Small World Scavenger Hunt
1.Find one person whose birthday is within 30 days of your birthday. Give name and birthday.

2. Find one person who has a relative who shares a first or middle name with a relative of yours. Give person's name & relative & relationship.

3. Find one person who has the same color, model or make of car as you do. List person and corresponding information.

4. Find one person who has visited the same place as you have for a vacation. List the person and place.

5. Find one person who has the same favorite food as you do. List name and food.

6. Find two people who have attended the same extracurricular event (as a spectator) as you have in the last year. (Could be as a tv spectator as well.) List names and event.

7. Find two people who share a favorite (other than food) with you:  such as favorite author, singing group, color, teacher, movie, t.v. show, etc.).  These can be different favorites for different people.

8. Find one person who shares a common link with your past. (You were in the same kindergarten class; you go to the same church; you both attended the Olympics, etc.)

9. Find one person who has given a speech in front of a group before. Describe who, when & where.

10. Find one person who has a job which involves persuading someone to buy something. Describe who and what they sell.

11. Find one person who has demonstrated to someone else how to do something. Describe who and what.

12. Find one person who has given directions or received directions to a place in the last six months. Who was it and were the directions accurate?

13. Find one person who has heard a speech (either live or on tv) during the last six months. Who was it, who spoke and what was the topic? What did he/she think of it?

14. Find one person who disliked a movie that they saw. Who was it and what was the movie and why did he/she dislike it?

15. Find one person who liked a movie that they saw. Who was it and what was the movie and why did he/she like it?

Let the gift of gab get you through the holiday season
The holidays are fast approaching, and people frequently find themselves gathered around a table with extended family, as well as attending office Christmas parties which leads to encounters with people they don’t know well or don’t know at all.

November 19 - 25 was national Better Conversation Week, and Paul J. Siddens III, UNI associate professor of Communication Studies, has some advice below on how to ease the stress that can come with carrying on conversations, especially when you find yourself sitting with someone new.

Avoid talking about gossip and/or family or office secrets.  If your conversation partner or partners insist on these sorts of discussions, either find a way to excuse yourself from the conversation, or try to change the subject.

Avoid discussing politics and religion, unless you are confident your conversation partner or partners can deal with these subjects open mindedly and without becoming defensive or adversarial.

Movies, music, books, television shows, sports, and other popular culture or current events are always good conversation starters and topics. As cliché as it seems, even the weather can be a good icebreaker. 

Try to establish common ground with your conversation partners.  Don’t be afraid to “try out” different topics to see what you have in common to talk about.

Share the conversation equally amongst yourself and your conversation partner or partners. Don’t be a conversation hog. If you find someone else hogging the conversation, either politely listen, find a way to divert the conversation to allow others to participate, or find a way to excuse yourself from the conversation.

If one or more persons in your conversation group do not seem to be contributing, give them opportunities, but some people are shy, and prefer to listen rather than talk. Give them this opportunity as well. Don’t force people into conversation. 


UNI Interpreters Theatre Season Schedule
All events take place in Lang 040 - Spring 2008
Dead White Males: A Year in the Trenches of Teaching
Written by William Missouri Downs
Directed by Emily Eisenman
February 28 and 29; March 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Free Admission  (Produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.)  Janet, a rookie history teacher, goes from idealist to burnout as she fights insidious internal politics within the public school system in her effort to truly affect her students in a positive way. Janet is eventually called upon to testify against her mentor, who has a nervous breakdown when forced to teach creationism, and something even more tragic occurs in this biting satire of the public school system.

We, the People:  Stories from the Cedar Valley's Newest Immigrants
Created by Students in Dr. Karen Mitchell's Performance Studies Seminar
March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Free Admission
This collection of performances documents the human experience of immigration through the first-person stories and artifacts of recent immigrants to the Cedar Valley.  Listen to these stories and reflect on the lessons and experiences that shape our individual and communal identities.

Half-Masted 3.2: illustrated by Jessica Walstrom
Directed by Dr. Doug Shaw
March 27, 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Free Admission
Half-Masted 3.2 is back again with their spring show and unscripted comedy mayhem is in your future! And it gets better, gang, because they are giving boffo UNI Interpreters Theatre graphic designer Jessica Walstrom free rein!  Jessica will design the stage, surprise the troupe with special props, and even costume the director! The Incas said that when two great forces of nature meet, babies throughout the land smile happily. So will you!

Triumphant Love: A Chamber Opera
Libretto by Paul Siddens, Ph.D.
Composed by Alan Schmitz, Ph.D.
April 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m.
Free Admission
Based on a short story by Ivan Turgenev, Triumphant Love is the tale of a love triangle made even more complicated by the magic and mysticism of the Far East. This adaptation written and composed by UNI faculty Siddens and Schmitz is being performed for the first time and is co-produced by the UNI Interpreters Theatre and School of Music.


 Have a wonderful holiday filled with all
of the things you love!