Department of Communication
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Boulder, CO 80309
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News about Communication Faculty, Grad & Undergrad Students, and Staff Doings

The Department of Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder is a vibrant community of scholars whose members share a commitment to excellence and innovation in communication research and teaching. ‘COMM Plishments is our way of sharing news about the accomplishments of all of us with each other. People are doing all kinds of wonderful things and we often are unaware of what others do.  It is valuable for us as a community to know and celebrate the accomplishments of each other.

‘COMM Plishments may be received in the following categories:

  • Conference paper or presentation acceptances
  • Acceptance of journal articles & book manuscript proposals
  • Appearance of journal articles & books
  • Appearance of book chapters, referred proceedings, reviews, encyclopedia entries,. etc.
  • Awards & recognitions of any kinds
  • Appointments  or election to important university or professional committees
  • Grants received (at the university and from agencies)
  • Outside the university speaking engagements


If you know someone deserving of a ‘COMM Plishment please feel free to brag by emailing department chair Karen Tracy at


News about Communication Faculty, Grad & Undergrad Student, and Staff Doings

Vol. 2,  Issue 1: September 1, 2014

Karen Ashcraft (Professor) received the Best Article of the Year Award from the Academy of Management Review, the #1 journal in the Business and Management categories, for her 2013 paper “The glass slipper: ‘Incorporating’ occupational identity in management studies.”Academy of Management Review, 38, 1, 6-31. She also co-facilitated the Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland’s 12th Qualitative Camp at Nyvågar, Lofoten Islands, May 26-30.

Bob Craig (Professor Emeritus) and Karen Tracy (Professor) co-edited and wrote the introduction to a special issue of the Journal of Applied Communication Research42(3), 229-343. The title of the special issue was “Building grounded practical theory in applied communication research.”  Bob Craig was also honored at the International Communication Association with a panel, “A Not-So-Ordinary Metadiscourse: Engaging With the Scholarship of Robert T. Craig on the Occasion of his Retirement.

Elizabeth Eger (PhD student) had an article published with alum Sarah Tracy (PhD graduate)and others: “Narrating the Backstage of Qualitative Research in Organizational Communication:  A Synthesis.” The article appeared in Management Communication Quarterly, 2014, 28(3) 422–431. Elizabeth Eger also received  the GLBT Alumni Chapter award which honors high academic achievement and remarkable contributions to the LGBTQ and allied community at CU-Boulder. In addition, she presented three papers in New York at the Work and Family Researchers Network Conference. Papers were; (1)  Situating Youth as Work-Life Stakeholders, Not as Work-Life Objects: A Comparative Ethnography of US Youth’s Work-Life Tensions and Envisioned Futures with Amy K. Way and Catherine Ashcraft; (2) Challenging Extreme Workplace Discrimination Upheld by the Gender Binary: Transpeople’s Negotiations of Work-Life Empowerment; and (3)  Male Advocates’ Perspectives on Increasing Women in IT: Considering Work-Life Tensions as Both Maintaining and Challenging Male Dominance in Technology Fields, also with Catherine Ashcraft.

Joanne Esch (PhD student) received a travel award from the Philosophy, Theory, Critique division of the International Communication Association for her paper, “A Moral Compass for a Practical Discipline: Metaethics and the Metamodel.” This paper was the second most highly ranked student paper in the division.

Larry Frey (Professor) has been competitively selected for the National Communication Association’s Teachers on Teaching series, which celebrates exemplary teachers of communication at all academic levels. He will be recognized in a special session with two other recipients, with former students speaking.

Kate Harris (recent PhD alum) received the W. Charles Redding Dissertation Award  from the Organizational Communication Division of  the International Communication Association’s at the Seattle, May meeting. Her dissertation, titled “Organizing Sexual Violence: Communicative, Intersectional Dilemmas Around Mandated Reporting” was directed by Karen Ashcraft (Professor).

John Jackson (Associate Professor)  was interviewed for Colorado Public Television-channel 12 on May 7th because of his book, Race, Racism and Science The PBS show was Studio 12, hosted by Steffan Tubbs with News Radio 850 KOA and the title of the show was “Racism in Today’s America.”

Matt Koschmann (Assistant Professor) received the article of the year award fromManagement Communication Quarterly for his 2013 Article titled the “The Communicative Constitution of Collective Identity in Interorganizational Collaboration.” He also received anOutstanding Teaching with Technology Award from ASSETT for his 2014 teaching.

Tim Kuhn (Associate Professor)  received an Outreach Grant from the University of Colorado for his co-authored proposal, Online Learning and Practice Communities: Maternal Mental Health.

Jennifer Malkowski (recent PhD graduate) had her article, Beyond Prevention: Containment Rhetoric in the Case of Bug Chasing, appear in the most recent issue of Medical Humanities.

Ricky Munoz (PhD student), is a co-editor of the book, Understanding Occupy from Wall Street to Portland. This volume was selected as the 2014 Outstanding Edited Book of the Year by the International and Intercultural Communication Division  of the National Communication Association.

Allie Rowland (recent PhD graduate) was nominated by her students for a teaching with technology award and was written up in ASSETT’s blog post.

Vanessa Schatz (lecturer and MA graduate) received an award form ASSETT for Excellence in Teaching with Technology.

Leah Sprain (Assistant Professor)  published a chapter, “Voices of organic consumption: Understanding organic consumption as political action” in J. Peeples & S. Depoe (Eds.), Voice and Environment, pp. 127-147. New York: Palgrave. 2014. She is also senior personnel on an new NSF grant that brings together scholars from engineering, computer science, environmental design, and communication to create collaborative processes that foster community resilience. This Type I grant will use Boulder’s recent flooding as a case study to develop participatory processes of model-building.

Karen Tracy (Professor) and Jess Hughes (PhD student), published an article, “Democracy-Appealing Partisanship: A Situated Ideal of Citizenship” in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, 43, 307-324. doi: 10.1080/00909882.2014.911940

Bingjuan Xiong (PhD student) has had her paper, Tell China’s Story Well? Cultural Framing and Online Contestation selected for presentation at the Honors Graduate Student Seminar sponsored by the National Communication Association’s International and Intercultural Communication Division and Sage Publications.  

Jerry Zhoumin Yuan (Visiting scholar supervised by Karen Tracy) wrote a book review of Everyday Talk: Building and Reflecting Identities(2nd edition) for Discourse Studies, Vol 17 No 6. The Chinese version, co-authored with Cindy Mei Jin (visiting scholar supervised by Robert Craig), is accepted in Modern Foreign Languages.


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Vol. 1,  Issue 10: May 1, 2014

Karen Ashcraft, Professor, will deliver a keynote entitled, “Submission to the Rule of Excellence: Ordinary Affect and Precarious Resistance in the Work of Organisation Studies,” at the 9th Organisation Studies Workshop—on “Resistance, resisting, and resisters in and around organizations”—in Corfu, Greece, in May. She is also co-facilitating the Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland’s 12th Qualitative Camp at Nyvågar, Lofoten Islands in later May.

Karen Ashcraft, Professor, and Kate Harris, a recent PhD graduate, published “‘Meaning that matters’: An organizational communication perspective on gender, discourse, and materiality” in S. Kumra, R. Simpson, & R. Burke (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Gender in Organizations (pp. 130–150), 2014, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

James Fortney and Kate Harris, recent PhD graduates, presented a paper, “Reflexivity and disclosure: Methodological trends in tension?” at the Qualitative Research in Management and Organizations Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Pete Simonson, Associate Professor, will give the keynote address at the 17th International Conference on the History of Concepts at the University of Bielefeld in Germany in August.

Karen Tracy, Professor, received a contract from Oxford University Press for her proposed book, Identity-Work in Courts and Judicial Hearings: Disputes about Who Can Marry. The book, which she expects to finish by May 2015, will appear in the Language and Law series.

Jennifer Ziegler (previously Thackaberry), a PhD alum, is assuming the position of Dean of the Graduate School and Continuing Education at Valparaiso University, Indiana.

Spring 2014, Undergraduate Awards and Accomplishments 

Ace Ekstein will receive The Philip K. Tompkins Award, the undergraduate award that recognizes all-around outstanding achievement by a graduating senior.

Alexandra Weisbart and Gregory Luebe will receive The Academic Achievement Award which recognizes intellectually curious, high achieving graduating seniors in the top 1% of their class.

Justine Miracle will receive The Academic Leadership Award, given to the student whose contributions significantly raised the level of classroom discussion.

Aslinn Scott and Megan Winer will receive the Civic Engagement Award, an award that recognizes 1-2 students who contributed significantly to the needs of their communities

Students who Received Academic Honors

Samuel Ashmoremagna cum laude for his thesis titled, “The O’Reilly Factor’s Maintenance of Hegemony in the Wake of the Trayvon Martin Tragedy”

Ace Ecksteinsumma cum laude, for his thesis titled” Trans-masculinities in Original Plumbing: Community, Queer Temporality, and Embodied Experiences”

Whitney Johnsonmagna cum laude for her thesis titled, “Rebelling Against Femininity: A Rhetorical Critique of the Nerf Rebelle Campaign”

Megan Livingstonsumma cum laude, for her thesis titled, “A Sad Story is Not a Legal Defense: Defining Legal Issues”

Speakers At the Department Graduation in Macky Auditorium

Alissa Lee Arnold will give the welcoming speech.

Austin Clark Finnell will give the charge.


`COMM Plishments will resume September 1, 2014.

Send information about accomplishments to

Vol. 1, Issue 9: April 15, 2014

Karen Ashcraft, Professor, delivered a talk at the College of Business, School of Communication, Journalism, and Marketing, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand, March 2014. The talk was entitled, “Subject to the rule of excellence: Meanings and relations of publication in management, organization, and communication studies.”

Elizabeth K. Eger, PhD Candidate, presented her essay, “Competing and Conflicting Means and Ends of Transgender Work Justice,” at New York University for the American Comparative Literature Association annual meeting in March. She also presented two research projects on girls and IT connected with her research assistantship at the National Center for Women and Information Technology at the Digital Media Learning Conference in Boston on a panel called, “Complexities and Contradictions – Examining Girls’ Participation in Digital Media Programs.”

Larry FreyProfessor, served as a “Traveling Scholar” for the Department of Communication at the University of Louisiana Monroe, giving a keynote lecture and four class presentations; and as the keynote speaker at the 36th Annual Communication Studies Conference in the School of Communication Studies at James Madison University. He also presented a colloquium in the Department of Communication Studies at Louisiana State University.

Ricardo Munoz, PhD student, presented “The People’s Library as Memory and Resistance: Lieux de Mémoire of Occupy Wall Street”, which won Top Graduate Paper Award at the Rocky Mountain Communication Association” 2014 Annual Conference.

Vanessa SchatzLecturergave a guest lecture at the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic ( in March and worked with Brad Bernthal and his group of student attorneys who are currently advising early stage tech start up clients. Vanessa emphasized verbal and nonverbal communication strategies to effectively convey essential information while counseling a startup.

Pete Simonson, Associate Professor,  published “Rhetoric, Culture, Things,” a review essay in Quarterly Journal of Speech1001 (2014), 100-125.

Leah Sprain, Assistant Professor, along with Martin Carcasson, and Andy Merolla  published the article, Utilizing “on tap” experts in deliberative forums: Implications for design. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 42(2), 150-167.DOI:10.1080/00909882.2013.859292

Vol. 1, Issue 8: March 15, 2014

Ace Eckstein, undergraduate student and an admitted MA student, has received  one of the highly competitive, university-given, Van Ek Awards.

Chris Ingraham, PhD candidate, has received the Florence Husted Lowe and F. Rex Lowe Arts and Humanities Dissertation Fellowship for academic year 2014-15.

Jen Malkowski, PhD candidate,  has accepted a visiting professorship at Wake Forest University for the academic year 2014-15.

Alexandra Sarazen, undergraduate student, had a piece published, “ The Indian Toilet” in the Elephant.

Vol. 1, Issue 7: March 1, 2014

David Boromisza-Habashi, Assistant Professor, & Rex Parks, PhD student, published “The Communal Function of Social Interaction on an Online Academic Newsgroup” in Western Journal of Communication, Vol. 78, No. 2, 01 Mar 2014 Taylor & Francis Online, Pages: 194-212, DOI: 10.1080/10570314.2013.813061

Carey Candrian, PhD graduate, and James Fortney, PhD student, published a case study, “ Will you help me? Navigating the role of ‘care’ in ethnographic fieldwork” in Sage Research Methods, 2014, DOI

Larry Frey, Professor, presented two speeches at Colgate University: “Charity vs. Social Justice: Service-learning for Systemic Social Change” to the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (available at; and “Taking it to the Streets: Teaching Activism” to faculty.

Lauren Page, Undergraduate student, is doing an internship in the Washington, D.C. program.  She is participating in the White House Internship Program, where she is assigned to the Office of the First Lady.

Allie Rowland, PhD student, due to graduate this Spring, accepted a faculty position in the Department of Performance and Communication Arts at St. Lawrence University, an outstanding liberal arts institution in Canton, NY.

Allie Rowland, PhD student, & Pete Simonson, Associate Professor,  published. “The Founding Mothers of Communication Research: Toward a History of a Gendered Assemblage” in Critical Studies in Media Communication, Vol. 31, No. 1, 01 Jan 2014Taylor & Francis Online, Pages: 3-26, DOI: 10.1080/15295036.2013.849355

Karen Tracy, Professor, is visiting the University of Kansas in the first few days of March to talk with a university honors seminar about her book, Challenges of Ordinary Democracy; during her visit she also will be meeting and chatting with grad students in the Communication Department.

Vol. 1, Issue 6: February 15, 2014

Marlia Banning, Assistant Professor, was interviewed on Counterpoint, a show on Radio New Zealand. The show addressed media coverage of neoliberalism, a key focus of Marila’s book, Manufacturing Uncertainty. The interview is currently available at:

Melinda CainInstructor, is a Communication Professor in the Semester at Sea Program, at which CU has the most students of any university on the voyage. She has a blog narrating her travels at

Bob Craig, Professor Emeritus, presented an invited lecture on “Grounded Practical Theory” to a conference on “Practical Theory of Communication” held February 10 in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Center for Applied Communication Research, Faculty of Communication, Anáhuac University, México Norte.

Larry Frey, Professor, co-edited the book, Teaching Communication Activism: Communication Education for Social Justice, with a foreword by Peter McLaren, that just appeared and is published by Hampton Press.

2014 Western States Communication Association Conference (Anaheim, CA)

In addition to faculty who are presenting papers at Western, the following grad students are presenting  and moderating panels:

Rebecca Avalos“Inclusive Excellence Communication Instructor Resources G.I.F.T.S. (Great Ideas for Teaching Students)” [moderator], “The Harlem Shake: Performative Disruptions of Space, Cultural Politics, and the Transfer of Meaning,” “Transferring Undergraduate and Graduate Learning into Opportunities for Service and Activism: A Roundtable Discussion,” and  “Anti-racism, Privilege, and Alliance Building: Discussing Productive and Problematic Approaches to Engaging in Anti-racism from Positions of Privilege”

Lisi Drioane“Bringing it Out of the Bedroom: Understanding Sexual Communication across Contexts”

Joanne Esch“Other” through a Kristevean Reading of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping

Dana Harrington, “Case Studies in Civil Society and Social Justice Organizations,”  and “Compliance beyond Strategy: Transferring Communication Theory to Practitioner Perspectives”

Stephanie Hartzell“Inclusive Excellence Communication Instructor Resources G.I.F.T.S. (Great Ideas for Teaching Students)”[moderator],  “Bringing it Out of the Bedroom: Understanding Sexual Communication across Contexts”  and “Anti-racism, Privilege, and Alliance Building: Discussing Productive and Problematic Approaches to Engaging in Anti-racism from Positions of Privilege”

Sonia Ivancic, No Sugar in the “Nanny” State: Neoliberal Rhetoric and Characterizations of the Obesity Epidemic in Arguments Regarding New York’s Soda Ban”

Daniel Kim, “‘Reading’ the Aesthetics of Mediated Photography in Annie Leibovitz ‘Three If By Sea’,” and Of Tradition and Turning: Posthumanism in Rhetoric”

Amanda LeBlanc, “Communicating Suicide: A Place for Communication Voices in Reducing Stigma,” and The Future Looks Awfully Familiar: Gendered Representations in Popular Dystopian Television”

Andrew Long, “Closeness and Affectionate Communication of College Siblings: Does Distance, Gender, and Frequency Matter?”

Meghann McGuire, “The Harlem Shake: Performative Disruptions of Space, Cultural Politics, and the Transfer of Meaning,” “Simulacra and Hyperreality in Postmodernity: Baudrillard through a Metatheoretical Lens,” and “Rape Culture in the Neoliberal Age: The Problem of Agency in Postfeminist Sensibilities”

Kaley McInnis-Hughes, “Closeness and Affectionate Communication of College Siblings: Does Distance, Gender, and Frequency Matter?” and “Cultural Competence and its use in Affect of Visual Rhetoric”

Joshua Morrison“‘I’m a Dancer!’: Showgirls and the Fame-seeking Identity”

Ricky Munoz, Black Blocs, Permits to Protest, and Feather Circles: The Hermeneutics of (Non)violence as Anarchist Organizing”

Eric Netterlund, Eat More “Christian Principles”: Boycotting Chick-Fil-A and the Christo-Capitalist Sensibility”

Alexandra Nevis, “Transferring Undergraduate and Graduate Learning into Opportunities for Service and Activism: A Roundtable Discussion”

Allie Rowland, “The Zoerhetorics of Drone Warfare”

Dana Underwood, “Transnational Feminist Networks for Environmental Justice: Tensions Surrounding Representation, Legitimacy and Accountability”