COMM notes

Keeping up with Drury's Department of Communication

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Groves voted Person of the Year by Mirror staff

Every year, The Mirror chooses to honor one person on Drury’s campus who the staff feels is impactful and whose presence at Drury is irreplaceable. This year, Shewmaker’s own Dr. Jonathan Groves, Department Chair, was selected as the honoree for his dedication to students. Continue reading


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Annual Drury Awards showcase Communication students, faculty

In addition to the Shewmaker Awards, every year, Drury hands out awards to outstanding students, faculty, and organizations on campus that represent the best and brightest of all of Drury. There are many awards to be given out, some of which are department- or program- specific, but Communications students and faculty rolled in a variety of the awards this year. Continue reading

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Dr. Jonathan Groves named Missouri Sunshine Coalition president

004 JGrovesDr. Jonathan Groves has been tapped as president of the Missouri Sunshine Coalition, a group of volunteers dedicated to promoting government transparency and educating the public about the Missouri Sunshine Law.

Groves, a former journalist who teaches media classes in Drury’s Communication Department, has been part of the group’s board since its founding in late 2008.

“All citizens should be concerned about government accountability,” says Groves, who has also served as media coordinator for Greene County’s courts. “The Sunshine Law ensures that Missouri’s government institutions conduct their business in the light of day.”

Over the years, the coalition has hosted seminars about the Sunshine Law throughout the state, and it has recognized residents who promote openness in government with its Sunshine Hero Award. Last year, the award was given to State Auditor Tom Schweich for his efforts related to the Sunshine Law.

As a primary contact for the coalition, he hopes to help people understand and use the law to ensure access to government records and meetings. Recently, Groves was interviewed by the Associated Press regarding access to information in the case of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The law ensures individuals to have access to a variety of public proceedings and records, such as police incident reports, court hearings, and city council sessions.

He notes that those who passed the law crafted a specific section (610.011) to promote an ethic of openness among Missouri’s government bodies:

It is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public government bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. Section 610.010 to 610.200 [the Sunshine Law] shall be liberally construed and their exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy.

In his new role, he hopes to focus the volunteer coalition’s efforts online and expand its efforts through virtual means.

“We hope to connect people who are passionate about open-government initiatives,” he says. “If citizens don’t keep up with what their governments are doing, democracy cannot succeed.”

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Drury students earn first place awards at Missouri broadcast media contest

Congratulations to Christine Bass, Aaron Campbell and the DUTV Studio Crew for first place finishes at the Missouri Broadcast Educators Annual Media Contest.

Overall our department entered 4 contest taking first in three of them. 
The winners and links to those projects are below.
Feature Story by Christine Bass
2013 Winner for Best Feature Story 2:00 or less. 
Live Music Video Recorded in Carole Lambert Studios
Produced by DUTV Studio Crew Spring 2013
Winner for Best Live Music Video
DUTV Show 
Produced and Hosted by Aaron Campbell. 
Best non-reoccuring show. 
Congratulations to all of the winner’s at Missouri Broadcast Educators Annual Media Contest!

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2013 – 2014 Department of Communication Awards

The Department of Communication student awards were announced on April 29 at the 2nd annual Shewmaker Celebration event.

2013-2014 Department of Communication Awards
  • Sheila Haskins, Outstanding Advertising/Public Relations Major
  • Mykesha Jackson, Outstanding Communication Studies Major
  • Kaitlyn Schwers, Outstanding Multimedia Production & Journalism Major
  • Taylor Sade, Outstanding Signature Project
  • Elizabeth Penfold, Outstanding Communication Minor
  • Emelia Enquist, Ron Schie Award
  • Taylor Curtis, Rising Star Award
  • Cathy Robinson, Rising Star Award
  • Jacy Shaw, Rising Star Award
  • Kyungmin Kim, Rising Star Award
  • Hadeil Ali, Rising Star Award
  • Abigail Whisnant, Outstanding DUTV Video Producer

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Faculty Award for Scholarship


Cristina Gilstrap, Ph.D, earns one of Drury’s top faculty honors

Cristina Gilstrap was one of two professors selected to receive Drury’s Faculty Award for Scholarship, an honor recognizing professors who contribute to new learning and advancement in their field. President Dr. David Manuel led the opening convocation of the 2013 – 2014 school year where Dr. Gilstrap and five other professors were acknowledged for their outstanding contributions.

This is just another addition to Dr. Gilstrap’s extensive list of scholarly accomplishments. Her most recent publication is a chapter in the edited book Volunteering and Communication: Studies from Multiple Contexts (2013) by Dr. Micheal Kramer.  The chapter examines the context of hospice care, specifically the experiences of healthcare professionals, families, and volunteers. Not only has Dr. Gilstrap pushed herself professionally, she has also mentored and encouraged her students to develop their own scholarly interests.  Students in Dr. Gilstrap’s undergraduate and graduate classes have presented numerous posters and papers at the Central States Communication Association. Congratulations, Dr. Gilstrap!