August 2010 Archives

TIB082610_kramer Robin Kramer.jpg

Robin Kramer, Lecturer in Communication Arts & Sciences, was the featured contributor on our local NPR radio station this evening with a "This I Believe" segment she calls, "I Believe in Cherishing the Mundane."

You can read and listen to the report here.

photo: WPSU FM

Kirt Wilson at Minnesota.jpg

The department welcomes Kirt Wilson, who joins us as an associate professor of Communication Arts & Sciences.

Kirt H. Wilson is a rhetorical critic and theorist whose research moves from African American public discourse to presidential rhetoric and from nineteenth-century rhetorical practice to theories of social change and race.  Professor Wilson graduated from Purdue University with an MA in 1991 and from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL with a Ph.D. in 1995.


Prior to coming to Penn State, Dr. Wilson served as Assistant and Associate Professors of rhetoric and communication at the University of Minnesota (1996-2010). There he taught courses in African American civil rights discourse, argument theory and practice, close textual criticism, collective memory, sentimental aesthetics, and US public address. He served as the Director of Graduate Studies for the Communication Studies Department at Minnesota and as a faculty advisor on numerous collegiate and university committees. From 2008-2009 he was a CIC Academic Leadership Fellow.


In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, he is the author of The Reconstruction Desegregation Debate: The Politics of Equality and the Rhetoric of Place (Michigan State Press , 2002) and an Associate Editor for The Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies (2009). In 2004, the University of Minnesota honored professor Wilson with a McKnight Presidential Fellowship, an honor extended to only a handful of tenured associate faculty each year. Professor Wilson has won the National Communication Association's New Investigator Award (2001), the Karl R. Wallace Memorial Award (2002), and two book awards--NCA's Winans-Wichelns Memorial Award and the Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for Published Research.


Professor Wilson is currently writing two book-length manuscripts. In the first he considers the theory and practices of mimesis (imitation) in the nineteenth-century United States. In the second he is uncovering the sentimental aesthetics that construct our collective memories of the civil rights movement. In 2010 he published a book chapter titled, "The Racial Contexts of Public Address: Reconstruction Violence as Text and Context," in the Handbook of Public Address and "Debating the Great Emancipator," in the journal Rhetorical & Public Affairs.


Undergraduate Research at the Capitol is a semi-annual event that
highlights the research contributions of undergraduate students at Pennsylvania colleges and universities to our state legislators. The next event will be held on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at the State Capitol in Harrisburg. Penn State is invited to send four posters (each poster may involve up to three student presenters). The Office of Undergraduate Education will coordinate Penn State's participation in the event.

Information about Pennsylvania's Undergraduate Research at the Capitol may be found at<>.

Students must be available to attend the event and are responsible for their own transportation to Harrisburg. Student participants should be prepared to talk about their research to legislators and other visitors, and those who are Pennsylvania residents are asked to meet with their state legislators on the day of the event. Faculty advisers and other college representatives are welcome to attend.

*Please share this opportunity with your faculty and undergraduate students and forward to Sally Butts (
<>) by Friday, September 10, the names of students who are interested in presenting a poster at the event, the title of the poster and a brief abstract, and the name of the faculty project adviser. More than one poster from a college or campus may be included.

Posters will be selected for participation by the Office of
Undergraduate Education. Posters not included in the October event will be considered for participation in the spring (usually late March or early April), should the authors wish. Undergraduate Education will coordinate the submission of abstracts and cover the poster entry fees.

Abstracts are due to the organizers by Friday, September 17.*

Questions may be directed to me at<>  or 814-863-1864.

Mary Beth Crowe

Assistant Vice President and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education
Penn State University
417 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802

Course Announcement: CAS 478

The Department of Communication Arts & Sciences is pleased to offer a course in African American Civil Rights Rhetoric this Fall.  This semester, CAS 478 will be devoted to the study of civil rights argument and debate from the Reconstruction era to the present. The class will seek to answer 3 questions: What is the history of black participation and equality in the modern United States?  What is the nature of rhetoric that either advocates or opposes African American civil rights, and, finally, what can this history and public discourse tell us about civil rights controversies across the entire population?

The instructor for this course is Kirt H. Wilson, a new Associate Professor in the department who specializes in political debate, civil rights theory, and African American rhetorics. The class will combine lecture and discussion, but students will have the opportunity to construct their own assignments within specific limits negotiated by the instructor and the student.
From the Centre Daily Times, 18 August 2010

Margaret Ann Colby February 24, 1962 - August 11, 2010 After a 10 month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Magi Colby passed from this life on August 11, 2010, surrounded by her family at Hershey Medical Center. Magi is survived by her parents, Margaret E. Colby and John Colby; her loving husband, Bryan Kinash; her daughters, Morgan and Jordan Sugg; her older brothers, Paul and Bill Colby; her nieces, Katy, Magi, and Sarah Colby; her nephew, Sean Colby; and her soul mates, Paulette Morris and Jennifer Storm. Magi was first and foremost a devoted mother. She always accompanied her daughters, Morgan and Jordan, to their Irish step-dance competitions and dog shows. She adored Pops, daughter Jordan's show dog. Magi had a quirky sense of humor, a peaceful, inner strength, as well as endless compassion and wise advice for everyone she met. Despite many difficulties throughout her life, her philosophy remained "Life is Good." Her hobbies included the fine arts, baking, gardening, reading, and sudoku puzzles. She especially enjoyed spending time with friends and family. Magi was born February 24, 1962 in Louisville, Ky., but she grew up in Allentown. While pursuing a modeling career in New York City, she earned a degree in fashion merchandising from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1989, she married Charles Sugg. Her eldest daughter, Morgan, was born in 1993, and her youngest daughter, Jordan, in 1996. After the death of her husband in 2000, she opened Doodlebugs, a children's boutique, in Boalsburg. Shortly thereafter, Magi met Bryan Kinash, the love of her life, when he was called to fix a broken water heater in her home. Magi eventually left retail to finish her college education - a life-long goal. In 2006, she earned her Masters degree in Human Development from Schreyer Honors College, Penn State University. She was Marshal for the College of Health and Human Development and graduated with highest honors. Her family is so proud of her accomplishment. She was later hired by the University as the Project Coordinator for the Drug Resistance Strategies Project, a job she truly loved. She developed a new rural version of the keepin' it REAL drug resistance curriculum and supervised its implementation in 39 rural schools in Pa. and Ohio. She also adapted keepin' it REAL for use by the D.A.R.E. program in the U.S., as well as 23 countries around the world. As a result of her dedication, passion, and vision, keepin' it REAL has become the most widely disseminated drug abuse prevention program in the world. A public celebration of Magi's life will be held, Saturday, August 21, 2010, at Tussey View Park, 1612 Norma Avenue in State College from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Guests are encouraged to dress casually and wear purple, Magi's favorite color. A private, family reception will follow at her home. It was Magi's wish that donations be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in lieu of flowers. In addition, friends of the family have established the "Suggs Educational Fund" for the benefit of Magi's daughters. Donations are being received by Michael Hecht, Department of Communication Arts and Science, 501 Keller, Penn State University, University Park, PA 16802.

Published in Centre Daily Times on August 18, 2010

A public memorial service for Magi Colby will be held, Saturday, August 21, 2010, at Tusseyville Park, 1612 Norma Ave. in State College from 11:00AM - 1:00PM. 

Directions:  Take Atherton South, right on Norma. From University, go north on Marilyn by Foxdale. You can park at the Nittany Valley Charter School (front and back), but car pooling is recommended.

Guests are encouraged to dress casually and wear purple, Magi's favorite color.

In lieu of flowers, etc, donations to the "Suggs Educational Fund" are being received by Michael Hecht, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, 501 Keller, Penn State University, State College, PA 16802. A collection for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society will also be available at Magi's request.

Magi Colby

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The Department of Communication Arts and Sciences mourns the loss of our colleague Magi Colby.

Michael Hecht writes:

CAS department member, Magi Colby, died on August 11th. As the project coordinator for the Drug Resistance Strategies Project Magi was responsible for developing a new rural version of the keepin' it REAL curriculum and supervising its implementation in 39 rural schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio. She also was responsible for adapting keepin' it REAL for use by the D.A.R.E. program in the US as well as 23 countries around the world. Under her management, keepin' it REAL has become the most widely disseminated prevention program in the world. We are grateful for her time as our colleague and friend. Magi truly enriched all she touched. She will be missed but always be part of our team.

Here is the Fraser Road project on August 11, 2010. Sidewalks have been poured, some landscaping is in place, and paving continues.

Construction continues

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Here is the Fraser Road project on August 4, 2010. A bed of gravel has been laid in preparation for paving, which has already begun further down the road.

Under construction

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The University is more or less constantly under construction. This summer has been the turn of Fraser Road, which runs between Sparks Building, where we have our offices, and West Halls dormitories.

The road has been entirely closed to all traffic and pedestrians since May (we walk through or under the Library to get back and forth).

Here's a photo of the site on May 26, 2010, when work was just beginning. The entire roadway and all the sidewalks were removed, and then the crew dug out, apparently, all pipes and conduits -- there were a lot.


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