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NSU students, faculty receive awards at OSCTA annual conference

(Tahlequah, Okla.)-- On Saturday, Sept. 12, Northeastern State University played a big role during the annual Oklahoma Speech Theatre Communication Association conference.  NSU’s own, Dr. Kristopher Copeland served as conference planner and it was hosted on the Broken Arrow campus.

This was the first time the conference has been held in Broken Arrow. Copeland explained that it was the perfect opportunity to show off NSU’s Broken Arrow campus.

“We invite communication and theatre professors and high school teachers to this event each year in hopes that everyone will be able to present research, get feedback and inform others on what they have been doing,” Copeland said.

This year, the theme for the conference was “Faces of Activism.” The conference doubled attendance from 2014 with approximately 157 attendees. 

The guest speaker for this year’s conference was Dr. Amy Aldridge Sanford, department chair at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She recently published a study about activism in the classroom focusing on how to get students involved.

Although much of the conference is geared toward educating participants, those in attendance, from eight colleges and 10 high schools, also have the opportunity to show off projects and research they’ve been working on and to submit said projects for awards. The conference gives out two high school awards and six college awards.

At this year’s conference, several NSU faculty were recognized for their great work. Julia Carlo, an advisor for the College of Liberal Arts at NSU, won the award for Top Student Paper for her rhetorical analysis from a Communication Ethics course. Her paper was selected out of a pool of eight.

Christopher Miller, assistant professor of theatre at NSU, was awarded the Ruth Arrington Outstanding Theatre Educator Award after being nominated by his peers. After his recognition at this year’s conference, all three Theatre professors at NSU have now won the award.

“Any time you’re honored by your peers, it’s a great opportunity,” Copeland said about Miller’s recognition.

The award of Outstanding Young Communication Educator went to Sydney Yueh, assistant professor and graduate coordinator of communication studies at NSU. This award is given to an educator in his or her first five years, who demonstrates excellence in the classroom.

Finally, for the Public Relations Competition Award, David Stephens, a media studies major, was in the winning group for best PR campaign.

This year’s conference consisted of panel discussions, speakers, monologue workshops, a public relations competition, where journalism students partnered with non-profit organizations and were given the task as serving as consultants and various other presentations.

“Our panels were very interesting and we definitely met our goal, which was to create an environment for students and faculty members to present research, get feedback and inform others on what they have been doing,” Copeland said.

“It was really neat to see how the theme was embraced and examined within the different disciplines represented. To see so many NSU students there and to see them engaging, being exposed to research and then watching them take that information in.”

For more information on the annual Oklahoma Speech Theatre Communication Association conference, contact Dr. Kristopher Copeland at 918-444-3627 or  

Published: 10/20/2015 1:35:14 PM

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