New Student Chronicles, Ch. 1: Karissa Montania

Today we are featuring our final new student guest blogger, Karissa Montania! Let’s get to know Karissa…

“Hi everyone! My name is Karissa Montania. I’m from Honolulu, Hawaii and am a freshman at the University of San Francisco! Coming from an island that was sunny 24/7 to windy San Francisco is definitely a change but I love the weather here! My passion is listening to music and I am an avid movie fanatic! I try to watch movies of all genres whenever they are released. I am also an animal lover! Back in Hawaii, I volunteered at my local Humane Society and had the opportunity to work with all types of animals! Communication Studies is my major and I am very excited to work with and learn from the USF community!

First year COMS major at Ocean Beach (just kidding... it's Hawaii!)

Move-in day to USF was the first time I had ever set foot on campus. I came here not knowing what to expect from the dorms, facilities, and classrooms. When I did see the campus, I let out a sigh of relief because the campus met my expectations. The closeness of all the buildings reminded me of my high school and made me feel comfortable. Speaking of high school… it felt weird for me suddenly going from the title of upperclassmen senior to underclassmen freshmen. I knew the transition would be different, because the class of 2011 became the class of 2015 and we were now at the bottom of the ‘food chain.’ But USF is not high school, everyone here is welcoming and treats you the same way if you are a freshmen or junior. As far as classes go, I make the long walk to Lone Mountain twice every other day, but I don’t feel as much resentment towards the stairs because it gives me motivation to exercise off the food I eat every morning from the cafeteria.

I am looking forward to meeting a lot of new people from different areas of the world here at USF, and learning more about the city! I have already spent my weekends at Union Square with a group of friends shopping at H&M and eating at the Cheesecake Factory atop of Macy’s.  I am slowly adapting to the MUNI and learning how to get around. Japantown is also a favorite for my friend’s and I to visit, when we want to experience something different.

Karissa and friends

My greatest fear is sleeping in and missing classes. That is why I brought two alarm clocks with me. Back at home I always had my sisters rushing me and waking me up to drive us to school. Here it’s all about relying on myself (or my roommate!) to wake me up. So far, everything has gone smoothly and I haven’t slept in!

I miss my family, pets, and friends from home. Hawaii also has some of the best beaches that I miss. I miss being able to step outside and not worrying about how cold it was outside, because like I mentioned earlier, it’s sunny 24/7 at home. I do miss all these things, but I also love meeting new people and making new friends! The friends that I have made here already feel like my second family, and it’s nice being in dorms so close to each other because we can have sleepovers whenever we feel like it!


Karissa and women from her floor in Hayes

This semester, I plan on expanding my knowledge of the city and taking advantage of all that USF has to offer. I am excited to be in the Communication Studies department and learn more about the major that I have chosen! I think I am going to like it here.”

Thanks, Karissa, for sharing experiences with us! Welcome to USF and the Communication Studies department!


Club Ed: Corin and Michele in "PRSSA"

Today we are profiling two Communication Studies Department members and their involvement in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Senior Communication Studies major Corin Sanchez is currently President of PRSSA. Recent Communication Studies alum Michele Ewing served as Secretary of PRSSA last year. Many of our majors are members of PRSSA, and the club is in the midst of recruiting for new members, so I asked both Corin and Michele to share their experiences with us.

According to Corin, “PRSSA stands for Public Relations Student Society of America, and it is the largest pre-professional organization within the United States. It’s meant to bridge the gap between public relations professionals and students, so that students and professionals, can both gain some insight from one another. I joined PRSSA during my first semester at USF,  I was looking for a way to meet new people in addition to participating in something that involved my field of study. What I like most about PRSSA is that once you join, a lot of resources are available to you, and everyone is friendly. There are a lot of internship, networking, and scholarship opportunities that are available and if you take advantage of them, they can greatly benefit you.

PRSSA Chapter President Corin Sanchez

The reason I  became an officer was because I thought that it would be a good way to make a positive contribution to our USF chapter, and myself, along with the other board members are looking forward to making positive changes this year! So far we have had a lot of interest, and I can only hope that PRSSA will be a long standing academic society at USF.

Membership Requirements are stated in the following
1. Submit an application before the due date, September, 30. This can be submitted to the Communication Department office in K313, or to any one of us officers on campus.
2.In addition to the application, there is a $60 application fee. I know it may seem like a lot, but $50 goes to the PRSSA national chapter, and $10 goes to our USF chapter. Think of it as an investment :)!
3. Lastly, PRSSA is open to all majors, and we encourage people who are not communication,business, or marketing majors to join!

As far as this semester goes, we have an upcoming agency tour at Weber Shandwick along with two other agencies, and we’ll also have our induction ceremony that will include a guest speaker.”

I also asked alum Michele to share with us her experiences. Michele, along with the other officers, “were in charge of executing events that allowed our members to get involved, while still being beneficial to their career.  We did a service learning project, resume workshop, ‘Pizza with the Pros’ event, agency visit and holiday party.  My favorite event was probably the agency visit because we were able to see exactly what agencies looked like and what it was like to work there.

Recent grad Michele Ewing on graduation day!

I joined PRSSA in order to network with fellow Communication Studies students, PR professionals and also to add it to my resume.  From my research, a lot of companies like to see leadership experience on student’s resumes, so I felt that this was completely applicable to my career goals.  My Communication Studies courses have taught me how to communicate with a wide array of people and also taught me the basic fundamentals of Public Relations- two things that I believe are important in this field.  I have been working for a Law Firm for the past four years, so PRSSA has given me exposure to PR professionals that I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise.  I would recommend joining this club to anyone who is interested in Public Relations, but even more importantly would recommend students to go above and beyond and take up a leadership position with the club.”

You can find USF’s chapter of PRSSA on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/PRSSA-USF-Chapter/267952735163

You can find the application form in KA 313 or you can download it here: PRSSA_Membership_Application_Fall_2011-3

Thanks Corin and Michele! Remember, applications are due this Friday, September 30th!


Dons' Doings: Lambda Pi Eta Pie Day, Tuesday 9/27!

Our Communication Studies honor society, Lambda Pi Eta, puts on a variety of events throughout the year. Career Night, Pizza with Profs, Chevy’s Night, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Alumni Speaker, and more. This year, thanks to our wordsmith officers, An Mai, Cayden Berkmoyer, and Jamey Padojino, we have a brand new event to add to our repertoire: the first ever Lambda Pi Eta Pie Day!

Come buy a piece of pie!

I know I’ve caught your attention and you need more information. What is Pie Day? Our Lambda Pi Eta members will be selling slices of delicious pie for $3 in Gleeson Plaza on Tuesday September 27th during deadhour (11:30-12:30). Why pie? So that you can say (and get a sticker that says!): “I ate a pie with Lambda Pi Eta!” of course! Why are we selling pie? To raise money so that we can continue to put on events for our chapter and the entire department.

YUM. Pie for a good cause!

So come by Gleeson Plaza and support a good cause! Our Lambda Pi Eta chapter puts on most of the events that go on in our department, and these events are open to all of our majors, not just Lambda Pi Eta members. But, we need money to put on these events, thus our fundraiser!

We hope to see you there!

Don't you want to say that you "ate a pie with Lambda Pi Eta"?

A special shout-out to chapter president An Mai who put together these flyers! Thanks An!


Internship Ideas: Rachel at "Zentraal"

It has been so great to hear from so many of our majors who have recently secured internships! Inspired, I decided it was definitely time for a new “Internship Ideas!” Today we are featuring Communication Studies senior (and recent Lambda Pi Eta inductee!) Rachel Babcock and her work at Zentraal. I was happy to feature Rachel because she is doing her internship at a high-tech software company, which is a bit different than many of our majors. Here we go…

COMS major Rachel

Q: Where do you intern and what do they do?

Rachel: “I’m interning at Zentraal, a small software consultancy based in San Francisco and Amsterdam. Zentraal provides software, training, and support to organizations such as Stanford University, USAID, and even USF! (Through the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences).”

Q: How did you find this internship?

Rachel: “I actually came upon this internship through a friend that used to work for the CEO of Zentraal. I was very fortunate to have her as a referral.”

Q: Why did you decide to intern there?

Rachel: “Initially I chose to work at Zentraal for the chance to further develop my technological skills by learning new computer programs and systems. However, Zentraal also appealed to me because they aim to serve organizations working within the public interest by providing them with the best web-based technology available.”

Q: What do you do on a regular basis at your internship?

Rachel: “The kind of work I do the most often at Zentraal includes creating and managing client invoices, editing client web pages and communicating with clients through email about the progress of their project. I also get the chance to stretch my legs by running errands for my boss, like trips to the Apple store to purchase computer equipment.

My position is really versatile, so what I do on a daily basis changes constantly depending on what needs to be done, as well as my performance on previous projects. It’s really nice to have that day-to-day variety.”

Q: What have you learned from this internship?

Rachel: “I’ve learned that working on a computer all day isn’t really that bad when you get to see the fruits of your labor on the website of a well-known and respected organization. I’ve also learned that the kind of behind-the-scenes work that I do is vital to the bigger picture for large organizations and institutions.”

Q: What advice do you have for other students looking for an internship?

Rachel: “Definitely use all the resources that USF provides for finding internships, but don’t hesitate to use your friends as resources too!”

Thanks, Rachel, for sharing your internship experience! For those of you keeping track, this is the third student we have profiled who found their internship through a personal reference. So, your family and friend connections can often pay off!


Club Ed: Ajouni in "Campus Activities Board"

Check out how involved our Communication Studies majors are! Today we are profiling sophomore COMS major Ajouni Singh and her involvement with the Campus Activities Board (CAB). Fittingly for a COMS major, Ajouni serves as the Communications Director for CAB.

CAB Communications Director and COMS major Ajouni

I asked Ajouni to tell us more about CAB and why she got involved: “The Campus Activities Board is an organization on campus that plans and executes social, fun events on campus. We are behind events such as the annual Fall Fest concert, all of the dances and movie screenings, and the Carnival we hold in the spring! As Communications Director, I’m in charge of all forms of promotions! Over summer I designed the T-shirts, sunglasses, and brochures. Now that the year has begun, I keep up with the social media (Facebook and Twitter) and the USF website for CAB. I also help everyone else promote their events, and I’ve recently taken on Campus Movie Fest to help them with their promo as well!

I got involved with CAB last year because of my interest in simply getting involved, but I chose CAB specifically because I want to be an Event Planner eventually, and this is great practice for planning in the real world. It also coincides with my major well because it is all about working with people and understanding different team dynamics, and communicating with such a large range of people. Anyone can get involved in CAB by coming to our meetings every other Thursday in UC 402/403!”

CAB has several fun events coming up! Check them out:

Fall Fest tickets are on sale now for $10, and there’s a “Teach Me How To Dougie” competition in Gleeson Plaza on the 27th to win free tickets!

New this year is the Campus Movie Fest, which launches today! Here’s more information from Ajouni:

“CAB is bringing in a new and exciting company to campus to involve students in a new way. The program is called Campus Movie Fest, and it is the largest student film-festival in the country.”

You can find more information about the Campus Movie Fest here: http://www.usfca.edu/cab/cmf/

Basically, Campus Movie Fest is a student film festival where students are given one week to make a 5 minute film. Students are given all of the equipment you need to make a movie! How fun does that sound? There will even be a premier and a red carpet!

Here is a run down from Ajouni:

“September 21st TODAY!—LAUNCH DAY!!!!!!!!

  • Location UC 1st near book store. Student will receive their backpack.

September 22nd, 23rd, 26th

  •   Tech Support days.
  •  9/22 UC 1st floor at 11:30-3:30
  •   9/23 & 9/26th UC 415 at 11:30-3:30

September 27th—TURN IN DAY!

  •   Location: UC 1st floor

October 13th  Presentation!!!!

  • All USF student are welcomed to come to the event and watch all the short films. The winners will be announced.
  • Location: Presentation Theater in the Education Building
  • Time: Doors open at 7:30pm, movies start at 8:00 pm

This is a huge opportunity for students, as they will have the chance to be nationally recognized. Our school has put forth a lot of time and money towards this event, and we would like to see it blossom in its first year!”

Ajouni and the rest of the Campus Activities Board works hard throughout the year to bring you fun things to do on campus! You can follow them on twitter to stay updated here: https://twitter.com/#!/cabdons and fan them on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Cabdons

Thanks, Ajouni, for sharing your experiences! Ajouni is not only the Communications Director for CAB, but she is also involved in ASUSF Senate, the Events Coordinator for the Indian Student Organization, and a USF Ambassador! Congratulations, Ajouni!


New Student Chronicles, Ch. 1: Sascha Rosemond

Today we have another entry in the “New Student Chronicles” (yay!). Special thanks to new first year student Sascha who has agreed to document her first semester here at USF for us on the blog! Here we go…

New first year student and COMS major Sascha

“Hey everybody! My name is Sascha Rosemond, I am a freshman Communication Studies major at USF.  I am from Pasadena, California.  I have been at USF for a total of five weeks now;”

[this is me… 5 weeks as of her writing this a few weeks ago… I am behind in my posts! Back to Sascha:]

“I participated in the Foreword Summer Bridge Program that started in early August (shout out to all the Foreword students and staff!)  As soon as I got here, I fell in love with this crazy beautiful place.  The weather, the people, and all the amazing places to go made me so happy I chose USF and the city of San Francisco.  The familiarity of home is gone and San Francisco is my new home, my gorgeous Hayes Healy view doesn’t hurt either, on a clear day I can see the bay! (That rhymes!).  Everything is slowly starting to become familiar and normal, I wake up and realize that I’m on my own, it is definitely a bitter sweet experience but it is all worth it.  College is really everything I thought it would be; late night study groups, coffee, cafeteria food, music jam sessions in the dorms, late night conversations, and the feeling that your life is changing for the better.  Sitting on my bed writing, looking out the window with a cup of tea is perfection.

The Summer Forward Program Graduation... Congrats Sascha!

My classes have been really great.  All my teachers are so smart, I know that sounds really dumb but sometimes I just can’t wrap my head around all the information they possess.  I feel like a real college kid, going to class and thinking about Plato and the deeper meaning behind ethical decisions.  All my classes are great and I am truly enjoying all the reading.  I am an avid reader by nature and reading about French culture and Cultural Relativism is definitely worth the time.

Meeting new people is also another great part of college life, my roommates were instant friends and that took so much tension out of adjusting to dorm life.  I’ve already made some great friends and I know it’s only going to get better.  Of course, living in a metropolitan area, adventures are inevitable.  I love how at a moment’s notice we can just go anywhere we want.  I love going to Haight & Ashbury, there is this hole in the wall Thai restaurant that’s serves the most delicious Thai iced tea, YUMMY! It doesn’t close until 2:00 a.m.so it is readily available when the craving hits.  Ocean Beach, Downtown, and the Wharf are some other places that I have been in the past week.  There is always something to do in this city.

Corner store run!

Sometimes things get tough and you have to connect with your family, my parents are my number one supporters and talking to them always turns my day around. I miss my room and especially my mom’s cooking, I definitely can’t wait to go home for Thanksgiving.  I even miss my little brother who is turning 13 in a week and I’m so sad I won’t be there to induct him into the realm of teenagers.   I love college but being the ultimate baby (I’m the oldest), sometimes I need to call my mommy and daddy.  My dad and my stepmom came to visit me a couple of days ago and they were so impressed with the campus, especially all the recycle and compost bins around campus.  My mom is always encouraging me and keeping focused, even from hundreds of miles away.

Sascha's first bus ride to Ocean Beach

Coming to USF, I had really high expectations and I can honestly say that I was not disappointed.  Meeting all the professors in the Communication Studies department was a high point; they had so much information and advice.  I felt like I had an army of people on my side, ready to help whenever I needed it and a home within the university.  I gained so much knowledge about my major and the real world application of a Communication Studies degree.  I was definitely a happy camper.

This semester I am hoping to really take in all this new information.  I love school and I want to get good grades and stay on track.  I’m getting a good amount of core units done this semester and the next.  I don’t have a declared minor and I’m hoping to maybe have an idea of where I want to go minor wise by the end of the year.  There are so many opportunities to get internships and travel so I am hoping to do that as well, so much to do, so little time.  My goal for this semester is just to soak all of this in and to take advantage of all the great opportunities USF has to offer.

So here goes nothing, until next time my friends! Carpe Diem!

-Sascha Rosemond”

Thanks, Sascha, for sharing your first few weeks here with us! Welcome to USF and the department!


Club Ed: Caroline in "ASUSF Senate"

Today’s “Club Ed” focuses on sophomore Communication Studies major Caroline Christ and her work as the Vice President of Mission for the Associated Students of the University of San Francisco Senate. Senate elections are being held this week, so it is a great time to profile Caroline’s involvement with this campus organization.

Caroline, ASUSF VP of Mission

“This is my first year on ASUSF Senate and I’m on the Executive Board as the Vice President of Mission. ASUSF Senate is the governing body of students at USF that advocate for student voices to be heard and carried forward, in order to inspire progress and promote positive change in the USF community. Senate has influenced positive change on campus and created many initiatives that have helped to enrich the experience of students. Students can thank Senate every time they use their Muni passes, have an overnight guest over, or study at 3 am in the atrium.

As the Vice President of Mission I act as the advocate for social justice issues and initiatives on campus as well as a liaison for student organizations. In my position I have the opportunity to highlight and create change around major issues such as: disability awareness, LGBTQ awareness, sustainability, community action, and so on. I’m very excited to be in this position and hope to affect change and fulfill the needs of the student body.

This week, September 19-22, is ASUSF Senate Week as well as Fall Elections. There will be activities taking place throughout the week where students can get free t-shirts, stickers, and baked goods for participating. Also, the Electoral Governing Board will be holding polling stations throughout campus each day where students can vote! Here is a list of the week’s events:

Monday September 19th- Cookie for a Concern in Lomo during lunch hour. Vote!!

Tuesday September 20th- Be heard at the Senate meeting from 6-8 p.m. in the UC 4th floor lounge. Free Senate t-shirts given away at this meeting! Vote!!

Wednesday September 21st- Baked Goods for a Concern in Market Cafe during lunch hour. Vote!!

Thursday September 22nd- Senate Elections Celebration at 6:30 in Crossroads! Free food will be available!

Check out all of the events this week for Senate Week and go out and vote!

“Friend” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/asusfsenate and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/Asusf_Senate

Senate holds meetings every Tuesday from 6-8 pm in the UC 4th floor lounge. So come out and let your voice be heard!”

Thanks, Caroline, for sharing your involvement with this important student organization! Congratulations on your position!


Speaking of… Applying for Lambda Pi Eta Chapter of the Year!

We are excited today to let you know that our chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the Kappa Iota chapter, is applying for the Chapter of the Year Award from the National Communication Association! We wanted to share our application with you here.

Lambda Pi Eta’s history at the University of San Francisco (USF) started with a dedicated group of Communication Studies students in 2000. However, as is the unfortunate case for many organizations, membership declined in the Kappa Iota (KI) chapter as most of the members graduated that year. After a few years with only a handful of members being inducted and no activities taking place, the chapter was revived in 2004 under the leadership of co-advisors Dr. Eve-Anne Doohan and Dr. Evelyn Ho. Along with only three members (our president, vice-president, and treasurer), we inducted 21 new members the following year and established the foundation for what is now a thriving organization that has served as a model on campus for what a successful student organization can be.

Since 2004, the Kappa Iota chapter has created and institutionalized a variety of events open to Lambda Pi Eta members, all Communication Studies students, and the larger USF community. With roughly 250 majors and a full-time faculty of  seven members, much of the community-building and cross-curricular activity in the department can be directly credited to the activities of the Kappa Iota chapter of Lambda Pi Eta. For example, many communication departments struggle with how to help students develop possible career paths. The Kappa Iota chapter began an annual “Career Night” that takes place every fall, where a panel of six recent Communication Studies graduates return to campus to discuss their current positions and give advice about the job search process. This is a popular and well-attended event in our department. Not only are students able to connect (or reconnect) with graduates, but they also hear advice from the panelists about opportunities to take advantage of prior to graduation. Over the years, this event has provided our students with many examples of the types of professions our majors work in. Our alumni panelists bring their business cards and often make networking connections with our current students.

We have our 4th annual Career Night planned for November 3, 2011

Since 2004, the Kappa Iota chapter has created and institutionalized a variety of events open to Lambda Pi Eta members, all Communication Studies students, and the larger USF community. With roughly 250 majors and a full-time faculty of  seven members, much of the community-building and cross-curricular activity in the department can be directly credited to the activities of the Kappa Iota chapter of Lambda Pi Eta. For example, many communication departments struggle with how to help students develop possible career paths. The Kappa Iota chapter began an annual “Career Night” that takes place every fall, where a panel of six recent Communication Studies graduates return to campus to discuss their current positions and give advice about the job search process. This is a popular and well-attended event in our department. Not only are students able to connect (or reconnect) with graduates, but they also hear advice from the panelists about opportunities to take advantage of prior to graduation. Over the years, this event has provided our students with many examples of the types of professions our majors work in. Our alumni panelists bring their business cards and often make networking connections with our current students.

Last year's Pizza with the Pros was a great success!

You can read more about last year’s Pizza with the Pros event here: http://blogs.usfca.edu/coms/2011/03/29/dons-doings-pizza-with-the-pros-thurs-331/

Another way in which our chapter fosters professional development and provides an opportunity to discuss ideas is with our annual “Alumni Speaker Night” event in which a USF Communication Studies alum is invited back to speak to current students about how they use their education in their current careers. We have invited back public relations professionals, administrators in education, advertising account managers, sports management professionals, and more! In the most recent event in Spring 2011, we were able to invite back Kappa Iota alum, Amanda Anderson, who is now working successfully as a recruiter for a local hiring agency. Not only did she tell us about her career, but she was also able to tell us what it takes to be hired in the tough current economy. Amanda was also able to hand out her business card and talk to some of our soon-to-be graduates to discuss what opportunities she had currently available. Many of her comments centered around taking advantage of the many opportunities that our chapter of Lambda Pi Eta provides for our students, including making connections with faculty members and alumni.

2011 Alumni Speaker and Kappa Iota member Amanda Anderson

You can read more about last year’ Alumni Speaker here: http://blogs.usfca.edu/coms/2011/04/14/dons-doings-alumni-speaker-night-and-lph-graduation-celebration-monday-418/

One of the Kappa Iota chapter’s greatest successes have been in building a department community that fosters close relationships between faculty members and students. At USF, we have grown to be one of the largest Arts & Sciences majors at an otherwise small campus in which most of of our students work outside of school. Before our chapter of Lambda Pi Eta began, students took many of their classes together but rarely knew one another outside of class. To fix that and to help socialize all our new students whether they join Lambda Pi Eta or not, we developed a mentorship program that has been touted by our previous Dean as an excellent mentoring model. We begin each year with the KI officers taking part in the faculty “Orientation to the Major” event where new students are introduced to the Communication Studies faculty and curriculum as well as Lambda Pi Eta. This year, 34 incoming students (a majority of our new students), asked to be assigned a Lambda Pi Eta mentor and be a part of our mentorship program. This program offers an opportunity for new students to talk with existing Lambda Pi Eta members in order to provide a sense of community and guidance through their time here at USF. The Lambda Pi Eta members enjoy being able to help welcome new students to the department and the new students like that they are personally connected with a student in their major from the start of their academic career. We have many transfer students in our department, and we match new transfer students with senior transfer students. From small pieces of advice such as “where is the best place to park if I’m commuting” to much more serious questions like, “how do I get an internship,” students report back that their mentors have been helpful in their transition to USF. Mentors personally invite their mentees to department events and some meet their mentees for coffee on campus midway through the semester. It has been a wonderful way to foster connections between our more senior students and our new students.

Another popular event instituted by our Kappa Iota chapter is a fundraiser held at a local restaurant every semester. This is an event that allows faculty and students to interact outside of the classroom. Students bring roommates, friends, and significant others, and faculty bring family members for an evening of food and socializing. The event is so popular that we have many alumni attend, frequently contacting the faculty advisors for information so they do not miss it!

COMS department members at one of our Chevy's Night Fundraisers

Here at USF, building community does not just mean working with one another as students, faculty, and staff. It also means engaging in the larger San Francisco community. Each year, Kappa Iota sponsors a team for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. Members, professors, family members, friends, roommates and dogs, all brave the usually rainy, always foggy morning to take part in the 5K walk and raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. In addition, our chapter has participated in food drives and hosted at-risk local children at USF to consider college. This year, we are organizing our first “Lambda Pi Eta Pie Day” and we plan to donate part of our proceeds from the fundraiser to a San Francisco nonprofit service organization. But the event is more than just a good fundraiser. Imagine Aristotle in the central quads of universities across the U.S. calling out to students “All humans by nature desire knowledge… and pie!” Lambda Pi Eta chapter members exchanging pie for small sums of cash, and satisfied students chanting back in glee, “I ate a Pie with Lambda Pi Eta!” We would like to share our idea with other chapters in hopes that Pie Day becomes a signature event across many other chapters. In this way, we hope to further foster the national Lambda Pi Eta community.

Pie posters courtesy of Kappa Iota President An Mai!

If your LPH chapter would like to use these posters for your Pie Day event, let us know!

Are you going to eat a pie with Lambda Pi Eta?

Our Kappa Iota chapter also sponsors an annual “Graduate School Information Night” where a panel of faculty discuss graduate school opportunities in Communication Studies and related fields. We also invite alumni who are currently in, or successfully completed, graduate school to share their experiences. We found that many of our students are interested in graduate school but did not know a lot about what it entails and what they should know before applying. In fact, one of the most common reactions to our Grad School Night is, “Wow! I had no idea that some graduate programs will give you a stipend to attend!” This has been a popular annual event for not only our department, but many students even outside the major attend to get their graduate school questions answered. We have had numerous students go on (and receive scholarships, TA-ships and fellowships) to enroll in graduation programs in Communication Studies, Law School, Public Health, Marriage and Family Therapy, Speech & Hearing Sciences, Education and more.

We'll be having another Graduate School Information Night this spring!

Many of our members have also been provided with unique academic opportunities that are supported by our chapter. Each year, several Communication Studies majors take part in the Bay Area Undergraduate Research Conference, a conference that gathers undergraduates from many universities along the west coast together to share research about communication. We have also had members and students present at NCA, WSCA, and other regional conferences such as the Hayward Rhetorical Criticism Conference and the Continuums of Service Conference. Many of our Lambda Pi Eta members, due to their high academic achievement and close relationships with faculty members, have served as research assistants and teaching assistants in our department. For example, two of our past Lambda Pi Eta officers, Emma Gallagher and Lauren Jacobson, served as research assistants for a faculty member’s project on family communication about finances. Our current chapter president works as a teaching assistant for our Communication and Culture course. And our first president, Anne Stone, is now a tenure-track Communication Studies professor at Portland State University. The leadership experience of working as a Lambda Pi Eta board member, along with the various programs and educational events sponsored by our chapter serve as unique opportunities that give students insight into the teaching and research process.

You can read more about the Bay Area Research Conference here: http://blogs.usfca.edu/coms/2011/06/22/student-shout-out-coms-majors-at-the-bay-area-undergrad-research-conference/

Kappa Iota members provide clear leadership for active engagement in our department. Three years ago, the officers of the Kappa Iota chapter decided to institute a policy that “active members” would receive free honor cords upon graduation from our Lambda Pi Eta chapter. We defined active membership as attending at least 50% of all of the activities we sponsor each year. We’re happy to report that we have a 90-95% active membership list! Being in Lambda Pi Eta at USF is more than just adding a line to your resume. It means actively engaging in the intellectual community of the department and the larger discipline, working with our larger community outside the university, and developing professional skills and contacts to successfully enter the job market. We’re very proud of what our chapter has accomplished and are excited about what more we can do in the future. We have gone from inducted three members in 2004 to inducting, on average, almost 20 new members every year, and our membership roster has grown to almost 150 students. Students often comment that the Communication Studies Department is one of the most active departments on campus that provides so many opportunities for majors. The Kappa Iota chapter is responsible for these academic, social, professional, and community service events.  Because of our outstanding record of fostering an interest in Communication Studies among our students and alumni, we believe we are deserving of the 2011 Lambda Pi Eta Chapter of the Year Award.

Some of our 2011 Lambda Pi Eta graduates!

Congratulations to our newly inducted members!

Some of our new Lambda Pi Eta members holding our fancy banner.

A special thanks to our current chapter officers: An Mai, President, Cayden Berkmoyer, Vice President, and Jamey Padojino, Treasurer/Secretary, for their help putting our application together. Wish us luck with our application!

Are you a member of Lambda Pi Eta or a student who has attended one of our events? Comment back and share your favorite experiences!