Background of the NETS project

Mark Stoner
Professor, Department of Communication Studies, CSUS

In 2011, I was approached by a number of alumni of Communication Studies who are interested in updating their knowledge of current research, theory and practice in various areas of communication studies.

A constant and concurrent concern of our department is helping our graduate students develop their research interests and introducing them to the process of being independent scholars. Observation of and work with Communication Studies faculty who present their research models a significant dimension of the professorate as a profession.

Further, we see an opportunity to teach and inspire promising undergraduate students to develop significant questions to drive their undergraduate education as well as extend their interest in graduate and professional schools.

The loop is closed as our faculty present their research. Opportunities to present current research to colleagues is often limited to competitive, often hypercritical professional audiences at professional conferences which can actually limit creativity and exploration of interesting areas of research.

This project invites our faculty to present their ideas to colleagues who, while understanding the basics of the presentation, will be supportive, pose interesting questions and facilitate creative thinking by querying how they can use the material presented in their own contexts.

So, NETS (Networking: Extending Scholarship and Teaching) was organized in an effort to connect these four groups. Our programs have exposed alumni and current students to new research; students observe academic and professional models; connect with those same folks and faculty get insight into new research and training topics.

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