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Extraordinary Community Service, Andraya Carter

The Extraordinary Community Service award honors students and student organizations that exhibit the Volunteer spirit in the community. Andraya CarterAndraya Carter, from Flowery Branch, Georgia, is a well-rounded student athlete and a member of the Lady Vols basketball team. She completed her bachelor’s degree in communication studies (BA/CS ‘15) in just three years with a 3.83 GPA and is now pursuing a master’s in kinesiology with a concentration in sport psychology. She spent 100 hours this academic year volunteering with students at the Tennessee School for the Deaf and has been involved in multiple organizations, including Hoops for Hope and the Boys and Girls Club. She is also a member of VOLeaders Academy, a group composed of Tennessee student-athletes seeking to affect social change through the platform of sport.


The Extraordinary Campus Leadership and Service awards recognize graduating students who are extraordinary campus leaders for their significant service to others.

LaSabra Williams, a communication studies major from Nashville, joined the Central Program Council as a member of the Film Committee in her freshman year. By her senior year, she was elected vice president of membership for the Central Program Council, overseeing all recruitment, interviews, and selection of new CPC members. She has also served in the Office of New Student and Family Programs and as an Ignite team leader. She’s been a student assistant in both the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Life and the Center for Student Engagement.

Moving on: focus on the classroom, John Haas

Our director and Immediate Past President of Southern States Communication Association, John Haas was featured on the SSCA Connections newsletter. When asked his opinon on the classroom and higher education he responded,

Like most all of you, I’m attracted to some aspects of the changing higher education landscape. New technologies allow us to study in ever greater detail the ways in which humans interact and are impacted by messages. Other aspects of this changing landscape such as the need to master a nearly endless number of new instructional software programs can be less attractive. Few issues in our changing landscape find me siting on the fence. However, I’m still on the fence regarding online courses. An impressive body of literature exists that deals with the topic of online education, and a number of journals (e.g., American Journal of Distance Education) have as their mission the aim of promoting research into this aspect of pedagogy. Multiple studies support the proposition that online learning outcomes are consistent with the learning outcomes experienced by students in a traditional face-to-face format. The ambivalence that I feel grows out of my belief that good teaching is based on building effective relationships with students. Simply put, I’m not sure how to build effective relationships in an online environment. As a member of SSCA, I have the opportunity to gain from the wisdom and experiences of my colleagues to address my concerns about online instruction. As we move on to build and rebuild communication programs, our association is uniquely positioned to help guide our efforts to better understand the evolving classroom and address the concerns of members. As an association of communication educators, we can and should take a leading role in identifying what works and what does not work in the online world. We should not leave this opportunity to others to determine what kind of classroom the communication educator of the future will confront.

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