click here for a .pdf of the 2014 program

Registration in Lobby (8:00 am-Noon)


Session I (8:30-9:45am)


A. From Film to Television: Media Texts Shaping Patriarchal Society

Room: Summit North

Each of the presenters in this panel offer a look at women in film and/or television, and how representations of women contribute to patriarchy, hegemony, and oppression.

Chair: Rebecca Roberts, University of Wyoming

Women in Film: A Critical Analysis of the Entertainment Industry. Heather Kimiecik, University of Northern Colorado

Dirty Little Secrets Always Come Out: A Feminist Critique of Scandal, Gabriela Perez, Regis University

Toddlers & Tiaras: How Gender Schematic Processing within Media Ritualization Perpetuates Western Beauty Ideology, Meghan Compton, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs


B. Health Communication Pedagogy

Room: Summit South

To examine how health has been socially constructed through language the panelists have created a health communication course focusing on examining health topics through various communication theory lenses. This undergraduate course proposes that health communication should be an integral component in receiving a degree in communication studies, as the reach of this subject is unending. The presentation is grounded in major texts, readings, and influenced by over 10 collected health communication syllabi from professors across the country. The panelists’ course syllabus was made after extensive research on relevant topics and examining health communication concepts through major theoretical lenses. After a thorough investigation into health communication pedagogy, panelists will offer innovative strategies for teaching topics concerning contemporary health, power, and media.

Chair: Lin Allen, University of Northern Colorado
Summer Terhark, University of Northern Colorado
Angel Bigas, University of Northern Colorado
Elizabeth Carpenter, University of Northern Colorado


C. Queer Communication Pedagogies: Notes From the Trenches

Room: Learning Lab

As a burgeoning field, queer pedagogy provides the classroom as a space to challenge heteronormativity. This panel spans undergraduate, graduate, and faculty teachers across two regional institutions in order to investigate issues of queer self-representation in communication classroom contexts. Following Ragan Fox’s (2013) encouragement for queer people to invest in matters of self-representation because they usually lack proper representation, this panel explores the experiences of pedagogues disrupting the heteronormativity at the core of communication instruction. This panel will address the intersection of communication and power in the following areas: student-driven pedagogy, hegemonic performances of credibility, performances of “coming out,” allyship in the classroom, and developing queer ethos.

Chair: Allison L. Rowland, University of Colorado, Boulder

Preferred Names and Gender Pronouns: Issues of Agency and Authority as a Transgender Student, Ace Eckstein, University of Colorado, Boulder

The Queer Performance of Coming Out in the Classroom, Pascal Gagné, University of Colorado, Boulder

To Signify or Not to Signify: A Graduate Student Instructor Perspective on Performing Queerness in the Classroom, Stephanie Hartzell, University of Colorado, Boulder

Hegemonic Sexuality in Public Speaking Instruction of Ethos, Allison L. Rowland, University of Colorado, Boulder

Respondent: Thomas Dunn, Colorado State University


Session II (10:00-11:15 am)


A. The 40-Hour Project: A Mini-Internship Capstone Assignment

                Room: Summit North

In his senior capstone course, Thomas Endres assigns “The 40-Hour Project,” in which students are required to seek out a client and, using their communication training, assist the client in fulfilling a business-related need.  Students are expected to log a minimum of forty hours on the project (approximately 1/3 the expected time of a regular internship).  The session begins with a summary by the professor of the assignment, its rationale, and its assessment.  Following this, a panel of students will present brief reports on what they did for their project.  The panel then opens to discussion, with the facilitator and the audience delving deeper into the students’ experience with the assignment. 
Facilitator/Presenter: Thomas G. Endres, University of Northern Colorado
Spanish Translation for the Greeley Downtown Development Authority,Summer Terhark, University of Northern Colorado

KFKA Radio Media Kit, Chad Peterson, University of Northern Colorado

Promoting Qittle, Sean D'Albergaria, University of Northern Colorado

Claw Magazine Release Party, Lindsey Carrier, University of Northern Colorado 


B. How Ought We to Laugh? Sketch Comedy as a Basis for Difficult Dialogues
This presentation/panel considers the ways that campus comedy may function to reinforce ignorance, marginalize, outrage and divide—even while exhibiting the capacity to build lively participation in diversity initiatives; to stimulate playful, critical thinking, subvert dominant paradigms,  foster community and encourage collaboration. OutRegis! is a Regis University student group. It began as a sketch comedy club with a mission: to increase attendance at campus dialogues on race, class, disability and mental illness. Lacking writers, the group turned to improv only— gaining members, but losing the central focus. Today, with strong leadership, OutRegis! activities include improvisation; collaboration (with campus affinity groups and with the Diversity Office); writing; sketch-dialogue shows; field trips, and teaching middle- and high-school students.

Room: Summit South

Chair: Janna Goodwin, Regis University
Hailey Barr, Regis University
Morgan Reitmeyer, Regis University
Susan Sci, Regis University


C. Media Analysis Potpourri

Room: Learning Lab

From a variety of lenses and approaches, this panel of faculty and graduate students examines different facets of various media: the effects and uses of media and media representation.

Chair:  Stephen Collins, Pikes Peak Community College

Acceptance of Media Stereotypes of the Gifted, Charles Ingold, University of Northern Colorado
 “Cover Up and Behave”: Presence and Absence in PETA'S BWVAKTBOOM Campaign, Victoria Brown, Colorado State University

Policing at the Center of the Synopticon: Effects of Citizen Countersurviellance on Police Cultures, Joanne Esch, University of Colorado, Boulder


Keynote Address (11:30-12:15pm)

Room: Summit Central

“#Rhetoric: 2380 Years of Going with the Tech Flow”
Dr. Graham Thatcher, Periaktos Productions

In show biz a long resume is usually met with, 'Yeah, but what have you done lately?'  My first students have been on Medicare for five years and my resume sounds like an obituary.  I have the usual pile of degrees, half a century of experience in and out of higher education, a few opinions, but an open - as opposed to empty or rigid - mind, prepared for radical shifts in the culture.  I also have a keen appreciation for the historical confluence of technology and the rhetorical arts from the ancient Greeks to this moment and I anxiously look forward to the new-new thing.   What have I been doing lately?   My wife and I have a Mom and Pop media company webcasting continuing legal education programs to lawyers' desktops throughout the country, using the theatre as a teaching tool.    Technological advances have made it possible for a handful of people to create fully realized feature 'films' and webcasts and we'll be sharing it all with you in Loveland.


Luncheon and Business Meeting (12:30-1:30pm)

                Room: Table of Contents


Session III (1:45-3:00pm)


A. Top Graduate and Undergraduate Papers
Room: Summit North

Spanning an array of important communication topics, the Rocky Mountain Communication Association proudly presents the top graduate and top undergraduate papers submitted to RMCA this year, including the award recipients for Outstanding Graduate Paper and Outstanding Undergraduate Paper.

Chair: David Palmer, University of Northern Colorado

Gay is Okay: An Ideological Criticism of MTV’s Teen Wolf, Summer Terhark and Robert Stise, University of Northern Colorado

The People’s Library as Memory and Resistance: Lieux de Mémoire of Occupy Wall Street, Ricardo Munoz, University of Colorado, Boulder

Factors Influencing the Decision to Conceal or Reveal Personal Information in a Deliberative Dialogue, Mar Parsaye, Colorado State University

Balancing the Binary: The Constructions of Gender and Sexuality in Changing Tides, Kellan Roybal, Regis University

Becoming a Celebrity: The Celebritization Process of Disney Kids, Austin Pride, Regis University


B. Women Being Watched: Representations in Film, on the Internet, and in Comics

Room: Summit South

These three panelists explore and analyze different representations of women in animation, on the Internet, and in comic books.

Chair:  Rebecca Roberts, University of Wyoming

Jenna Marbles: “The Queen of YouTube,” Jena Schwake, Colorado State University

Catwoman’s Hyde, Lesa Syn, University of Colorado, Denver

What Lettuce, Parsley, and Clover Teach Us about Tangled: Reading Disney’s Rapunzel as a Final Girl, Benjamin Syn, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs


C. Your Academic Career

Room: Learning Lab

Join three professors for an informal question and answer session about careers in academics, focusing on communication and mass communication.  Focusing on scholarly and professional obligations, teaching, service, and work/life, this promises to be a lively discussion for anyone interested in pursuing academic careers.

Mark Finney, Emory and Henry College
Arne G’Schwind, Regis University
Beth Bonnstetter, Adams State University

Session IV (3:15-4:30 pm)


A. Looking Back, Looking Forward: What Has Really Changed About Teaching Communication?

Room: Summit North

In keeping the theme from Socrates to Social Media: Communication Shaping Society, this panel/round table discussion focuses on teaching and centers on the question, from the roots to this time of digital communication, what has really changed about teaching communication?  The focus will be on addressing this question from a contemporary perspective, but discussion is expected to be wide ranging as panelists and participants talk through ideas about teaching now that the 21st century has fully arrived.  Each panelist will have a starting point from which s/he will begin her/his participation.

Heidi Muller, University of Northern Colorado
Lin Allen, University of Northern Colorado
Charles Soukup, University of Northern Colorado
David Palmer, University of Northern Colorado
Kelly Scott, University of Northern Colorado
Cheryl Pawlowski, University of Northern Colorado
Sherilyn Marrow, University of Northern Colorado


B. The Future of RMCA

Room: Summit South

Join the executive committee of the Rocky Mountain Communication Association for a roundtable discussion on where the Rocky Mountain Communication Association has been, is now, and where it is going in the future. Those who are interested in leadership roles in RMCA are especially encouraged to attend.


Thomas Endres, University of Northern Colorado
Arne G’Schwind, Regis University
Mark Finney, Emory and Henry University
Beth Bonnstetter, Adams State University
Carl Burgchardt, Colorado State University
Sherry Dewald, Red Rocks Community College


C. From Social Science, to Performance Studies, to Rhetorical Theory: Communication Studying Family

Room: Learning Lab

Three drastically diverse perspectives are used to examine human communication in this panel, and the participants use these three different theories to study issues pertaining to the family: social issues and the death of a sibling, domestic violence, and the media representation of mothers-in-law.

Chair:  Stephen Collins, Pikes Peak Community College

Discourse Frames Utilized by Victims and Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Improving Victim-Practitioner Communication, Joanne Esch, University of Colorado, Boulder

Communication Shaping Society: Representations of Mothers-In-Law in Popular Culture, April Samaras, Regis University

“GLARE”: A Socially Critical Performance on the Extremes of Humanity, Kody Maynard, University of Northern Colorado


RMCA Planning Meeting (4:45-5:30pm)

Backbone Gourmet Grub and Brewhouse, La Quinta Inn (across Cascade Avenue from Group Publishing)

Join the RMCA Executive Council and Board of Governors in reviewing this year’s convention and planning for the future. A great opportunity for new and renewing members to network, give feedback, and explore opportunities to become more involved in the organization. Open to all interested RMCA members.