RMCA 2016


click here for a .pdf of the 2016 program

Saturday, April 9th

8:00 a.m.                                
Registration beginsGunter lobby
8:30-9:45 a.m.                        Session I

10:00-11:15 a.m.                   Session II

11:30-12:30 p.m.                   Lunch and Awards – Gunter Gym
12:45-2:00 p.m.                     Session III

2:15 –3:30 p.m.                      Session IV

3:45-5:00 p.m.                       Reception with Keynote from 4:00-4:30
                                                (Reception starts in Centennial Hall)


Session I – 8:30-9:45 a.m.
1.1 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 1150

Star Trek v. The Prima Facie Directive:  Next Generation Justice”

Chair:  Lin Allen, University of Northern Colorado         

Participants:  Zulma Argueta, Victoria Ciaravola, Jesse Middleton, and Sara Winger, University of Northern Colorado

 “Justice,” a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, forms the analytic basis for this panel.  The plotline dramatizes Captain Picard’s ethical dilemma as he deliberates the destiny of his crew as a consequence of violating Star Fleet’s prime directive.  Members will discus six ethical perspectives as a template for decision-making.  The panel will present the prima facie case argument to the “jury” (the RMCA audience) in a Spock Trial format.  The goal is to illustrate the strategic use of symbols promoting ideologies.  


1.2 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2120

Fighting Marginalization and Seeking Identity:  Neighborhood,
Corporate Social Responsibility, and Voter Suppression

Chair:  William P. Huddy, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Participants:  Rachel Newton, Benjamin Rovenstine, Bridget Everett, Aiden Patterson, Christopher Kopsch, Alisha R. Walker, and Katie Chelf, Metropolitan State University of Denver

This panel investigates the struggle of marginalized populations desiring to establish and enhance social identity through online and other media frameworks.  Rachel Newton investigates how urban neighborhoods seek out others to connect with one another in solving neighborhood issues in a fast-evolving digital-centered world.  Benjamin Rovenstine looks at recent literature citing the “affect” social networking may have on populations.  Bridget Everett investigates the evolutionary cycle of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and how corporations choose to participate in partnerships for the “public good.”  Aiden Patterson looks at how gamers seek identity within their own techno-centered passions.  Christopher Kopsch and Alisha Walker investigate notions of voter suppression in a highly-charged and polarized election environment.


1.3 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2180

Controversies in Higher Education: A Discursive Analysis of Current
Higher Education Concerns

Chair:  Dustin Dunaway, Pueblo Community College

Presenters:  Taylor Blanchard, James Murphy, Matthew Sterner-Neely, Jesse Rezentes-Turner, Pueblo Community College

With the renewed focus on higher education policy due to increasing tuition costs, corporate influence, and internal strife over racial, gender and economic diversity, the amount of contested space in higher education has not been this great since the 1970s. This contested space is now being fought both inside and outside of the classroom over content, pedagogy, and student life. This panel of students and instructor at Pueblo Community College identifies areas of contention within higher education, examines the controversies in depth, and suggests areas for future research.


1.4 Individual Presentation Panel                                                        Gunter 2520

“The Rhetoric of Social Movement: Portraits that Appeal to the Collective”

Chair: Robert Affeldt, Adams State University

Jeffery Gentry, Rogers State University, “We are the Enemies of Free Speech

Ryan Allred, Colorado State University, “Freedom Through Abolition:  Rhetorical Movement Towards Emancipation

Kelly Scott Raisley, University of Northern Colorado, “The Impact of One Student Group’s Mobilization against Discrimination

Toshia Paul, University of Northern Colorado, “Sharing the Wealth:  Dissemination of Communication Information Within and Beyond Academia:  A Literature Review


Session II – 10:00-11:15 a.m.  
2.1 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 1150

Star Trek v. The Prima Facie Directive: The Millennial Inventors

Chair: Lin Allen, University of Northern Colorado

Presenters:  Robert Castillo, Tiffany Hall, Kayce Hammer, and Subrina Vaccianna, University of Northern Colorado

Star Trek:  The Next Generation’s inventiveness forms the generative basis for this panel.  Members will enact the strategic use of symbols by promoting an invention that vaunts the prima facie case directive.  The panel will present their inventions to the “jury” (RMA audience) in a Spock Trial format.  The goal is to implement persuasive models in a marketable manner, propelling the classical cannon invention into a millennial makeover.


2.2 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2120

The Promise and Challenge of Interfaith Dialogue:  From Theory to Practice

Chairs:  James Keaten and Charles Soukup, University of Northern Colorado

Presenters:  Allison Ching, Toshia Paul, Michael Register, University of Northern Colorado

The tremendous religious diversity of communities across the United States provides communication scholars a unique opportunity to promote cooperation and tolerance while discouraging divisiveness and bigotry.  Initial explorations into interfaith communication, however, have emphasized abstract conceptualizations of dialogue, otherness, and culture.  We believe it is imperative that communication scholars move from abstract theorizing of the nature of interfaith encounters toward the communication practices that encourage understanding, empathy, and cooperation across religious faiths.  To that end, this panel presents specific communicative strategies and frameworks to promote interfaith dialogue in collaborative and meaningful ways. 


2.3 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2180

Contemporary Issues of Fragmented Identity in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Economics

Chair:  Leslie Rossman, University of Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver

Respondent:  Robert Gutierrez-Perez, University of Denver

Presenters:  Sybil Pallace, University of Denver, Abbie Randall, University of Denver, Mitchell Kusick, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Amanda Gonzales, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Cameron Simmons, University of Denver

The United States’ culture traditionally characterizes identity through conformity informed by the status quo. This reinforces hegemonic power structures that subjugates select groups’ ability to contribute their unique perspective to society.  In turn, this creates fragmented identities across discourses of economics, gender, sexuality, and race. This panel addresses how popular culture simultaneously challenges and reinforces dominant power structures, explores how gender is communicated through a political framework, and exposes the repercussions of nonconformity regarding race and gender norms.  Ultimately, we question the tensions that exist between hegemonic structures and the individual that fundamentally inhibit societal progress. It is the goal of the panel to demonstrate the relevance of contemporary economic, gender, political, queer, and racial issues within the United States.


2.4 Individual Presentation Panel                                                        Gunter 2520

“Communication Theory Part 1:  Exploring Emerging Social and Cultural Phenomena”

Chair:  Emily Stones, Regis University

Min Kyung Kim, Colorado State University, “The Death Talk:  An Analysis of Interpersonal Conflicts Regarding End-of-life Decision-Making Communication Between Physicians and Families of Patients in Vegetative States

Brianne Brasher, University of Wyoming, “Narrating Emojis as Gestures:  Snippets of Stories

Leah LeFebvre & Callie Parrish, University of Wyoming, “‘Built-in Best Friend’:  Examining Emerging Adult Sibling Relationship Functionality and Life-Transitions

Leonarda Garcia-Jimenez, Colorado State University, “Communication Theory and Cognitive Skills:  A Cross Comparison among Mexico, Spain, and the U.S.


Lunch and Awards (Gunter Gym) – 11:30-12:30 p.m. 

Session III – 12:45-2:00 p.m.

3.1 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 1150

In Barcelona, Every Day is Leg Day:  Faculty and Student Reflections
on Summer 2015 Study Abroad

Chair:  Thomas Endres, University of Northern Colorado

Presenters:  Hannah Rosenbach, Shola York, Allison Ching, Hayley Hull, University of Northern Colorado

Last summer, nine students and one professor spent a month living in Barcelona, Spain, in order to develop international communication skills via immersion into the city’s art, architecture, cuisine, language, and cultural norms.  Unlike “professional” study abroad trips, this was completely home grown.  Everyone lived in self-catering flats.  Students “went native” as much as possible: shopping, cooking, taking public transit, and - yes – MUCH walking.  They lived in the city and toured in the country: visiting museums, historical and archeological sites, and businesses both modern and centuries-old.  Dr. Endres summarizes his strategy for the course, followed by student reflections on the experience.  Pictures will be shared, and stories told.  An ideal panel for anyone interested in the study abroad experience.  


3.2 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2120

Gender and Technology:  An Intersection of Thought and Change

Chair:  Leslie Rossman, University of Denver and Metropolitan State University of Denver

Respondent:  Robert Gutierrez-Perez, University of Denver

Presenters:  Ianna Rasberry-Jenkins, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Antonio Adams, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Mitchell Kusick, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Abbie Randall, University of Denver

With the development and advancement of technology and globalization, social interactions become new, and not so new, with areas of contact and investigation worth much to the academic arena. New ways to communicate as well as changes to the pre-patterned communication methods intersect and intertwine on very basic but complex levels. For good or ill, the effects of our social world, both tangible and intangible, affect our everyday lives and interactions in fascinating and increasingly interpretative ways. The aim of this panel is to discuss and analyze many of these patterns through the lenses of gender, social learning theory, and technological capabilities.


3.3 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2180

Beyond Classical Ideas of Technē

Chair: Joshua Hanan, University of Denver

Presenters:  Jean Elizabeth Duane, Moana Luri de Almeida, Jessica Neumann, Shaundi C. Newbolt, Kelsey Waninger, University of Denver

Panel expands on the concept of technē to apply it to contemporary pressing issues, and to challenge traditional scholarship that rejects alternative forms of rhetoric on the grounds of race, class, gender, political policies, scientific practices and other intersectional identities. Our panelists reclaim ancient Greek uses of the term as cunning against an oppressive status quo, and imagine new uses of technē for social justice in a globalized world.


3.4 Individual Presentation Panel                                                        Gunter 2520

RMCA 2016 Top Graduate and Undergraduate Papers

Chair:  Arne G'Schwind, Regis University

Kellan Roybal, Regis University, “Rectifying Public Memory and Public Fault:  The Anti-Narrative of the Laramie Project
Jordin Clark, Colorado State University, “Reactions to ‘Protest’:  How the Media Delegitimizes Social Movements through the Propaganda Model

Gina Nordini, Regis University, “Destino in Whose Hands?  The Effectiveness of Tribute through Messagelessness, Meaning, and Money in Dali and Disney’s ‘Destino’

Hailey Otis, Colorado State University, “Peering at the Rear – Is It Queer?  An Exploration of Queer Film theory through Magic Mike:  XXL


3.5 Individual Presentation Panel                                                        Gunter 2530

“Communication Theory Part 2 – Transitioning from the Personal to the Interpersonal”

Chair:  Sherry Dewald, Red Rocks Community College

Brooke Beytin, Colorado State University, “Awareness from a Distance:  Utilizing Interpersonal Theory to Address and Resolve Conflicts in Long Distance Romantic Relationships

Elliot Harrison, Colorado Christian University, “Interpersonal Skills in Grant Writing:  Beyond the Ticket of the Trade

Dustin Dunaway and Kellie Cuevas, Pueblo Community College, “Varying Effects of Use of Sexually Explicit Media Among Couples

Thomas Ebersole, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, “Training for Success:  Transitioning Our Veterans Back to Corporate America


Session IV – 2:15 –3:30 p.m.
4.1 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 1150

Towards a Rhetorical Understanding of the New “Feral Family”:  Its Evolution, Typologies, Rewards, and Threats”

Chair:  Sherilyn Marrow, University of Northern Colorado

Presenters:  Allyson Billings, Justin Fogel, Chris Gallegos, Rylee Manus, Toshia Paul, Zachary St. Aubyn, University of Northern Colorado

This panel will expand upon the familial construct defined as the “feral family,” originally introduced by authors Sherilyn Marrow & Stephen Boulter (2015). This contemporary family system will be discussed in terms of its ontological perspectives, emergence, structure, interactional patterns, and associated linguistic behaviors.  Examples of feral families depicted in the popular media and other creative venues will be identified and explained via the four corresponding typologies of the feral family.  These potentially controversial typologies will be examined in relationship to the possible rewards of membership and/or possible threats these family systems may pose to Western civilization.


4.2 Presentation/Roundtable                                                                 Gunter 2120

Fundamental Ways We Can Improve Instruction in the Basic Course:  Creating the New and Reviving the Old

Chair: Sherry Dewald, Red Rocks Community College

Presenters:  Sherry Dewald, Red Rocks Community College, Stephen Collins, Pikes Peak Community College, William Hoffman, Red Rocks Community College and Morgan Community College, Tracey Mahoney, Metropolitan State University of Denver and Red Rocks Community College

This panel will address rhetorical literacy in the classroom.  A series of speeches in American history that could improve the instruction of our “rhetorical literacy” will be discussed.  This panel will offer an analysis and explanation of how specific historical speeches helped to change and shape the political landscape in America.  The rhetoric used in important speeches throughout American history that focused on such topics as civil rights, the feminist movement, the United States involvement in foreign affairs, and public service are some areas that will be explored.  Additionally, knowledge of forensics and argumentation which contributes to healthy civic engagement will be expounded upon in this panel discussion.  


4.3 Individual Presentation Panel                                                        Gunter 2520

“Analyzing the Successes and Failures of Contemporary Media”

Chair:  Emily Stones, Regis University

Katharine Fitzgerald, Colorado State University, “Sharpen the Pitchforks:  Epideictic, The Zoe Post, and Creating a Monster

Seth Willden, Colorado State University, “Quite the Characters(s):  Beginnings and Conclusions of NBC’s Parks and Recreation

Christopher Zegarra, University of Utah, “Use and Consequence of Image Rhetoric in Breast Cancer Awareness

Michael Register, University of Northern Colorado, “Missed Kinections:  The Rise and Fall of the Microsoft Kinect


4.4 Individual Presentation Panel                                                        Gunter 2530

“Interrogating the Familiar:  In Search of Alternative Discourses”

Chair:  Robert Affeldt, Adams State University

Ashley Duncan, University of Denver, “Videogames:  An Alternative Outlet for Queer Identity Formation

Jean Duane, Denver University, “Our Daily Bread

Austin Morgan, University of Wyoming, “The Brutal Magic of Dispossession:  Defensive Architecture as a Visual Rhetoric of Terminal Exclusion

Kelsey Waninger, University of Denver, “Creating a New World:  Woman on the Edge of Time and the Use of Technē in Feminist Speculative Fiction



Reception – 3:45-5:00 p.m.
with Keynote from 4:00-4:30
(Centennial Hall)

“The Past, Present, and Future of Our Community”
Carl Burgchardt, Colorado State University

Hosted by UNC Office of the Dean, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the School of Communication



RMCA Business Meeting to Follow in Centennial Hall