Page 16 - foxtalk issue 2

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16
Winter 2011
News & Notes
Meet Our New Faculty
Our top-notch faculty continues to grow,
strengthening our school and our college
B
orn and raised in Colorado, Dr.
Audra Diers has her B.A. in com-
munications from Colorado State
University in Fort Collins, her M.A. in
communication and Mass Media from
the University of Wyoming and her
Ph.D. in crisis communication from
the University of Texas at Austin.
Diers’ experience and credentials
make her an excellent addition to the
Marist family.
“I spent three years at the U.S.
Air Force Academy where I had coached the Intercollegiate
Speech and Debate Team,” said Diers. “Though I really en-
joy coaching, I decided that I wanted to pursue more tra-
ditional academic work focusing on teaching and research
rather than coaching and traveling. That’s how I came to
Marist.”
Diers has taken the position in the Communication
Department as a public relations and organizational com-
munication specialist.
“I am def initely enjoying teaching at Marist,” said Diers.
“Marist students are—this is most evident because the papers
and the quality of projects—on average probably the stron-
gest compared to anywhere else I’ve taught. I’ve found the
Marist students wonderfully ref lective and really thoughtful
in their work.”
Diers has also undertaken the job of working with the de-
bate club and revamping the program to better suit the com-
petitions and changing world of debate. After being contact-
ed by the department chair, Dr. Keith Strudler, Diers began
working and helping out to “re-invigorate” the program.
Not only is Diers cultivating a debate program within the
Marist community, she and the team members are reaching
out into the communities around the
school.
“Club members have worked very
hard putting on an event in the fall, re-
cruiting new participants and working
with the Liberty Partnerships Program
to develop a new program for the LPP’s
spring mentoring program,” said Diers.
“We had the opportunity to work with
about 20 middle schoolers over seven
weeks to develop public speaking and ar-
gumentation skills.”
Fourteen
LPPstudents competed in a competition
sponsored by the Marist School of Communication and the
Arts and received prizes and awards for their hard work.
Diers already has her sights set on the future. She ex-
plained that the club is planning to continue to work with the
LPP and add a weekly radio broadcast in conjunction with
WMAR.
“Our primary approach to drawing in new members is to
develop activities, like the LPP Argumentation Program,
that involve our students in public speaking and advocacy ac-
tivities because the club’s mission is to invigorate public dis-
course at Marist and within the Poughkeepsie community,”
Diers said.
As for the debate involvement that will be occurring off
campus, Diers stated that the club is switching the program
into the National Forensics Association.
“This means that we will compete in 10 events ranging
from one-on-one policy debate, to limited preparation speak-
ing, to traditional public address, and even to the interpre-
tation of literature, affording more Marist students a much
more diverse range of events to compete in,” Diers said.
-ADDIE DIFRANCESCO, ‘12
Audra Diers
Communication