Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

The LSSU Dance program has provided me with excellent opportunities I could not have received at any other university. My ultimate career goal is to obtain a Clinical Doctorate in Speech-Language Pathology and find alternative forms of communication with my patients. The dance program has allowed me to choreograph and produce works of art that incorporated sign language as well as work with children of all ages. Because of these opportunities I am well prepared for my future goals and am set apart from other students in a very competitive field.

Kitty Drockton

College of Arts, Letters, Social Sciences and Emergency Services

School of Communication Studies, and the Fine and Performing Arts

George Denger
George H. Denger, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Office: ARTS 219
Phone: (906) 635-2330
Fax: (906) 635-6678

Latest Updates

Faculty and student scholarly productivity

Dr. Chad Barbour has had two articles accepted for publication

"Playing Indian, Gender Performance, and Racial Masquerade in 1940s and 1950s United States Comics." Forthcoming in the International Journal of Comic Art , November 2013.

"When Captain America Was an Indian: Heroic Masculinity, Na tional Identity, and Playing Indian." Forthcoming in The Journal of Popular Culture , 2014.

Aaron Fader'13 presented his paper, "Video Game Narrative: Problems and Possibilities," at the Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media at Northern Illinois University. The paper is based on his senior thesis (directed by Dr. Chad Barbour). In this research, Aaron applies reader - response theory to video game narratives. Through this application, he seeks to establish a “gamer - response” theory that att empts to understand and explain the way that an audience participates in and shapes narrative in video games. He is now attending the MA program in English at the University of Toledo.

Author to visit LSSU on Oct. 4

Neil O'Boyle Connelly will be our featur ed guest on Friday, October 4 th , for a Master Class on creative writing at noon in Arts Center 217 and for a Reading and Reception at 7 to 9 pm in the Crow’s Nest. Connelly is the author of two highly - acclaimed young adult novels which examine the power of faith and the human desire for a savior: Saint Michael's Scales , which was a finalist for the 2002 Borders Original Voices series, and The Miracle Stealer , which received a sta r red review from Booklist. He is also the author of the literary novels Buddy C ooper Finds a Way , which Entertainment Weekly called “both comic and chilling,” and The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible , which will be published by LSU Press in fall 2013. Connelly earned his MFA degree in creative writing at McNeese State Universit y where he studied under Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler. Connelly’s short story "The Adventures of Ultimate Man" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2006, Oxford American included him in a list of prominent novelists of the Southern United St ates. Having since returned to his Pennsylvania roots, Connelly is now an Assistant Professor of English at Shippensburg University. Please spread the word about this event.

Children's Book Festival set for Nov. 2

Lake Superior State University has receive d grant funding from the Michigan Humanities Council and the Michigan Center for the Book to be used for hosting the Superior Children’s Book Festival on November 2 nd this year. The festival will be held from 11 am to 3 pm in the Cisler Center and is bein g presented as a joint project of the Departments of Englis h and Education. The festival planning committee includes: Janice Repka, Asst. Prof. of English & Creative writing; Susan James, Asst. Director/Reference Librarian, Bayliss Public Library; Debbie Lehman, Children's Librarian, Bayliss Public Library; Jillena Rose, Asst. Prof. of English & Creative Writing; Mary McMyne, Asst. Prof. of English & Education, and Brenda Cooper, Dept. of Education. Many children’s book authors will appear including Joh nathan Rand (author of over sixty books, including the Michigan Chillers series) Nancy Shaw (author of the children’s classic picture book Sheep in a Jeep and the multi - cultural picture book Elena’s Story ) and Upper Peninsula authors Carrie Pearson, Gretch en Pearson , Lizbeth Jenkins - Dale and others. If you would like to assist with the festival by sponsoring a table or donating needed items, please contact the festival coordinator at .

The Way North Reading to be Held at Bayliss

On Tuesday, October 29 , Bayliss Library will host a reading for four LSSU professors who have had their work published in the anthology The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works , published this year by Wayne St ate University Press. The event will begin at 7 pm. and our campus bookstore will provide copies of the book for purchase. The professors who have been invited to read their poetry and prose are: Julie Barbour, Eric Gadzinski, Mary McMyne, Janice Repka, and James Zukowski. Please plan to attend.

Snowdrifts Seeking Submissions

Our student literary journal, Snowdrifts , is now open for submissions. Please encourage your students to submit original poetry, fiction, non - fiction, art and photography to . The deadline for submissions will be November 19.

English Club Starts a New Semester

The LSSU English Club is meeting on Mondays at 5 pm this semester. All students are welcome to join regardless of major. This year the club plans to continue offering critique exchanges, to attend a writer’s retreat, and hopefully make it to a writing conference. If you know any students who might be interested in joining, please encourage them to atten d a meeting to get to know the group. For more information contact the Club Co - Advisors, Jillena Rose and Janice Repka.

Organizational Communication class fundraises for a good cause

COMM 325 Students

Assistant Prof. Katey Price (right) and her COMM 325 Organizational Communication class at the Alzheimer's Association walk on September 7.

COMM 325 students participated in the Alzheimer’s Association walk on Se ptember 7. Sault Ste. Marie Mayor Tony Bosbous of Sault Ste. Marie joined the team of organizational communication students as they participated and observed the communication taking place in an organized context. Team "Lake State Comm Squad" raised $150 for the walk.

Communication Faculty to present at National Conference this Fall

Drs. Gary Balfantz and George Denger will both be attending the National Communication Association conference November 20 - 24 in Washington, D.C. They w ill be attending and participating on a Performance Studies panel at the 99 th National Communication Association convention in Washington D C., November 20 - 24.

Dr. Balfantz is serving as an external reviewer for the Communication Studies department at the University of Northern Iowa. He has been asked to evaluate the quantity, quality and breadth of a candidate’s scholarly /creative activity for promotion to full professor.

He w as mentioned in the article, “Seeing , Channeling, and Weaving: Coming to Christie Logan, “Text and Performance Quarterly, Vol. 33, No 3, July 2013. This was a special issue of the journal: Reflections on the Economics of Performance.

Dr. Balfantz has received invitations to the Petit Jean Performance Festival, October 2013, hosted by the University of North Texas and to the Patti Pace Performance Festival, February 2014, hosted by Georgia Perimeter State University, Augus ta Georgia. The festival offer s performance and workshop opportunities for students and faculty members in a non - competitive setting. Dr. Balfantz has taken students to numerous festivals in the past. Our students last performed at Petit Jean in Fall of 2008.

Dr. Denger will be presenting during the NCA conference as a member of a panel on presidential campaign debate “camps”. The panelists enlisted as a respondent a former Cabinet - level officer from the Clinton administration who directly assisted cand idate Clinton in debate preparation during his 1992 run for the presidency.

In April, Dr. Denger presented at the Eastern Communication Association Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. His focus in this conference was on the implications of recent research on th e critic and rhetorical theorist Kenneth Burke for the practice of communication pedagogy through public speaking competition.

Life Passages

Communication alumna Gabby Castillo Uger ’10 and her husband Steve celebrated the birth of a son, David, this past August. Congratulations!

The Laker community was saddened to learn this past summer of the passing of Dr. Polly Stevens Fields. Dr. Fields taught in the English Department for many years at LSSU after her arrival on our campus in 1995. She died in Reno, Nevada.

Continuing the Academic Quest...

Former Laker communication and theater student Stephanie (Kilgore ) Heath ‘05 has begun work toward her Ph.D. at Louisiana State University.

Communication alumni Jeanna Radzinski ‘12 and Roxanne Morris ’13 are both pu rsuing Master’s degrees at Boston University. Best of luck to both!

One Day Without Shoes

Jeanna Radzinski Sterling Hts, MI

"This is the first year we are doing the walk so we are really excited to see the type of awareness it creates," says Radzinski. "We are ecstatic with the amount of buzz that is already being created, from people who aren’t even part of our organization." [ more ]

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