Volume 10, Issue 2 - April 2015Print | Email

James C. McCroskey’s Lifelong Journey of Discovery and Innovation

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Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote that “to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive....”  The lifelong journey of James (“Jim”) C. McCroskey was among the most hopeful of all journeys in his effort to better describe, understand, predict, and change the ways people communicate. Jim started his journey on a path set out by Aristotle, the rhetorical tradition. Jim’s interest in ethos or source credibility led him to thinking about goodwill, interpersonal closeness or immediacy, interpersonal attraction, homophily and the perceived similarity of others, power in the classroom, and apprehensiveness that people experience in communicating with others. Jim moved from a world view based on humanistic understanding to a world view of scientific reasoning and testing.

Even our best cartographer armed with GPS and a steady hand would be unable to retrace the many steps that Jim took on his 50-year journey, but many interesting twists, turns, and discoveries were made along the way. Through his well-thought-out plan for learning about communication and his boundless energy in working with others, Jim charted new territory and challenged, sometimes changed, some old ways of thinking that were, perhaps, not always leading us in the right direction.


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Cross Current

Infographics as Practical Tools and “Visual Legacies”

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Infographics, short for “information graphics,” are a popular and effective means of communicating complex ideas and information in a visual format. Not only are infographics everywhere, but our brains also crave them. That is because they are accessible, engaging, and clearly and quickly understood. Today’s infographics are characterized by illustrations, such as icons, graphs, figures, and text that vary in color, size, and font. 


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Digital Democratic Voices: Intersecting Student Research, Twitter, and Presidential Debates

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A common observation on college campuses today is “students do not look up when walking on campus.” It is often thought that such attachment to our communication devices demonstrates a lack of connection to the “real world.” This perspective exemplifies the need for faculty to connect with the “digital generation” and do so on students’ terms.  


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Any questions? Technology May Be One Answer in a Large-Lecture Classroom

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Engaging students in a rich discussion in a large-lecture classroom is a challenge for educators. The social nature of the large-lecture classroom environment may cause students to have reservations about speaking in class. They may feel intimated or experience greater anxiety and nervousness. Promoting an environment in which students feel comfortable asking questions and being part of the discussion is important.


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Academic Freedom in Peril

Vol 10-2 T 1 2During the past year, attempts by college administrators and trustees to limit the free speech of college faculty have been the focus of a lot of media attention, debate, and public protest.  
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What Do We Mean by “Radicalization”?

Vol 10-2 T 2 1What do media outlets mean when they say terrorists or potential terrorists became radicalized? What is at stake when congressional members describe the dangers of radicalization or the president speaks of the need for counter-radicalization strategies? How does the language of radicalization affect policy debates over issues like security, surveillance, religious freedom, political expression, and the rights of citizenship? What benefits does this language provide, and what harm does it cause?  
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“Mobile-izing” Emergency Alerts: Improving Public Warning Messages Delivered over Mobile Devices

Vol 10-2 T 3 1In April 2012, emergency management officials were able to broadcast Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs, pronounced “we-uhs”) via the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) to cellular phones and other mobile devices to help notify people of imminent hazards.  
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Portraiture Visualizes Pollution and Precarity in Toxically Assaulted Communities

Vol 10-2 T 4 1In cities and towns across the globe, poor people and people of color are disproportionately exposed to toxic pollution. Since the early 1980s, when residents of the mostly poor, black, and rural Warren County, N.C., protested the construction of a toxic waste landfill, activists have struggled for environmental justice.
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Making Oral Communication a Successful Part of the Common Core

Vol 10-2 T 5 2Adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) represents the first time that oral communication has been included in the curriculum requirements for K–12 education in many states. If done well, this change will provide important benefits to our students.
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Home Page | James C. McCroskey’s Lifelong Journey of Discovery and Innovation | Infographics as Practical Tools and “Visual Legacies” | Digital Democratic Voices: Intersecting Student Research, Twitter, and Presidential Debates  | Any questions? Technology May Be One Answer in a Large-Lecture Classroom  | Academic Freedom in Peril  | What Do We Mean by “Radicalization”? | “Mobile-izing” Emergency Alerts: Improving Public Warning Messages Delivered over Mobile Devices  | Portraiture Visualizes Pollution and Precarity in Toxically Assaulted Communities | Making Oral Communication a Successful Part of the Common Core 
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