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Faculty Publish on Gun Cultures

Dr. Sarah Blithe (Department of Communication Studies) and Dr. Jennifer Lanterman (Department of Criminal Justice) recently published: Camouflaged Collectives: Managing Stigma and Identity at Gun Events in Studies in Social Justice (vol. 11, issue 1).  This interdisciplinary work is an ethnography of observing different gun shows and events where gun owners gather to learn more about their culture.  The researchers conclude:  when participants in gun events attempt to subvert core stigma through everyday stigma management practices, they effectively facilitate the unfettered exchange of potentially dangerous goods,  promote the invisibility of oppressive structures, and normalize violence.

Congratulations on the publication and representing the School of Social Research and Justice Studies!

Communication Instructor Elected to State Legislature

Jill Tolles was recently elected to serve in the Nevada State Assembly representing District 25.  Tolles earned her BA and MA in the Communication Studies department at UNR, and has been teaching public speaking, small group communication, and argumentation and debate for the department.  In 2013, she also joined the faculty of the National Judicial College. Jill instructs students and judges to think critically, ask questions, listen, resolve conflict and collaborate to find solutions to challenging problems. This led her to open her own small business leading trainings and consulting with companies and individuals on effective communication strategies.  Congrats to Jill for taking her communication skills to the legislature!

Dr. Amy Pason Awarded Tenure

Dr. Amy Pason has recently been awarded tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor.  Dr. Pason’s research is based on the rhetoric of social movements and other forms of political advocacy, and she has an edited collection recently published by the University of Alabama Press titled: What Democracy Looks Like: The Rhetoric of Social Movements and Counterpublics (co-editors: Christina Foust and Kate Zittlow Rogness).  Included in the collection is Pason’s analysis of the Occupy Homes movement to save families from eviction during the mortgage crisis.  Dr. Pason teaches courses on Persuasion, Rhetoric of Dissent, Argumentation and Debate, and Introduction to Communication Research.

Interdisciplinary Research Published in Argumentation & Advocacy Journal

Dr. Amy Pason of the Department of Communication Studies has been collaborating with Dr. Timothy Griffin of the Department of Criminal Justice to look at issues related to expert knowledge influencing crime policy.  In many cases, the empirical research of criminal justice scholars is not included in state or federal legislative discussion on new crime bills or policy.  They have jointly published (with the aid of graduate student research assistants) two pieces related to this issue in their corresponding fields:

Pason, A., Griffin, T., & Kwiatkowski, M. (2017). Skylar’s Law: Memorial crime policy and mediating argument spheres.  Argumentation and Advocacy, 53(1), 23-40. doi: 10.1080/00028533.2016.1272897

Griffin, T., Pason, A., Wiecko, F., & Brace, B. (2016). Comparing criminologists’ views on crime and justice issues with those of the general public. Criminal Justice Policy Review. Advanced online publication. doi: 10.1177/0887403416638412

Dr. Amy Pason Presents on “Civil Discourse” and Free Speech for local organizations

With the hostile political climate of the 2016 Presidential election, many are wondering how we can engage with one another ethically and civilly across partisan divides.  Questions about free speech and what is protected under it have also been called into question post-election.  Dr. Amy Pason of the Communication Studies department has given multiple presentations to help students and local citizens answer some of these questions.

On February 15, 2017, Dr. Pason was part of a panel hosted by New Student Initiatives at UNR to discuss what freedom of speech means at a university question.  Along with panelists from the ACLU and local political organizations, Pason addressed questions about what First Amendment rights students have as well as discussion of what restrictions to speech are allowed.

On February 28, 2017, Dr. Pason was part of a panel sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Forum in Carson City to discuss “Finding Common Ground: Exercising Free Speech and Speaking Civilly Amidst Political Polarization.  Sierra Nevada Forum is a non-partisan group that sponsors monthly discussions on current event issues, and their mission is to provide “fact-based information” to assist citizens in making well-informed decisions on matters of community importance.  Dr. Pason presented on the barriers we have to wanting to engage with others who have different views from our own, as well as presenting strategies to initiate a dialogue with those we might disagree with–suggesting we should speak invitationally instead of looking to argue and win a debate.  Pason was joined by Dr. Katharine Schweitzer from the Department of Philosophy and Dr. Patrick File from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

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