Kansas State University


Department of Communication Studies

Alumni Profile: Developing Communication Studies

 The Communication Studies program at K-State prepares graduate students for highly successful careers. We excel in preparing students for careers in research and teaching. Several graduates of the program have contributed greatly to the communication field. Below are profiles of three recent K-State alums who are exemplars of the Communication Studies graduate program.

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K-State 2025: Planning our Preferred Future

An advisory counsel for the Department of Communication Studies was convened in fall 2013. A group of alums, industry representatives and faculty discussed the newly drafted 2025 strategic plan.

From the meeting, these themes emerged:

  • Adapt curriculum and skill-sets to emerging careers
  • Connect students to alumni for internship and job opportunities
  • Create and promote opportunities for alums and industry to invest in significant departmental projects

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Forensics, Debate, Mock Trial Team Summaries

The 2014 KSU Mock Trial Team
At the regional qualifier, the varsity team took second and advanced to
championship series. At the championship series, the team placed sixth and
earned the first bid for K-State to participate at the AMTA National Championship.
Of the 500 mock trial teams across the country, only 48 advance to this elite stage.
First year competitor Hale Weirick won a best witness award.

To better prepare students to use their communication skills beyond college, the Department of Communication Studies offers a wide array of learning experiences that occur outside the formal classroom that include internships, research projects and study abroad programs. Additionally, students can participate in one of the three nationally ranked academic competition teams housed by the Communication Studies Department. The K-State Debate, Forensics and Mock Trial teams all earned national acclaim for outstanding performances during the 2013-2014 season.

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Department of Communication Studies Circa 2012

For 150 years, a version of Speech/Speech Communication/Communication Studies has been taught and researched at Kansas State University. This past June, we enhanced that tradition by becoming an independent Department of Communication Studies.

One reason for this upgrade is growth. Today, we are the academic home to more than 125 undergraduate and graduate students and 12 full-time faculty members…

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2013 Senior Colloquium Thesis Projects

Undergraduate seniors in communication studies researched, wrote and presented an extensive detailed thesis for Senior Colloquium taught by Dr. LeAnn Brazeal and Amanda Bouc. Over thirty seniors, listed below, presented their thesis for a panel of Communication Studies professors.

Hayley Beason, Natalie Wells and Kelsey Yadon
Communication Studies students Hayley Beason, Natalie Wells and Kelsey Yadon preparing to present their theses.

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2013 Debate Season Wrap Up

-By Joe Koehle

The 2012-13 debate season was filled with many successes for the Wildcats. The team is led by a new coaching staff comprised of head coach Joe Koehle and assistant coach Martin Osborn.  Both new coaches bring big time experience to Manhattan, having previously coached at the University of Kansas and Wake Forest, two of the most storied programs in college debate.


The 2011 Debate Team

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No Objections to the Developing KSU Mock Trial Team

“I have a question,” interjects an attorney before the judge issues a ruling on the objection, “can we exclude expert witnesses from sequestration under rule 615 by using rule 703 governing expert testimony?” The judge pauses reflectively at the question posed by the attorney, a faint glimmer of pride shining his eyes. The attorney, a 19 year old communication studies major from Kansas State University, the judge an attorney from Kansas City and one of the coaches for the Kansas State University college mock trial team.


The 2013 Varsity and Junior Varsity Mock Trial Teams

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Finding your passion, finding your voice

By Megan Molitor

Boldly stating an opinion in a courtroom of legal professionals may sound intimidating, but Brooke Larson was doing exactly that when she was just a sophomore at Kansas State University — and never looked back.

Larson earned a degree in communication studies with an emphasis in legal communication in December 2011; however, her K-State education began with a little experimentation. After exploring as an open option major, she tried out pre-dental, finance, marketing and public relations before finding a home her junior year in the department of communication studies.

Larson became interested in legal communication after her sophomore year, when she began volunteering for the Sunflower Court Appointed Special Advocate Project Inc. in Manhattan, known as Sunflower CASA. CASA is a national program, and the local branch serves children in Riley, Clay and Pottawatomie counties.


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