News & Updates

S T A G E D R E A D I N G | P L A Y W R I G H T S L A B Apocalypse now...or maybe later Written by Mercilee Jenkins

Friday, April 07, 2017

S T A G E D  R E A D I N G  |  P L A Y W R I G H T S  L A B 

Apocalypse now...or maybe later 



In the 21st Century, life is dangerous and dating is challenging for any age or sexual preference, especially in the Tenderloin of San Francisco, where rich and poor share close quarters and may have to save each other from disaster. 

Doors open at 6:45pm. Registration recommended. To register, visit the Reference Desk. 

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(415) 389-4292 x3 | MILLVALLEYLIBRARY.ORG   

In Memoriam

Thursday, January 05, 2017

It is with great regret that we announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Dr. Henry “Hank” McGuckin Jr. who passed away, surrounded by his family at home on December 17, 2016. Hank earned a Doctorate at Stanford University. He taught rhetorical communication at SFSU for 33 years. In addition to being a popular professor and a well-respected colleague, he was a committed activist who participated in the anti-war movement during the country’s involvement in the Vietnam War and the San Francisco State University Strike of 1969. For additional information, please refer to the obituary link from the Democratic Press. 

Dr. Mercilee Jenkins’ play, Winning, was selected to be included in The Best American Short Plays 2014-2015.

Friday, March 17, 2017

For more than 70 years, The Best American Short Plays has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, it has identified cutting-edge playwrights Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, and others who have gone on to establish award-winning careers. The Best American Short Plays 2014-2015 is the next installment from series editor William W. Demastes. This volume takes a look at the trinity Shakespeare coined as the lunatic, the lover, and the poet. The works in this volume explore whimsical, imaginative, humorous, and romantic themes. In his introduction, Demastes writes that what really hits home in Shakespeare's plays is how he uses his own seething brain to put things onstage that cool reason will never be able to comprehend. The wonderful short plays in this collection delve into the spectrum of emotions that bubble beneath cool reason and remind us about the some of the aspects that make life worth living for better or worse--the insanity, the beauty, the unbridled joy, and the mystery.

Production History: Winning was produced in San Francisco at Piano Fight in March 2016, as part of their SHORTLIVED theater competition.  It was a winner of the 20th Annual Actors Theatre 10-Minute Play Contest and produced at Center Street Theater, Santa Cruz at the 8 Tens @ 8 Festival, January-February, 2015. Winning was also selected to participate in the 4th Annual Play Contest and Festival sponsored by Redwood Writers and produced at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa, CA in May 2014.  It was originally presented as a staged reading in February 2012 by the Playwrights’ Lab in association with the Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley, CA.

Synopsis Winning: June and Leslie are together watching the academy awards and engaging in their customary sarcastic banter. There’s a party going on at June’s house and she wants to win the Oscar pool while she still can and Leslie just wants her to keep on living.

Western States Communication Association (WSCA) 2017 annual convention wrap-up!

Monday, March 27, 2017

This year the Western States Communication Association (WSCA) annual convention was held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Read below to hear about the experiences of our faculty members and lecturer's who attended the conference.

Dr. Amy Kilgard – A tenured faculty member and advisor for the Communication Studies Department recently attended the WSCA conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has attended this conference since 2004. She was part of a performance that dealt with feminist interventions in masculinist films. An example of that is the new “Ghostbusters” and how the main characters are all females. Dr. Kilgard explored 4 movies: Fight Club, The Godfather, Full Metal Jacket, and Dirty Harry.  In her performance on these films, her group did a panel about dominant masculine discourse on film and they wanted to interrupt that idea and do a feminist remake of masculine films. Fight Club was converted to Fight “Book” Club, The Godfather turned into The “Godmother”, Full Metal Jacket transpired into “Full Figured Jacket” and finally Dirty Harry was turned into Dirty Harriet. She enjoyed her experience at WSCA 2017. And expect to see her at WSCA 2018 in Santa Clara!


Dr. Suzanne Pullen – First off, congratulations to Suzanne's interest group Top Debut/Top Student/Top paper for winning the Top Debut paper award! Dr. Pullen, a lecturer and the current Chair of the Performance Studies Interest Group, has been attending WSCA since 2008. When asked about her experience at WSCA, Suzanne mentioned one positive was seeing old friends, while one negative was not being able to see all the performance panels she wanted to because being Chair of the Performance Studies Interest Group came first. She did, however, manage to see two performance panels: “Indigenous Digital Story Telling” and “Queer Masculinities.”  Next year WSCA will be held at Santa Clara,CA and Suzanne hopes for more students to participate and explore their horizons!


Nicholas Chivers— A Communication Studies lecturer has been attending WSCA since 2013 and he says every year that he attends, he always feels "reinvigorated, energized and repassionate.” WSCA is a smaller conference and more intimate than most. He likes the fact that WSCA is more about “what WE do” rather than “what I do”. Prof. Chivers is interested in possibly taking on a leadership role in the interest group at a community college level. Not this year he said but is definitely exploring and gathering more data and content to pursue the leadership role. He is looking forward to attending WSCA in the upcoming years because it gives him a renewed passion in the communication discipline and encourages those who are interested to attend WSCA in Santa Clara in 2018!

Welcome to our New Director of Forensics!

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Communication Studies department has hired Theodore (Teddy) Albiniak to be its new Director of Forensics, starting in the 2015-2016 academic year. Teddy, who completed the SFSU MA in Communication Studies in 2007, joins us from the PhD program in Communication Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. A nationally ranked competitor himself, Teddy has worked with some of the top forensics programs in the country and looks forward to “coming back” to SFSU this year and working with our own growing and nationally competitive speech and debate team. The Forensics team has already started work for the year’s competitions and will host the annual Golden Gator Invitational tournament in speech and debate at the end of September.

Professor Joe Tuman Invited to Speak at a NATO Conference about Terrorism and Media in Ankara, Turkey

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Professor Joseph Tuman has been invited to make two lectures to a special NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) conference on Terrorism and Media, to be held in Ankara, Turkey, December 7-11th. Joe will speak about

* News, Newsworthiness and Terrorism: How Terrorists/Terror Groups Manipulate News Media Coverage And Are In Turn Manipulated by News Media; and
* Roles, Responsibilities and Realities: News Coverage When Nation States Sponsor or Engage in Terrorism

Then, in January of 2016, Professor Tuman will be the featured speaker at the Linguistic Society of America conference in Washington D.C., where he will address “Balancing Competing Interests: Combatting Hate and Hate Speech while preserving Freedom of Expression and Political Speech.”

Lindsey Ayotte awarded Coach of the Year by the Northern California Forensic's Association (NCFA)!!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Lecturer and Assistant Director of Forensics Lindsey Ayotte was recognized by the Northern California Forensic's Association (NCFA) as the Coach of the Year! Candidates were highly competitive and each displayed exceptional skills in competitive speech instruction. Lindsey, however, was recognized for her deep commitment to Forensics education and the sacrifices needed for her student success.

Lindsey excels equally at perfecting national caliber speeches as she does at introducing and motivating new students. Her attention to detail and balancing of multiple responsibilities is just another hallmark of her skill base. One recommender wrote, "She not only guides each of us to flourish, grow, and preserve through the stressful times but bestows us with her wealth of knowledge."

From all of us involved in Forensics and the entire Communication Studies Department - Congratulations, Lindsey!!

Curriculum Redesign in the Works

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Communication Studies department has been awarded a Teagle Foundation grant to work on redesigning the curriculum for the undergraduate Communication Studies major. Under the leadership of Drs. Mindi Golden, Javon Johnson and Amy Kilgard, the department will focus on updating course offerings, ease pathways to graduation, and update advising materials for our undergraduate majors and minors.

Communication Studies has Relocated

Friday, August 28, 2015

After many years in HUM 282, the Communication Studies department offices havemoved! Please come to visit us in HUM 289, where you can always find Donna Smith, the department’s Academic Office Coordinator and two new staff members: Heidi Ng and Stacie Guam. We are located directly across from HUM 290, which is the new Performance and Forensics space.