February 9, 2017


 Communication Leadership Lab Vision (Spring 2017)

We hope to offer what would be the only Kettering supported democracy hub” linked to the teaching, practice, and research of communication leadership west of Washington, DC, in Western Maryland and tristate region. Our region is the intersection of urban and rural cultures, as many students and employees who come to live, learn, and work in the area come from the DC-Baltimore corridor, the Tristate region, and beyond. Our region also faces many challenges that require communication leadership—on the environment, energy, and economic development, from fracking and wind-powered energy solutions to how to develop front streets and public canal and trail locations, to whether to support the medical marijuana industry and how to handle the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic, among other topics.

Our preliminary vision for a communication leadership lab is to facilitate opportunities for enabling our students and regional citizens to navigate the complexities and contradictions of our changing world by providing access to expert, educational, and technological resources that support communication leadership development. Our teaching, partnering, research, and grant-seeking efforts support FSU as a comprehensive regional institution in fulfilling its mission and the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s (MHEC’s) oral competency requirement. Competency development and communication leadership support will be evident through:

1. Practical communication leadership learning experiences in the form of mentoring, tutoring, and training for students and community members in subjects including public speaking, online conferencing, citizen videography, and democracy engagement techniques, including with student interns who act as communication leadership lab assistants;

2. Planning of online and face-to-face communication events, including dialogue and deliberation session, TEDx-like events, and other forms of organized communication leadership forum support for our network of campus and community partners;

3. Student-faculty-partner research, internship, and consulting collaborations in local, regional, and national contexts on timely communication leadership needs with the aim of creating democracy cooperatively and sustaining campus-community relationships.