APU's 21st Annual Communication and Ethics Conference

by Kelly Fladager '08

The Department of Communication Studies hosted the 21st Annual David C. Bicker Communication and Ethics Conference on April 10. During this all-day event, students, faculty, and alumni gathered to hear from leading communication experts and to discuss issues in the field of communication.

Keynote speaker, Paul E. King from Texas Christian University, led a session on encouragement and feedback. He has done extensive studies on what on effective feedback looks like, while being a full time professor and author. According to King, “There are times that you have to speak up and give feedback; if not, you may have to pay a terrible price for not saying anything at all.”

“I really enjoyed King’s presentation because he gave several examples of what feedback can look like,” said Alex Pafuni, senior communication studies major. “He did this by telling stories, showing a recent speech done by Barak Obama, and playing a clip from the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.” 

The conference also included interactive sessions that allowed students and faculty to discuss the material. During the faculty and student panel, students took this opportunity to ask questions about how to integrate faith into daily communication and studies.

The afternoon faculty panel included Rodney Reynolds, Ph.D., professor of communication studies at APU, and Karen Nishie, professor of communication studies at Vanguard University. These two faculty members addressed issues surrounding communication in the classroom and how diversity plays a role.  “This university is unique because students are comfortable asking tough questions about faith and scholarship,” said King.

During the conference, Jim Willis, Ph.D., Department of Communication Studies chair, and visiting guest David C. Bicker, a former APU professor for whom the conference is named, awarded the David C. Bicker Distinguished Achievement Award to senior communications major Sarah Joe Clark.