Faculty News

Faculty, Instuctors, and Staff In the News


Unveiling the Hugh Downs Collection

Hugh Downs Collection memoribiliaThe Hugh Downs School of Human Communication proudly sponsored the unveiling of the Hugh Downs Collection on December 1, 2014.


Hugh Downs is one of the most familiar American figures in the history of television and still holds the Guinness world record for the most hours of network airtime in the 20th century (10,637 hours from 1951-1999).


Mr. Downs chose Arizona State University to house more than 650 of his personal and professional items – from lifetime achievement awards and Emmys to his mother’s poetry book.


Hugh and Ruth Downs admiring collection displayThe Hugh Downs Collection is intended to promote the pursuit of undergraduate and graduate studies related to the field of human communication, promote constructive dialogue and scholarly research related to the life and career of the school’s distinguished namesake, and generally promote the effective communication between individuals in all aspects of life.


Hugh and Ruth Downs celebrated the unveiling of the collection with guests such as Lattie Coor, president of ASU when the school was named, and Bill Shover, formerly of the Arizona Republic, who asked Downs if he would lend his name to the school.


Former President Lattie Coor, Director Linda Lederman, and Hugh DownsFormer President Lattie Coor stated that “When the program of communication at ASU was clearly building the reputation, the capacity, and the kind of plan to become a school, we knew we wanted to name the school for someone who represented in every respect the qualities of human communication and Hugh Downs was the name by a country mile.”


“I was overwhelmed with the honor of having a school named after me and I have had so much satisfaction and gratification being connected with ASU in this way. I didn’t realize until then that I had been devoted to communication of some sort for quite a while in broadcasting because if you don’t make yourself clear, then you are not communicating,” said Hugh Downs.


Downs stated that “one of the most gratifying experiences I was involved in a few years ago was a graduate level course that had started at 7:00 p.m. and ended about 1:30 a.m. because the students had the best questions I have ever been asked.”


During a question and answer session at the unveiling, a graduating Communication major asked Downs, “What type of communication skill advanced you on the journey of all the successes you have had? What piece of advice do you have to move forward in life?”


Downs answered, “All life is plan B. Plan A just doesn’t always count. So be flexible when you go into something in case it doesn’t pan out.” “


Hugh Downs with Emmy awardsHugh Downs is an exemplar of the ways in which people who really understand communication create meaningful lives and careers for themselves,” said Linda Lederman, director of the school.


“Hugh understands communication in all aspects of life as a scientist, broadcaster and musician. In this way, he reflects the school’s vision to explore communication in everyday life, from families to work and from religion to culture,” Lederman said.


Hugh Downs celebrates unveiling of memorabilia collection ASU News 12/19/2014

Hugh Downs Collection finds home at ASU ASUNews 12/12/2013


Lattie Coor speaking at the Hugh Downs Collection unveiling President's Professor Jess Alberts with Ruth and Hugh Downs celloist performing at the Collection unveiling


NCA 2014 Congratulations to Faculty and Graduate Students
Faculty and graduate students with the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication received top paper awards and recognitions at the National Communication Association's 100th annual convention in Chicago, Illinois November 20-23. This year's theme was "The Presence of our Past(s)".


The Hugh Downs School was well-representted with over nineteen faculty and instructors and twenty-four doctoral students presenting papers and/or presentations and participating in panels at the national convention.

View a complete listing of all papers and presentations.


Intercultural Dialogue Workshop

Hugh Downs School doctoral students facilitated a structured dialogue workshop with 30 ASU graduate students, undergraduate students, and alumni. Participants examined "challenges in building an inclusive and supportive climate for intercultural dialogue at ASU," and they proposed "ways to foster a learning community at ASU that values and practices intercultural dialogue."


The creative ideas generated during the workshop offered possibilities for meaningful steps to be taken for improving the climate for dialogue at ASU, both at the local unit level and university-wide. The results from the workshop will be presented to various administrative and academic units at ASU.

Intercultural Dialogue Workshop participants


The facilitation team consisted of members of the COM 691 seminar under the guidance of Professor Broome. The team has been reading and discussing articles about facilitation and dialogue since the beginning of the semester, and they experienced their own day-long facilitated session in September. They now have designed, organized, and facilitated a workshop of their own, with their instructor serving as advisor. The members of the facilitation team were: Qingqing Hu, Anna Marie Campbell, Peng Pan, Yashu Chen, Tara Suwinyattichaiporn, Chiao Chen, Luke Brenneman, Rosalie Fisher, Melissa Framer, Bhoomika Bhagchandani, Versha Anderson, Gladys Muasya, Donna Suo. 


Members of this group will also facilitate a workshop at WSCA in Spokane in February. The Intercultural Dialogue Workshop was sponsored by the Hugh Downs School's Transformation Project


HDSHC Professor Keynote Speaker at International Education Conference

Dr. Eric MargolisEric Margolis, associate professor with the Hugh Downs School, gave the keynote speech “Universities Changing: Research and Reflection” on the history of higher education at The International Conference on Quality in Higher Education Curriculum: Standards, Strategies, Approaches held in Isfahan, Iran, October 22-23, 1914. This represented an important step as Iran reaches out to the global academic community. The conference included scholars from Japan, Australia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, and South Africa among others.


Margolis’s work on higher education is internationally known. “The Department is Very Male, Very White, Very Old, and Very Conservative”: The Functioning of the Hidden Curriculum in Graduate Sociology Departments” (with Mary Romero) appeared in The Harvard Educational Review, and has been included in 2 anthologies. The Hidden Curriculum in Higher Education, was published in 2001 and reprinted in traditional Chinese characters (Taiwan, 2004); reprinted again in simplified Chinese characters (Shanghai, 2006). The Hidden Curriculum anthology is currently being translated into Farsi and Arabic.


Hugh Downs School Professor Shares Leadership Skills

Professor Sarah Tracy conducted a three-day leadership workshop entitled, “Being a Leader, an OPPT-in Approach to Pedagogy”.


The workshop was about being a leader instead of just learning about what leaders do. Through workshop, group activities and sharing, participants were provided access for leading and creating a future that was not going to happen anyway—for themselves, for those participants lead, and for those who grant leadership. While typical leadership classes leave participants knowing about leadership and other leaders, this workshop aimed to leave participants being leaders.


Leadership Workshop participantsWorkshop participants included a mixture of twenty-eight people - doctoral students and faculty from the Hugh Downs School as well as faculty from across ASU and community contributors. The workshop consisted of interactive workshop, group exercises, journaling, and designing a leadership project.


The workshop was part of the Hugh Downs School Conflict, Transformation, and Wellness Initiative for fall 2014.


Hugh Downs School Professor on NPR

Dr. Sarah Tracy was interviewed by NPR as part of their 'Men in America' special series, More Men Put Ambitions On Back Burner For Their Partners' Careers. Dr. Tracy, professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, studies work-life issues and family communication and is the director of the Project for Wellness and Work-Life (PWWL). Read the full article or listen to the KJZZ story.


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