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Katie Greenan seizes opportunity for spontaneous class discussion on current events

Katie Greenan, assistant professor of communications, recently held a discussion (available to watch here) on the Black Lives Matter movement with her COMM 311 students. The idea came about spontaneously during class, she said. Students were discussing writing topics for an upcoming blog assignment and one student pitched Black Lives Matter as a story idea.

“This prompted me to ask students if they’d like to have a formal class discussion about BLM and current events in the news,” Greenan said. “Every student jumped at the idea and expressed appreciation for having it, both before and after the discussion.”

Greenan believes in having discussions like this with her students because the feedback she has heard from them indicates that they feel they’re being left out of the conversation about the state of the country. “Students want to be heard and acknowledged, and they want to learn from each other, too,” she said. “It’s the elephant in the room. We can use recent and ongoing events as teaching and learning opportunities, and the first step is to have crucial conversations now.”

Greenan also is assisting with the Biden/Harris presidential campaign in the weeks prior to the November election by hosting nationwide training sessions for campaign volunteers. Greenan is a nationally recognized expert in human communication, broadcast journalism, digital multimedia production, education leadership, interviewing, qualitative research and public speaking.