Student-led Initiative WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T) honored with prestigious NCAA Award for Diversity & Inclusion


WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T), a campus-wide initiative founded by SMC doctoral students Yannick Kluch, Chelsea Kaunert, and Christian Thompson,  has been honored with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association’s 2017 Award for Diversity and Inclusion.
Given that there are 1,121 NCAA member colleges and universities, this is an immense honor for BGSU and an excellent example of the leadership of SMC graduate students. WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T) is a campus-wide initiative that aims to promote social justice through the power of sport at BGSU. Various SMC faculty members have worked with and/or contributed to the initiative’s programming, including Drs. Lara Martin Lengel, Sandra Faulkner, Terry Rentner, and Lisa Hanasono.
“We are thrilled and humbled to receive this prestigious award for our work with WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T) at BGSU,” said Kluch, who is in his second year as the president of the initiative. “On behalf of WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T), I would like to thank the NCAA for this honor. Our work would not be possible without the hard work of our student and faculty leaders, the BGSU athletics staff, and our over 25 partners across the university. What unites us is a passion for social justice and sport, and I’m beyond happy to see this passion be rewarded and recognized on a national level.”
The award will bring national recognition to WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T), BGSU Athletics, and the university in general. Congratulations on this tremendous honor, WE ARE ONE TEAM (WA1T)!


Dhiman Chattopadhyay, a 3rd year Ph. D student, was selected as the recipient of Top Student Paper from International and Intercultural Communication Division. His Title of paper is Beautiful Forever: Positionality, motives, identity and otherization in cultural narratives– emerging discourses in online intercultural communication platform.

Zehui Dai, a 3rd year Ph. D student, was selected as the recipient of Top Student Paper with Chen Yang (SMC alumni who graduated from BGSU last year) the recipients of Top Student Paper from Visual Communication Division with Chen Yang (SMC alumni who graduated from BGSU last year). The title of paper is Feminist Civic Calling: A Visual Analysis of Chinese Feminist Activism on Weibo.


Dr. Laura Stafford, director of the Bowling Green State University School of Media and Communication was recognized the recipient of the Bernard J. Brommel Award for Outstanding Scholarship or Distinguished Service in Family Communication.

By any metric, Laura Stafford has been a highly-productive scholar, authoring approximately 70 publications [40 journal articles, three books (authored or edited), and multiple chapters and book reviews]. What sets her apart, however, is that her work consistently pushes the field of Communication in new directions; her work truly stands the test of time. Stafford’s research on relational maintenance as well as her research on distance and communication have influenced multiple generations of researchers, and her groundbreaking book (with C. Bayer) on parent-child communication, published in 1993, titled Interaction Between Parents and Children (Sage), was among the “first to offer an interdisciplinary integration of research on parent-child interaction.”

Dr. Stafford will be formally recognized at the award ceremony during the NCA 102nd Annual Convention in Philadelphia. The Awards Presentation follows the NCA Presidential Address on Saturday, November 12 that begins at 5:00 p.m. in Grand Salon E – Level 5 in the Marriott Downtown.

NFL players participated in the BGSU NFL Journalism and Radio Boot Camp

Thirteen NFL players participated in the BGSU NFL Journalism and Radio Boot Camp April 14-17. Faculty participants included Dr. Jim Foust, Dr. Terry Rentner and Kelly Taylor from the Department of Journalism and Public Relations; Dr. Lori Liggett and Stephen Merrill from the Department of Media Production and Studies; and Dr. Nancy Spencer from the Sport Management Department. The event is part of the NFL Player Engagement Program.

NFL Boot Camp 4/17/2016

Dr. Laura Stafford was recognized with the 2016 Faculty Senate Leadership as a Chair/School Director Award

Dr. Laura Stafford, director of the Bowling Green State University School of Media and Communication was recognized with the 2016 Faculty Senate Leadership as a Chair/School Director Award on April 14.

Laura-Stafford-BGPX8071Stafford, who received $1,000 and a commemorative plaque, has been instrumental in her two years as director, leading curricular revisions in the school’s three undergraduate departments with the goal of boosting enrollment and retaining majors.

She also has facilitated the creation of three new graduate certificate programs, an applied master’s degree in Media and Communication for adult learners, and a pathway for undergraduate students to matriculate smoothly into graduate courses as part of the 4+1 program.

As if Stafford’s professional accomplishments don’t stand out on their own, Dr. Alberto Gonzalez, professor and chair of the communication department, said her personality traits also make her a deserving recipient.

“The most remarkable qualities that Dr. Stafford brings are an abundance of optimism and realism,” said Gonzalez, who nominated Stafford for the award. “Her optimism fuels our forward progress while her realism guides the use of our time for maximum efficiency. She seems to have an innate balance between what we would like to get done and what we can get done.

“Dr. Stafford is always of good cheer through victories and setbacks. She is transparent in her decision-making, even-handed in balancing the interests of the three departments and always a fierce advocate for the instructional and research needs of students and faculty in SMC.”

Many faculty members cite Stafford’s calm and fair demeanor as well as her preparation and strong advocacy for the department’s programs as key to being a role model for teaching, research and service.

“Laura Stafford is a true professional in every way, but it is the personal care and attention she gives all of us that truly bonds us together as a department,” a contributor wrote in a letter composed by a selection committee.

Another nominator pointed out that Stafford’s leadership has been invaluable to the telecommunications department during the transformation of South Hall into a state-of-the-art media and communications center.

“I believe that Dr. Stafford’s leadership style embodies the core values at BGSU,” Gonzalez said. “She treats faculty with respect, she meets opportunities and challenges with creativity and innovation, and her energy, scholarly productivity and administrative attention to detail model her pursuit of excellence.”

Stafford arrived as a professor at BGSU in 2013 after stints at the University of Kentucky, where she was chair, and Ohio State University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 1985.

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