Tarleton Professor Participates in Communication Studies Symposium

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STEPHENVILLE — Tarleton State University Assistant Professor Tracey Holley was one of 18 communication studies faculty from across the country selected to participate in McGraw-Hill’s Basic Course in Communication Symposium.

Dr. Holley was in a group of experts who brainstormed ways to improve textbooks and digital offerings for basic speech courses. She has 37 years of experience teaching introductory speaking courses and has seen how textbooks evolve.

“It’s inspiring to be around my colleagues across the country and have a larger student-focused impact,” she said. “We discussed what we want for our future and current students and how digital offerings can affect assessment of core courses.”

The panel met for three days in Phoenix developing student profiles to better inform course development. As an example, Dr. Holley said, students who spend a great deal of time on a class but do not produce the desired grade have different needs than students who spend very little time on a class but get an excellent grade.

Dr. Holley earned her BA in English, her EdD from Tarleton and her master’s in speech communication from Texas State. Her academic interests focus on course redesign, communication pedagogy, public speaking, rhetoric and pop culture, and oral interpretation.

She is a member of the Popular Culture Association, Southern States Communication Association, and Texas Speech Communication Association.

“Dr. Holley brings her enthusiasm for speech communication to her own courses, and it’s exciting to have her knowledge shared on this national scale,” said Dr. Chris Gearhart, Communication Studies Department head.

Dr. Gearhart noted that, even with 30-plus years in higher education, Dr. Holley is still looking to improve, having recently completed ACUE coursework on best practices in education. “Just goes to show that the learning never stops,” he said.

Tarleton’s Department of Communication Studies has over 200 undergraduate and graduate students across six academic programs in Stephenville and Fort Worth. Classes are offered in journalism, broadcasting, social media, sports communication, public relations, travel and tourism, hospitality and digital video. The department strives to provide a hands-on education through real-world learning experiences with a focus on internships. www.tarleton.edu/communications.

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