Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Communications Studies faculty member Lisa Wallace pens ‘Amazing Journey’ textbook about cultural differences

Faculty member Lisa Wallace with her amazing journey of a textbook.

By public relations student writer Megan Valentine

OU-C associate professor of communication studies Lisa Wallace recently accomplished a major goal in her effort to offer a more appropriate text for her COMS 1100 students with the publishing of The Amazing Journey: Exploring the fundamentals of cultural differences.

Wallace spent around eight years compiling and creating the materials. While instructing the course, she realized that the majority of the textbooks used in the class were written for a more advanced level of coursework. To help fill in the gaps, each term Wallace provided students with a rough workbook that she copied and bound together.

“The text is based on the idea that achieving intercultural communication competency requires a personal ‘journey’ that begins with understanding our own cultural identity, recognizing the various other world views that exist, acknowledging the obstacles that we might encounter and eventually practicing our skills in various contexts,” says Wallace.

Keeping with this theme, one of the projects assigned in this particular course is modeled loosely after the reality television program “The Amazing Race,” in which contestants travel around the globe performing activities that are reflective of the various cultures they visit. Toward the end of the semester the class “travels” from continent to continent with the help of student presentations, speakers and activities.

Wallace’s text provides the basic information and research to meet course objectives, as well as activities that assist students with their “journeys.”

The foreword of the text is written by Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis, who speaks of his own journey, beginning with his days as a student at Ohio University and continuing with the university's commitment to issues of diversity today and tomorrow.

“He set the exact tone that I hoped to achieve with this text through his encouragement that students embrace this journey in their own lives,” says Wallace of his contribution.

According to Wallace, students’ feedback on the text has been very positive.

“My goal has always been to provide materials appropriate for a beginning level course, but challenging enough to spark a true reflective experience that leads students down the lifelong and very personal process of understanding self and others and adopting a tolerant worldview. It is my hope that this text assists in the beginning steps of that ‘amazing journey.’”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great work! So proud of our faculty like Dr. Lisa Wallace!! Congratulations on this work!