Three members of North Central's speech communication department-Mara Berkland, associate professor and chair of speech communication; Amy Buxbaum, assistant professor of speech communication; and John Stanley, assistant professor of speech communication, assistant director of forensics and director of individual events-gave separate presentations as part of a session titled "Bringing the Alien Home: Understanding the Communication Needs of the Undergraduate Millennials" at the annual Central States Communication Association Conference in Milwaukee April 9.
Berkland's presentation was titled "Creativity with Constraint: Guiding the Millennial to Assess, Make Decisions, and Take Risks"; Buxbaum's presentation was "Managing Millennials: Preparing the New Undergraduate to Communicate in the Workplace"; and Stanley's was titled "Discovering Aliens: Making Sense of Millennial Madness."
Following is a summary of their proposal for the session:
The newest generation of U.S. Americans, the Millennials, have been referred to as aliens (or worse), as their communication skills seem so far outside the norm of what is expected in educational and professional settings. The key to developing them as effective communicators depends on our ability to understand who they are and what has shaped them as they enter college. This panel will bring in assessments of and recommendations for working with these undergraduates in communication studies.