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Campus organization receives ‘Club of the Year’ recognition

November 8, 2007

In its third year as an organization on campus, the National Communication Association Student Club (NCASC) has won the award for “Club of the Year.”

The club was founded on campus in 2004 when Jennifer Willis-Rivera joined the UW-River Falls Communication Studies and Theatre Arts department. This year, the club was chosen as the ‘Club of the Year’ out of the other 27 NCASC clubs around the country.

“It used to be the Business Communication Organization, but when I got here it had been kind of defunct for a few years,” Willis-Rivera said. “I asked if we could broaden the focus [to the national organization].”

Willis-Rivera said that being part of a national club has its benefits. She said it makes it easier for clubs from different universities to connect with one another. It also can help students after they graduate from UWRF.

“It helps with the students who want to go to grad school because the professors all know the NCASC,” Willis-Rivera said.

To apply for the award the club submitted a portfolio that had to show commitment to campus, commitment to scholarship and a commitment to the organization as a whole. Willis-Rivera said that their winning the award may be credited to the UWRF chapter hosting the regional NCASC conference in Minneapolis last spring.

“We had nearly 40 students volunteer and help with registration and ushering,” Willis-Rivera said.

The student president of the organization, Jacquelyn Harvey, also received national recognition this year when the research paper she wrote was given third place in the NCASC top paper competition. The paper, which she researched and wrote for entry to the McNair Scholar program, was related to student relationships.

“It was a paper on love styles and how college students have different love styles,” Harvey said.

For the paper Harvey interviewed students on campus and had them take a love attitude scale test. She analyzed the data and wrote the paper on how college students’ different love styles relate to interpersonal relationships.

“I think it’s impressive that most of the people that submit papers are coming out of universities that have graduate programs,” Willis-Rivera said. “I think it’s pretty impressive that Jackie is competitive in a school where there isn’t a graduate program.”

She will present the paper to a panel during the National Communication Association convention Nov. 14 in Chicago.

“I’m so incredibly proud of what they have been able to accomplish in such a short time,” Willis-Rivera said.

The local UWRF chapter currently only has 15 members, but is looking to expand.

“We are trying to get out our name out there, but it’s off to a slow start,” Harvey said.

The club’s goal is to promote the study, teaching and application of the principles of communication through educational and social functions that are relevant to the membership of the club, according to the NCASC Web site.

“A lot of people think that this club is just about giving speeches. That’s not it at all,” Jacquelyn Harvey said. “I think it freaks a lot of kids out.”

The club meets 7 p.m. Wednesday’s in Kleinpell Fine Arts 119.