Communication Studies Spring 2024 Alumni Newsletter


Communication Studies Launches Honor Society

On March 20th, Communication Studies launched the Iowa State chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association’s official honor society at four-year colleges and universities. Lambda Pi Eta seeks to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement in Communication Studies. Students selected for membership in this honor society are those who are recognized as some of the highest achieving majors in Communication Studies. Twelve students were inducted in our inaugural class: Emma Acela, Gemma Borer (Vice-President), Brooke Conover (President), Taylor Fishel, Ryleigh Hudspeth, Claire Maguire (Treasurer), Abby Mayo, Rory McDermott, Jamie Smith, Kynzie Steffens, Kya Stilwell and Kiley Trecker. Congratulations to these students for their academic excellence!

First Communication Studies Alumni Gathering

We are very excited to announce that for the first time ever, we are inviting all alumni of Communication Studies to gather together to reconnect with one another! The very first Communication Studies Alumni Social Gathering will be held on the Saturday of Homecoming weekend, the same day as ISU’s Homecoming football game: November 2, 2024. Our alumni gathering will be scheduled so that it does not conflict with the game – allowing you to attend both events. Time and location for our alumni social will be announced as the date draws closer. For now, save this date on your calendar. Plan to be back in Ames this Homecoming to reunite with other alumni who studied communication with you at ISU!

Alumni Award Recipients

Last fall, Communication Studies presented its first alumni award, the Communication Studies Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Young Alum. This award was presented to Brock Purdy for being only the fifth rookie quarterback in the history of the NFL, and the only one from Iowa State, to lead his team to the conference championship. This fall, at the LAS alumni award ceremony the Thursday of Homecoming week, we will present our Young Alum award to its second recipient; in addition, we will present our very first Distinguished Alumni Award. Which alums will receive these awards? Watch for the next issue of our alumni newsletter in the fall to find out all the details.

Alumni Memories and Student Feature

Allison Anderson

Allison graduated from Iowa State in Spring of 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. She currently serves as the Membership Specialist at Reiman Gardens here in Ames. Here is a class memory from her time with COMST!

“I cannot sing the praises of the Communication Studies program and instructors enough. Every Communication class I took at ISU has benefited me and helped me to get to where I am today. I have a few favorite memories regarding my Communication Studies classes. Here is my favorite humorous memory. For one class, our group needed to study the nonverbal messages of our peers in a public setting. We chose to carry a baby doll around inside Parks Library as we thought that would grab everyone’s attention. Did it ever. We took photos of each of us holding the doll and had to pretend it was real. The reactions from peers onlooking us randomly holding a baby doll in the middle of the library was hilarious to say the least! We learned (and laughed) a lot and ended up with quite the compelling project in the end.”

If you would like to share about your Communication Studies experience and what you have been up to since graduating submit it here!

COMST in the Classroom

The Communication Studies Program continues to utilize in class activities to foster an engaging learning environment. Last week the COMST 317: Small Group Communication class played a card game in class to help them see how language barriers and different cultural norms and expectations impact the implementation of diversity in small groups and teams.

Each Spring the Small Group Communication class, taught by Dr. Tye-Williams, does a series of different fundraisers for a variety of charities in the Story County area. The organizations they are working with this year are: Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, Food at First, Ames Animal Shelter and the Animal Rescue league. Last year they raised over $2,000 and hope to do it again this year!

Entrepreneurial Minor Adds Communication Studies Electives

Many of our alumni are entrepreneurs, so we thought this news would be of interest to you! Because communication skills are so critical in entrepreneurial endeavors, ISU’s entrepreneurship minor just added three Communication Studies classes as electives: Professional Communication, Conflict Management and Persuasion & Social Influence. Iowa State is recognized as a center of innovation and entrepreneurship, and Communication Studies is proud to be part of these entrepreneurial efforts.

Make a Gift to Make a Difference

Communication Studies will be part of Iowa State’s Forever True Day for the first time this spring! Let’s make a difference together for Communication Studies on Forever True Day. Help us achieve our Forever True Day challenge, issued to you by the longest-serving member of Communication Studies, Dr. Todd Jenks – who you alumni remember simply as “Jenks.” When 10 people make a gift to Communication Studies on Forever True Day, $1000 from Jenks will be unlocked for the Communication Studies Excellence Fund! Forever True Day happens from 12 noon April 3 through 12 noon April 4. This annual day of Cyclone giving brings Cyclones together for an impactful 24 hours of Cyclone Power! Cyclone Power shows up all over campus: BRAIN power, WILL power, HORSE power, SOLAR power and so many more SUPER powers. Let’s show our Cyclone GIVING power to make a difference for Communication Studies! Gifts of all sizes are welcome! Remember, all it takes is 10 people to make a gift to Communication Studies to unlock the $1000 challenge gift! Can’t wait to make your impact? Visit to make your gift early and show your Cyclone Power.