ACS’ Vanslette pens chapter in “Communication in the Classroom”

Sarah Vanslette, PhD, Associate Professor in Applied Communications Studies (ACS) has authored a chapter in the new book, “Communication in the Classroom: A Collection of G.I.F.T.S.” (Macmillan Learning, 2018).

“Communication in the Classroom” is a compilation of teaching activities for communication professors. Dr. VanSlette’s chapter discusses the activity involves having the students identify each step of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence in a clip of the TV show “Shark Tank,” and then assess the persuasive power of the entrepreneur’s pitch to investors based upon the strength of each step. Based upon their assessments of the persuasive appeal, students guess whether the entrepreneur received an offer from one of the show’s investors.

Dr. VanSlette teaches public relations courses (Intro to PR, PR Theory and Application, PR Case Studies, and PR Senior Capstone at the undergraduate level and PR Theory, Nonprofit PR, and Reputation Management, and Corporate Social Responsibility at the graduate level).

“The chapter was literally a learning activity I developed and used in my ACS 101 public speaking classroom,” she said“It worked so well and was so well-received by my students that I submitted it to a conference, where it was accepted and I presented it to other communication professors.

“Not only have I used the ‘Shark Tank’ exercise to facilitate discussion of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence and persuasive pitches in my own classes, now other SIUE ACS 101 teachers and other teachers all across the country can use my activity to add some fun to their own classrooms. It’s kind of exciting!” said VanSlette.

Dr. VanSlette has been focused on researching public relations while at SIUE. She adds, “My research interests vary, but all my research has focused on public relations, usually with a focus on messaging or rhetoric. My current research project is on startups and how they use Public Relations, which is linked to the ‘Shark Tank’ book chapter by my fascination with startups and entrepreneurship.

Some recent publications include articles in Communication Quarterly and The Review of Disability Studies, and book chapters in the edited volumes “Culture, Race, and Class-Based Perspectives in Public Relations” at Lexington, “The Handbook of Communication and Corporate Reputation” at Wiley-Blackwell,” and “The Plugged-in Professor at Oxford University Press.

Beyond publishing, Dr. VanSlette is invested in bringing her knowledge in PR, social media and strategic communications to her students here at SIUE. “I hope they leave with the ability to speak confidently, listen carefully, and always think critically.”

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