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 SRU to Open Walwik Lectures with 'State of Free Expression' Forum 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


     SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University’s first Walwik Lectures, named in honor of Dr. Theodore Walwik, professor emeritus of communication at SRU, will offer public lectures and forums addressing “The State of Free Expression in the United States: 2005” on April 27.

     The day will see three guest speakers visiting communication classes with a public forum set for 7:30 p.m. in the Eisenberg Classroom Building Auditorium.

      The event was made possible through a philanthropic gift from Walwik, who taught communication at SRU from 1971 through 1997, including service as chair of the communication department.

            “The College of Business, Information and Social Sciences is very pleased that Dr. Walwik has elected to support and sponsor this exciting lecture series. His deep interest in furthering SRU’s communication program is truly appreciated,” said Dr. Bruce Russell, dean of the college. “Dr. Walwik led our communication department for a number of years, including those that allowed The Rocket, the weekly student newspaper, to grow and expand as a communication force on campus. His department leadership kept SRU among the best in the state and allowed for expansion into areas of electronic journalism built on a solid foundation. He taught “Communication Law” and undertook considerable research in first amendment rights. The important topic of ‘Free Expression’ will certainly provide areas of discussion that will be welcome across campus and across disciplines. Dr. Walwik is to be congratulated for helping keep this important topic at the forefront on our campus.”

     Speakers for the program will be:

      Dr. Susan Drucker, professor of journalism and mass media studies at Hofstra University where she teaches courses in communication law, communication theory and interpersonal communication. She is a practicing attorney specializing in communication and law, cross-cultural communication, and the relationship of communication technologies and public space. In addition, she is editor of “Free Speech Yearbook” and series as editor of Communication and Law for Hampton Press. She is the author of six books and numerous book chapters, including “Voices in the Street: Gender, Media and Public Space” and two editions of “Real Law @ Virtual Space: The Regulation of Cyberspace (1999, 2005)” with Gary Gumpert. She is a recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for distinguished scholarship in freedom of expression.

      Dr. Gary Gumpert, professor emeritus of communication arts and sciences at Queens College, City University of New York, is a partner in the consulting firm of Communication Landscapers. His work over the past 30 years has addressed the many nuances in the growing dependency upon mediated communication. He is president of the United States chapter of the International Institute of Communication and his publications include “Talking Tombstones and Tales of the Media Age” and three edited volumes of “Inter/Media: Interpersonal Communication in a Media Age,”  published by Oxford University Press. He too is a recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award.

      Dr. Sandra Sarkela, department chair and professor of communication in the department of English and communication at SUNY Potsdam, focuses her teaching and research on mass media and society, persuasion, political communication, rhetoric of social movements and voices of American women. She received her bachelor of arts degree in speech and theater from Augustana College and her master of arts and doctorate in communication studies from the University of Massachusetts. Her most recent publication is “From Megaphones to Microphones: Speeches of American Women, 1920-1960,” co-authored with Susan Mallon Ross and Margaret Lowe.                   



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