What do you get mixing medicine, theater and communication?

Gretchen A. Case, M.A., Ph.D., B.A.

Gretchen A. Case, M.A., Ph.D., B.A., Medicine

Assistant Professor, Head of Theater Studies

Sydney Cheek-O’Donnell, Assistant Professor, Theater

Heather Canary Associate Professor, Communication, University of Utah

Heather Canary, Associate Professor, Communication

What can theater do? What do we need? What works? 
Part 1 of a 3-part conversation with U professors Gretchen Case (medicine), Heather Canary (communication) and Sydney Cheek O’Donnell (theater) highlighting their innovative proposal that uses theater, to develop and improve communication techniques for medical students.

“This is not a fix, to say that doctors are terrible at communicating, they’re already very good,” said Case. “Medical people care about this a great deal.”

Policy and Water Values with student editor at the Hinckley Journal of Politics

Matt Kirkegaard, Student editor of the Hinckley Journal of Politics

Matt Kirkegaard, student editor for the Hinckley Journal of Politics (LinkedIn pic)

Is the country moving in a good direction? Can global society improve? What is the cost of freedom? 
The Rostrum takes time between LNCO and lunch with Matt Kirkegaard, U senior, and Co-editor of the Hinckley Journal of Politics, the only undergraduate-run journal of politics in the nation @hinckleyinst.

The Innovation Doctor Helps Students Become Innovators

Chris Wasden, The Innovation Doctor, Executive Director of The Sorensen Center for Innovation and Discovery

The “Innovation Doctor,” is now in…

Chris Wasden is a bike-riding California native who lives and breathes innovation. Wasden is also Executive Director of the Sorensen Center for Innovation and Discovery—the U’s new idea incubator.

A decade of interest in applying digital technology to enhance health drives Wasden to create student challenges that realize new venture opportunities in “physical, mental, emotional and social health.”

Listen in, as Wasden shares a compelling vision for the future of innovation at the U.

Homecoming Conversation 2015, “Time, experience and joy”

Anne Cullimore Decker, Homecoming 2015

Recipient of the U’s highest award, the Honorary Doctorate, Anne Cullimore Decker.

We celebrate Homecoming 2015 with U arts alumni, Anne Cullimore Decker. Utah’s “grand dame of theater,” Anne Cullimore Decker, was recently awarded University of Utah’s highest award, the honorary doctorate.

This makes it an important year for this famed alumnus who has made huge contributions to the performing arts throughout her life and career as thespian and teacher. Anne was preparing for a trip to celebrate her 80th birthday in London with husband, Ashby and three sons.

“Our job in theater is to provoke people into looking at a fictitious character on stage, so they get a glimmer, or glimpse of themselves.”

Before the conversation had gone too far, Anne shared thoughts on the past and present that ended with an important suggestion for all students.

When asked about Decker’s achievements in the arts, graduate of the U’s Bachelor of Fine Arts, Actor Training Program, Stein Erickson said, “Anne is amazing. She is a steward of the arts and artists.”

Homecoming Conversation 2015

We got together with a few alumni to celebrate Homecoming 2015.

Distinguished alum, Larry Gluth, SVP of Habitat for Humanity (US and Canada) reflects on then and now. Larry described that leadership is about service and giving back, leadership values learned from his parents that Larry continues to rely on today.

“I’m fiercely independent. I had to work my way through school,” said Gluth.

Essentially, Larry’s job is to support hundreds of others, who support a growing network of affiliates and partners who help others build a roof over their heads. In a word, Habitat’s program is “holistic rather than incremental,” said Gluth. It’s about partnerships with families.

“My organization focuses on providing people with a decent and safe place to live.”

After a “brutal winter” at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota, Larry and a friend visited Park City, Utah. From a “very practical perspective,” they promptly decided University of Utah “sounded terrific.”

“We realized we could go to school, and ski in the same day,” said Gluth. “So Utah it was.”

Larry and son, Connor, at Utah vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor last fall.

Larry and son, Connor, at Utah vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor last fall.

Associate Professor, Communication, University of Utah

“You can’t look at women’s health without talking about feminism.”

Robin Jensen says, “You can’t look at women’s health without talking about feminism.”

Jensen is currently exploring the rhetorical history of women’s health, and how we define what it means to be fertile.  Jensen continues to take a serious look at the implications of reducing access to healthcare, opportunity, education and professional outlets for women.

Jensen is what you call a rhetor, the kind that wins high honors in communication study, like the Karl C. Wallace Memorial Award. Rhetor, by way of Greek and Latin, is a ‘big-brained’ way to say, she is an expert on issues related to rhetoric and health communication. She is award-winning author of the book Dirty Words, teacher and student of rhetoric.

“The question is, how do we talk about these things?” said Jensen.

Taking “Newspaper to news organization”

Katherine Ellis, Editor in Chief, Daily Utah Chronicle, University of Utah. Photo by Kiffer Creveling.

“From newspaper to news organization,” a few words with Katherine Ellis, Editor in Chief @TheChrony

Its no wonder Katherine found a niche at the Chronicle. She didn’t become an editor in the traditional way. She went from night owl to early bird. She has been a writer since her first word, and her love for the written word had her editing copy long before she got to the newsroom.

“Before I could even write, I felt like I was writing,” said Katherine. “I understood the concept, but I just didn’t know how, but that wasn’t going to stop me from pretending I could.”

Despite her quiet confidence, it was exciting to hear Katherine describe how Chronicle staff once out-scooped the pros. On the job for only a year, her vision for student news paints a bright future for those seeking real-world experience.

What are people to do about water in a rapidly changing environment?

“The biggest question is, what are people going to do?”

A new faculty research cluster at the U, Society Water and Climate (SWC), hunts for sustainable water solutions in a rapidly changing environment.

An intensely satisfying conversation with co-chairs of the U’s new research cluster, Society, Water and Climate (SWC), Andrea Brunelle (geography) and David Bowling (biology) shed light on the importance of societal response to environmental change.

Dave and Andrea are passionate about working across disciplines to make the U a “powerhouse” that will lead the world toward sustainable water solutions.

“We need to adapt to climate change as it happens,” said Bowling. “But the biggest question is what are people going to do?”