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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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April 19: Panel Discussion on Communication Strategies for Challenging Conversations

Event will be held in Centennial Student Union's Ostrander Auditorium.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 4-13-2017

Mankato, Minn. – The last of five panel discussions in a Minnesota State University, Mankato spring colloquium series on “American Politics & Our Democratic Principles” will be held Wednesday, April 19 and address “What Should I Say and How Should I Say It? Communication Strategies for Challenging Conversations.”

The event, free and open to the public, is from 1-2:15 p.m. Wednesday on campus in Centennial Student Union’s Ostrander Auditorium.

The event format includes a moderated panel discussion with an introduction, followed by speakers for five-eight minutes each, questions and open discussion for 20-30 minutes and closing remarks. All views are welcome. Deliberative discussions and light refreshments will follow each event. The series will be live-streamed.

Wednesday’s panelists are all faculty or staff members at Minnesota State Mankato.

Kristen Cvancara (associate professor, Department of Communication Studies) will open the panel by talking about challenging conversations in personal relationships. Briana Williamson (director of student success, Institutional Diversity) will then speak about interacting with students and helping them talk about personal traumas.

Sachi Sekimoto (associate professor, Department of Communication Studies) will shift the focus to intercultural issues and habituated scripts for conversations, including “Minnesota Nice.” Chris Brown (associate professor, Department of Communication Studies) will talk about managing conflict, fear and civility.

Renee Turgeon (assistant director, Women’s Center) will emphasize the need for empathy and active listening as well as personal accountability. Jennifer Veltsos (associate professor, Technical Communication Program, and director, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) believes good communication is the answer to most problems. She will be the moderator for the panel.

The complete schedule for Minnesota State Mankato’s spring 2017 colloquium series, “American Politics & Our Democratic Principles,” included the following events:

  • Tuesday, March 21, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, “Separation of Church & State: Constitutional Principles, Contemporary Issues”
  • Tuesday, March 28, 1-2:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, “Current Geopolitical Conflict Zones: Critical Issues for America”
  • Tuesday, April 4, 3:30-4:45 p.m., Morris Hall 102, “The Role of the Media in a Democratic Society”
  • Monday, April 10, 1-2:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, “Sanctuary Campus, Safe Spaces: What Can Our University Do?”
  • Wednesday, April 19, 1-2:15 p.m., Ostrander Auditorium, “What Should I Say & How Should I Say It? Communication Strategies for Challenging Conversations”

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,110 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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