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WT Communication Week Spotlights Alumna Eva Harder

Feb. 6, 2017

CONTACT:    Dr. Trudy Hanson, 806-651-2800, thanson@wtamu.edu


WT Communication Week Spotlights Alumna Eva Harder


CANYON, Texas—The West Texas A&M University Department of Communication and the Distinguished Lecture Series will welcome Eva Harder to the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Legacy Hall at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20 to share her story with the University community. Harder, a writer and editor for the nonprofit, America’s Promise Alliance, will talk about her work with children and youth and her career as a ghostwriter for op-eds and speeches.

Harder’s presentation is part of WT Communication Week, which runs Feb. 20-23 and includes a Whose LiEva Harderne Is It Anyway competition, WT Alumni Table Talk, a Story Slam and a “Project Runway” with a storybook character theme.

“I hope to hear many of Eva Harder's thoughts on the value of storytellers and how we can develop our skills to tell people's stories in new and interesting ways,” Callie Shipley, a member of the planning committee, said. “It's exciting to hear from someone who has graduated from WTAMU and gone on to have such an amazing career.”

Harder is a writer and editor at the nonprofit America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of children and youth. She researches and writes web stories about strategies proven to help young people succeed in life, edits blog posts written by young people themselves and occasionally ghostwrites op-eds and speeches for the organization’s leaders. Harder graduated summa cum laude in 2011 from WTAMU with a B.A in communication and a minor in English.  In 2015 she received her M.A. in international media, a joint degree from the School of Communication and the School of International Service at American University. Her work has been published in the Washington Post and D.C.’s leading NPR station, WAMU 88.5.

Before joining the team at America’s Promise, Harder was a junior associate at West Wing Writers, a speechwriting and strategy firm founded by President Bill Clinton’s former speechwriters. She didn’t get to meet the former president, but she did write speeches, op-eds, blogs, tweets and even a TED Talk for some of the biggest names in philanthropy, entertainment, business, government and nonprofit sectors.

On Monday, Feb. 20, planning committee member Tim Rivera will host “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” at 12:15 p.m. in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Recital Hall. It is an impromptu competition that pits various communication and mass communication majors against one another. The competition involves the creation of impromptu responses to a variety of prompts. Judges for the event are Paula Schlegel, instructor, and Johnny Story, broadcast engineer.

A group of WTAMU alumni will meet informally with students at the Alumni Table Talk Event at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the JBK Legends. During the Table Talk event, students will have the opportunity to visit with David Meraz, Street Automotive advertising director; Wilson Lemieux, director of Lemieux Company; Ryan Hazelwood, interim director of the Humane Society; Halei Story, assistant director of education for Family Support Services; Jill Whitfield, career consultant for the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University; and Shawn Boyd, office manager of the Kyle Center for Effective Preaching in Waco. Appetizers will be provided by the Department of Communication.

At 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, students will compete in a Story Slam in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Recital Hall with the opportunity to be named the BEST storyteller by judges, Dr. Tanner Robertson, College of Agriculture and Natural Science, Dr. Trudy Hanson, Department of Communication, and Dr. Pat Tyrer, Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages.

The ever-popular “Project Runway” returns on Thursday, Feb. 23 with six teams of students dressing up faculty members as selected storybook characters. As the faculty members promenade to music in the Branding Iron Theatre, a panel of judges will determine who wins the crystal pumpkin for best portrayal.

“I think this COMM Week will stand out because we have students on the committee that have viewed multiple COMM weeks, and we chose to make this one more student based and more active,” Shaina Dulakis, planning committee member, said. “We want to show off how incredible the students are in this department and how talented and fun we can be when it comes to celebrating ourselves.”

Members of the 2017 Communication Week planning committee are listed by hometown and major.

Archer City
Caleb Hubbard, graduate student in communication

Laura Dangerfield, graduate student in communication

Callie Shipley, broadcast journalism

Drew Stegall, speech performance

Alex Hernandez, corporate communication and advertising/public relations,

Kelsey Knight, corporate communication/broadcast journalism

Grand Prairie
Jackie Lopez, broadcast journalism

Kimberly Hancock, electronic media and advertising/public relations

Tim Rivera, general studies with an emphasis in electronic media

Shaina Dulakis, electronic media           

For information about any of the events or Eva Harder’s presentation, contact Dr. Trudy Hanson at 806-651-2800 or thanson@wtamu.edu.



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