Graphic design students and faculty (L-R) Timothy Varela, Dale Landry, David Deal, Rodrigo Segura, Alessandra Hoskins, Brad Hamann, Hannah Spearman and Ean Guthals at the closing reception on Friday of the "Graphic Design Now" exhibit in Runnels Gallery of Golden Library. (photo by Wendel Sloan)
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The Monday Memo is a weekly electronic newsletter published for the faculty and staff of Eastern New Mexico University. The editor is Wendel Sloan. Email him at email@example.com.
COMM 310 is a Popular Course at ENMU
story and photos by Desiree M. Cooper
“It is easy to assume that popular culture is mere entertainment. This class shows the political, social, and cultural consequences of popular culture.”- Dr. Roger Gatchet
|Dr. Roger Gatchet in his office|
With two sections being taught at capacity this spring, Dr. Roger Gatchet’s COMM 310 “Popular Culture” course at Eastern New Mexico University is living up to its name.
“COMM 310 is the most popular upper-division communication elective at ENMU,” Dr. Gatchet said.
Each section holds 40 students and is known to have a sizeable waitlist. The course has been available at ENMU since 2003.
Dr. Gatchet, who joined ENMU’s faculty in fall 2011, noticed COMM 310 when he was interviewing for the job. Since no other professor had claimed the course, he was happy to take it.
“It is my dream class. My area of specialty is in rhetoric and popular culture,” Dr. Gatchet said.
The course, usually offered in the spring and summer, fulfills the general education global/diversity requirement and is divided into four units focusing on different aspects of popular culture.
The first unit is based on theoretical and methodological foundations. The second unit applies these tools to case studies. The third is about consumption and the fourth contemplates the future of rhetoric in popular culture.
|Dr. Gatchet's Collection of Popular Culture Artifacts|
According to Dr. Gatchet, the first unit poses the largest challenge to students because “they are encountering ideas they may have never studied before.”
However, the Justified fan says students benefit from the challenge because “it gives them the tools to analyze popular culture.”
To help students understand the theories presented in unit one, Dr. Gatchet talks about relatable real-life examples, like the latest Katy Perry single.
The biggest challenge Dr. Gatchet finds in teaching the course online this semester is figuring out ways to simulate an in-class discussion in an online format.
"Students have a lot to say about what they're learning, and the challenge for me is to find ways to simulate the vibrant discussions that take place in an in-person class in an online environment," he said.
"Another unique aspect of the course is the bricolage, or mix-CD assignment, which allows students to create a unique collection of songs that capture their personalities."
|More popular culture artifacts in Dr. Gatchet's office|
Dr. Gatchet, who has a master’s and Ph.D. in communication studies with emphases in rhetoric and language from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), lists unit three as his student’s favorite section.
He picked out the text used in the unit, Point of Purchase: How Shopping Changed American Culture by Sharon Zukin, while he was a teaching assistant at UT Austin.
“I really like the book and it has held up well,” he explained. “It shows how being a ‘shopper’ is a central identity we claim and traces the historical development of consumption.”
Dr. Gatchet, who also teaches COMM 498 Senior Seminar and COMM 513 Media Criticism, said Barry Brummett’s Rhetoric in Popular Culture was an easy choice for units one and two because “it is one of the most well-known and respected texts on popular culture.”
The professor, whose favorite popular culture artifacts include The Walking Dead and blues music, says the one word he’d use to describe COMM 310 is “‘insightful,’ because the goal of the course is to get students to think of the important role that popular culture plays in our lives."
He continued, “It is easy to assume that popular culture is mere entertainment. This class shows the political, social, and cultural consequences of popular culture.”
ENMU Welcomes Back Master Teacher
by Desiree M. Cooper
"The ENMU students are a tremendous help. They interact and work with the CDC students and you can see they enjoy it." – Sharon Goins
Sharon Goins is a familiar face at Eastern New Mexico University. The new master teacher at the Child Development Center (CDC) has held many positions here.
Back then, there was only one graduation a year. It was in the spring."
Mrs. Goins was the secretary to the dean of the College of Education before deciding to be a full-time student. Soon after she earned her bachelor of science in education with an emphasis in special education.
After working at Clovis Municipal Schools for eleven years, the master teacher went to Lake Worth, Texas, to teach English for four years.
"It is a cute little town outside of Ft. Worth," she says.
When she returned from Texas, she went back to work for Clovis Municipal Schools. The mother of four taught at Clovis Municipal Schools for a total of 17 years. Over the course of her 21 years in teaching, she supervised classes from preschool to middle school grade levels.
Mrs. Goins returned to ENMU on Feb. 10 to become a master teacher at the CDC. Her job includes teaching and supervising students ages 4 and 5. She also helps look after the ENMU student workers.
"I enjoy the interaction with the kids and students," she says of her favorite part of the job. "The ENMU students are a tremendous help. They interact and work with the CDC students and you can see they enjoy it."
Mrs. Goins was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Maryland. She attended the same high school as Muppets creator Jim Henson.
She has one brother who is an accountant for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Maryland.
|Sharon on campus (photo by Desiree M. Cooper)|
Her mother was a homemaker and her father was an electrical engineer for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He repaired satellites that were used in space.
Mrs. Goins fondly recalls a trip that her family got to take thanks to her father's job, which required a lot of traveling.
"We went to Moses Lake in Washington and I got to get out of school for a month on the condition that I did a report on every state we went through," she says.
"I saw a lot of things I had never seen. We went through a lot of states. That was my first time in New Mexico. I said, 'I've got to live out here because it is so warm,'" Mrs. Goins explains.
The graduate student, who is graduating with a master's on March 1 from Concordia University in Portland, Ore., has one daughter, Kim Helfin, and three sons, Brian, Jason, and Justin Goins.
Mrs. Helfin and her husband own the Dawg House in Portales, while her oldest son is a math teacher in Texas and her two other sons are Frito-Lay route drivers.
Mrs. Goins, who loves cake decorating, created the cakes for each of her children's weddings.
"After you see your masterpiece, it is kind of a cool feeling," she says of her hobby.
Mrs. Goins' husband, John, is an electrician at ENMU.
"Harvest Messengers" Gospel Group: (L-R) Daris Hay, John Goins, Cheryl Johnson, Sharon Goins
The grandmother of eight's ultimate career goal is to obtain her doctorate and be a college professor in education. Her life goal is to travel the country with her gospel singing group, "Harvest Messsengers" – which includes her husband and two other area families.
Until then, Mrs. Goins is enjoying ENMU.
She says, "ENMU is a good place to work. It's got a lot to offer."
|The extended Goins family|
|Student Affairs Etiquette Dinner
(photos by Jerrid Williams)
|Senior Portfolio Presenters
(photos by Brad Hamann)
Brad Hamann posted these photos on Facebook of (top photo) Scott Kendall and (bottom photo) David Deal presenting tips to his students on their senior portfolios.
|Lovers for Learning
(photos by Dan Dozier)
Lovers for Learning was a fun night for ENMU women and their guests on Saturday at The Vines in Portales.
ENMU employees Geni Flores, Gene Bundy and Wendel Sloan have been selected as Roosevelt County voting delegates to attend the Democratic State Convention in Albuquerque on Saturday, March 8.