Comm 681 Digital Portfolio



Tanisha Walker

Phone: 704-439-6398


Master of Arts in Communication

Graduation: May 6, 2017


As I reflect on my years within Queens Communication Master’s program, I am amazed at how much I’ve learned within a short timeframe.  When I started this program, I was excited yet nervous on how well I would perform since I didn’t come from a communication background.  Yet, I understood how critical communication played in every aspect of my life. 

 From my work to home life, learning how to effectively communicate is key to how well I contribute in life.  For example, when I originally started this journey a couple of years ago, I self-published an inspirational book, planned to retire from corporate world to become a full-time author, and dealt with the loss of a loved one.  I quickly realized I was not prepared for any of those life events and found myself struggling to effectively deal with them. 

 Yet, this curriculum taught me through various theories how to identify and apply communication theories to everyday life.  For example, I learned through Uses and Gratification theory to access the “why” people do what they do.  During my time of grief, I could identify some relatives used social media to express anguish and hurt because that forum was more comfortable instead of FtF interaction.  Prior, I never understood why people would put obituaries and death announcements on Facebook.  I even thought it was tasteless and disrespectful.  However, this class taught me social media is another platform, just like the newspaper, used to communicate and inform. 

 Kenneth Burke’s “Equipment for Living” theory assumes the audience may find meaning to help obtain meaning or answers to similar life situations.   It seeks to promote and protect the “good” of continued learning.    What I enjoy most about Burke’s theory is the fact it does not assume common sense is required for continued learning.  The text mentions the joy of our responsibility is to take up the action of learning with the mantra that the loss of common sense is good (Arnett et al., 2009).  This theory sums up what this Master’s program means to me, an opportunity to disavow what I previously learned, become a sponge, and soak up new knowledge.   By becoming open to new ways to communicate, I learned how to successful navigate and resolve conflict on several work projects. 

 During this digital portfolio, I plan to use the digital portfolio template provided to creatively display how I could apply and articulate the following.  Please click on each link to hear preview of each literacy: 

·   Digital and Media Literacy: Motives Behind Texting

·  Prelude to Theoretical literacy:

·   Theoretical literacy: comm-616-project-paper

·   Research Literacy: Impact of Merger/Acquisition Communication on Employees: A Human Relation Perspective

·   Writing Literacy: Vlog Inarticulate

·   Ethical consideration

·   Global awareness

·   Intregity and Content: Organizational Identity and Brand

 The online program challenged and stretched me by exposing me to new communication platforms I never used before.  For example, I never used Twitter and found this platform to be fun, engaging, and informational for myself and others.  In addition, I never created a You-tube channel nor podcasts until several classes required a digital display of understanding several theories and how they relate to life.  Although each experience was unique, I didn’t gravitate towards them easily since it wasn’t familiar to me.  It took lots of late nights trying to figure out how to make each forum work to the best of my ability within a short timeframe.  Yet, I’m grateful for each experience because I can use them in every facet of my life going forward.

Master’s Coursework:

09-10 Fall Term- Comm 602 G 001 Research Proseminar-Dr. Kimberly Weller

09-10 Sum Term-Comm 626 G 001 Best Practices in Strategic Communication-Dr. Leanne Pupchek

10-11 Sprg Term-Comm 643 G H01 Crafting the Message-Dr. Leanne Pupchek

13-14 Sum Term-Comm 601 G W07 Communication Fluency-Dr. Curt Gilstap

13-14 Sum Term-Comm 610 G W07 The Social Creation of Organizing-Dr. Elizabeth Stephens

14-15 Fall Term-Comm 613 G W07 Constructing Messages & Audiences-Dr. John A. McArthur

14-15 Fall Term-Comm 616 G W07 Communicating Mindfully-Dr. Leanne Pupchek

14-15 Sprg Term-Comm 658 G W07 Creativity and Networks-Dr. Stavoula Kalogeras

14-15 Sprg Term-Comm 655G W07 Mediated Self & Changing Relationship-Dr. Stavoula Kalogeras

14-15 Sum Term-Comm 629 G W07 Leadership, Empowerment & Management of Meaning-Dr. Zachary White

14-15 Sum TermComm 664 G W04 Organizational Identity & Brand-Dr. Renee Cowan

16-17 Fall Term Comm 680 W 15      Expanding Communication Boundaries -Dr. Renee Cowan

16-17 Fall Term Comm 681 W 15      Launching Passion into Practice-Dr. Renee Cowan


I’m grateful for the opportunity to attend Queens University Master of Arts Communication program.  Although I have come from a Criminal Justice background, worked for an insurance company as a Treasury Analyst for over 10 years, communication is crucial in everyday life.  Specifically, understanding the history behind how and why we communicate helps produce effective communication.  I’ve enjoyed learning a tremendous amount and appreciate all my professors for their guidance and assistance in helping me get to this point.  Although I’ve faced several challenges throughout the years, I’ve learned through my adversity what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.  Through my imperfections is where I can shine the most-Hence the title of my webpage.





Comm 616 Week#7 Blog

There are several steps I can take to increase my communication ethics literacy in every aspect of my life. First, it’s important to define what I want to know as I engage others in dialogue. I also have to remember that part of learning is recognizing I may not agree with what I learn and vice versa. Learning does not presuppose agreement or commonality; neither does it discount another’s standing or register automatic disdain for the unfamiliar or for a good or goods we do not accept or find attractive (Arnett et al., 2009). In order to gain an understanding of what I don’t know, I can’t have conversations based on mutual commonalities with others. According to the text, keeping the conversation going in such an era begins with meeting what we do not know, which permits learning and ironically, sheds more clarity on the ground or position upon which we stand (Arnett et al., 2009).

Only in our differences can we learn the “goods” of others. The United States is experiencing a crisis in communication and ethic literacy. Recent grand jury verdicts of non-indictments for officers involved in killing several African American men in various states have ignited several protests and debates. Listening to various media outlets and others have provided opportunities for me to apply what I’ve learned about communication ethics literacy during this historical era. It’s important to have a firm understanding of what the issue is before beginning communication around it. Once knowledge base is established, it’s important to understand the ground of the other without preconceived notion about the “good” of the other.

Establishing my knowledge base involved learning how each of the individuals died and the circumstances behind the deaths. I also had to learn about the position of the officers involved which led to each fatality. Reducing or eliminating bias due to the fact I am a mother of 3 African American boys proved to be challenging. I realized I have my own fears to contend with as I raise my children to be law abiding citizens while not being subjected to any treatment which may violate their rights. It is imperative that I do so in order to learn discernment during various situations or crisis. Learning to tune out distractions during this process is important as well. Various news outlets with contending perspective seems to cloud my lens since I’m not sure of their motivation. The text mentions, dialogue requires that one know the ground from which one speaks, meet the other with a willingness to learn, and learn about the ground from which the other discourse emerges (Arnett et al., 2009).

This provides a good starting point in helping to begin the conversation. However, in order to maintain the conversation, it’s important we critique ourselves along the journey to make certain we are keeping an open mind during the learning process. One must be able to listen and learn from another’s viewpoint without necessarily agreeing with them. Only in our differences can we learn. It’s also crucial not to shut down during the communication process because the other may not agree with the view point either. Dialogue hides when we demand that another vacate the ground that offers meaning and vision for a given standpoint (Arnette et al., 2009).

Arnett, R., Fritz Harden, J.M., Bell, L.M. 2009. Communication ethic literacy: Dialogue and difference. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Comm 616 Week # 6 Blog

Recall an experience of being ill. What responsive communicative actions from others were most helpful and most unhelpful? Characterize the communicative actions with regard to giving, receiving and dialogic negotiation.

I do recall several instances where I have been ill. Thankfully, not too serious, however it has been painful nevertheless. Since I have arthritis in my lower back, every now and then it will flare up all of a sudden. I am grateful for my spouse quick response to make certain I am comfortable and have the items I need in order to help me recovery. He also ensures the kids and household is taking care of to allow me time to heal. My children at times were not so helpful. Although I would mention my condition and the need for me to rest, they often have their list of demands regardless of how I am feeling. The following are characteristics of my communicative actions:

1. Giving- My spouse is unusually responsive to the condition by making certain I have the ointments and medications needed to help me help. My children often gives a list of demands since the recognize dad does things slightly different from mom. During these differences, they often communicate their needs despite my condition.

2. Dialogic negotiation-I often tell my children just because dad does things differently does not mean he is doing things from. It’s just different and sometimes it’s okay to do things different. I also express the need for them to be patient and learn to endure until I can recover.

3. Receiving-At times it is hard to admit you cannot do things for yourself. This often meant I would hate to burden my spouse since I know he has to work harder in the household while I am ill. I do not like to ask for help although I love being the care giver. As the text mentions, to be human is to care; the labor of care is a necessity of our identity. When I am ill, I feel like I lose a sense of my identity since I am not able to perform the household duties I am used to performing.

I do eventually realize that I have to be grateful for the help and to express whenever I have a need. The good is for me to make a full recovery and when there are things that I need, I have to put pride aside and ask for the help. The goal of health care communication ethics is to protect and promote a sense of gratitude and knowledge of a final freedom our response to health…(Arnett et al., 2009).


Arnett R., Fritz Harden, J.M., Bell, L.M. 2009. Communication ethic literacy: Dialogue and difference. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Week#5 Blog

Week 5 Blog

Working for a 200 year old insurance company has afforded many organizational “community of memory”. Its brand of longevity symbolizes trust and reliability amongst many within an age of constant company take overs and downsizing. However, the company has adjusted throughout the years to maximize its growth opportunities by outsourcing certain functionalities and also selling off certain aspects of the business which is no longer profitable. According the text, community of memory within an organization is the organizations conscience providing reminder of what has and has not worked. Also, what particular actions did and continue to do for communicative life together, shaping a given dwelling place in a particular fashion (Arnett et al., 2009).

Although change is sometimes not easy, it is important for an organization to take inventory of what is working and what isn’t, in order to stay relevant in today’s business culture and market as well as remain profitable. What started trending many years ago was outsourcing in order to save money on salary and benefits for certain job functions. This rhetorical interruption caused mass panic throughout the company since many people felt their jobs would be in jeopardy. Although it was a natural reaction, it did become a reality for many people.

Jobs were outsourced to India, cross training had to take place, and a culture shock had to be overcome. The text mentions intercultural communication ethics incorporates learning about different goods. It’s the discourse that arises from and shapes the texture of those goods and practices that enable constructive conversation in a postmodern world of difference (Arnett et al., 2009). In order to mitigate the interruption, it became crucial to make it mandatory to take diversity classes before working with our new counterparts. This allowed many of us to quell some of our fears and realize that whether we liked it or not, the common good was ensuring the company is able to continue to grow and thrive. This meant learning to be patient during training since dialect was an issue at first. Also, understanding their culture and how the additional opportunities allows them to take care of their family in a country where most people are below the poverty line. Learning about the living conditions also helped us appreciate the simple things we take for granted that means so much to others not so fortunate. The text expressed it beautifully, “learning in intercultural communication ethics is central to a textured view of human life and perhaps to the very existence of the human community” (Arnett et al., 2009).


Arnette, R., Fritz Harden, J.M., Bell, L.M. 2009. Communication ethic literacy: Dialogue and difference. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications