campus news & events

Communications Professor Alberto Gonzalez to Speak about Presidential Campaign Rhetoric, Intercultural Communication

NEW LONDON, N.H. — Colby-Sawyer College will host Dr. Alberto Gonzalez, professor of Communication Studies at Bowling Green State University, for presentations on the rhetoric of the 2008 presidential election and on the keys to successful intercultural communications.

The presentations are part of Colby-Sawyer's new Gibney Speaking-Across-the-Curriculum Initiative, which promotes public speaking across the college. The events are free and open to the public, and audience participation will be encouraged.

Professor Gonzalez will present “Rhetorical Reflections on the 2008 Presidential Election” on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m., in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center. From the perspective of rhetorical criticism, he will examine the power and possibilities of symbols and messages employed by the dominant political campaigns—from Joe the Plumber, fist-bumps and “Drill, Baby, Drill,” to Christopher Buckley, socialism and ACORN. He will discuss the commonalities and meanings of these symbols and messages and their significance in the presidential election.

In his second presentation, Professor Gonzalez will address “Keys to Intercultural Success” on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 4 p.m. in Clements Hall at the Curtis L. Ivey Science Center. In an increasingly diverse society, he maintains that our potential to build intercultural relationships requires knowledge of the world's cultures and communication skills that invite inclusion and mediate differences. Professor Gonzalez will discuss how misunderstandings arise in everyday interactions and offer strategies for engaging in inclusive dialogue.

In addition to the two public presentations, Professor Gonzalez will also spend time in various classes and conduct workshops for both faculty and students in an effort to enhance public speaking at the college.

The presentations are the first of the Gibney Speaking-Across-the-Curriculum Initiative, which over a period of five years will promote excellence in public speaking as an integral component of the college's curriculum and advance its learning objective for students to communicate and interact effectively. The series has been made possible by a gift from Albert L. Gibney, long-time friend of Colby-Sawyer College, whose contributions were in memory of his late wife, alumna Eloise Beach Gibney, class of 1936, and daughters Joan and Sue. The Gibney gift also supported the appointment in August 2007 of Colby-Sawyer Humanities Professor Patrick Anderson as the Gibney Distinguished Professor and organizer of the speaking series.

“I am delighted that Dr. Gonzalez will inaugurate our Gibney Speaking-Across-the-Curriculum Initiative,” says Professor Anderson. “His academic background in intercultural communication, political rhetoric and public speaking provides him with an insightful perspective on the field which should prove invaluable to our students and the general public alike.”

Professor Gonzalez is an accomplished teacher, researcher and author who has been with Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, since 1992. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in Communication at Ohio State University and B.S. in Speech Education at Bowling Green State University. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Teacher-Scholar Award from the National Communication Association's Latino/a Communication Studies Division, and in 2005, he was presented with the Outstanding Research Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education.

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Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students from 25 states and five foreign countries learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

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