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Communication department chair to give Phi Kappa Phi lecture

Photo of Stephenson Beck

Stephenson Beck

Stephenson Beck, NDSU associate professor and department chair of communication, has been selected to present the prestigious Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lectureship.

His lecture, titled “Why Can’t We Get Along? The Problem with Teamwork,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Union’s Plains room.

“It is a wonderful honor to receive this university award, especially one focusing on service to others,” said Beck, whose research concentrates on group conflict and decision making. “I believe scholars should consider community and societal problems and strive to provide solutions. I’m grateful that my research has been considered in line with this focus.”

In Beck’s research, he has worked with many types of teams, including special education teams, breast cancer support groups, city councils, nonprofits, juries and online depression support groups.

“Teams are fundamental to who we are as a society. Almost everything we do involves working with others. But research suggests we don’t do this very well, and many of us dislike working in teams. I hope my presentation not only provides a new perspective as to why we struggle with teamwork, but also provides some very applicable ways to improve our efforts and make teamwork more palatable,” he said.

Beck joined the NDSU faculty in 2008. He earned his doctorate in communication studies at the University of Kansas.

His honors include the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences 2015 Outstanding Educator Award and 2014 Outstanding Teacher Award. He also received the 2010 and 2014 Stanley L. Saxton Applied Research Award, as well as the 2011 Distinguished Award for a Special Journal Issue from the National Communication Association’s Applied Communication Division.

The other finalists for the Phi Kappa Phi Lectureship were Thomas DeSutter, professor of soil science, and Mark Meister, professor of communication.

The lectureship was established in 2015 by NDSU President Dean L. Bresciani to recognize faculty whose outstanding, high impact research, scholarship or creative activity consistently supports NDSU’s top-tier research status, and who can effectively present their research to a broad community in the land-grant tradition.

As a student-focused, land grant, research university, we serve our citizens.


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