WNMU Associate Professor of Speech and Communication Dr. Benjamin J. Cline is traveling to Baltimore next week to present two items at the National Communication Association Convention. He’ll discuss how he went about creating a communication program at WNMU when there was not one. And, he’ll present a paper on how Paul the Apostle used rhetoric to create a notion of “soul” that has been important in Western thinking.
The information Dr. Cline will share as part of the panel could almost be boiled down to “Launching a Communication Minor in Ten Easy Steps.” He was hired for a one-year position in 2010. While his sole duties were to teach freshman public speaking, he proved himself in that role and then recruited enough students to fill communication courses that were accidentally left in the course catalog, demonstrating the market for those classes and moving to offering the whole minor online, where growth was possible. He made friends with his colleagues, who began cross-listing the communications courses in their programs. He sold the minor to students in his general education classes and “poached” a few individually. To ensure enough students in each class, he developed hybrid pedagogical models in order handle the workload of teaching both online and face-to-face. When the general education model was being adjusted, Dr. Cline ensured that more communication classes counted toward the new requirements. To maintain his original position teaching general education, he overloaded his schedule. Today, he’s planning to develop a graduate emphasis for the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program at WNMU.
Many Christian thinkers throughout the last two millennia have with varying degrees of critique accepted the concept that human beings have two metaphysical selves, a “spirit” and a “soul” as well as a physical self, or body. Dr. Cline’s paper, “Paul’s Rhetorical Construction of the Triune Human,” shows that this delineates from a rhetorical intervention which can be found in certain Christian canonical texts attributed to Paul.