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News Briefs

September 1, 2003
Contact: 

Paul Turman, assistant professor of communication studies, (319) 273 2593, 268-4045, paul.turman@uni.edu
Betty DeBerg, head, Department of Philosophy and Religion, (319) 273-6221, 277-5071, betty.deberg@uni.edu
Lois Lindell, assistant director of the Center for Economic Education, (319) 273-2952, 345-3514, Lois.Lindell@uni.edu

Are pre-game and half-time pep talks really effective?

It's half-time and the team heads for the locker room and the traditional pep talk from the coach. It's tradition, but is it truly effective? Paul Turman is an assistant professor of communication studies at UNI. Turman has examined coaches' communication styles and finds that while what coaches say can increase team cohesion, the wrong sort of messages can have an unexpected long-lasting effect on the motivation and self esteem of young athletes.



Contacts:

Paul Turman, assistant professor of communication studies, (319) 273 2593, 268-4045, paul.turman@uni.edu

James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761







Silencing religious discussion in the university classroom

College and university instructors often are faced with the challenge of engaging students in conversation about controversial topics, such as religion, without silencing their beliefs. 'One of the most common and widely held interpretations of 'separation of church and state' by public institutions means no prayer, but it also tends to limit religious discussion in the classroom by both students and teachers,' said Paul Turman, assistant professor of communication studies at UNI. Turman has researched the phenomenon. Turman maintains that this interpretation results in classrooms where religious students' viewpoints are silenced, which in turn is a violation of free speech and academic freedom.

Contacts:

Paul Turman, assistant professor of communication studies, (319) 273-2593, 268-4045, paul.turman@uni.edu

James O'Connor, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





College students choose spirituality over religion

Through research for a book, the head of UNI's Department of Philosophy and Religion, Betty DeBerg, found that today's college students view religion as more optional and fluid. 'I was surprised by how fluid denominational identity was among even those students who were leaders in various denominational campus ministries,' said DeBerg. 'One student came to the university a Roman Catholic, got hired as a peer minister in the ecumenical mainline Protestant campus ministry, then as a peer ministry by the Methodist Wesley Foundation. During this time, she left Catholicism for the Disciples of Christ, and decided during her senior year to go to seminary and seek ordination as a Disciple.'

The hardcover edition of that book, 'Religion on Campus,' published by the University of North Carolina Press,was released last year; the paperback edition is now available in bookstores and via Amazon.com.

Contacts:

Betty DeBerg, head, Department of Philosophy and Religion, (319) 273-6221, 277-5071, betty.deberg@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761





Ignorance about credit cards contributes to rising bankruptcies

The average parent knows it's important to talk with children about smoking, drugs, alcohol and even sexual responsibility. But most will forget to bring up the topic of money and fiscal responsibility.

Lois Lindell, assistant director of the Center for Economic Education at UNI, says avoiding the topic can have dire consequences. She points to the fact that personal bankruptcies are at an all-time high this year, a trend she blames on fiscal ignorance. 'Too often our children get to college with very little knowledge about how to save or set goals. They want immediate gratification. So when they get a credit card, they see little problem with maxing it out. We have to teach them that today's choices have future results.'



Contact:

Lois Lindell, assistant director of the Center for Economic Education, (319) 273-2952, 345-3514, Lois.Lindell@uni.edu

Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing & Public Relations, (319) 273-2761