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Member Spotlight: Laura Jacobi

Laura JacobiTAA member Laura Jacobi is an Assistant Professor & Basic Course Director in Communication Studies Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and an academic author in the curriculum & instruction discipline.

She most recently published “The structure of discussions in an online communication course: What do students find most effective?” in The Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 14(1) (2017) and is working on a publication coming out in July 2018 titled, “What motivates students in the online communication classroom? An exploration of Self-Determination Theory” to be published in Journal of Educators Online, 15(2). In addition to two publications coming out–one in March and one in July 2018, she has a book chapter in press, and published three other articles in scholarly journals in the last two years. Prior to the fall of 2015, she was working as teaching faculty and not actively conducting research.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently analyzing data I collected for a study in which I assessed the impact of collaborative teaching strategies upon the levels of ethnocentrism and inter-ethnic communication anxiety of students in two sections of the same class who collaborated. One section was made up of international students, and one section was comprised of American students.

Share a recent accomplishment.
I was just awarded two grants: a CIEE grant through Global Education and a Faculty Improvement Grant from MSU. Both will be used to fund my attendance at an intercultural faculty development seminar in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this summer.

What is your favorite textbook writing tip or strategy?
One of my favorite strategies is to invite others to write with me. I love to meet at a coffee shop with my colleagues who are also writing. It is motivating to me, and then I have friends there who can give me feedback if/when I need it. I find those sessions to be far more productive than times I write alone.

What is your best TAA experience so far?
I love everything about TAA. I was first introduced to it by Dannelle Stevens, who came to MSU to conduct a research writing workshop. It was by far the best professional development workshop I had attended that year. She offered so many practical tips pertinent to research and writing. She introduced me to the conference, and I have gone the last two years. I pick up so many new ideas each time, and I find the people who attend to be down-to-earth, helpful, and welcoming. It is a great atmosphere.