Communication-centered workshop series has potential to become top dog in on-campus resources

Louisiana Tech University’s BARC COMMons hosts a quarterly workshop series designed to provide useful information across the field of communication, and its offerings are geared to the Louisiana Tech community at large.

Launched in 2016, BARC COMMons supports communication improvement and education.

“We want to be a resource for not only students, but for faculty as well to help them meet their goals,” said Tara Raue, workshop organizer.

Relevant new topics are always on the horizon at BARC COMMons, Raue said. The workshops educate on topics that are useful both in the classroom and in daily life.

“While we are always communicating, it can be very helpful to slow-down occasionally and actually think about this process – the mistakes, missed opportunities, and the relational beauty,” said Dr. Jessica Houf, one of presenters for the workshops. “Workshops like these can be incredibly valuable in giving back to the campus community by providing spaces for discussion, debate and the sharing of ideas.”

BARC COMMons workshops cover a wide variety of topics that are increasingly relevant in today’s world. Examples include presenting over Zoom, tips for making a professional video presentation, and free speech and libel.

Raue explained that this relevance is no coincidence. She described the method of choosing topics as “driven by need, by interest, and by feedback from people here at the University.”

Although the BARC COMMons currently advertises the workshops primarily to the on-campus community, the potential for expanding those boundaries is clear.

“As the focus of this series has been communication skills, I actually think the topics covered in this series would be valuable to many folks in the broader community: business owners, high school students, retirees looking to keep engaged and professionals,” Houf said.

For now, all of the presenters are from the staff of Louisiana Tech, but speakers from outside the community could provide different perspectives and allow for more variety in presentation topics, Raue said.

“That would be incredible, to have outside people come in and present in these workshops,” Raue said.

More information about the BARC COMMons and appointment scheduling for one-on-one consultations for students of any year can be found online.

This story written by Communication student Alexis Newman.