College of Business’ communication center sees dramatic growth


Photo: Liz Ulrichson/Iowa State Daily

Communication consultant Adria Staky, graduate student in accounting, helps Jiaojiao Zhou, senior in accounting, on a paper Jiaojiao is writing for Engl 314 at the Communication Center in Gerdin.

Justin Senecaut

The communication center has been a part of the College of Business since the fall of 2005, as stated on the communication center website, and it has seen dramatic growth in just a few years.

“The communication center was developed in the College of Business in response to the ISU communication initiative,” said Abhijit Rao, director of the communication center.

The communication center has had an impact on countless students from the fall of 2005 when only served 80 students were served to just a couple years later in 2007, which is when it served 2,000 students.

“We are currently serving over 1,500 one-to-one sessions with students every semester in addition to class visits, presentations and workshops on business communication,” Rao said.

Since the communication center has grown, they have taken on new responsibilities, which include helping the international students.

“As the number of international students on campus (and in the business college) is growing rapidly, we have focused more this past year on writing in American academic and business styles and reading academic and business genres critically,” Rao said.

Even though they are focusing on improving their reach to the international community, they are still providing help to all students in developing their business communication proficiency.

Rao also said that they just added new full-time staff this semester to help manage the growing needs of our students, and Joseph Doolittle is the assistant director.

To help students with their communication skills, the center has communication consultants; one of the consultants is Sara Dobbin.

“Students can schedule appointments with me over memos, written assignments, reports or presentations that they have been assigned for class,” Dobbin said.

Dobbin also said that appointments can be made for 30 minutes or an hour, depending on the assignment. These appointments help students polish their assignments and receive feedback on their writing/presentation skills.

All the student has to do is make an appointment online and show up with a draft.

“Faculty members can approach us with any questions they may have regarding oral or written assignments for their classes,” said Dobbin.

“Some faculty members in the College of Business require their students to schedule at least one session with the center to work on their assignments for the semester.”