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The Department of Communications and Modern Languages plans upcoming events ranging from award shows for students to lectures led by distinguished communicators in the community. These events are intended to be interactive and an opportunity for fun and to connect with like-minded individuals, but don’t be surprised if you leave more knowledgeable than when you arrived. 

Event Details

The Department hosts activities during the semester to allow you to hear from professionals and celebrate the work you’re doing.

The Department of Communication Studies hosts an annual student awards ceremony/luncheon near the end of each spring semester. Awards are typically presented in the following categories: 

Communication Studies: 

  • Horizon Award in Communication Studies 
  • Outstanding Graduate Award in Communication Studies 
  • Outstanding Debater Award 

Corporate Communication: 

  • Horizon Award in Corporate Communication 
  • Outstanding Graduate Award in Corporate Communication 

The M.G. Lorberg Medal: 

  • In honor of M.G. Lorberg, Department Chair from 1967-1987. This award goes to a student for excellence in academic performance as well as service to the department. In other words, we recognize a student's good work and good citizenship. 

The Department of Communication's speech area proudly hosts two endowed lecture series, each presented on an annual basis. Each lecture allows us to bring in top scholars from the field of communication to discuss their research and its benefits. Each presenter adapts her/his remarks to the general public. 

The Emil C. Weis Lecture is presented every fall. 

The Weis Lecture: In Honor of Emil C. Weis, Professor & Reverend 

Emil C. Weis, a professor of speech and English, earned his Bachelor of Science from the Cape Girardeau Normal School (now Southeast Missouri State University) in 1918. He completed his graduate work at the University of Missouri. 

As a young man, Emil Weis declined overtures from the New York Yankees for what he deemed to be other, more important work. Instead of a career in baseball, he chose to teach, so he might nurture the speaking and writing abilities of students and clergy. He believed in the power of the word, and he appreciated Aristotle's observation that we need to study public communication for four essential reasons. (1) Skilled speakers are needed to promote the natural tendency of true and just causes to prevail over their opposites. (2) Skill in speaking is needed to convey knowledge. (3) Skilled, open debate allows us to more clearly see what the facts are. (4) It is important that we be able to defend ourselves with speech and reason because "the use of rational speech is more distinctive of a human being than combat" 

Professor Weis spent most of his academic career at St. Paul's College in Concordia, Mo. He required his students write and speak often and well. His son, Earl, recalls how Professor Weis would comb through each student's work. "He sat up till the wee hours and read every paper and corrected every mistake." His careful nurturing yielded good results. Students he coached in debate, for example, won contests throughout Missouri. In addition, his students won state and national championships in American Legion Oratorical Contests. 

Professor Weis touched the lives of many and his influence continues. At Concordia College, the Weis Memorial Gymnasium bears testimony to his dedication as a professor as well as one who coached various athletic programs and even served as athletic director. At Southeast, he endowed this lectureship to provide an opportunity for students, faculty and "all interested individuals throughout the region," to interact with a guest speaker who could further an understanding and appreciation of rhetoric and public address. 

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The Department of Communication's Speech area proudly hosts two endowed-lecture series, each presented on an annual basis. Each lecture allows us to bring in top scholars from the field of communication to discuss their research and its benefits to us. Each presenter adapts his/her remarks to the general public. The Joseph H. Low Lecture is presented in the spring. 

Dr. Joe Low spent his entire academic career in the Department of Speech Communication at Southeast. He received his B.A. from Baker University. He received both his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Denver. As a professor at Southeast, he served as assistant director of forensics, graduate studies advisor, interdisciplinary studies advisor, professor of Mass Communication and debate coach.  He developed and taught classes in public speaking, interpersonal communication, managerial communication and group discussion.  

Dr. Low was one of the most admired teachers at Southeast.  He was heavily involved in homecoming and athletics.  As a booster, he was an ardent fan of the athletic teams at the University.  He also was actively involved in the community.  He was a long-time member of the Rotary Club and a major supporter and fundraiser for St. Francis Hospital.  In 1998, Dr. Low retired and moved to Arizona. 

This lecture series has been made possible by a generous endowment from Mrs. Mildred Low in honor of her son, Joe, who was a professor at Southeast Missouri State University from 1962 to 1998.  The lecture annually brings distinguished leaders and scholars in communication to our campus. 

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Hispanic Heritage Month is a collective celebration of the history and contributions of the Hispanic culture to our own culture. This celebration lasts from September 15 to October 15.  
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Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701