Tabitha Hart

Tabitha HartAssociate Professor,

Communication Studies

What research questions currently preoccupy you?

I am currently doing research on my main teaching and service-related assignments at SJSU. Specifically, internships, service learning, and study abroad. All of these are considered to be High Impact Educational Practices (HIPs). I’m investigating the impacts that such practices have on participating students.

What personal factors contributed to your research?

As a hands-on learner and a teacher specializing in applied communication, I feel particularly drawn to HIPs. I believe in them as part of a repertoire of effective pedagogies, and I’m invested in understanding how they actually impact our students’ development.

What has been most challenging in your research?

Figuring out how to assess HIPs seems to be challenging. I’m still relatively new to this, but I gather that the CSU in general is trying to establish how best to evaluate them.

How has your position in SJSU contributed to your research?

I’m the Director of my department’s internship program. I also co-direct a short-term study abroad program to Berlin, Germany with another COMM colleague. I also teach 157SL, one of SJSU’s fantastic service learning courses. So HIPs are a huge part of what I do here at SJSU.

A hidden (research) talent:

I’m an Ethnographer of Communication by training, so I’ve spent years practicing how to observe and how to ask people questions about what they do.

One book that changed your life (or research) & why:

A fascinating journal article by Packman and Casmir on Eurodisney, and how it originally struggled when it opened outside of Paris. It was a case of attempting to import one country’s organizational communication approach (in particular their customer service communication protocols) into a completely different cultural environment. Needless to say it did not work out the way the company directors had anticipated!

A website/journal/newspaper (in your field?) you follow without fail:

Research on Language and Social Interaction (ROLSI), Discourse Studies, Western Journal of Communication.

Advice you’d give to newer faculty or students:

Practicing effective time management is a learned skill. Seek out training that can help you develop this skill, and then implement it into your schedule. (The NCFDD bootcamp was a lifesaver for me.) Write for at least 30 minutes every day. “Eat your frogs first.”

RSCA Accomplishments

Hart, T. (2016) Learning how to speak like a “native”: A case study of a technology-mediated oral communication training program. Accepted for a special issue of the Journal of Business and Technical Communication on Learning to Communicate 2.0: Orality and Technology in the Disciplines and Professions.
Fallon, M. & Hart, T. (2016). Internships for academic credit: Successes, challenges, innovations, and impacts. Paper presented at the California State University High-Impact Practices (HIP) Systematically conference, Fullerton, CA, April 2016.