Our graduate committee was beyond impressed by the nominations they received this year for the Excellence in Teaching Award at the M.A. and Doctoral levels. Communication Studies graduate students are doing amazing work and are making phenomenal contributions in the classroom!

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s awards, Hayley Hasberger (M.A. Student) and Michelle Matter (Doctoral Student)!

The winners

Photo of Hayley Hasberger, young smiling woman with long brown hair in an orange sweater before a fuzzy outdoor backgroundHayley Hasberger is originally from Oregon, but grew up in Georgia. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia along with a certificate in new media studies. After graduation, she worked as an academic advisor at the University of Vermont. She has a passion for learning, teaching, and higher education and loved working as an advisor. Her research interests lie at the intersection between new media technology, gender and feminism, and health communication. Hayley teaches SPCM 200 Public Speaking and TAs for SPCM 130 Relational and Organizational Communication as well as interns for CSU Writes.

Photo of Michelle Matter, a young woman with a long, red braid and a turquoise short-sleeved shirtMichelle Matter is originally from Sussex, Wisconsin. In 2013, she acquired her bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in psychology from Ripon College in Wisconsin. Following graduation, she traveled to Russia to teach English and communication at Tomsk Polytechnic University and two private English schools, as well as to volunteer at a local church. She then spent three months in Germany as a short-term au pair while traveling across Europe. After returning to the US, she became a communication specialist and events coordinator at an engineering company close to her hometown before enrolling in graduate school at CSU. In November, Matter was awarded a College of Liberal Arts – Highest Achievement Award for her research on how family caregivers of individuals with dementia communicate with one another and their larger social networks at the 2022 GradShow. Read more about that award here. Her latest publication was in Communication Quarterly in October 2022: “Adding amusement to anxiety: Uses of humor in informal caregiver support groups.”