RSU Communications Professor Wins Top Award at Statewide Conference

Department Head and Professor Dr. Jeffery Gentry recently won the top faculty paper award at a statewide communication conference.

His paper, “Social Capital in American Sport: The Problem of Zero-Sum Games,” received the top prize for faculty entries at the Oklahoma Speech, Theatre and Communication Association (OSTCA) conference held at Northeastern State University – Broken Arrow on Sept. 12.

Gentry’s paper critiqued the social capital of prominent sports in American culture, working under the assumption that sports are highly contextualized culturally. He contrasted zero-sum games, those high in negative health-effects, confrontation, and intrusive referees, with positive sum games that create mutual benefits despite their competitive nature.

Students from Rogers State University also participated in the conference with the mentorship of a faculty member. For student papers, Associate Professor Dr. Juliet Evusa mentored Kelsey Kellum, a communications senior from Claremore; and Lars Lindtner, a communications—radio and television senior from Claremore. For the public relations competition, Assistant Professor Lee Williams mentored Katsy Funkhouser, a corporate communications junior from Pawnee; Caleb Pitts, a business administration—marketing senior from Tulsa; and Carley Johnson, a business administration—marketing senior from Bixby. Evusa and Associate Professor Dr. Holly Kruse also presented faculty papers.

The OSTCA is an association of college and university faculty who promote speech, theatre and communication education in and around Oklahoma. Faculty members are able to coordinate their interests and efforts in order to help spread ideas, skills and techniques to programs in the region.

This year’s conference called on participants to create papers, performances or projects related to the theme, “Faces of Activism: In the Classroom and Beyond.” Both students and faculty were invited to participate.

For more information about OSTCA, visit