Larsen to receive CSCA’s Cooper Award Thursday

South Dakota State University student Hanna Larsen, who is pursuing a master’s degree in communications studies, will receive the Cooper Award at the Central States Communication Association annual meeting April 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Larsen, who graduated from Groton High School in 2009, is the first State student to receive the award, which is named after former CSCA President Pamela J. Cooper. The CSCA presents the Cooper Award to one master’s level graduate teaching assistant and one doctorate level graduate teaching assistant each year.

The CSCA, which consists of the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin, was founded in 1931 to promote the communication discipline in educational, scholarly and professional endeavors.

Larsen thanked her mentors—assistant professor Josh Westwick, instructor Barb Kleinjan and Tim Nichols, dean of the Van D. and Barbara B. Fishback Honors College.

“They’ve been great resources for me as a teacher,” said Larsen, who will graduate in May. “I really do like teaching and am trying to figure out that next step after graduation. It’s nice to see what I’ve been doing as a teacher as a teacher seems to be working, because it’s something I would like to pursue. I’d like to teach or advise at the college level.

“I’ve been really lucky to work with both the speech department and the Honors College,” she continued. “I think my application was helped by the fact I’ve taught Speech 101 and Honors Speech 101 and some of the honors leadership and orientation classes. I’m really happy I stayed here for grad school and have had these opportunities.”

Larsen is teaching two sections of Honors Speech 101 this semester.

“One thing with the honors sections is I have a little bit more freedom,” she said. “I can try new activities and do different things. I like having that flexibility as an instructor and to be able to see what works and what doesn’t.”

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