Communication Lab History
The Communication Lab was started by Dr. Mary A. Lynch in 1965, making CBU’s Lab the longest running of its kind in North America. It started off, modestly enough, in a cleared out “broom closet” at “Little X.” Dr. Lynch’s students wanted a place where they could practice their speeches without her being present. Over the next 50+ years, we have seen much growth and development surrounding the experiential learning lab. In 1967, Mary moved her students from this “broom closet” and began to operate a Speech Communication Lab on the second floor of MacLeod House on the Xavier College Campus. In 1972, the lab was moved into larger quarters at the corner of George and Ferry Streets. This was the first year that Mary used student helpers (known today as Communication Lab Peer Facilitators). When we moved to the current University campus in 1979, Mary was extremely proud to have a new, state of the art space designed to meet the needs of her Speech Communication students. In September 2001, the lab once again moved and it was unveiled as the “Dr. Mary A. Lynch Communication Lab” in homage to its founder.
Communication Lab Peer Facilitator
Students who have successfully completed COMM1103 and COMM1105 and/or COMM2175 plus COMM3131 have the unique opportunity to facilitate in the Communication Lab. To apply, interested students meet with the Communication Lab Coordinator and the COMM3931 professor to discuss their qualifications. If approved, the student will then enroll in the three-credit course COMM3931: Facilitation Practicum. As part of the 160-hour practicum, students will facilitate two to three labs per week during the term. After students complete the Practicum, they are free to continue their work in the lab as an employee of the Communication Department.
The role of a Communication Lab Peer Facilitator is to lead and assess small groups of undergraduate students enrolled in Communication 1103, 1105 and 2175. Peer Facilitators play a vital role in helping students reach their cognitive, affective and behavioural goals. This position involves facilitating regularly scheduled, hour-long Communication labs that consist of five to seven students. Peer facilitators are expected to work from a prepared lesson plan provided a week in advance from the Lab Coordinator. Facilitators distribute journals to students throughout the year and are responsible for reviewing, responding to, and keeping records of these assignments. Peer facilitators keep weekly logs which are regularly reviewed and a written assessment of each student’s progress is completed and submitted to the Lab Coordinator at the end of each semester and the facilitator and Coordinator meet to review these assessments.
Peer Facilitators are instrumental in helping students to develop their communication skills and the personal rewards are immense. Being a Peer Facilitator gives one an opportunity to strengthen their communication skills with faculty, colleagues, and students. Friendships and memories made in the lab can last a lifetime. Come be a part of this unique educational opportunity!
If you would like more information about becoming a Communication Lab Peer Facilitator, contact Dawn White, the Communication Lab Coordinator.