Great job, Cristina and Connie!!

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A new book written by San Jacinto College speech professors to serve as a resource for public speakers may also be used as a quick communications reference tool for the savvy professional.

“The Competent Communicator” by Cristina Cárdenas and Connie Taylor is the result of 15 years of research on effective communication tactics used in business. Initially designed as a workbook for their students in a public speaking class, the authors soon realized its potential to guide people through a variety of scenarios.

“We started this as an activity for our students, but we didn’t realize how interactive it would be,” Taylor said. “You can use this in your personal life as well or for courses in another discipline.”

The 229-page book contains lessons and tips on how to give an informative and persuasive speech, overcome speech anxiety, develop interpersonal skills, manage conflict, behave assertively, accept compliments, and effectively communicate to people during personal hardships. It also includes tear-out worksheets for communication exercises.

Cárdenas and Taylor began collaborating on the workbook two years ago as a means to develop activities to enrich their class sessions at San Jacinto College.

“This book can even assist teachers on how to prepare their students for their course,” Cárdenas said. “Everything is included, from taking notes, to test taking, to the actual public speaking.”

Designing a communication book to use for more than one discipline stems from Taylor’s diverse professional background, which includes more than 20 years of professional experience working in the health care, media and education fields. She has also published an article on abuse in an anthology complied by Dr. Jim Towns, “Reverse         Mentoring: Transformed Lives,” and published several of her poems in the Threshold Arts Magazine, a publication of San Jacinto College, and the World of Poetry Anthology series. Taylor has a Master of Arts in Communication from  Stephen F. Austin State University and completed post-graduate work in sociology at Texas A&M Commerce and the University of Texas at Tyler.

Cárdenas has more than 15 years experience teaching speech. She is the 2002 and 2004 recipient of a National Institute for Staff and Organization Development (NISOD) Award of Excellence. In 2007, she completed the National Community College Hispanic Council Leadership Fellows Program for future college presidents. Her letter of tribute to the Texas Women’s Historian Ruthe Winegarten was featured in the book “Mum’s the Word: A Tribute to Ruthe Winegarten.”

Both professors joined the San Jacinto College South campus faculty in 2006.

“The Competent Communicator” can be found in San Jacinto College bookstores, at Amazon.com and the Library of Congress.