Sibling Assistance
Sarah McQueen
smcqu643@uwsp.edu

The Family Communication class, Communication 389/589, will be presenting a student-run workshop based on conflict management and relational maintenance in sibling relationships on December 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Communication Arts Center, room 333.

The idea behind the workshop is to provide people with concrete and usable strategies for enhancing and maintaining their adult sibling relationships. The workshop will be a presentation of the research the class has been conducting all semester. In the beginning of the semester, the class selected several topics they would like to present on and then took a vote for the final choice.

“It is entirely their work, from start to finish,” said Sylvia Mikucki- Envart, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the instructor of Comm 389. “From what they wanted to talk about and the research to present on to the content of it—it‘s 100% their work. I have just been facilitating and guiding along the way, but they came up with it all on their own. It has been really exciting to see them start looking at research and start turning it into something meaningful.”

The class consists of 16 undergraduate students and two graduate students. The two graduate students, Amanda Ferrante and Margaret Rohr, not only wrote their own material for the workshop but also helped to edit and combine the contributions of the undergraduate students.

“I would say working on the final script was my biggest contribution,” Rohr said. “It was very important to Dr. Mikucki-Enyart that Amanda and myself contribute the most to it. Hopefully, with some of the tweaks she wants to make to it, it will be something worthwhile to present to the community.”

“I am looking forward to sharing all of the knowledge and research that our team has found,” Ferrante said. “Mostly, I am looking forward to empowering our audience by making them aware that they hold the power to change their relationships for the better or improve upon things they already practice.”

The workshop is open and free to the entire community. Mikucki- Envart is looking forward to the opportunity to showcase the work her students have been doing. She is also pleased that her students have had the chance to take theories from the classroom and see them applied in real-life situations.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people to get a chance to see what the division is about, know what we do when we talk interpersonal communication,” Mikucki-Envart said. “I think it is a nice display for the division to show just how talented our students are and the hard work they do.”

Ferrante said one of the challenges they faced while putting together the workshop was taking the academic research and compiling it into relatable strategies and ideas that people could use in their everyday relationships.

“There is so much research on this subject, and to narrow it down into a review can be a daunting task. However, I think that our audience will be quite pleased with what we came up with. I am looking forward to sharing our findings,” Ferrante said.

This is the first workshop of its kind to be put on in the Communication Department. Mikucki-Envart stated that this could be helpful for anyone in a sibling relationship, no matter what their age. She is hoping for interest from the surrounding community and a large turnout.