For 25 years, Audrey Hane, Ph.D., has worked as a professor of communication at Newman University, making an impact on countless students along the way.
“I’ve really spent my entire academic teaching career at Newman,” she said.
Hane took a part-time job as an adjunct faculty member at Wichita State University after receiving her doctorate in communication studies from The University of Kansas in 1995. The following year she heard about an opening at Newman, applied and was thrilled to be hired.
In addition to her academic appointment, Hane currently serves as the assistant dean for arts and sciences and as director of the Navigator Program. She has held other administrative positions over the years as well, but ultimately, it’s teaching that she truly loves.
Empowering students one classroom at a time
This semester, Hane is leading a course on persuasion, as well as a new class that came out of a visioning group with the departments of English, Spanish, art and theater. The new Speaking for the Real World course focuses on various public speaking circumstances students may find themselves in, such as giving a wedding toast or introducing a speaker.
“This is the first time I’ve taught this class, but I think it’s going well, and it’s fun to see the students perfecting skills that I know they’ll use the rest of their lives, even if they don’t anticipate needing to use the skills,” she said.
One thing Hane loves about Newman is that it’s a faith-based university. She appreciates the sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, who worked to identify the needs of the world and provide solutions to those needs.
“I think that sets up a great model for us to live our mission of empowering students to transform society,” Hane said. “I think if they follow in the way of the sisters, and if we can help them see how to do that, then I think we’re successful.”
Seeing the big picture
Some of Hane’s favorite Newman memories are when graduated students let her know how they’re doing or share a success.
“Just knowing that as an entire university we prepared them to go onto the next step and be successful or, similarly, seeing a student in class overcome a fear or an insecurity and develop the confidence and courage to step outside their comfort zone and develop their communication skills,” Hane explained.
Overall, Hane’s colleagues and the students she gets to teach are the best part of her work, she said.
“I feel so grateful because every day that I wake up, I don’t feel like I’m going to a job — I feel like I get to do what I love doing, which is to be around students and bright colleagues who have interesting ideas and are thoughtful people.”
Communication alumna Madison McCollum builds magazine from ground up
In October 2019, ‘19 Newman alumna Madison McCollum was running late for her shift at Space Mountain at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
She described it as “the worst possible day.” Beyond the fact that her “spacey” costume was still damp from the dryer, McCollum knew she wasn’t destined to work at Disney forever. She needed to launch her life’s next mission.
Thriving in the communication field
When Newman alumna Ellen Healy graduated in May 2016, she was looking forward to making the switch from intern to full-time employee at the company she was working for. A year and a half later, she is still at LogoLounge.com and is its communication director.
Her career there all started when she was eating out one night with her parents.