The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Communications professor emphasizes connection

A word can convey different meanings to different people. However, the language of human interaction is one that cannot be defined. Instead, it is fueled by action that sparks growth, change and understanding.

For City College communication studies professor Patti Redmond, the use of language and communication is an integral part of connecting with others and enriching her community.

“There is a bumper sticker that says, ‘The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of your communication,’” says Redmond, 52, who has been teaching at City College for 26 years and is chair of the Communication Studies Department.

Redmond says that helping others and interacting with people is her greatest passion and believes that awareness is the most important quality for an effective communicator to have. Redmond herself has always been deeply involved in the school and in her community.

“Patti is extremely thoughtful and dedicated to students,” says Jared Anderson, a City College communication professor. “She spends time bettering the school with scholarships and awards, among many other things.”

When she is not teaching, Redmond is immersed in extracurricular activities for her two daughters:  sports, horse shows and Future Farmers of America.

“I think it’s important to practice what I preach in terms of communication,” she says. “Helping out people who are helping your kids to learn, helping out the community, and just being a part of it, instead of an outside observer.”

Despite her hectic schedule, Redmond says that one of the hardest words for her to say is “no.” Though it is very tempting to multitask, Redmond says that saying “no” can sometimes save a lot of stress and negativity.

“It’s hard because you see things that you get excited about, and you’d love to participate in, but there’s the reality check of how many hours you have in a day,” she says. “If you spread yourself too thin, either one ball is going to drop, or you begin to diminish your effectiveness.”

Redmond grew up in a quiet farming town in California’s Imperial Valley, a land she describes as mainly crops, convicts and cattle. But despite the isolation of a small town, Redmond had a rich upbringing. She was involved in her community, in sports and in school programs. There was a sense of community in the close-knit arena that shaped her outlook on life.

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These positive connections with teachers in her community eventually led Redmond into teaching.

She received her bachelor’s degree in speech and psychology from Long Beach State University and went on to complete her master’s in communication at Pepperdine University, which she finished in just a year.

Redmond began teaching at Pepperdine; however, she says that she enjoys the versatility required to teach at a community college, where the student body is more educationally diverse. She usually goes into each semester not knowing exactly what to expect, and as a result, reshapes the curriculum to fit the needs of her students.

“She is really good at making the subject interesting,” says Patrick Guerra, a student in Redmond’s Intercultural Communication class. “She makes it easy for us to grasp the concepts in her lectures.”

If she was not teaching, Redmond says that she would probably go into animal therapy and use animals to help people interact with others.

Redmond believes there are huge benefits, as well as huge drawbacks, in the rise of technology and social media in communication. She describes how in 2011 Egypt’s Arab Spring, the revolution for democracy, was a direct result of quick sharing of information enabled by media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. However, she believes that social media have also created a negative veil, allowing anyone with a computer to hide behind a screen and post negative comments and hate messages.

Redmond confesses to being a cell phone addict, but she prefers the old-fashioned, face-to-face method of communicating most.

“She is the best at communicating out of all the professors I’ve had,” says Meagan Murray about Redmond’s lectures. “It’s like she’s talking to you.”

As Redmond says, awareness is one of the key elements of an effective communicator. Her advice to anyone going into the communication field is to keep an open mind, because communication is really about connecting with another human being:  Understand one’s surroundings. Learn from others. Grow.

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