Vol 57 No. 18 : November, 2005
Vol 57 No. 18 | October 28, 2005
Hauth Center Gets New Director, Direction
The Luster E. and Audrey Nichol Hauth Center for Communication Skills has a new director this fall to go along with a new direction. Communication Studies" Tim Plax takes over this year as the center's administrative director from colleague Terre Allen as she moves into her new position as director for the Center for Faculty Development.
"Because I was a student of Luster Hauth here at CSULB, the Hauths asked me if I would assume the directorship. When I considered my strong relationships with the Hauths, I saw it as a fun thing to do as part of my career and I decided to accept," said the Seal Beach resident who joined the university in 1987. "The original dream of the Hauths was to create a center that would give students, faculty, staff, administration and community a place to go that would help them with their communication skills in any number of different venues. As the dream developed, we began to understand better what we want the center to become as part of the Hauths' legacy."
The sale of a beachfront property in Seal Beach owned by the Hauths since 1974 funded a charitable remainder trust to CSULB that supports the center in the College of Liberal Arts. The Hauths made their gift as a gesture of support for public education in general and in particular to the College of Liberal Arts where Luster Hauth taught for 28 years in the Department of Communication Studies before his retirement in 1992.
"Class presentations across the curriculum, employment and group interviewing skills, group facilitation, lecture preparation and presentation, use of communication presentation software and communication in the classroom were just some of the uses this center was meant to serve," said Plax. "It is meant to forge links with area schools, businesses and organizations by offering professional services such as group planning and facilitation, communication training and skills enhancement and advice in conflict management and mediation."
Plax"s goal is to spend the next year working with Scott Allen, the technical director of the center, helping to sustain the excellence of the center while taking a look at what it has become and where it will go.
"The Hauths are very concerned that everyone on campus knows what the Hauth Center does and what it can do," he said. "That is not the case yet. Primarily, it is place where students get assistance in speaking skills. I would like to see the center staff reach out to the general campus and offer different colleges and departments the opportunity to utilize the center."
In the next year, Plax wants to explore three areas - the center's current operational status and how it can be utilized in an even more effective fashion, the center"s potential for university-wide outreach and how to create the most effective sorts of programs and opportunities to fulfill the Hauths' dream.
"The Hauths want to be very, very involved with the center, more so than ever before," said Plax. "This university is still new to the process of raising revenue. It wasn"t so long ago that we were state-funded, not just state-assisted. I think continued generosity like that of the Hauths has to be nurtured through commitment and involvement with the center. That generosity can be better utilized as the center continues to define its mission. The Hauth Center still will be here in 25 years. I want the Hauths to help make sure that the center thrives in perpetuity."
Plax received the Distinguished Faculty Scholarly and Creative Activity Award in 1998 and was instrumental in bringing the Hauth Center to CSULB. Plax and his wife, Communication Studies' Pat Kearney, have written a number of research articles and textbooks in Public Speaking in a Diverse Society and Fundamentals of Human Communication.
He received his B.A. in communication in 1970 and his M.A. in communication the next year, both from CSULB. He went on to USC for his Ph.D. in communication in 1974.
"Everyone needs to know that having a center like the Hauth Center can help them a great deal," said Plax. "It can be used to promote the university not only with faculty, staff, administrators and students but with the community."
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