10:34 AM

Communication Studies Hosts Speaker Event

COMM Studies Presents Judaism Storytelling


By Emily Conrad

The University of Houston-Downtown’s Communication Studies program will host its COMM Studies Speaker Event, “The Narrative Journey in Judaism: Storytelling and the Wisdom of Survival” on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1-2:30 p.m. in the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium.

UHD professor Dr. Hank Roubicek will join Rabbi David Lyon of Congregation Beth Israel and  Dr. Kelly Zúñiga, CEO of the Holocaust Museum,  to discuss the importance of storytelling in Jewish tradition.

Roubicek notes that storytelling has always been integral to Judaism.

“Judaism is based on parables and lessons and morals,” he explained. “In the Holocaust, people would share stories of hope and prayer and connectivity because nothing else was available.”

Roubicek also believes that in order to move away from hate towards tolerance, people have to acknowledge and respect their differences and that storytelling is a way for people to share their experiences with one another.

“Our ideologies, our cultures, our traditions and rituals need to be fully understood and accepted,” he emphasized. “We may learn to love each other, but we have to learn about each other first. Storytelling is an opportunity to take people on a journey and return them to safety in the present.”

The inaugural COMM Studies Speaker Event was held spring 2018 with “Heroes of Harvey." The second event was in fall 2018 featured communication professionals including 96.5’s Sarah Pepper. And this past spring, The Factor's Isiah Carey and communication faculty members hosted the panel, “The Black Factor," about representation in media.

This semester's event is chaired by communication faculty Bridget Mueller and Dr. Ashley Archiopoli and moderated by UHD students Rico Henriquez and Nicolle Zaldivar.

Mueller said that the event has become increasingly popular.

“Each semester, we have prided ourselves on drawing a large crowd of students, faculty, and staff,” she said.

The COMM Studies Speaker Event is held each semester as part of the A+CE curriculum, which engages students in critical thinking about community issues.

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.