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Panel Series To Tackle Workplace Communication

March 24, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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angry employeeWhat’s your emotional intelligence quotient? How well do you handle conflict? Manage anger? Work in teams? Communicate your feelings, or communicate in general?

Sam Houston State University’s Pay It Forward student organization, Career Services and the communication studies department will share with students how those issues might affect them in school, or, perhaps more importantly, in the workplace, during three panel discussions beginning Thursday (March 27).

The “EQ: What’s your emotional intelligence quotient” series will kick off with five criminal justice professionals and one community relations professional, from 12:30-2 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

Those panelists will include Leonard Carroll, former FBI agent; Jim Morris, a CIA agent whose story was portrayed by Brad Pitt in the film “Spy Game;” Montgomery County Judge Alan Sadler; Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack; Scott Harper, president of the Greater Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce; and Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Gage.

The six, facilitated by communication studies lecturer Terri Jaggers, will engage in a conversation based on pre-submitted questions, followed by a question-and-answer session, to advise students on the important values and qualities they should be able to recognize as they enter the workforce after college.

The first panel will primarily address these issues from a criminal justice perspective.
“A lot of times communication in the criminal justice system is power driven,” Jaggers said. “These panelists will address how communication can best serve your needs of getting results—whether you're an attorney, an office of the court, a police officer or someone who works in the prison.

“EQ: What’s your emotional intelligence quotient”

Thursday, March 27
at 12:30 p.m. in the LSC Theater


  • Leonard Carroll, Former FBI agent
  • Jim Morris, Former CIA agent
  • Judge Alan Sadler, Montgomery County
  • Commissioner James Noak, Montgomery County
  • Scott Harper, Greater Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce president
  • Sheriff Tommy Gage, Montgomery County

April 3
at 12:30 p.m. in the LSC Theater


  • Kelly Sprees Williams, former Kemah mayor pro-tem & pageant producer
  • Paul Williams, former Houston Oiler quarterback & businessman
  • Michelle Smith, Concerned Women of Texas president
  • Tracee Evans, communications director for U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady
  • Texas Rep. Brandon Creighton
  • Rob Eissler, former Texas representative & businessman
  • Texas Rep. Bryan Hughes, district 5

April 10
at noon in Garrett TEC Room 279


  • Vikki Vines, Gallery Auctions owner
  • Adam Jaggers, Cheer Live president
  • Commissioner Craig Doyal, Montgomery County Judge candidate
  • Will Metcalf, Spirit of Texas Bank vice president
  • Ray Burgess, attorney
  • Don Heathcott, financial investor
  • Judge Eric Andelll, senior judge for the 1st Court of Appeals
  • Judge Mary Ann Turner, Montgomery County Court at Law No. 4

“It’s not so much about ‘power’ in communicating hierarchical power as much as being able to communicate without confrontation,” she said.

Emotional intelligence is a term coined to include things that are learned outside of school and academia, things that have been stunted because technology allows us to “block” or “ignore” them, according to Jaggers.

“These are things that, typically, if we didn’t have technology to shortcut them, we would have had to engage in at a very young age, so that by the time we’re 20 years old, we’d have greater skills in—getting along with others, working through relationships that are difficult, negotiating deals and compromising, and working as a team,” she said.

“If students understand where they lack, not by their own fault but because of the way technology has driven their cognitive development and the lack in their emotional development, they can then start building relationships and creating opportunities for themselves to ensure success in those areas, both on-campus and in the future.”

The second panel, on April 3, will include politicians, a former Houston Oilers quarterback who now works in the oil industry, and very powerful women leaders. That presentation also will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

“(Through those speakers) We can talk about how different roles and responsibilities play out across gender lines, because women have a different way of approaching and communicating (about) things; so how does that come across and how do they brand that in the most professional manner?” Jaggers said. “Two of our panelists are married, so that makes a great dynamic to talk about power couples and power relationships when you have two very strong, highly accomplished individuals.”

The third panel, on April 10, will include financial advisors, banking and business professionals and people from the education field, also at noon in the Garrett Teacher Education Center Room 279.

The EQ series will include approximately 30 different professionals from all industries and leadership capacities coming to campus, and while many of the panels target students from specific majors, Jaggers said anyone can learn from any of the professionals who will be a part of the series.

“Just because a leader might be in a field different from theirs, it doesn’t mean that ‘eagles don't fly with eagles,’” she said. “It’s important to know, network and communicate with people in varying fields, with various people. Anybody who is of a quality nature in a leadership capacity has valuable information for our students.”

For more information, contact Jaggers at tej003@shsu.edu or 936.294.4318.



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