Virginia Kidd, Ph.D.
Dept. of Communication Studies
California State University, Sacramento

Contact Information
Papers and Publications
Research Projects

picture of Virginia Kidd

Virginia Kidd's Links
Writing Help Links
Production Techniques as Rhetoric
Fantasy Theme Analysis Reading

Contact Information, Dr. Virginia Kidd

  • Office: Mendocino Hall 5030
  • E-mail:
  • Telephone: 916-278-6638
    (Please note: This voice mail system does not indicate an incoming call if we are on another call and does not signal a waiting message. I will eventually get your voice mail message, but also try calling back.
  • Dept. of Communication Studies
    Mendocino 5014 (Message Box)
    Dept. Phone: 916-278-6688
    6000 J St., Sacramento, Ca. 95819-6070
    The department office is open 7:30 to 5:30 Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 5:00 Friday
  • Department FAX: 916-278-7216
    (If you send a fax, be sure my name is on it; all faxes go to one office.)

Coms 100B Links


At right, see
Virginia, ready to
grade 100B papers.

Virginia in witch's costume

My Philosophy

Education is a magic key that opens the door to the whole rest of your life--your career, your financial success, your personal interaction, your self identity. To a very large extent, what you know is who you are.

I believe learning is the magic ingredient in life. In Communication Studies, you have the great opportunity to learn not only facts, but skills. You can learn the skills of speaking, listening, writing, thinking, organizing information, even the skill of learning.

But . . . be aware:

Learning is not a spectator sport. You have to invest your time and energy. You have to spend time thinking. Let me repeat. You have to SPEND TIME thinking.

You also need to do the work assigned, and go beyond the work assigned to follow your natural interests, try things out, add your own ideas, and be creative. When you turn in written work, you need to PROOFREAD. For example when. You don't punktuate or spel write it gets. Confusing. C?

I also believe that fun is good and that work and play are not opposites. I like to watch little kids learn. They will do the same thing over and over till they learn it because mastering a new skill is JOY. When they can walk without falling --and they KNOW they can walk without falling -- their faces fill with delight.

We can do the same. We may be walking on the Internet instead of the living room, we may be forming shapes from words instead of wet sand, but the process is still one of excitement and fun.

A Selection of Recent Papers and Publications

mad hacker at computer

"Visual Parody and the First Amendment." Presentation with Stuart Kaplan of Lewis and Clark University. Visual Communication Conference, Banff, Edmondton, Canada, June 2005.

Coffee and Ink. Co-authored with the Monday Night Writers. 2004.

COP Talk: Essential Communication Skills for Community Policing.
Co-authored with Sacramento Police Dept.
Capt. Rick Braziel [now Deputy Chief]. San Francisco: Acada Press, 1999 [now Rowman and Littlefield].

Designed for both peace officers and criminal justice students, this book explains communication theory and tells how to give a speech, lead a meeting, plan a public discussion, generate and carry out creative solutions, and relate with media. It is part of my ongoing interest in extending communication knowledge beyond discipline borders.

Related Papers:

  • "What Makes a Good Communicator?" Community Policing Exchange Online Magazine March/April 1999. Click "Success Stories," then "Exchange."
  • "The Challenge of Communication." Correctional News (journal of the California Probation, Parole, and Correctional Association) June 1999. 1-6.

"Critical Analysis of an Internet Message: A Useful Class Assignment." Panel presentation. Western States Communication Association convention, Vancouver, Canada, February 1999.

"Creating Third Spaces: Connecting with Our Students in an Era of Disconnect: The Working Adult Student." Western States Communication Asso. convention. San Francisco, Feb. 2005.

"Communication and Service: Building a Shared Sense of Purpose." With Larry Chase, Josh Guilar and David Zuckerman. Western States Communication Asso. convernsin, San Francisco, Feb. 2005.

"Service Learning at the Graduate Level." Co-authored with Sally Perkins and Gerri Smith. Voices of Strong Democracy: Concepts and Models for Service Learning in Communication Studies. American Asso. for Higher Education, 1999.

Photograph included in Ross MacDonald: A Biography by Tom Nolan. New York: Scribner, 1999. Before page 225.

Respondent. "Using Visual Messages to Change Social Consciousness." Visual Communication Conference. Lake Tahoe, June 1999.

"Using Internet Assignments in Classroom Teaching." Panel presentation. Western States Communication Association convention, Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 1999.

"Using Service Learning to Teach Communication." With Dr. Sally Perkins and Dr. Gerri Smith. Panel presentation. Western States Communication Association convention, Denver. Feb. 1998.

"Images of the Disabled in Preschool Picture Books." Paper presented at Visual Communication Conference. Jackson Hole, Wy. June 1997.

"Getting Students Into Groups. (Carl Who?)" Speech Communication Teacher. Summer 1994: 1. Reprinted in Selections from Speech Communication Teacher, 1994-1996, edited by Stephen E. Lucas for use with The Art of Public Speaking, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

"Making Group Decisions." Applied Organizational Communication. Ed. Michael Dues and Michael Burgoon. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1998. 186-204

"How Much Difference Can We Make? When Information Is Vital: Organizational Communication in a Police Department." Western States Communication Association convention. Pasadena, Ca. Feb. 1996.

"Art Venegas: National President, Hispanic-American Police Officers Association." Coast-to-Coast Section, Hispanic Magazine Aug. 1995.

"Teaching Visual Communication." Member of short-course presentation panel. Speech Communication Association convention. San Antonio, fall 1995.

"Institutional Maintenance: The Use of In-House Video in a Metropolitan Police Department." Western States Communication Asso. convention. Pasadena, Ca. Feb. 1996. Updated and revised version of "The Corporate Village: Using Video as a Communication Link in a Decentralized Organization (The Sacramento Police Department)." Visual Communication Conference. Flagstaff, June 1995.

"Listening to the Community: Using Public Meetings to Generate a Partnership." Police Chief. Oct. 1994: 85-91. Written with Sacramento Police Chief Arturo Venegas.

Editor, "California State University Strategic Plan." Spring 1993.

"Revitalizing the Police Department: The Strategy of Change." Western States Communication Association Convention. San Jose, Feb. 1994. Organizer, Visual Communication Conference. Feather River, CA., June 1994.

"Responses to the Sacramento Police Department Community Forums." CSUS Research Scholars Presentation. Sacramento, 30 Oct. 1993.

"Representations of Reality in Visual Communication--Nordstrom's Catalog: A Case Study of Integrating the Disabled." Visual Communication Conference. Jackson Hole, June 1993.

"Visual versus Verbal Rhetoric: A Case Study of the California Tobacco Education Campaign," Visual Communication Conference. Breckenridge, Colorado, June 1991. Published in Feedback, a publication of the Broadcast Educators Association, Fall 1992.

Research Projects/Interests

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all
--Emily Dickenson

My primary current research project relates to creative projects designed for the common good. I am especially interested in the process through which the creative individuals get their ideas accepted. In the spring of 2000 I had assigned time to find creative solutions to community problems to post online as samples of ways people solve problems. As Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does." I envision this site as a repository of illustrations of this.

I have ongoing interests in creativity, small group communication, visual communication, fiction writing, and clear writing of all kinds. These days I am learning to create web pages. In fall 1998 I sat in on Dr. Ray Koegel's Coms 136 class and learned a great deal. I have a growing interest in design.

I also am curious about ways to kill people. No, not you (unless you don't proofread). I am writing a new murder mystery, set on the Gulf coast of Texas, and seeking a publisher for my first mystery, Get a Clue, set in Sacramento.

Professional Associations

National Communication Association
Western States Communication Association
Sisters in Crime

Send comments/suggestions to:
Communication Studies / CSUS

Page updated:July 2006