“Communication arts is a practical discipline. Our ability to communicate well is a key factor to success in any aspect of life, whether personal, professional, or social. It is a skill that everyone can learn to use proficiently.” This is the philosophy on which Dr. Sherry Barnes, professor of communication arts, has based her teaching as a Trinity faculty member since 2001.
May will mark Barnes’ retirement and her emerita status at the College. Looking back on her years at Trinity, she said one of the most fulfilling aspects of teaching was hearing about students’ rich faith traditions and faith journeys alongside family.
“I graded their assignments with a grateful heart and with renewed understanding of the power of small, everyday lessons—most of them learned by observation and imitation.”
Barnes graduated from Oklahoma Christian College with a degree in speech and theatre. She earned her master’s degree in speech and advertising communication from the University of Tennessee and her doctorate in human resource development from the University of Nebraska. She also served as vice president of the local American Society of Training and Development chapter.
Her interest in intercultural communication started in college, but her passion for it grew during her time at Trinity. Faculty development opportunities overseas were tied to the use of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) in her Intercultural Communication classes and a five-year research project on the development of intercultural sensitivity.
Her academic and corporate expertise has been invaluable in her work with students in Trinity’s traditional and Adult Studies programs.
“A learning community like Trinity is a place to facilitate creative thinking strategies both in and outside the classroom,” said Barnes. “As I look back on 10 years of graduates, I can see Trinity students as change agents for the businesses, schools, churches, and communities they join.”