In Fall 2023, the Hope College Communication Department is celebrating three newly appointed tenure track assistant professors and an assistant professor of communication instruction!
Join us for an interview with our newly appointed Assistant Professor of Communication, Dr. Patrick Gentile.
Dr. Patrick Gentile studies intercultural communication and sports communication, and Hope is lucky to have him teaching Comm 371 Intercultural Comm and developing a new course, Comm 295 in Sports Communication! His other courses include Comm 270 Qualitative Methods and introductory courses in the Communication Major.
His research is broadly published in academic journals and focuses on intercultural communication within sports teams. For example, his recent publication “Learning English is the Single Most Important Thing: A Qualitative Analysis of the Linguistic Acquisition of Latino Minor League Baseball Players” (2022) focuses on how language-learning shapes teamwork within professional athletics.
What do you want your research to accomplish in the world?
I want my research to go in-depth with how intercultural communication and language barriers impact professional sport team performance. Many sports in the US are composed of international and domestic athletes, so looking at this unique team dynamic is what I am most passionate about. There are statistics to measure performance, but there is a human element that cannot be quantified. I want my research to be applicable to these teams/leagues and I hope to offer solutions and strategies for how to unite teams through intercultural communication.
What ideas/theories are currently the most exciting to you?
I love the relatively newly developed theory called cultural fusion theory. This theory claims that when two cultural groups come in contact with one another, they each change to accommodate each other. Looking at this through the lens of sport is a new avenue of research that I am pursuing.
Hope College is famous for its “Pull” tradition in which a team of Firstyear students compete with a team of Sophomore students in an enormous, strategic “tug of rope” competition. The teams have “pullers” and “moralers.” The pullers lie down in separate pits and pull on the rope, the moralers coordinate with one another and–sitting beside their puller– tell the puller when to pull extra hard! Would you rather be a puller or a moraler?
Definitely a moraler! I love competition but I like the strategy aspect more than actually participating, especially with something of this nature!