The Amarillo Pioneer

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WTAMU Graduate Students to Present Research at Conference

"Two West Texas A&M University graduate students will travel to San Antonio Oct. 5-7 to present their research papers on the rhetoric of sports at the annual conference of the Texas Speech Communication.

Both students—Rebekah Grome of Oneida, N.Y., and Mayara Nascimento of Umuarama, Brazil—are graduate students in communication and have completed the seminar in Rhetorical Criticism, which was focused on the rhetoric of sports. This will mark the first research conference experience for both students.

Grome’s paper uses narrative criticism to analyze the film, “The Express: The Ernie Davis Story,” which is about the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy. Grome initially was driven to write about this topic because she is from the Syracuse area, where Davis’ legacy is well known. Grome’s research interests include bi-cultural development and acculturation.   

Nascimento will present a rhetorical analysis of the documentary, “Schooled- The Price of College Sports,” based on a series of interviews reflecting problems with how college athletes are treated when it comes to compensation for their participation in college sports in the United States. Within her paper she analyzes the messages producers and directors disseminate through the film. Nascimento chose this topic because it directs attention toward irregularities and poor treatment that have occurred to student athletes.

Each spring the Rhetorical Criticism Seminar focuses on a theme, which guides students’ research. Past topics have included the Rhetoric of Religion, the Rhetoric of Race, the Rhetoric of American First Ladies and the Rhetoric of Women in Politics. During the 2017 spring semester, the seminar focused on the Rhetoric of Sport, allowing students to explore a variety of topics. Dr. Trudy Hanson who serves as the instructor for this master’s level course, stresses a statement by NBC Sports broadcaster Bob Costas who wrote: “Sports are still the ultimate shared experience. Sport draws the attention of people from all walks of life in a way that few other things can.”    

The Texas Speech Communication Association holds an annual conference each year that attracts both high school speech teachers, graduate students in communication and university communication professors. This year’s conference was originally scheduled to take place in Houston, but due to damage caused by Hurricane Harvey to the convention hotel, the conference was moved to San Antonio. Communication faculty members who are attending and presenting at the conference include Carolyn Baum, Lacy Cannon, Trudy Hanson and Connie McKee.

For more information about their research, please contact Nascimento at or Grome at"

-West Texas A&M University

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