Communication studies students Starmie Bennett, Sarah Huddleston and Deborah Howard will present research papers at the 29th Annual Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) Theodore Clevenger Undergraduate Honors Conference (UHC) in Montgomery, Ala. on April 6.
The students will present research conducted in Dr. Trudy Hanson’s introduction to rhetorical criticism class, the capstone course in communication studies. Three WT communication professors also are sharing their research at the Southern States Communication conference.
Bennett’s paper made the top 10 percent of papers in the program, qualifying her as a Clevenger Scholar. Her research analyzes narrative features of the popular Disney film Frozen, which made its debut on November 27, 2013.
“The most rewarding part of the process is that when my paper was selected for presentation, a reviewer left a comment that highly recommended I publish my manuscript,” Bennett said. “I am looking forward to sharing findings about one of my favorite movies and listening to other’s research.”
In contrast, Huddleston chose a lesser known film starring Nick Vujicic to analyze for her research. “I chose The Butterfly Circus short film because it is not a widely known artifact,” Huddleston said.
Using metaphoric criticism, Huddleston identified the metaphors used by film maker Joshua Weigel to expose the inspirational messages of the film. Throughout the research process Huddleston said learned to “be thorough – leave no question un-answered. Know your beliefs and why you believe them. Most importantly, research and discover what you are passionate about.”
Howard will present her research over the song “This My Soul,” which was written and performed by a Christian band known as The Gray Havens. When asked about the artifact, Howard said, “The band does not write stereotypical contemporary worship music. They make you dig for the underlying meaning of the words.” When asked about the presenting at the conference Howard said, “I am just honored to share the story behind the song and represent West Texas A&M in Alabama.”
Dr. Noah Franken, assistant professor of communications studies, and Dr. Kris Drumheller, professor and head of the department of history, also will present research at the SSCA Conference, which is the sponsoring organization for the UHC. Franken’s two presentations include his research about online narratives of accidental death and his research about the self-fulfilling prophecy of members of Alcoholics Anonymous, which was named a top paper by the Applied Communication Division.
Drumheller’s paper is about Twitter responses to change within the television series Doctor Who and the selection of the 13th doctor to play the lead role in the series. Additionally, Hanson, professor and head of the department of communication, will be presenting one of her teaching ideas for a panel discussion about Great Ideas for Teaching Students.
-West Texas A&M University