Before taking Senior Project, students majoring in Communication and Philosophy should take a research methods course. Students often pick their research methods course depending on what type of research they want to conduct in their senior project. In the spring of 2018, there are two communication research method classes being offered and one philosophy option.
Communication Methods Courses
In Quantitative and Qualitative Methods (COMM 472), taught by Dr. Jeff Halford, students complete four empirical projects that require research design, data collection, data analysis, and report writing. Skills used in the project include interviews, surveys, naturalistic observations, and a content analysis. The class emphasizes a social-scientific approach rather than a humanities approach to communication research.
Rhetorical Criticism (COMM 473) is the study of persuasion in different formats. These formats include political speeches, advertisements, video-games and music videos. Similarities and dissimilarities between the art of persuasion in different formats are analyzed. Textual analysis and a critical-humanities based approach is emphasized. Rhetorical Criticism is taught by Dr. Amber Davisson.
Philosophy Methods Course:
In Existentialism and Film (PHIL 406) taught by Dr. Sander Lee, students will apply philosophies from the existentialist movement to films from directors such as Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock. For example, the existentialist philosophies of Martin Heidegger, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre are applied to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo.
For more information, contact your department advisor or the instructor of the course you are interested in.
At the end of March, Daniel Stavens (Junior Communication Studies and Film Studies Major) and Olivia Moore (Senior Communication Studies Major) traveled to Boston to present at the James C. McCroskey & Virginia P. Richmond Undergraduate Scholars Conference. The conference, sponsored by the Eastern States Communication Association, features competitively selected scholarly papers by undergraduate students from colleges across the eastern United States.
Moore’s paper, titled “Hey Pretty Thing, How Much? The Problematic Reality of Catcalling,” was based on research she conducted in Dr. Jeff Halford’s (Associate Professor of Communication) senior project course. Moore’s research used a combination surveys and in-depth interviews to delve into the gendered nature of catcalling. Her study “reveals that catcalling is an intensifying social problem in contemporary society.”
Stavens’ paper, titled “Eisenhower’s Civil Religion: Redefining the Relationship Between Religion and Politics in the 1953 Inaugural Address,” was based on research he conducted in Dr. Amber Davisson’s (Assistant Professor of Communication) rhetorical criticism course. Stavens’ research is based on a rhetorical analysis of Eisenhower’s First Inaugural Address. His research, focusing on religious rhetoric and civil religion, argues that “Eisenhower changed the way modern politicians address the complex relationship between religion and government.”
In Professor Amber Davisson’s fall senior project course, students are getting the opportunity to learn about political campaigns both in the classroom and out in the real world. As part of the class, each student is doing a service project either with a presidential campaign off-campus or the American Democracy Project here at Keene.
What do the television show “Friends” and the film G.B.F. (Gay Best Friend) have in common?
They were the focus of media studies conducted by two Communication majors who presented their research at Keene State College’s 16th annual Academic Excellence Conference on April 9, 2016.
A Communication major and Film Studies minor, Erin Waters applied feminist film theory and the method of visual rhetorical criticism to examine how “Friends” shows the personal and professional progress women have made on screen, but that inequality between women and men still exists off screen. In fact, Erin’s poster presentation won the People’s Choice Poster Award at the conference!
A Communication major and Public Relations minor, Matthew Pereira applied theories of masculinity and sexuality along with the method of ideological rhetorical criticism to discover that G.B.F both reasserts and reshapes norms of the ideal man, but that more diverse representations of gay men are needed in media.
The faculty mentor for these undergraduate research projects was Dr. Jamie Landau.
The number of college students across the country with all forms of disabilities is increasing. Since 2013, Mary Kate and Dr. Akkoor have interviewed 43 faculty and 16 students on campus about how professors accommodate and communicate about students with learning disabilities.
For the SURF, Mary Kate will continue to collect data by interviewing experts in the area of disabilities and staff in the Office of Disability Services at Keene State College. Mary Kate will also apply interpersonal and intercultural communication theories to analyze the interviews. Finally, she will design a professional development workshop for faculty about how to better work with students with learning disabilities, with plans to launch this workshop during the Fall 2016 semester.
Congratulations to Dr. Akkoor and Mary Kate Stewart!
This fall semester caps off with undergraduate research presentations by students enrolled in COMM 479: Senior Project and the induction of new members into the honor society for communication majors at Keene State College.
Both events will occur on Monday, Dec. 14, 2015.
Senior Project Conference, Media Arts Center #155 and #158, concurrent panels: 9-10:15 a.m., 10:30-11:45 .m., and 1:15-2:30 p.m.
Lambda Pi Eta Induction Ceremony, Media Arts Center #155, 12-1 p.m.
The Senior Project Conference in the Department of Communication and Philosophy is open to the public. Student presenters are encouraged to invite family and friends to attend.
Forty two graduating communication majors will present their capstone research projects on Monday, May 4.
Concurrent panels run from 9:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in Media Arts Center #155 and #158.
Sample research topics at this Senior Project Conference include reality television, parent-child relationships in transitioning to college, a study of the building that houses that Admissions Office at Keene State College, blind dating, workplace culture at Market Basket grocery store, societal views of mental illness, fair trade and organic food, and sports advertising. Students and their families as well as staff and faculty can attend.
In addition, the Department of Communication and Philosophy will celebrate “Communication Day” on Monday, May 4, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Mountain View Room of the Student Center. That event will feature an awards ceremony for students, guest speaker Provost Walter Zakahi who has a doctorate in Communication, and complimentary food and refreshments.
Come ask questions about undergraduate research at the department’s Senior Project Conference next Monday, Dec. 8.
Students enrolled in COMM 479: Senior Project this fall semester will publicly share the results of their studies. Research topics include (but are not limited to) organizational satisfaction in the workplace, parasocial relationships with celebrities, online dating applications, private disclosure between students and professors, and existential philosophy in films such as “Good Will Hunting” and “Groundhog Day” and in books such as The Great Gatsby and Into the Wild.
Concurrent student presentation panels run from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., and 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. in Morrison Hall Rooms #201 and #202.
Kalie Randlett, a senior who is double majoring in communication and social science, wrote a research paper on Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s 2013 MTV Music Video Award performance for a class last year. She was then competitively selected to give a poster presentation on it this weekend.
Kalie’s rhetorical analysis argues that patriarchy is upheld today in pop culture even as women try to assert their empowerment.
Kalie is one of only 17 Keene State College students who were accepted to present at the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly and Creative Activity Conference that runs November 7-8 at Keene State College.
On Monday, May 5, students and faculty in the Department of Communication and Philosophy will gather to share undergraduate research and celebrate the accomplishments of honors students and graduating seniors.
This special occasion is called “Communication Day” and features the following events:
Panel presentations of students enrolled in Senior Project, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Media Arts Center #155 and #158
Poster presentations of students enrolled in Intro to Communication Studies, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hallway in Media Arts Center
Pizza luncheon that also includes an awards ceremony for seniors, an honorary speaker, and the induction of new student members into Lambda Pi Eta, noon to 1 p.m., Mountain View Room in Student Center
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