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News & Press: Conventions

Report from the 2019 Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference

Wednesday, March 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christina Yoshimura
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By Justin Boren, Second Vice President

The Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference took place on Friday February 22 from 8am – 1pm. This year, we had an incredibly high conference submission rate with 91 total submissions from 34 schools around the country. From that, 68 student papers were accepted and paneled into 17 panels. I enlisted the assistance of 42 expert reviewers and 14 panel respondents. I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to each of those reviewers and respondents for all the constructive feedback and support they gave to the students this year. The National Communication Association granted their top Lambda Pi Eta award (given to the LPH student with the highest evaluation score):

            Queering the Wolverine: A Nepantlera Reading of Logan
            Autumn Destarac-Saldana, CSU San Marcos

So many of the papers were exception, making the selection of top papers particularly challenging. Therefore, I sent the top 6 papers out to a panel of former WSCA 2nd Vice Presidents for an additional round of review. From there, the following papers emerged as the truly exceptional:

            Wakanda Forever: Identity Commodification and Resistance
            Emery Bradlina, University of Puget Sound

            The Pursuit of Captivity: A Marxist Analysis of the Walking Dead
            Caleb Marshall, Weber State University

            Breakingly Bad: TV Anti-Heroes and their Treatment of Women
            Kelly McKeever, Arizona State University

And the top paper this year was:

            “That’s So Gay!” Re-Appropriating Homophobic Slurs for Social Change in South           African Rugby
Alexis Vega, The University of Texas at El Paso

Each of the student presenters did a great job of highlighting their scholarship. The quality and range of work at the conference really reflects the level of mentorship and of the quality of education from our undergraduate communication programs in the West.  



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